For years one of the top LSA brands in the United States has been Jabiru, the Australian brand that is fully assembled and significantly American sourced in Shelbyville, Tennessee, near the center of the country.
Long operated by Pete Krotje (pronounced like karate), he has now assumed leadership of the newest versions that feature better prices than ever through innovative arrangements with suppliers around the world.
In January 2016, Jabiru USA split into two new companies, Jabiru North America and Sport Aircraft Services. Jabiru North America is the sole North American distributor for Jabiru engines and aircraft, as well as a manufacturer of firewall-forward kits for a variety of experimental-amateur built aircraft. Sport Aircraft Services, LLC is owned and operated by Pete's son, Ben, as a full-service maintenance facility for Jabiru engines and experimental and light-sport aircraft. Everybody wins in this division as each man offers great strength and long experience. |
The newest J-230D derives from a four-seat Jabiru kit design, so while having only two seats according to LSA rules, J-230D offer the largest cabin in the fleet with a separate third door to access the cavernous baggage area (photo).
J-230D is a well-evolved and speedy design that can reach the maximum cruise of 120 knots powered by the six-cylinder, 120-horsepower Jabiru 3300 engine.
Jabiru is a rarity in the aviation world. This Australian brand builds both the airframe and the engine. Hundreds of airframes and thousands of Jabiru engines prove the success of this company with the "funny sounding name" (pronounced "JAB-eh-roo").
For 2016, Jabiru will begin offering the very newest version of their two engines, the new 2210, an 80-horsepower, four cylinder engine and the 3310, the 120-horsepower six cylinder engine.
Video review: Jabiru — J-230D (9/16)
Here’s a flight review of the latest version of the J-230, the D model.
Video review: D Motor — LF39 LSA engine
You already know very well Rotax, Jabiru, Continental, and Lycoming plus a couple others including UL Power and Viking.
Video review: Jabiru — J230 (dealer Eric Evans)
When people visit the Midwest LSA Expo, a popular LSA-oriented show in early September, those visitors will likely run into an expert airplane broker, Eric Evans.
Video review: Jabiru Engine — 3300 Upgrade (0914)
At the Midwest LSA Expo in 2014, we spoke with Jabiru USA owner Pete Krotje about some significant changes made to one of the popular powerplants in the light aircraft space.
Video review: Jabiru Aircraft — Lower Prices! (0714)
Jabiru Aircraft has long done well with their line of affordable, speedy, and U.S.-assembled aircraft.
Video review: Tenn-Air — Jabiru-Powered CH-750
If you like Zenith Aircraft’s CH-750 STOL — widely regarded as a “Sky Jeep” – you’ve been able to buy and build for some years, but you had to purchase a kit after a related company, AMD, ceased operations.
Video review: Sensenich — Props for LSA & Homebuilts
Sensenich (pronounced Sensen-ICK) is one of the best-known prop manufacturers in the world, long supplying Lycoming and Continental aircraft engines, but also airboat makers.
In Shelbyville, Tennessee, two LSA companies are located side-by-side. The two are Jabiru USA and Arion.
Video review: Rans — S-19 with Jabiru power
Lots of folks saw a vaguely familiar airplane at the Midwest LSA Expo 2010… but, like myself, we looked and looked again and couldn’t quite place the airplane.
Video review: MySky — MS One (MS-1)
Our first “performance tandem” joins a fleet of seven other tandems in the LSA space, but this One is meant to get up and be gone… in a hurry.
Video review: IndUS Aviation — Thorpedo (2010)
One the most proven airframe designs in all of Light-Sport Aviation is the T-211 series from Dallas, Texas-based IndUS Avation.
Video review: 5 LSA Brands — High Wing Composite
At the Midwest LSA Expo 2010, we started something new using multiple aircraft and offering their differences and similarities.
Video review: Jabiru USA — J170
The Jabiru J170 is the “little brother” to the larger J230 and J250 series also from Jabiru USA.
Video review: IndUS — Thorpedo
Made in the USA, the IndUS Thorpedo is a storied American design (hint: the 1950s version was the predecessor to the Piper Cherokee).
Video review: Jabiru US — J-230SP
Jabiru is the one company I know of that produces both the airframe and the engine under one brand.
Given that the Sport Pilot / Light-Sport Aircraft sector is only a dozen years old (announced July 2004 with the first Special LSA approval in April 2005), Jabiru North America seems almost an old timer with 17 years of business in their corporate logbook.
We and many other journalists have arrived in EAAworld and are gearing up for another big event.
Revised Article UPDATED: 6/5/15 — At best statistics can be fluid and hard to state precisely.
In the Light-Sport Aircraft industry, many companies are celebrating fairly young birthdays, at least compared to 80-year-old legacy companies in the GA space.
What do sugar cane harvesting equipment and light aircraft and engines have to do with one another?
Splog: The Mid-Year View
I am not aware of any other airplane company on Earth that builds both airframes and powerplants.
After a tough winter in most parts of the USA, spring evidently arrived early with 80-degree temperatures as far north as Minnesota… all before Sun ‘n Fun.
Splog: New Illinois LSA Academy
In the upcoming Learn To Fly issue of dead tree Plane and Pilot, I wrote an overview article covering the Sport Pilot license.
Viewed from the LSA Mall, AirVenture 2009 was much more than the summer’s big celebration of flight.
Pilot report: Jabiru J-170; Trainer or Recreational Flying
The Jabiru airplanes from Shelbyville, Tennessee-based Jabiru USA are funny airplanes.
With one month to go (and it’s hard to imagine a big December), we have figures to report for this most extraordinary year.
Here come the American engines! Rotax 912s from Austria presently dominate the LSA market with an estimated 70% of installations.
I can identify four factors in the economy presently affecting airplane sales: Potential customers (often with plenty of assets or creditworthiness) see the value of their stock portfolio going up and down like a roller coaster; worry over their once-soaring real estate, now down markedly in some areas; witness the continuing rise of the euro-dollar exchange rate, bringing much higher prices for many LSA; and, fret over a climate of political uncertainty during another election cycle.
SEBRING 2008 UPDATE — Like rapid fire, approvals and preparations for the Sebring Expo are coming quickly.
October 2007 brought another top finish for Jabiru USA.
In September, as the Cessna Skycatcher’s wave of orders soaked up funds that might have gone to other SLSA, Jabiru logged the most FAA registrations — 6 more J-250s, bringing the company to 44 units delivered and placing the model 9th overall among fixed wing airplanes.
Most pilots know AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, has been fighting the user fee battle…and they’ve been doing well resisting the might of the U.S.
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.
In the auto industry “hybrid” infers the use of multiple technologies (think: Toyota Prius).
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.
Pilot report: Jabiru J250: A Great Cross Country LSA
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.
Pete and Ben Krotje and their team have done it again.
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.