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eSPRG Profile: Skyleader 600 Czechs All the Boxes

In Consideration of Skyleader, a Moniker Well-Earned: One of the 1000+ SportPlane Profiles Destined For The Next SportPlane Resource Guide

E-I-C Note: The eSPRG and ANN staff have been working furiously, behind the scenes on a new All-Digital, Next-Generation, SportPlane Resource Guide.

In addition to nearly 100 'How-To' chapters, dozens of appendices, THOUSANDS of videos and images, and other fonts of SportPlane knowledge, we estimate that some 1000 or so SportPlanes and Sport Aircraft will eventually be profiled. Herewith; a sample profile of one of the many, many, MANY aircraft coming up for the next eSPRG... while also noting that the published eSPRG profiles will also include even more info, pictures, data and (where possible) detailed and carefully critical Report Cards detailing the capabilities and suitability of the manufacturer and the aircraft in question. We have a massive job ahead of us... and the first few hundred pages, of the 2000 or so that we expect to publish online, will hit the AeroVerse in just a few weeks... Don't miss them! YOUR suggestions and comments about this, and other concepts and formats, planned for the eSPRG are not only welcomed, but STRONGLY encouraged... after all, we're doing this for YOU... the current and future SportPlane reader, owner, builder, and pilot.

Born in the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution—the non-violent 1989 socio-political phenomenon by which Czechoslovakia was transformed from a communist command economy to a free-market parliamentary republic—the company known today as Skyleader (formerly Jihlavan) has evolved from a designer of simple light and ultralight aircraft such as the Z90 and TP41 to a veritable bastion of sophisticated modern aircraft such as the Skyleader 600—a sleek and lovely machine eminently and equally conducive to recreational flying and pilot training.

Available in both fixed and retractable undercarriage iterations and powered by a variety of Rotax engines ranging from the 80-horsepower 912 UL to the 115-horsepower, turbocharged 914 UL, the Skyleader 600 is an eye-catching, two-seat, all-metal, Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) with a high-visibility cockpit; a trapezoidal high-performance wing fitted with stability and efficiency-boosting blended-winglets; electrically-actuated Fowler flaps; a ground-adjustable, three-blade DUC propeller; and options for a Ballistic Parachute Recovery System (BPRS).

Primary flight control of the Skyleader 600 is via dual (right and left side), floor-mounted control sticks, conventional rudder-pedals, and a center-column power-quadrant.

Creature comforts, depending on options chosen and work invested, range from very good to outstanding. The Skyleader 600’s jaunty sliding canopy facilitates excellent visibility and headroom, and the window in the acrylic canopy’s port-side can be opened in flight. Larger pilots will appreciate the aircraft’s 4-foot 2-inch cabin width—a full eight-inches wider than the cockpit of Cessna’s venerable 172 Skyhawk.

The limitations section of the Skyleader 600’s operating handbook reads like that of a far-more-expensive, Normal category airplane. The aircraft’s 1,320-pound maximum gross weight comprises a 705-pound empty weight and 198-pounds of fuel. Ergo, simple arithmetic indicates a generous payload of 417-pounds.

The Skyleader 600’s performance, too, is decidedly better than that of the average Light Sport contraption. The machine’s speed envelope is bounded top-and-bottom by a Vne of 143-knots and a Vso stall-speed of 33-knots. Cruise-speed at 75-percent power is a respectable 122-knots. Takeoff distance and ground-roll are cited as 820 and 330-feet respectively.

Skyleader claims its 600 model can squeeze 8.5-hours of endurance (including 30-minute VFR reserve) out of its 31.8 gallon fuel capacity.

Skyleader North America’s website lists the 600’s starting price as $119,595.

Persons disinclined to pass years cobbling together their Skyleader 600s may avail themselves of a four-hundred-hour fast-build kit, which includes all requisite aircraft components—excepting engine, avionics, and wiring harnesses. Persons truly averse to delay have been known to enlist the help of A&P mechanics for powerplant installation and other technically-challenging construction phases. Ready-to-fly Skyleader 600s, depending on options, can run north of $175,000.




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