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Wed, Sep 14, 2022

Aero-TV at Osh22: SF-1 Archon SportPlane is Everyman’s Fighter

Miramar Looks with Hector International Prices

Even the most J-3 Cub loving, low-and-slow-going, staunchly traditional pilots secretly aspire to fly jet fighters—at least once. Not in combat, not for the duration of a career, but for an afternoon or two, high above the earth, alone in the vastness, astride power unmatched, and performance unequaled.

Seductive though the notion of flying a jet fighter may be, the monetary realities of owning such a contraption are starkly terrifying. The legacy F-16 costs a cool $8,000-per-hour to operate; and fifth-generation machines such as Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and F-22 get aloft to the tunes of $28,455, and $33,538-per-hour respectively. Such sums exceed the mean annual incomes of many Americans.

Were only civilian pilots could get their hands on an aircraft that offered the sleek, distinctive looks and dazzling performance of a fighter-jet without the eye-watering price. Alas, no such critter exists.

However, the sleek, distinctive, tacticool looks of a modern fighter aircraft can be had for only $35,000 by pilots inclined to build their own aircraft and forgo Pratt and Whitney’s mighty F135 afterburning turbofan engine for the not-quite-so-mighty Rotax 915.

Comes now the SF-1 Archon—single-engine, pusher-propeller-driven kit-aircraft, the design of which invokes images of an F-35 having been rear-ended by a Cessna-337 Skymaster. The Archon was developed in northern Greece—Archon is the ancient Greek word for ruler—by G-Aerosports, and is produced for SportairUSA by Fisher Flying Products of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Archon’s parts are CNC cut from aircraft aluminum, then pre-drilled and pre-welded prior to shipping. The $34,900 Archon rapid-build kit includes all the hardware and materials required to build a flying airplane except the engine, avionics, and paint.

To the subject of engines, two reciprocating platforms are currently available to Archon builders: Rotax’s 900 series, and AeroMomentum’s AM13 and AM15 models. A turboprop option is also available in the form of Heron’s GVA-130 two-stage axial-flow free-turbine engine. All engine options are offered as bolt-on packages, and include engine-mounts, propeller-gearbox and propeller, and all accessory components and radiators.
Deliveries of Archon kits will commence in 2023.

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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