If you are looking for a light sport aircraft (LSA) that is bound to turn a few heads at an airfield in Britain or anywhere in Europe for that matter, General Aviation News has recently profiled the affordable BushCat from South Africa based SkyReach which (naturally) sports a black and white zebra design. Of course, you don’t have to go with a black and white zebra design as that was done sspecially for the aircraft on display at last year’s AirVenture in Oshkosh (by projecting an image of a zebra into the side of the aircraft and then tracing the outline).
The BushCat is an evolutionary product of the Cheetah XLS and it was designed to be easy to maintain (the aircraft is assembled in a modular fashion – meaning a damaged part can simply be unbolted and replaced with a new one) and rugged so that it can operate in the African bush to catch Rhino poachers.
In fact, the BushCat was selected by the World Wildlife Fund because pilots who do poaching patrols must stay in the air for several hours at a time without refueling plus its economical:
“Endurance of the airplane is about seven and a half hours, which is more than my endurance in it, I’m sure,” said Gill, noting fuel capacity is 24.8 gallons. “It costs are about $30 per hour. That’s in United States currency, because it runs on automobile fuel.”
Other aircraft specifications include:
- Wingspan: 31.5 feet or 9.6 meters
- Spinner to Tail: 18.6 feet or 5.7 meters
- Cockpit: 47.5 inches or 1.2 meters across
- Useful Load: 628 pounds or 285 kg
- Baggage: Up to 81 pounds or 36.7 kg
- Climb Rate: 700 feet or 213 meters per minute to 1,200 feet or 365.8 meters per minute
- Engine Choices: The 65-hp Rotax 582, the 80-hp Rotax 912 and the 100-hp 912 ULS
- Maximum Crosswind Component: 32 mph or 27.8 knots (For comparison, the maximum demonstrated crosswind component of a Cessna 172 is 17 knots)
In addition, UltraLiteFlyer.com has an interview with the company representative at Oshkosh who said the aircraft would be selling for just $62,000 or so after the show:
So whether you need to do a several hour poaching patrol above the Yorkshire Dales or you just want a rugged aircraft to fly up to Scotland in, the BushCat could be your answer!
Bruce Buglass says
Thanks for the Article, very interesting to see interest in the BushCat.
My name is Bruce, and we are now the UK distributor of BushCats.
Would be great if you could just leave a web address at the end of your article!