Within 24 hours of getting home from Sun ‘n Fun, several industry leaders including Evektor America’s Jeff Conrad, Flight Design USA’s Tom Peghiny, Jabiru USA’s Ed Ricks, and BRS parachute’s Gregg Ellsworth packed up and headed off to California. What motivated these men to depart so soon after a long week in Florida? They all wanted to support proprietor Mike Fletcher as he and his staff celebrated the Grand Opening of Light Sport Airplanes West. I also flew out to join the party for America’s largest LSA showroom and a grand affair it was. Estimates put attendance at 300 (I suspect that didn’t include everyone present as some 100 aircraft flew in). Representing the Sportstar, CTsw, and J-250 plus the Remos G-3, TL Ultralight StingSport, and Tecnam, LSA West has an impressive line and a large inventory of LSA in stock.
Jabiru USA (North America)
Phone: (800) 522-4781Shelbyville, TN 37160 - USA
In the auto industry “hybrid” infers the use of multiple technologies (think: Toyota Prius). In aviation, hybrid could mean an airplane designed in one country and built in another. Even Boeing farms out subassemblies worldwide, integrating them in America. Car companies coined “domestic content” to state what portion of a car is “Made in the USA.” *** We’re doing it in LSA, too. Besides the Storm Rally (photo), Jabiru 170 and 250 and the Delta Jet 912 trike are hybrids. The Italian-designed, Canadian-owned, Skykits line is U.S.-built. *** Prestige Aircraft is the licensed manufacturer for aircraft designed by Storm Aircraft of Italy. Like Jabiru USA, Prestige brings in major components, assembles them, and finishes with U.S.-sourced elements, which better addresses the American market. Storm Rally comes with basic VFR flight instruments and equipment, including a turn-coordinator, tail-strobe, Icon 200 radio, and Garmin transponder with altitude encoder.
At Oshkosh I took the chance to speak with several general aviation leaders — CEOs of top general aviation companies and presidents of leading membership organizations. All have been kind to me with their time and generous with their support for the Sport Pilot concept, but I sensed they didn’t yet accept LSA deep down. Minor questions remained. Today that seems convincingly gone. The same not-100%-certain leaders now chorus, “LSA is here to stay.” *** Evidence of that is again marshaling for AOPA’s season-ending event for general aviation. The D.C.-based organization now counts more than 413,000 members, more than two-thirds of all pilots on the FAA register. The traveling Expo show typically draws well from a region’s pilot population. Action starts October 4-6, 2007 at the Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD). *** For the third year running AOPA is providing a grouped location for Light-Sport Aircraft right where you enter the airplane display area (SLSA exhibitor list under photo).
|Seating||two, side-by-side, 44 inches|
|Empty weight||780 pounds|
|Gross weight||1,320 pounds|
|Wing area||120 square feet|
|Wing loading||11 pounds/square foot|
|Useful Load||540 pounds|
|Length||21 feet, 5 inches|
|Payload (with full fuel)||324 pounds|
|Height||7 feet, 10 inches|
|Fuel Capacity||36 gallons|
|Baggage area||enormous 1|
|Notes:||1 The J250 is based on the four-seat Jabiru J400 fuselage with no rear seats installed.|
|Standard engine||120 hp, Jabiru 3300|
|Power loading||11 pounds/hp|
|Max Speed||120 knots|
|Cruise speed||120 knots|
|Stall Speed||45 knots|
|Never exceed speed||138 knots|
|Rate of climb at gross||700 fpm 1|
|Takeoff distance at gross||700 feet 1|
|Landing distance at gross||640 feet|
|Range (powered)||840 nautical miles / 7.2 hours (w/o reserve)|
|Fuel Consumption||5.0 gph|
|Notes:||1 Solo performance attributes are 1,200 fpm climb and a 325-foot takeoff roll.|
What’s that airplane with the funny sounding name? The question arises when pilots, unfamiliar with the new brands introduced by the light-sport aircraft (LSA) category, try to comprehend the name Jabiru. “And this airplane company also makes its own engine?” This second question frequently follows the first. Jabiru USA’s Peter “Pete” Krotje and his staff must tire of the explanation. “It’s JAB-i-roo,” I heard Pete reply patiently one day at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005. “And, yes, the company makes both the airframe and engine.” So begins the tale of this new airplane from the country down under famous for kangaroos and cowboys who speak English in a distinctly different way. Designed by Jabiru Australia of Bundaberg West, Australia, the J250 and J170 recently earned special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) certification, which the Calypso hopes to do soon as well. It’s A Little Big Plane As you walk up to the J250, this modern, composite cruiser looks like a small airplane, yet entering the J250 is easy and, once inside, the cockpit is surprisingly roomy, especially given its enormous luggage area.
Pete and Ben Krotje and their team have done it again. They won an Special Light-Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate for Calypso SP, their third and SLSA number 40 in the USA. Last November the Shelbyville, Tennessee company certified the roomy J-250 and flight school-oriented J-170. Pete said, “Calypso Sport is a Special-Light Sport certificated version of Jabiru’s proven UL with wheel pants, six-inch wheels, winglets, and other upgrades.” Calypso SP’s lower ventral fin has been reduced in size and the flaps have been extended by 72 inches. This resulted in a LSA that stalls at 35 knots, demonstrates a very short takeoff, and has near-motorglider performance at a reported 18:1 with the engine at idle. Jabiru USA says Calypso SP can cruise at 100 knots on less than four gallons an hour but when operated around 70 knots sips a mere two gallons per hour. The SLSA airworthiness was awarded on September 8th.
And then we had 20…SLSA approvals, that is. Jabiru’s Pete Krotje announced his company had received not one but two FAA airworthiness certificates for J250 and the new J170. The latter is aimed at the flight training market. Smaller than the J250 which has an enormous baggage area — being based on the the four-seat J400 — the J170 is based on the proven two-seat Jabiru, the Calypso. It will be powered with the company’s four cylinder, 80-hp 2200 engine. Smaller, yes, but J170 still has a broad 45-inch cabin with plenty of headroom. The J170 is big in other ways, too, with a 562 pound useful load and a whopping 35 gallons of fuel (which may not all be used in training applications). Meanwhile J250 is your cross country cruiser with room for all your gear and able to cruise easily at SP/LSA’s 120-knot speed limit.