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Fri, Jun 09, 2023

Aero-TV: Of Australia’s Jabiru Aircraft and Engines

The Antipodes Finest Four-Stork Aero-Mills

Co-founded in 1988 by Rodney Stiff and Phil Ainsworth, Bundaberg, Queensland’s Jabiru Aircraft is an Australian, family-owned maker of kit and ready-built civil Special Light Sport Aircraft (SLSA). Unique among LSA and SLSA concerns, Jabiru also designs and manufactures a range of light, four and six-cylinder aero-engines by which its aircraft are powered.

SLSA aircraft—more or less—are the LSA equivalents of larger, type-certificated general-aviation aircraft. As opposed to FAA standards, SLSA aircraft are built to consensus standards—guidelines collectively developed by industry, pilots, and the FAA. The consensus standard model has long been utilized to develop products the likes of automobiles, paints, toys, etc. Manufacturers beholden to consensus standards may, generally, self-certify their products.

Built primarily of composite materials, Jabiru’s range of conventional high-wing, fixed-tricycle-undercarriage monoplanes is popular with recreational pilots, cross-country fliers, and flight-training organizations alike. Jabiru aircraft feature, in part, dual controls, in-flight adjustable trim, electric flaps, cabin heat, and cockpits resplendently kitted out with GPS-enabled Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) panels and Engine Monitoring Systems (EMS).

By way of factory-built aircraft, Jabiru currently offers the J230-D, a two-seat machine with an advertised cruise speed of 120-knots and a 675-nautical-mile-range; and the J170, another two-seat offering with a cruise speed of one-hundred-knots and a range of 850-nautical-miles.

Jabiru’s line of kit-built aircraft comprises the J230 and J170—the occupant-capacities, cruise speeds, and ranges of which are identical to the factory-built J230-D and J-170-D models—and the J430, a four-seat machine with a 120-knot cruise speed and a range of 675-nautical-miles.

The favorable ratios of light-weight, high structural-integrity, and clean aerodynamic lines characteristic of Jabiru airframes derive largely of the Fiber-Reinforced-Plastic (FRP) technologies integral to their manufacture.

To the subject of engines, Jabiru aircraft are alternately powered by the company’s eighty-horsepower, air-cooled, four-cylinder, four-stroke, 2,200 cubic-centimeter mill; or its 120-horsepower, air-cooled, six-cylinder, four-stroke, 3,300 cubic-centimeter powerplant.

The proprietary Jabiru-designed-and-manufactured engines have been developed specifically for use in the company’s aircraft, and are fitted with dual electronic ignition systems.

Excepting paint, upholstery, and headsets, Jabiru kits include the entirety of the components, structures, and fasteners required to build functioning aircraft. VFR instruments, main-ship’s battery, and even a full complement of cups, sticks, applicators, and brushes germane to resin mixing and application are provided. Start-to-finish, kit build-time typically spans six-hundred-hours.

The top and bottom halves of Jabiru kit fuselages are provided pre-joined. Ergo the home-builder’s work entails, primarily, fitting the aircraft’s empennage and the remainder of its supplied components and hardware. To streamline construction and diminish the likelihood of mistakes, all locating points are identified by factory-drilled holes. What’s more, hard-points are factory-installed.

Excepting the fitment of flap and aileron attachments and fuel-system hook-up, Jabiru kit-aircraft wings are supplied complete.

Detailed Jabiru constructors manuals can be downloaded from the company’s manuals page. Subject manuals include step-by-step procedures, checklists, engineering drawings, and upwards of one-hundred photographs.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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