TYPE : Single-seat ultralight/kitbuilt.
PROGRAMME : Introduced in 1998. First kit delivered in May 1999 and flown in September 1999. Company aims to produce one aircraft per year to evaluate production methods and develop kit manual; remainder of production is of kit version.
CURRENT VERSIONS : Sapphire LSA: Available as factory-built version meeting Australian CAO 95 Pt 25 certification standards, or as kitbuilt to CAO 95 Pt 10. Three kits available: Basic, comprising main airframe components; Intermediate, with control systems completed; and Advanced, including engine, propeller and instruments. All kits qualify for 51 per cent amateur-built kit regulations.
Sapphire Scenic: Proposed two-seat version under development will have MTOW of 500 kg (1,102 lb), 94 kt (174 km/h; 108 mph) cruise. Cost approximately A$35.000, plus tax (2002).
CUSTOMERS : First kit sold May 1999. Total of 42 flying by January 2003, including two factory-built.
COSTS : Factory-built flyaway A$35,266; Basic kit A$16,390; Intermediate kit A$23,650; Advanced kit A$29,414, all including tax (2003). Operating cost around A$24 per hour.
DESIGN FEATURES : Pod-and-boom fuselage with strut-braced shoulder-mounted wings; open cockpit with large windscreen. Baggage box, volume 25 litres (0.88 cu ft), in fuselage pod.
FLYING CONTROLS : Conventional and manual. Ailerons and trimmable all-flying tailplane operated by pushrods; rudder spring-coupled to tailwheel; quarter-span flaps; deflections 5° up (for fast cruising) and 20 and 40° down.
STRUCTURE : Mostly composites; GFRP fuselage pod reinforced with internal bulkheads; aluminium tailboom; wings of GFRP with foam ribs; fin is of GFRP; horizontal tail and rudder of aluminium tube with fabric covering. Wings and horizontal tail detach for storage or transport; quoted disassembly/assembly times 10 minutes and 5 minutes respectively.
LANDING GEAR : Tailwheel type; fixed. One-piece laminated GFRP main legs. Mainwheel size 11-4.00x5. Cableoperated brakes. Wheel fairings optional. At least one nosewheel-equipped Sapphire conversion exists.
POWER PLANT : One 29.5 kW (39.6 hp) Rotax 447 UL-1V or 34.0 kW (45.6 hp) Rotax 503 UL-1 V two-cylinder twostroke, driving a Sweetapple two- or three-blade wooden pusher propeller via 2.24:1 reduction gearing. Integral fuel tanks in wings, standard capacity 38 litres (10.0 US gallons; 8.4 Imp gallons), optional 58 litres (15.3 US gallons; 12.8 Imp gallons).
EQUIPMENT : Fully enclosed canopy and strut fairings optional.
|DIMENSIONS, EXTERNAL :|
|Wing span||8.84 m (29 ft 0 in)|
|Length overal||5.00 m (16 ft 4¾ in)|
|Height overall||1.25 m (4 ft 1¼ in)|
|Propeller diameter||1.27 m (4 ft 2 in)|
|DIMENSIONS, INTERNAL :|
|Cabin max width||0.61 m ( 2 ft 0 in)|
|Wings, gross||9.13 m² (98.3 sq ft)|
|WEIGHTS AND LOADINGS :|
|Weight empty||158 kg (348 lb)|
|Max T-O weight||350 kg (771 lb)|
|Never-exceed speed (VNE )||98 kt (181 km/h; 112 mph)|
|Cruising speed at 75% power:|
|- without fairings||75 kt (139 km/h; 86 mph)|
|- with fairings: two-blade propeller||75 to 85 kt (139 to 157 km/h; 86 to 98 mph)|
|- three-blade propeller||87 to 89 kt (161 to 165 km/h; 100 to 102 mph)|
|Stalling speed: power on||34 kt (63 km/h; 40 mph)|
|power off||36 kt (67 km/h; 42 mph)|
|Max rate of climb at S/L||305 m (1,000 ft)/min|
|Service ceiling||3,660 m (12,000 ft)|
|T-O run||55 m (180 ft)|
|Landing run||100 m (330 ft)|
|Range||328 n miles (607 km; 377 miles)|
|Endurance||3 h 30 min|
Photo: Andrei Bezmylov