DTA Voyageur II - The World’s Toughest Trike?
My personal opinion and experience about the trike manufacturer "DTA" and the Voyageur II Trike... and why we choose this trike...and what you should do to choose the right trike for you!
Actually first, about 8 months before take-off, we was not sure if we want to buy a Gyrocopter, a open fix wing plane or a trike.
The Magni Gyro M-22 Voyager is great Gyro
(Useful Load close to 600 lb) and as I had just a Sport-Pilot-License for weight-shift controlled trikes, I took 15 hours on a Gyro in
Dalby / Australia (thanks Don!). Well very nice experience but I like to have a wing above me in the air. Feels just better and then there was this vibrations what is maybe a bit
bothering during such a long cross-country flights. And the Gyro plus PPL license will come up to 120.000 US$... a bit too much for our small budget.
It feels always good to have two engines and so we checked the possibility of the AirCam from Lookwood Aviation (Useful Load close to 640 lb), a twin-engine experimental home built aircraft that can fly 10 feet above the tree tops, then climb up and away on one engine if needed. Exactly what we need but with close to 200.000 US$ maybe something what we will buy in some years…
So it had to be a trike and now we wanted the best for our money. Evolution (Revo), Air Creation, P&M Aviation, Airborne, DTA and many more – we checked all there models in details. At the end we decided to take the trike, what is maybe the most robust machine available and unique in that there is an unobstructed forward view due to the lack of front profile tube - the DTA Voyageur II.
We also had a great help choosing the right trike for us: Abid Farooqui (firstname.lastname@example.org) my CF Instructor when I got my US Sport-Pilot License. He is a real expert and straight forward and very honest person!
Anywhere he advised me to take the new Revo because its much technical advanced than the DTA trike and much faster, I still kept going on with the DTA, because I like more trikes complete open, without all this carbon fiber around.
So we went from Germany to Montelimar / France to see the DTA factory and the trike by self. What we found were very nice people with the huge disadvantage, that they speak just few words English. And unfortunately Doreen and I speak German, English and Spanish but not French. And here starts the trouble…
The next weeks I tried to negotiate the price and they do not want to give me more than some percentage, the half what a dealer would earn. So Abid offered me as a DTA dealer a good price and from
his portion he would assemble the trike and take care about the S-LSA registration in the USA for the trike – a next huge help for us.
I tried to get the frame with a metal colour – not possible. Different choices of propeller – not possible, just three choices. One was not available and so I was choosing one of the two left. At the end I got the other, I really does not want at all. I just got the impression from the first moment that they want to sell to me the trike as they want. Everything else, any of my requests just bothered them deeply. Nothing what you expect when you buy something for more than 40.000€.
One week later as agreed the trike arrived in the US. But important papers DTA "forgot" to send and the custom clearance was very difficult. And no way to do the registration of the trike at all on time! When Abid called them, they told Abid on a Thursday, that they go Monday for 10 days in vacation and tomorrow (Friday) they have other work to do. So a next delay of 12 days for us!
To bring the trike together was not that easy, because the handbooks and maintenance books they send was in French language, a language we don't speak, nether one of the mechanics in Florida! How they can do this, when they export a trike to the USA? Well Abid managed it to get these so urgent needed books as PDF files in English from other people somehow in the next day’s. I spend some good money to print them…
More than three weeks delay just because of the lousy “service” from DTA. They are always nice and friendly on the phone or in person. But guys... that's not enough!
Do you need some more examples of the “great service” of the French company “Development Technology Aero” DTA? Okay....
When I had a very hard emergency landing in July 2012, I had to order a new frame. And here the answer from DTA: “We are sorry that we are not able to send you a new frame before 5 to 8 weeks. The company what is doing the welding goes in vacation and we also. You just had the accident at the wrong time”! We had to wait more than 8 weeks and without a Cent of discount for the long waiting time, I had to pay 6.000 US$. Something good to tell - To "speed" up after 8 weeks, they was sending the frame with the money on the way but not on there accounts. Thanks for that!
All in all - lot trouble before you buy the trike and much more trouble and time and nerves consuming after you buy a trike from them!
So if you like also (like me) an open trike with an unobstructed forward view due to the lack of front profile tube, than get in touch with Abid (English only) and let him deal with DTA alone! If not you will get for the best a mental breakdown or for the worst a heart attack and not even the experience to get your trike at all flying :)
If I would buy again a DTA Voyageur II.? Yes I would! The quality and the concept is great! The trike is great engineered from Jean Michel! But for my money I expect that I get the trike complete with documents and on time and that spare parts are in stock or delivered within 1-2 weeks. A waiting time of more than 8 weeks for spare parts plus the shipping time is just not acceptable at all.
But it seams that DTA have noted that they need to improve there service! In 2015 they employed Georges Monier, to deal with all international matters as German Certification of there gyroplane and giving foreign customers and dealers a great service! Georges has been flying trikes in microlight competitions for several years, as the co-pilot/navigator of another DTA team member together with Guillaume Richard. Together, they won several French titles, and in 2012 they even won the world champion title with a DTA Combo Surf and the Magic wing. Good luck George!!!
Any questions? Just write me: email@example.com
Cheers and safe landings, Andreas