Bat out of heaven

G-YOLO owner John Mann (L) with UK Aeroprakt agent Ray Everett (R) - click picture for article

G-YOLO owner John Mann (L) with UK Aeroprakt agent Ray Everett (R) – click picture for article

Microlight Flying – the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) magazine – has recently published a flight test of what in the UK is called the ‘Foxbat A22 Super Sport’. This aircraft is the kit version of the current A22L2 model, with a 450 kilo gross weight on an empty weight of about 264 kilos.

I like the call sign of the test aircraft – G-YOLO – which owner John Mann says stands for ‘You Only Live Once’. The aircraft is painted in ‘mid-life crisis red’ he says. A man after my own heart!

It’s good to see UK Aeroprakt distributor Ray Everitt of Dragon Aviation appearing on camera – he played a large part in building my first A22 Foxbat all those years ago. That first (kit) Foxbat was originally registered G-XBAT and I brought it to Australia in early 2002. It subsequently became VH-VPH and then, when sold, 28-4163. As far as I know, it is still flying, somewhere in New South Wales and is the only original design, ‘long-wing’ A22 in Australia.

Imported Australian Foxbats after G-XBAT (which, by the way, was the first aircraft I ever owned) were initially the A22L model, which had a slightly shorter wing, slightly higher stall, and better cruise speed. (For reference, the stall on that first ‘long-wing’ A22 was just under 25 knots!) The 450 kilos gross A22L was effectively superseded in Australia by the very popular 600 kilo gross weight A22LS.

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