Foxbat 2020 updates for Australia

For 2020 we are introducing some updates to the A22LS Foxbat/Kelpie and A32 Vixxen aircraft available in Australia while keeping prices at the same levels as for 2019.

First among these is a new windscreen design, using moulded 3mm acrylic instead of the flex-to-shape 2mm flat polycarbonate sheet. The acrylic windscreen is more rigid than the original design, which has served us well for over 20 years. The main benefit is noise reduction in the cabin, particularly noticeable in the A32 Vixxen, which is already a relatively quiet aircraft. There are a couple of minor downsides – the acrylic screen needs special jigs both for original installation and when a replacement screen is fitted; it’s also more expensive than the original, flat sheet design. All new A22LS Foxbats/Kelpies and A32 Vixxens built for Australia after 01 January 2020 will be fitted as standard with the new type of screen.

Although replacement polycarbonate screens will continue to be available, a retro-fit acrylic screen kit will also be available for owners wishing (optionally) to replace their existing polycarbonate screen, should it become damaged. For a returnable deposit, Foxbat Australia will be able to loan your qualified engineer a set of jigs to enable the replacement. We are also making a short video to cover installation of the new screen.

Next, the A22LS Foxbat will now have as standard the so-called ‘Kelpie’ metal luggage bay with side door. We have sold 20 of the Kelpie variant since we introduced it around 2 years ago and in addition, most Foxbat buyers have opted for the Kelpie bay over the previously ‘standard’ canvas luggage container. The main reason for this is probably that the metal luggage bay is rated at 30 kgs maximum as opposed to the canvas container at 20 kgs. The contents of the container remain accessible in flight and a hard cover is included if in-flight access is not required. There is a small basic weight penalty but as the A22LS is already one of the lightest (and strongest) LSAs on the Australian market, you will still be able to carry over 200 kgs of people and bags, even after filling full with fuel.

We have offered a variety of VHF radios over the years, including the popular German Filser/Funkwerk OLED radio. However, after extensive experience with TRIG – a UK (well, Scotland actually) manufacturer – we have decided to include the TRIG TY91 VHF radio as standard on all A22LS and A32 aircraft in Australia. Where optionally requested, the TRIG TT21 mode S transponder will visually match the TY91 radio. Dynon SkyView equipped aircraft will continue with the Dynon VHF radio.

For 2020, all A22LS Foxbats with the Y-stick control configuration will now standardise on the ‘long leg’ raised instrument panel. This panel has curved cut-outs along the bottom edges on pilot and co-pilot side, facilitating comfort for those owners with longer than average legs.

The ‘long-leg’ option isn’t available with twin-yoke configuration controls as the yokes support structure occupies some of the space taken by the cut-outs in the panel bottom. Also, for the A22LS Kelpie, the UHF radio is normally fitted under the panel on the co-pilot side. If you require the long-leg cut out on a Kelpie, there will be a small additional charge to cover installation of a remote head for the UHF radio. The A32 already has legroom equivalent to the A22LS ‘long-leg’ panel.

We are working with the factory to offer a number of additional options on A22LS and A32 aircraft. Among these are a visor-style tinted sun screen in the top of the windscreen, larger capacity fuel tanks for the A32 and a glider tow-hook for the A32. We are also hoping for a supplement to allow doors off flying in the A32 to match that of the A22LS.

As an aside, although we are sometimes asked by customers if they can fit bigger tyres to the A32, it is unlikely these will be formally approved by the factory any time soon. From experience with flying school owners who have removed the wheel spats and leg fairings, we are aware that this can reduce the cruise speed by as much as 9-10 knots, effectively pulling the straight and level cruise of the A32 down towards to that of the A22LS. The A32 is fitted standard with aviation grade AirTrac 15×6.00×6 tyres and landowner experience has shown that these are more than sufficient for use on paddock and gravel strips with the spats remaining in place.

SPECIAL OFFER – for a limited number of aircraft we will include a Garmin Aera 660 GPS with a panel mount of your choice at no extra cost. First come, first served!

For more information on any of these items, please see our website at www.foxbat.com.au  or call Ido Segev on 0431 454 676 or Peter Harlow on 0413 900 892.

New Foxbat demonstrator flies over 13th beach

Here are a few short seconds of our new A22LS Foxbat demonstrator in flight. After less than a month in the air, it’s already completed 25 hours’ flying and is currently having its first maintenance check.

This is the first Foxbat demonstrator we’ve had which is fitted with an AirMaster in-flight electrically adjustable propeller – this one with Whirlwind blades. We are evaluating the propeller before formally offering it as an option – our first impressions are that take-off distance is shorter, and climb is significantly better than with the standard KievProp; economy is slightly better. We will also evaluate this propeller on the A32 Vixxen in due course, where in addition to take-off and climb performance, we are predicting an improvement in cruise speed.

The demo Foxbat aircraft is also fitted with a glider tow hook and we will be undertaking towing trials in the near future in Victoria, Australia. This aircraft has oversize wheels, a 30kgs ‘Kelpie’ metal luggage compartment with a side door and a ballistic rescue system. The icing on this demonstrator cake is a 2-axis Dynon autopilot which will be connected with a GPS as soon as we can keep the aircraft on the ground long enough to fit one!

Come and see this aircraft along with the A32 Vixxen at the Australian International Airshow, at Melbourne’s Avalon Airport from 26 February to 03 March this year.

As usual, either click on the image above or here to view the video: Foxbat over 13th beach

The Kelpie

kelpie-copyFollowing the recent Australian launch of the Aeroprakt A22LS Kelpie, I received the following from Adrian Norman, of Cleveland Bay Aviation, near Townsville in north Queensland, one of our Foxbat Australia associates:

“The ancestors of the Kelpie were simply (black) dogs, called Colleys or Collies. The word “collie” has the same root as “coal” and “collier (ship)”. Some of these collies were imported to Australia for stock work in the early 19th century, and were bred to other types of dogs (possibly including the occasional Australian Dingo), but always with an eye to working sheep without direct supervision. Today’s Collie breeds were not formed until about 10 or 15 years after the Kelpie was established as a breed, with the first official Border Collie not brought to Australia until after Federation in 1901.

Kelpies are partly descended from Dingos, with 3–4% of their genes coming from this native Australian Dog. At the time of the origin of the Kelpie breed, it was illegal to keep dingoes as pets, some dingo owners registered their animals as Kelpies or Kelpie crosses. Kelpies and dingoes are similar in conformation and colouring. There is no doubt that some people have deliberately mated dingoes to their Kelpies, and some opinion holds that the best dilution is 1/16–1/32, but that 1/2 and 1/4 will work. As the Dingo has been regarded as a savage sheep-killer since the first European settlement of Australia, few will admit to the mating practice.

The first “Kelpie” was a black and tan female pup with floppy ears bought by Jack Gleeson in about 1872 from a litter born on Warrock Station near Casterton, owned by George Robertson, a Scot. This dog was named kelpie after the mythological shape shifting water spirit of Celtic folklore. Legend has it that this “Kelpie” was sired by a dingo, but there is little evidence for or against this. In later years she was referred to as “(Gleeson’s) Kelpie”, to differentiate her from “(King’s) Kelpie”, her daughter.”

So now you know!

 

Video introduction the A22LS ‘Kelpie’

kelpie-in-flightI recently mentioned the introduction of the new Aeroprakt A22LS ‘Kelpie’ from Foxbat Australia – here’s a short video with more information about the aircraft.

The video focuses on the differences between the Kelpie and the popular A22LS Foxbat on which it’s based. The Kelpie is aimed more at farmers and landowners but even if you aren’t one of them, and still want a Kelpie – don’t feel you’re ‘barking’ mad! The Kelpie retains all the great characteristics of the Foxbat – fantastic short field performance, almost helicopter-like view out, massive light & airy cabin, great load carrying capability and sweet slow speed handling.

Add to that the fat tyres, rubber mud flaps, sturdy metal luggage bay (placarded at 30 kgs), climb prop, Australian Warning Systems siren and UHF radio through the headsets and you’re close to an unbeatable utility aircraft. Almost 200 Australian Aeroprakt owners can’t be wrong!

The Foxbat and Kelpie are factory-built and supported aircraft.

PS – To my UK friends, the Australian Kelpie is a famous working farm dog, not a type of mythical water-horse!

[To see the video, click on the link above or on the photo]

Aeroprakt A22LS ‘Kelpie’ launched in Australia

kelpie-lh-side-02Foxbat Australia is very pleased to announce the launch of an Aeroprakt A22LS specially developed for Australian farmers, landowners and mustering pilots – the Kelpie, called after the famous Australian farm working dog.

The Kelpie is basically an Australian ‘standard’ A22LS with the following additions:
– larger series 283 KievProp for even better take-off and climb, with little penalty on cruise
– 8.00×6 ‘tundra’ tyres x3 for that soft feeling on rough paddocks
– rubber mud flaps to keep the ‘mud’ off your wings and tail
– large 30kgs placarded metal luggage container with exterior door, to carry all those useful tools
– Australian Warning Systems 100W siren with ‘yelp’ and ‘wail’ settings
– GME 80-channel UHF/CB radio through the headsets; intercom & both pilot and co-pilot can use the UHF
– clear protective tape on the fronts of the main gear legs and stabiliser leading edge
To facilitate quick inspections before flight, we deleted the usual wing strut fairings.
kelpie-mudflaps-01-smallThe aircraft was displayed at the recent ‘Ozkosh’ event in Australia before it was delivered to its new owner in far north Queensland. So far, we have received a lot of interest and a couple of orders. Call now to book a production slot!
Click here for a link to the Kelpie Gallery for more information. We are also making a short YouTube video about the aircraft and are hoping this will be ready in the next couple of weeks – I’ll post a link when it’s uploaded.