Jump to content
  • Welcome to Recreational Flying!
    A compelling community experience for all aviators
    Intuitive, Social, Engaging...Registration is FREE.
    Register Log in
Sign in to follow this  
preventec47

Kimberley Sky-Rider 1978

Recommended Posts

Anyone ever know or hear about the Kimberly Skyrider ? It was a favorite of mine as it was the only

 

ultralight type aircraft that had separately controllable huge flaps. I believe the designer was a pilot for

 

Quantas and he sold plans but I never heard of or saw another one built besides his.482456571_SkyriderTMP23c.JPG.95e683e0ccadc53d2d25e706d83600dc.JPG

 

1642679916_Skyridertemp01.jpg.c152e171dc20f3a5a5ab10c1fe5030ee.jpg

 

Skyrider-specs1-.JPG.096deaa3c4cd79171459f289fad6a1c2.JPG

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH=full]54495[/ATTACH][ATTACH=full]54496[/ATTACH]

Well this info is a total shock and a surprise. A Pod and different wings turns this into a completely new airplane I think.

Was the new design Gary's doing or did a customer just decide to modify his plane and borrow some ideas from

 

the many other designs at the time? I believe Gary hung his original plane in a museum and I figured he

 

was totally out of the business. When you said "factory" built..... can you tell me if someone was serial manufacturing

 

this "new improved" version of the plane. My hot focus point was the flaps. Did the new version wings have

 

separate flaps ?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry. Factory "Kit" built. ;). What i know - yes Gary built a few more in late 1980 and early 1981 producing a ? Number of kits. And plans - The wings on mine here are Huge. a lot of area and 37 ft span. No flaps but large ailerons, 10ft span horizontal stab. It is very futuristic for its time with electric start kawasaki 440, individual toe brakes ,fuel tank seat a very wide pod ,strobe light etc.... the one here is dated 1980 ;) more info later when back in hangar

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomo flew one in the last few years that was based somewhere in SE Qld. I did a search but couldn't find photos or the thread about it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did Clifford van Praag sell the Sky Rider from his place near Manly? When he did my BMW K750 conversion about 30 years ago, I’m sure he had one of his kits in his shed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did Cliff have a place near Manly? I knew he was in Bondi for years around mid/late '80's.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mistake. Cliff was at Bondi Junction. I remembered it was near a popular beach and your mention of Bondi refreshed my memory...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did find this online. Now why are there no aircraft like this being sold in Australia any more? RAAF Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 36

Price and the pilots out there are the reasons they are not being built.

If your average new pilot is a newly retired person with a passion who goes to an RAAus school and sees only 912 powered fully enclosed very fast aircraft and is trained on them what is he/she going to think RAAus aircraft are today?

 

And given the materials cost in a plane like that today is north of $15k with any sort of margin in it for a manufacturer ... and that with a two stroke engine that that new entrants just will not fly.

 

I’d love to do a kit for my single seat trike design but it’s just not viable to do it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Price and the pilots out there are the reasons they are not being built.If your average new pilot is a newly retired person with a passion who goes to an RAAus school and sees only 912 powered fully enclosed very fast aircraft and is trained on them what is he/she going to think RAAus aircraft are today?

And given the materials cost in a plane like that today is north of $15k with any sort of margin in it for a manufacturer ... and that with a two stroke engine that that new entrants just will not fly.

 

I’d love to do a kit for my single seat trike design but it’s just not viable to do it.

So how come there was a margin in it 30 years ago?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So how come there was a margin in it 30 years ago?

Because the people 30 years ago who were buying were 30 years younger than pilots starting out today and were being trained in aircraft that were similar in structure performance and even then the numbers made and sold were small and filling a market that was new.

Now none of those things exist

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because the people 30 years ago who were buying were 30 years younger than pilots starting out today and were being trained in aircraft that were similar in structure performance and even then the numbers made and sold were small and filling a market that was new. Now none of those things exist

I reckon it still exists. You just have to scratch a little harder. I reckon the current situation didn't come about randomly out of the blue. There was a lot of marketing involved in selling the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I reckon it still exists. You just have to scratch a little harder. I reckon the current situation didn't come about randomly out of the blue. There was a lot of marketing involved in selling the idea.

Ok. If it still exists good luck to the person who finds the market and fills it.

For me it takes 150hrs to build from scratch the trike and wing.

 

The engine and prop will cost me $7k

 

The fabric and all bits n bobs cost me $2k

 

The aluminium and bolts etc cost around $4k

 

So I’ve got $12k in out of pockets before I cost in the shed, wear n tear on the equipment and pay me for 150 hours of work.

 

Oh and if I just kit it I save around 40 hours but it’s still the same cost in materials.

 

Yes. If I bought everything in 5-10 airframe kits it would come down a bit but with just me working 46 weeks a year I’m producing 12 airframes a year ... so maybe 1 producer could sell at that production into oz ... but I’d be better off mowing lawns if I need to make a $ to live

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like there would be many alternatives for engines and props at way less than $7k.

 

The plans built SkyRider would ride like a rocket with a good 20hp engine.

 

In particular I would love to try this racing go kart on that exact plane

 

Ersatzteilshop Fresh-Breeze - Swissauto 250

 

The claim by the Kart racers is 30hp at 11,000 rpm but I would be happy to derate it to 20hp at 7500 (guessing)

 

for reliability.

 

Another 4stroke engine I would like to try is the Honda GX390 which would be heavier but on an old plane with

 

huge wings I think the power and weight would be perfect.

 

Ersatzteilshop Fresh-Breeze - Swissauto 250

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems like there would be many alternatives for engines and props at way less than $7k. The plans built SkyRider would ride like a rocket with a good 20hp engine.

In particular I would love to try this racing go kart on that exact plane

 

Ersatzteilshop Fresh-Breeze - Swissauto 250

 

The claim by the Kart racers is 30hp at 11,000 rpm but I would be happy to derate it to 20hp at 7500 (guessing)

 

for reliability.

 

Another 4stroke engine I would like to try is the Honda GX390 which would be heavier but on an old plane with

 

huge wings I think the power and weight would be perfect.

 

Ersatzteilshop Fresh-Breeze - Swissauto 250

Even more luck to you selling the idea of a 20hp aircraft.

I fly a 28hp two stroke ultralight. It’s a lovely aircraft to float around in. It’s slow. It’s old. And it climbs like a slug.

 

I’ve flown lower powered aircraft and enjoyed them but they are even more marginal for me ... I’m 90kg dressed and I’m really too heavy for some low power high drag older types

 

Just consider - the absolute best selling old school ultralight - the eipper mx and xl series - used the larger 377-503 rotax when they sold well ... the 277 little revver never really delivered enough power to have a reserve

 

And here at 3,300ft amsl sitting on the ground in 38deg heat I am not exactly over powered in getting off the ground.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did Clifford van Praag sell the Sky Rider from his place near Manly? When he did my BMW K750 conversion about 30 years ago, I’m sure he had one of his kits in his shed.

Cliff has a couple of aircraft in our club's hangar. I believe he's back from abroad so we could ask him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can't believe nobody on this thread has mentioned Drifters - anybody wanting to get into flying cheaply (circa $15k) can buy a Drifter, most often with Rotax 582 (65HP) power

 

magic little aircraft, solid as a rock, lovely lines/proportions, brilliant reputation and a delight to fly - high drag low inertia but an easy to fly taildragger with the big tailwheel

 

I have heard of a version with flaperons but I don't see the point - Drifters sideslip like a demon and they drop like a rock in the process - kick it straight, hard on the brakes, and you're stopped in very short order

 

and there is three (that I know of) flying schools in S E Qld that have them on line to train in - having said all of that they are starting to get a bit rare, hardly ever see one for sale these days...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep the drifter is a gem. The taildragger you have when you’re not having a taildragger. And that not a criticism it’s a bonus.

 

Loved teaching in the 503 drifter at the oaks in the 90’s.

 

But nothing detracts from the cost of a new drifter now being uneconomic for a factory here. Second hand brilliant - new a lifestyle choice due to cost

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kasper- I wont argue with you because I agree with most of your points. Of course the

 

market has changed a lot in the last 40 years. There are many more options and alternatives

 

to choose from compared to 1978 regarding fun hobby activities. I am just recalling a time

 

when the Sky-Rider was a step up from the Wheeler Scout initially even with the 12 hp McCulloh

 

engine. For me, the kind of guy that would not demand a lot more performance than 15 or 18 hp

 

would provide with the Sky-Rider design on a calm cool day at low altitudes, I am merely pointing

 

out that an increase in reliability thanks to 4 stroke technology would be appreciated.

 

No I never said you would become wealthy building and selling this type of plane today... Drones

 

and Cell Phones and Electronic games are what have captured the interest today but a few old

 

timers like me might like to do the old "Low and Slow" dance in a low cost easy to build airplane.

 

Funny thing about us old timers.... we for some reason are more concerned about safety than

 

we were 40 years ago and to me that means 4 stroke. Sure there were planes to come that

 

flew with 40 and 50 hp and that is because they needed the power but in very few cases were they

 

"Legal" at least in the USA and I believe Australian rules were not much different. I dont know when

 

and how the Australian rules changed but the USA rules for ultralights have NOT changed at all

 

except that they outlawed all former UL training vehicles. It was totally the pilots fault because

 

90 percent of all planes sold were trainers and 90 percent of all flights with a passenger was

 

a training flight with an untrained instructor. It didnt take too many crashes till the FAA said

 

"NO MORE" taking advantage of their generosity in allowing training.

 

Let me ask you Kasper, how do you think the Wheeler Scout would perform with a Rotax 28hp

 

277?

 

What is the legal maximum empty or max take off weight of an ultralight plane in Australia that

 

does not require a pilot or airplane to be licensed in any way ? In the USA the max empty

 

weight is 254 pounds.

 

While there may not be a large business opportunity to produce kits in Australia, it might be

 

desirable for the occasional old timer to be able to build an old design from plans and still

 

be able to incorporate any modern enhancements that might be available as improvement.

 

The alternative is a complete factory LSA type plane I think that begins well over one hundred

 

thousand dollars US or Aus....

 

Kasper, you are correct about the recent retired being exposed to 100,000 dollar planes

 

in training but when they see the pricetags they might somehow find their way to this forum

 

for relief and find out about the Sky-Rider and other affordable choices. Is'nt that really

 

why the forum exists ?

 

Scott

 

PS. I was surprised to hear that Eipper sold a lot of MX planes in Australia.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott,

 

Welcome and I see you’re from the USA.

 

Australia abandoned empty weight focus on ultralights in 1989 following a very extensive investigation and report from our federal govt. so 115kg/254lb empty has not been part of our rules for nearly 30 years

 

On ultralights we effectively have none that are unregistered or pilots uncertificated. The 1988 report focused on pilot training as being required and they’d been the case for 30 years.

 

You can build anything you like as a single seat ultralight so long as mtow is 300kg and you have wing load max of 30kg/m^2 - build it out of twigs and sticky tape and it’s legal - not wise but legal. But you’ll still need s pilots certificate with training to fly it.

 

So basically Australia and the USA separated 30 years ago on ultralights and now Australian ultralights are the low end of kit and lsa aircraft from the USA.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah Kasper the Drifter is a gem all right - with skydiving, army aviation flying (through the trees, not around them) plus paragliding in my resume, the Drifter is the perfect aircraft for me

 

occasionally I hanker for a little bipe or something really sexy like a Rotec powered Spacewalker, but I am so content where I am the thought doesn't hang around long

 

now all I have to do is get off my butt and get the little baby back in the air - not long now...and my airfield at home is nearly ready too

 

hey, what're your thoughts on this:

 

 

sorry about the 'music', it was added by the young fella who used his drone to take the videos - the approach from the South is a bit easier.....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later for your post to be seen If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...