I was first introduced to the Tucano Replica by an article in Kit Planes Magazine in March of 2016. I re-read the article several times, and decided that I would contact the company in Sicily to express my interest in being a dealer.
After some back and forth with Franco, the owner and founder of Flying Legend, I was able to convince him of my genuine interest in both the Tucano airplane, and becoming a dealer.
We met for the first time at AirVenture in Oshkosh Wisconsin in 2016 and we came to an agreement to become the first US Dealer, purchasing an aircraft kit, prior to their getting the FAA approval for the Experimental/Amateur Built Kit.
Kit approval was received in the Spring of 2017, and the first flying aircraft was assembled in Texas of 2017. I decided that it would be more effective for sales, to get my hands on a flying aircraft rather than spend a significant time constructing my own at that time, so I convinced Franco to sell me the first flying aircraft in the US, N101DN, as my demo aircraft. I took possession of N101DN in early September of 2017 and flew it from Mt Vernon Illinois back to Philadelphia.
Almost immediately, I began to give my input to Franco regarding changes that I felt were needed for the American market, such as larger fuel tanks, and a cabin heat system. I showed Franco my prototype cabin heat system in N101DN, at Sun’N’Fun in 2018. In addition, kits and aircraft now have larger fuel tanks, and Flying Legend offers heat and defrost options in their kits.
I recently built a custom Tucano for a customer, which was the first fully Garmin based Tucano with 2 axis autopilot and all of the bells and whistles. I have also sold several kits and enjoy helping the customers with their projects. One of my customers will be making a fully Garmin IFR aircraft, and I will probably build and wire his avionics and panels. I have been championing a higher performance version of the Tucano and have been working with another dealer on the Avionics/Engine interface. Hopefully this version will fly this year.
The Tucano is one of three airplanes that I own, and I enjoy flying her often. She is a very honest aircraft that goes where you point her, and is very fun to fly. I have had several offers to sell her, but I have resisted, and will probably keep her until I have built another one for myself.
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