Following up on the first (pt.1) review about Bundaberg Airport based Jabiru Aircraft and Engines, this review has a closer look at the manufacturing process and engine specifications of the aircraft.
The Jabiru is built largely of composite materials and are conventional high-wing monoplanes with a typical tricycle undercarriage. Worth highlighting, the
wings can be removed for ease of storage or transportation.
Use of modern composite techniques has resulted in a strong yet light structure. The aircraft are designed around the pilot and passengers, being spacious and comfortable for
touring, yet with a small footprint and frontal profile. Controls include a centrally-mounted control column, brake and trim lever. Additionally - there is also a Jabiru assembly facility in George, Western Cape, South Africa.
aircraft component manufacturing is completed by a small group of sub-contractors based in Bundaberg. These components include not only the composite airframe but also brakes, wheels, engines and propellers - infact, almost everything for the aircraft.
Some of these contractors are ex-Jabiru employees who have developed thier own business to supply parts to Jabiru.
The numerous components are then assembled for Jabiru by two contractors with completed aircraft spending three
days being checked and test flown to ensure they are ready for delivery to thier owner.
Jabiru currently produces it's own range of lightweight, four-stroke, horizontally-opposed, air cooled engines that are specifically designed
and engineered for use in aircraft. A 2200cc four-cylinder engine of 85 hp and a 3300cc six-cylinder that produces 120 hp are built in Bundaberg by Ian and Jenny Bent who produce them under licence using mostly locally-sourced components. The engines
are delivered on a pallet to Jabiru and come with a power output report having been run-in, dyno tested and calibrated.
Additionally, all engines are direct drive and fitted with alternators, silencers, vacuum pump drives and dual
ignition systems as standard. The basic design is now so mature that only minor design changes have been made in the last 1000 engines or so.
Jabiru has also produced an extremely smooth 5100cc eight-cylinder engine however it
has not proved to be a commercial success because of the proliferation of cheap Lycoming "clones" on the market. The engine was originally designed for the RV-6s and later variants. Worth mentioning, a 5100cc powerplant was installed in an 80% scale Spitfire
MkV in Brisbane.