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Jabiru owner-to-be


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Hi Guys,


Ive only just joined this forum - to collect some more information on Jabs.


Iam likely topurchase a J160 in early 2007 (depending on how long their waiting list is by then!) and am hoping to find out more about 'in-service' experience from existing owners by then... but also to discover more about othermodels promoted in Oz - Foxbat, Storch, etc.


I see that this sub-forum does not have a lot of traffic - but I guess there are not a lot of owners out there at this stage.. Does anyone know if this is the 'main' forum for Jab owners? (I tracked a Yahoo Jabiru forum for some time, but it is U.S. based - and mainly covers engines - not aircraft.





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Welcome to the forums Chris - The forums have actually been going since about Sept last year but up until a couple of weeks ago we were using a different kind of software so when we merged over to these new ones we were only able to move across about a third of the posts. This meant that around 2,000 posts were left behind so if you give it a month or two you will probably find the posts in the Jabiru User Group to start building up again. In the Kit Building forum here there are two jabiru kitsbeing built so if you have any questions about building a kit just ask away.



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(but also to discover more about other models promoted in Oz - Foxbat, Storch, etc. )


Hi Chris


I think you can geta list of most Jabiru owners from Jabiru. However this is a great forum for all types! You will find if you post to the Jabiru users group you will get plenty of responses given the number of Jabirus around. Not having flown the Foxbat i can not comment on it but i have flown the J160 and the Fly Synthesis Storch. The J160 is a great aircraft and proving to be very popular and fantastic value. Thehttp://www.flysynthesis.com.au Storch is also a great aircraft which is well built withastounding performance. Check it out! Above all, have fun and safe flying!






Ed Herring



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G'day & welcome Chris,


I'm part way thru a J230 Jabiru kit build that you can see in the kitbuilding forum.


With all of the Jabiru kits & aircraft out there, many appear to choose to hide their light under a bushell ... or they are having so much fun doing the building in a shed somewhere, or are just off flying, that they don't get onto Forums.


I'm corresponding on and off forum with a few blokes that are building or who have built and there is plenty of good advice to be had on all facets of ownership.


We have all been in your exact position ..... so get as involved as you can here, even ifyour kit or aircraft is still a gleam in Rod Stiff's eye in Bundaberg.


Regards Geoff



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Hi Chris


I am slowly contending with my Jabiru J160 kit #14 (DEc 2004). Being early in the series before certification, there were/aremodifications to contend with. This would be far less of a problem now as the design settles down.


I am not aware of any changes made since certification.


Anumber of mods have been made in the area of the fuel header tank, carburettor jets to reduce fuel consumption in 2200 & 3300 motors (see Jabiru site for detail),undercarriage bolts, propellor attachment bolts and washers, oil cooler, oil pump, cabin reinforcement, door catches, windowsand hydraulic tappets.


As far as I was concerned, the main one washydraulic tappets ("we are not considering them")and the factory mods to the oil pump and radiator although I have the later model oil radiator.


Depending on the engine serial number the TBO has been changed in May 2004. Basically top overhaul at 1,000 hours and complete engine overhaul at 2,000 hours. See the detail on the Jabiru site in "Engine notices".


If I had ordered the engine later I might have scored the hydraulic tappets. Some mods are mandatory on the 3300 motor but not on the 2200 motor.


Not all of thesechanges were made mandatory. Most of them were recommended. If implimented some of the changes would reduce the frequency of required inspections or serviceing like the propellor bolt changes.


There were also other changes made to layout of controls that did not figure in notices or recommendations for changes.


I discovered a new problem last night in that my carport heaters could not beat the Leeton frost. Our minimum temp last night was about -5 deg C outside. This morning (her Golf Day)my wife was complaining that she could not get any water to have a shower before golf as our pressure pump was frozen up. That was was the first time for a number of years!


We need about a minimum of 16 deg C for epoxy to cure according to Jabiru, preferably +25 deg C. Jabiru said that it will start to cure as soon as the temp rises even if some time later. The problem of course is keeping the workaligned, clamped or screwed together or not moved until it has cured. last night this took at least 16 hours until it was safe to unclamp where as normally I could get away with as little as sixto eight hours depending on the temperature.


Epoxy curingis actually a chemical reaction. That is why it is important for the proportions of the epoxy and hardner to be correct by weight.


Last night I gave up and I turned the 2.5 Kw fan heater off at midnight with the temp at6.9 deg C. By about 10 AM the next day it had cured enough to remove the self tappers after turning on the heater again at about 8 AM. The next day (tonight at 20:37) the temp was 14.9 deg C in the garage with the heater going all day with a maximum of 16.1 deg C sometime during the day! So it would have had a bitmore curing during that time but was still soft enough to make it relatively easy to do some rough trimming with a carbide scraper.


If you leave it too long into the curing cycle, the self tapperscan be very very difficult to remove!


Our kit arrived from the factory with oneself tapper still in the hull join and tooka bit of effort to remove.


I might have to build a tent over the part I am working on in the winter if it involves curing epoxy or epoxy flockand put a fan heater in there. The curing time is considerably reduced if you can get it up to 25 deg C for a few hours.


I am gratefull to Geoff from Mildura and his partner Geoff (not a typo) for help via email& photos during my kit building which has still a long way to go.


Those two Geoffs have an advantage of working together and with years of experience in the gliding area. I wish he were a bit more forthcoming with his aerodrome identifiaction though. It would help if the photos could be numbered or named like they were in the previous forum.


Regards Ross



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Hi Chris,


like you I'm new to this forum. What a great way to share and gather info.


I took delivery of my J160C in Feb of this year. If you want one by early next year you better place your order NOW!


Feel free to ask any questions.





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I really appreciate all the responses! - in just one day. And the time it took some of you to type your words... (I guess if you're waiting for epoxy to dry in Leeton, Ross, you have plenty of time on your hands!).


To better explain my situation: I came down a similar path to Greg A - got my PPL 30 years ago; had a share in Piper Colt for awhile (Good training those flap-less landings...); concurrently into hang-gliding (foot launch) and logged 600+ hours in those over 25 years (with 10 year gap in the middle - when I was being a responsible dad..).


Been back into hang-gliding at our farm, withpower-harness, until I had a real bad landing 2 years ago.. Couple of pics. at http://www.clicknetoz.com/inverness/hanging_around.htm (but not of the hard landing!)


Since then I have done 15 hours on ultralights (French-made Cosmos) whilst working in the U.S. -and need 5 hours to complete 2-axis training... which I will do here in Oz.


And most recently did 1 hour in Jabiru - to see if I could get excited about going back to 3-axis. I have to admit that I still find an enclosed 'conventional' aircraft is a bit isolating and dull - after hanging out there in the elements and steering by weight-shift; it's definitely as close to being an eagle that man is ever going to get.. But the reality is that I am now 52 years young and the body doesn't like hard-landings anymore - common in hang-gliders - nor the cold..


I have a 700m grass strip - with a 3 degreedownhill slope into the prevailing wind (NW); but the high-side approach is over gum trees... 2 other pilots who have flown GA into my strip have chosen to land tail-wind up the slope (no trees on approach..).


So in considering which aircraft to buy (it will be factory built - not kit) I guess I am best to go for STOL (rated around 100m TO, 130m L) and sacrifice a bit of cruise.. The other consideration in hangering at home is maintenance and parts availability - and that plays into the hands of Jabiru...


So bottom line - my heart says go buy an Airborne Redback http://www.airborne.com.au/pages/ml_redback.htmland pretend to still be a boy - my sensible side says go getsomething with doors anda cabin-heater... Will make finaldecision in next couple of months - but verylikely to fall the way of 3-axis.


Would appreciate any other thoughts regarding, in particular, the constraints of my strip,


Thanks and cheers. bushpilot



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Why not both?


Get a J160 kit and also the Redback with the money you save.


Then you can have the added fun, like Ross & I, in doing the building throughthe glorious 2007 Bathurst winter.


(I have a bit of dirt up at the top of Fremantle Rd and know how cold it gets up there. Just wish I could fit a strip on it, but it is all vertical, although have 9 kms of frontage onto the Macquarie so floats might be an option I guess, or a Cub with big tyres ... did you see that STOL link here somewhere).


Regards Geoff in Wagga Captain



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Thanks Guys,


All of these comments are helpful;there sure are a good range of aircraft available in Australia... including the imports.


At face value it seems that the design, spec.and execution of a factory built Jabiru presents very good value - when compared with some of the more 'basic' designs that are out there... In fact, nothing seems to come close at circa $75K fly-away..


The only limitation for me is that I prefer an STOL configuration - and there is no such option on Jabiru.. So from here I guess I need to consider whether to accept a lower spec. aircraft to get STOL, or fix my runway approach; means clearing 5 acres of native gum trees.... and would have to get 'her' permission...:)







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You need to check out the J170 its a long wing J160 4ft more Length bigger flaps lot slower land speed gets off better to. Don'tknow specs have a mate building one. If it is as good as the J230 it will be a great PlaneCheers Geoff



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According to the Jabiru site the J170 is kit only


Vso 38 knots


140 metres Take off distance


150 metres Landing distance


"Max useable load" 255 kg





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Guest Fred Bear

Jabiru are normally quite good with their numbers, however I'm yet to see and Jabiru take off in the distance quoted in the specs which are allegedly quoted for a nil wind takeoff at Max TakeOff Weight.


140 metres is a little presumptous for an MTOW J170. Perhaps with a 10 knot headwind and 1 POB... Even the long winged SP didn't do that with a 6 Cylinder and they were quite a bit lighter than the J160 is.



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Hi Clem


Points taken.


The figures no doubt are probably quoted


for standard atmospheric conditions


at sea level,


nil wind,


level surface,


hard sealed surface, (even derate for hard short grass)


engine warmed up and run in (J160c book says temp needle must have moved off the stop)


within C of Gravity Limits


and presumably should be at MTOW.


For the complete conditions read the Owners Manual which is not on the Jabiru web site.


If any of these conditions are not met derate accordingly.


I just like my all over square mile of grassy clay loam at Leeton or the long biitumen at Griffith. Griffith always seems to have a cross wind from the South and the main wind sock is amongst the trees near the passenger terminal.


Leetonis supposedly about 20 feet lower in the South West corner than where the gliding club hanger is.


Griffith has a noticeable dip in it for final after touching down on 24 but like Leeton has the advantage of being not much above sea level.


Then you need that on hot days.


Jabiru also has another condition for hot days.


"Maximum air temperature for operations


40 deg C for takeoff at gross weight."


Regards Ross



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Hi Geoff


Was it the UL which is quoted with a L/D of 17/1 versus the J160 of 10/1.


It ought to have a noticeably shorter take off than the others.


I thought there was some mention of a carbon fibre option wing.


Anyone else know anything about it.





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Just had another thought: My farm is 720m ASL at the front gate and 900m at back boundary..and airstrip is about 800m ASL; so that is going to affect performance a bit...


Is ordinary paddock grass (slashed) over a graded (but not compacted) surface...with downhill run for both TO and L - into the prevailing wind. (20m fall over 700m length = about 3%) bushpilot



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Hi Chris


For your elevation of 800 m about 2,625 feet AMSL there would be an increase in the true stall speed although the air speed indicator would usually indicate the same indicated air speed at the stall no matter what the elevation.


So you still fly (mostly) by the airspeed indicator, just remember that it is IAS usually,not True Air Speed (TAS).


It is really reading the pitot air pressure at the stall speed. Since the aeroplanes weight hasonly changed minutelyfrom sea level it still needs almost the same air pressure to make it fly.


This means that the aircraft is travelling over the ground at a significantly higher velocitywhen it touches down on high airstrips.Now becauseenergy of the aeroplane, because of it's velocity, is proportional to the square of velocity a small increase in touchdown velocity compared to what happens at sea level produces a corresponding large increase in the landing run.


We have not yet considered wind speed,slope or surface or pilot reaction time yet.


Grass might help the landing, but won't be much use for the take off.


All the above can be much worse when you convert to standard temperatures and pressures. The aerodrome altitude can be thousands of feet higher on a hot low pressure day.


Take off on high airstrips-


Less engine power available causes longer run,


Less propellor thrust available at any particular revs causes longer run,


Higher TAS (same IAS) required than at sea level causes lnger run,


Longer take off run required even on level strip.


Surface will affect run required can cause longer run


Slope will affect run length required (uphill or downhill over cliff),


Wind speed will affect run length required,


Wave and rotors can drastically affect performance in lee of hilly areas


I think relative humidity will also affect engine power and maybe pressure altitudes as well.


Please check all of the above with a qualified flying instructor.


Please excuse my rambling. I just had another look at your experience and all the above is no doubt old hat to you. Just tell me to shut up.


Regards Ross



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Thanks Ross - And no 'shut up' is required here - - it is a long time since I did my GA PPL theory and whilst I'm aware of the fundamentals relating to altitude, your elaboration is very helpful.


To date I have only flown powered hang glidersfrom my strip;with 2 versions of power: a power harness (i.e. Radne engine in foot ofharness, but still flown in the prone position, and an Airtime trike base - single seater. You can see both at: http://www.clicknetoz.com/inverness/hanging_around.htm The prone power harness is in the movie clip - but you have to strain to see it!


So with this type of machinery I have had no instruments at all (no ASI even) and of course they TO in about 30m! So the altitude affect is not noticeable at all.


But moving to 3-axis I will have to take the theory a bit more seriously, which is why I am doing a lot of homework on the considerations and options (of aircraft).


Thanks again for your guidance..







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Hi Chris


I just looked up my "Owners manual" for the as yet unbuilt J160 and I quote the figures from the J160 owners manual below for rev 0 dated May 04 Page 5-3 of 3.


5.2 Takeoff & Landing Distances


Takeoff safety speed is 1.3 Vs1 64 KIAS


Landing Approach speed (Full Flap) 65 KIAS


The unfactored, sea-level takeoff distance to 50' at NIL wind or slope, on a short dry grass surface, is 350 metres.


The sea-level takeoff strip length exceeds the landing strip length."


Takeoff and Landing distance is therefore 350 metres times 1.3 =455 metres.


This distance is established using the normal technique described in paragraph 4.3.7 (describes normal & short fieldtakeoff in J160 with the same rev0 and date May 04)


This distance must be increased by a distance increment of 115 metres for each one thousand feet (1000') of pressure altitude.




14 knots


By my calculation for your strip w/o allowing for slope or wind that makesboth the takeoff & the landing distance requirement to be 455 metres plus 2.6 times 115 metres = 754 metres with no wind and no slope allowance.





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  • 4 weeks later...

I Guys,


I have flown a Savanah (kit build) with a 100hp Rotax, which will takeoff in 3 plane lengths and climb out at 1200 foot /min - 2 up-


cruise is about 70 knots @ 16 litres an hour


Landing is also very, veryshort.( Airfeild was 220 feet AMSL )


This aircraft would easily handle your strip length.


I have heard good freinds say thethe Fly Synthesis Storch is a good aircraft. What are you thoughts on this aircraft? for your purpose?


This aircraft should safely land at your airfeild with its altitude.


regards Arthur Withy.





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Hi Arthur,


Well the Savanah would certainly do the job; I have read a bit about it elsewhere in this forum - but it is not the prettiest sheep in the flock (I am a farmer after all...)


The Storch is definitely worth considering - as is the Foxbat; both seem to have reasonable STOL capabilities.


I have decided to do this thing in 2 steps: I have just bought an Airborne Redback trike, for fun, out there inthe breezeflying - and willdo my 3-axis conversion training on a Jabiru. (I found an instructor nearby that has a new J160 arriving soon). Then in 2007 make the decision at to which 3-axis to buy.


Thanks for your thoughts.







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