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Singapore Skyranger Swift

By Kenneth and Sharon Chew, EAA849306; Singapore tlkchew@hotmail.com



We’ve finally completed building our plane after close to 500 man-hours. We believe that many could have completed it in a much shorter time frame, but this being our first build and with our limited experience, we consulted our MA on any doubts and made sure that it was correctly done the first time.

Arrival of the package

Progress at the end of day one

We chose the Skyranger for its ease of build – all straight tubes, no bending and welding required. And with over 1,500 Skyrangers flying and the numerous FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) awards, we felt this was a proven aircraft.

On its gear

Although we’re from Singapore, the aircraft was built in a hangar at Senai Airport, Malaysia, as Singapore doesn’t have an experimental aircraft category. The aircraft is a Skyranger Swift kit from France, manufactured and offered by Bestoff Aircraft. It’s powered by a Jabiru 2200 engine from Australia and is the first of its type in Malaysia. The engine was fired up for the first time this past September, and it started beautifully. We’re awaiting final approval from the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia, so hopefully it will be airborne soon.

Engine arrival
Engine arrival

Jabiru 2200
The 2200-cc Jabiru engine

We were torn between a rebuilt Rotax 582 and the Jabiru 2200. The Rotax 912UL priced itself out of our budget. Thus we decided on the more reliable four-stroke engine since it’s also the lighter of the two and being air-cooled it should be less maintenance. Considering the extra 20 hp as well, it wasn’t a hard choice.

Pulling on the wing cover
A little teamwork and one wing is skinned.

One wing installed
One wing installed, the other nearly ready

We started building this aircraft in August of 2007 and could only work on it over the weekends due to over 60 miles of traveling distance. Being first-time builders, we found everything about the experience new. Fortunately, friends such as fellow EAA member Neale Dunstan and Rick Mirza who have built several Quicksilvers and Buckeyes were quick to provide assistance and support along the way. We’d especially like to thank Collin Melling and everyone from the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia, for guiding us on the procedures and requirements to get the plane certified.

Engine mounted
Engine installed

Ken and Sharon
Happy with their progress, Kenneth and Sharon pose in front of their creation.

The main challenge that we faced was sourcing aircraft parts (instruments, etc) and equipment, as the aviation community for light aircraft doesn’t sustain a local supplier. Most of the needed parts were ordered from Aircraft Spruce and the shipping costs do add up. At the end of the day, watching the plane come together, you know it’s all worth it.

Cowling installed
Cowl installed

Nearly completed
Nearly completed

Now that the plane is completed, we wish to introduce more people to the glory of flight and let people see the beautiful scenery of Malaysia from a bird’s eye view. We hope the spirit of aviation continues to burn in all of us.

Instrument panel
Wiring the instrument panel


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