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eightyknots

Whatever happened to the incredible STOL Sky Maxx aircraft?

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Whatever happened to the incredible STOL Sky Maxx aircraft?

 

sky-maxx.jpg.d80db24c8a6d5b220d6b34479d88bb68.jpg

 

Was this aircraft, designed in an aeronautical institute in Italy and set up to be mass-produced in Germany, too good to be true? The aircraft was first known as the G97 Spotter and a successful prototype was built and flown in Europe. For all intents and purposes, this flying machine looked very promising.

 

I read about this side-by-side, aluminium, STOL aeroplane a few years ago and always wondered where it was up to in its production. It seems like the concept has fizzled out around 2008 (was it the GFC?) or thereabouts. The specifications were very favourable for a recreational aircraft:

 

Stall speed (full flaps) : 65 kmh (35 kt)

 

Cruise Speed: 200 kmh (108 kt)

 

Never exceed speed: 258 kmh (139 kt)

 

Climb Ratio: 1400 fpm

 

Empty Weight: 595 lbs (270 kg)

 

Max take-off weight: 1653 lbs (742)

 

Engine Options: ROTAX 80-102 hp, HIRTH, BMW, Jabiru 6-cylinder

 

Sky-Maxx:

 

*An aircraft for pilots who want the higher cruise speeds available with aircraft in the Small Light Aircraft (SLA) or ultralight category, while still maintaining the short field capabilities of the traditional microlight.

 

*Compared with other light aircraft models, the Sky-MAXX distinguishes itself through his robust full-aluminum-construction and highest quality-standards, that are far over the usual standards in the ultralight-norm.

 

*The view-field in the Sky-MAXX amounts approximately 270° and corresponds that of a helicopter.

 

Does anyone know what happened?

 

 

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What do you think??

Well-spotted, Towering Cu! The main features and specifications are similar except that aluminium has been replaced with composite material:

 

- A side-by-side 2-seater aircraft with a double control stick making it ideal for teaching.

 

- A spacious cabin, comfortable and with good visibility and totally enclosed.

 

- Cruising and stall speeds of 200 Km/hour and 65 Km/hour respectively.

 

- An ultra-light aircraft.

 

- Built using composite materials to guarantee strong resistance against corrosion and fatigue, and require minimal maintenance.

 

- A range of over 1000 Km.

 

- Competitive price.

 

Due to the complexity of the project, instead of embarking on the amphibian aircraft immediately, they decided to develop 2 other new projects first: a land plane to study flight patterns and runway take-off and a seaplane to develop hydrodynamics.

 

 

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In the meantime, a few more pictures surfaced of this interesting plane:

 

1233595587_SkyMaxx.jpg.7270ae4b0c4af25b15810714e1a38b25.jpg

 

fuselage-sky-maxx_1.jpg.67b1820e8e6b6b71ac6b36fbe3b4513d.jpg

 

643812828_SkyMaxx2.jpg.e6e29e8220a3ea51a4db4cf24eabf71c.jpg

 

 

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It has been three years since I wrote the above, but there still seems to be no word that this plane is getting off the ground (pun intended). The company appears to have succumbed financially during the global financial crisis back in 2008. But, what has happened to all the design work that was done? Have the Sky Maxx plans and intellectual property rights been sold? Has the Sky Maxx pop up somewhere else?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I did some searching last night and found information from 2014, which I've put in a PDF attachment.

 

The G97 was renamed the M7 by the designer who I have emailed but not received a reply yet.

 

Cheers, 

G97 - M7.pdf

Edited by Blackhawk
  • Informative 1

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Empty weight of 270 kg, max weight of 742 kg and “rugged construction” seem a fantasy-land combination, especially with that narrow tail boom, strutless wings and sculpted glasshouse. Still a nice looking aircraft. 

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To me, seeing the 472.5 kg was the obvious reason this never took off (pardon the pun).

As soon as 600 kg became the norm, anything below was immediately devalued. (At least here)

With Aussies being generally large people and the country being so large, 600kg is about the minimum for 2 people and some gear with any sort of decent range.

 

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6 hours ago, Blackhawk said:

I think you got the MTOW wrong; it's 472.5kg not 742kg

The original post said 742 kg or about 1600 lb. As others have said, the payload is not competitive - even if the empty weight really is as stated. 

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Posted (edited)

I've done a bit more searching and if you need clarification on the exact specifications of the G97/M7;  Peter Harlow - Foxbat Australia  would be able to give you the correct information as he was the approved Australian/New Zealand distributor for them.

 

He may even pick up on this thread and let us know what happened to the design.

 

APenNameAndThatA you will know Peter.

Edited by Blackhawk

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