First, choose the standard Skyranger airframe, or the all-new Skyranger Swift. The Swift is ideally mated to the 100Hp Rotax 912S engine, and gives an improved ride in turbulence at the higher cruise speeds associated with the more powerful engine, as well as an incredibly nimble roll rate.
The Skyranger is available with the following serial engine options approved to BCAR section S:
Which one is best?
The list above represents order of ascending cost and ascending horsepower. You could be forgiven for thinking that selection would be purely a budgetry consideration and that the engines are listed in order of desirability also. However there are some subtle variations and reasons why that may not be the case in different circumstances.
The 582 option:
This is the only two stroke option listed. Two stroke engines have
the advantage over their four stroke counterparts of having much greater power to weight
ratio. The 582 produces 65 horsepower yet is very light. This means that the 582 engined
Skyranger is the lightest of the bunch and therefore has the highest available payload
within the max takeoff weight of 450Kg Typical built weights are in the mid
240s (kg) dependant on options.
The 582 option is standard with the C type 3.47 Gearbox and 3blade kiev prop. This coupled with the standard aftermuffler makes for a very quiet package. Electric start is also standard.
The Jabiru option:
This is the least expensive four stroke option. Despite this the
Jabiru produces 80 horsepower and has the advantage of being the lightest of the
Typical built weights are low 250s depending on options. Being of air cooled flat four configuration and with direct drive the Jabiru is a mechanically simple engine and with its conventional aircraft engine sound and feel appeals to traditionalists and those who would like to do all their own maintenance.
The Rotax 912 option:
The Rotax 912 has become the industry benchmark engine. It produces
80 horsepower and has reduction gearbox to keep prop speed low, which reduces noise and
increases efficiency especially in the low speed takeoff and climb regimes. The 912 proved
to be the quietest of all the Skyranger engine options from the results of the mandatory
CAA noise testing. For even cooling the 912 uses watercooling for cylinder heads and oil
cooling as well as having air cooled barrels. This makes the 912 very suited for tight
cowling and bullet proof cooling. Reliability is proving to be of legendary status and the
recommended time before overhaul is 1500 hours.
Typical builts weights are in the mid 250s depending on options.
The Rotax 912S option:
The Rotax 912S is a 100 horsepower version of the 912. Basic technical specification is the same as for the 912. This is the highest horsepower option currently available in the Skyranger and really does give sparkling performance with impressively short takeoff distances and high climb rate. In the cruise the most marked difference is that it uses between 300 and 500 RPM less for the same speeds compared with the 912. Standard with the Kiev 283 prop and CKT exhaust typical built weights are in the high 250s depending on options.
The engine installation kits contain all the necessary parts to mate
the bare engine to the Skyranger airframe. This includes all fuel lines, T pieces, pipe
clips, brackets for water radiators, oil tanks, coolers, wiring loom and connectors, choke
and throttle cables and brackets, battery, and all associated hardware.
This enables you to install your engine without having the chore of sourcing all those fiddly hard to find small components.
The 582 powered Skyranger is standard with the Kiev 183.
The 912 is best suited to the Kiev 273.
The 912S is standard with the Kiev 283.
The Jabiru is standard with the GT wood two blade.
These propellers are high tech composite 3 bladed propellers with aluminium hub. The blades are adjustable to set the pitch angle using a simple tool.. The elegant and efficient Semi Scimitar blades have inset brass leading edge protection strips to prevent erosion from debris and rain. These propellers are very smooth running lightweight and highly efficient. They come as standard with the pitch setting tool and fabric blade covers. These propellers represent outstanding value.
The GT Jabiru prop
This prop was chosen as the perfect match for the Jabiru 2200 and is the ideal prop to soak up the pulses of a direct drive engine. To call it a wooden prop does not really do this justice. It is a high tech laminate covered with a resilient epoxy covering. Inset leading edge protection is standard as is the non reflective mat black rear face. A superb piece of Italian workmanship.
Standard supply for the 912 engine is a specially fabricated exhaust system made by CKT engineering. This system is stainless steel with an oval cross section silencer box that then permits the use of an optional aluminium wrap heater manifold. Air is ducted in via a glassfibre scoop to pass through this via a flap valve into the cockpit. Very civilised for winter flying!
The Jabiru installation can also be supplied with an optional heater kit, which also takes hot air from around the standard exhaust.
All models are available with carburettor heat. This is to counter carb icing which can occur when atmospheric humidity is very high. This can cause rough running and in extremis may cause the engine to stop on low power settings. Although not required for certification this is an option that we recommend for complete peace of mind.
For the Rotax models the carb heat option consists of small manifolds attached to the carburettor body through which flows engine coolant. This then warms the carburettor body and prevents internal ice build up. There is no loss of engine power with this system so it can be left on permanently thereby releasing the pilot from extra workload.
The Jabiru which is air cooled, uses a traditional hot air system with air ducted around the exhaust through a airbox with flapper valve into the carb air intake. The air is switched by the pilot from cold to hot by means of a plunger control in the cockpit.
The SkyRanger comes as standard with a Dacron covering, in a variety of colours. Some builders choose to lacquer exposed areas of the covering, in order to improve its resistance to Ultra-Violet degredation and reduce porosity. However, the SkyRanger is now available with an optional improved covering called "X-Lam", with a trilaminate structure and central polyester scrim. This covering boasts zero porosity, superior tear resistance and ease of cleaning, and up to 3 times the UV resistance of untreated Dacron. It also has a major benefit over lacquered Dacron, in that it can still be easily removed from the aircraft for minor repairs, and yet is still slightly lighter than lacquered Dacron. Currently, X-Lam is only available in red & white fabrics, enabling all white, all red or a mixture of colours. X-Lam can also be personalised using self-adhesive vinyl stripes or graphics.
These have the following advantages:
The Skyranger wheel spat option includes glassfibre wheel spats for all three wheels and all associated brackets and hardware to fit them. Like all the glassfibre on the Skyranger they are supplied in white gelcoat finish, but may be painted any colour as desired during your build.
These consist of glassfibre mouldings that neaten the end of the wing. Primarily cosmetic they also have the advantage of taking the first brunt of any hangar rash and protect the fabric, in this most popular part of any aeroplane to hit the hanger wall / door.
The standard supply for Skyranger glazing is clear Lexan sheet.
Optionally you can specify this with a tint. This is useful to minimise the suns glare.
Despite the UK not being famed for endless sunshine we find the tint useful in UK normal
flat light conditions where sunglasses are too strong but clear canopies can give rise to
occasional squinting. Chosen for the World Championship winning Skyranger, the tint is not
so strong as to give rise to reduced visibility.
It has the added advantage of making the aircraft aesthetically more appealing.
This is a fabric baggage compartment with a hard floor. It positions
behind the crew compartment above the fuel tanks and is accessed through a long curved
The luggage bag is approved to safely carry loads up to 10Kg and has a large volume making it ideal for carrying touring items, such as clothing, sleeping bags etc.
A real must-have for those who intend long distance trips in their Skyranger!
The standard supply for the Skyranger kit is one piece doors which
are top hinged and swing outwards for access. A popular option is the two piece door
This consists of an upper half door which hinges upwards and can be latched open to the undersurface of the wing. The lower half hinges on its front edge and opens forwards in much the same manner as a car door.
The two piece arrangement allows greater curvature in the doors resulting in an additional 50mm of cockpit width across the shoulders.
The other advantage of the two piece doors is that the top sections can be left open in operation either on the ground or in the air. This is very nice to let fresh air in when taxying on warm days, and allows for unobstructed aerial photography, or just that flying with the wind in your face experience!