The reason for this Extra 400 page on my F-14 website is that I particulary like this aircraft since I took my part in analysing the structural lay-out of this plane at the University of Aachen. My special calculations were focused on the front portside passenger window and included an extensive finite-element analysis.
The Extra 400 is built by EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH (EXTRA Aircraft Manufacturing Company), the same company that built the most succesful 200 and 300 series aerobatic planes. The company owner Walter Extra won several times the world aerobatic championships.
This latest EXTRA aircraft is a completely new design with a pressurized cabin and is made of composite materials. The Extra 400 is powered by a liquid cooled engine, equipped with fowler flaps and retractable landing gear. Prototype certification was given in early 1996 with its maiden flight in April that year. The Extra 400s design has been certified in accordance to the Federal Aviation Regulations FAR23.
Earlier models of the Extra 400 had the additional ventral fin removed and upwards wing-lets. Clearly visible is the "clean" shape of the aircraft without any ugly air inlets, antennas, gear boxes etc. According to EXTRA, the Extra 400 has excellent flight characteristics and is responding light and responsive on the controls. On its first airshow appearance on April 26, 1997 at Friedrichshafen, Germany, the 400 performed a fine flying display and even flew a barrel roll at low altitude.
August 28, 1998: The first EXTRA 400 crashes!
On this day the first EXTRA 400 from serial production was handed over to the first customer. On the day before and on the day of first flight the new owner had been instructed on how to fly and handle the new aircraft. The take-off took place in fairly bad weather under difficult IFR conditions. And then, about 20 minutes after take-off the aircraft crashed killing the pilot. Impact occured at a dive-angle of 75 degrees.Investigations by the German Civil Aviation bureau have begun: Pilot error is said to have been the cause for the fatal crash.
Good News: Serial Production has started.
According to press releases in German aerospace magazines the serial production of the EXTRA 400 has begun. Aircraft no. 3 was delivered to a customer in northern Germany at the end of 1998 and by now nos. 4 and 5 are said to be on the assembly line (early 1999).
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