Who we are
Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd is an innovative and entrepreneurial young Australian company whose mission is to develop and enhance affordable flying throughout the world.
Where we began
In early 1988 Rodney Stiff and Phil Ainsworth formed Jabiru to develop a highly efficient, composite designed, light aircraft. After four years the Jabiru LSA 55/2K model aircraft was type certificated by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority under an Australian standard (CAO 101.55) similar to the later introduced USA/FAA Primary Category. The type certificate was awarded on 1 October 1991, but only one month later their Italian engine manufacturer (IAME-KFM112M) advised that it was ceasing aircraft engine manufacture. The KFM engine was then the lightest 4 stroke engine available on the market and the Jabiru aircraft had been developed around this engine.
Earlier prototypes powered by 2 strokes had proven to be most unreliable and the 2 stroke concept had been abandoned. 20 KFM powered Jabiru's were produced, although most have now been re-powered with Jabiru engines.
Relying on their previous experience in the sugarcane harvesting equipment industry, Rod and Phil decided that here was a significant opportunity to develop lightweight aircraft engines in the 30-120hp range. The first step was to develop a 60hp engine to power their new Jabiru aircraft (now without an engine). In an intensive research and development program the Jabiru 1600cc engine was developed over a period of 18 months. In March 1993 this new engine was approved by Australian CAA for installation in Jabiru aircraft. 54 '1600' powered aircraft were manufactured over the period April 93 to March 96 (many of these have now been repowered with the larger Jabiru 2200 engine).
Jabiru displayed their aircraft and 1600 engine at Oshkosh 94. The reception of both products was very encouraging and also highlighted the need for a larger capacity engine. The 2200 engine development commenced immediately and that engine was first displayed at Sun 'n Fun 95. 24 were released to the market in September 1995.
After a further display of the aircraft at Sun 'n Fun 95, Jabiru decided to offer the Jabiru aircraft as an Amateur-built or Experimental Kit. An intensive program ensued wherein a kit constructor's manual was developed from the company's existing aircraft QA manual. In June 95 Jabiru shipped its first Kits to USA. FAA formally accepted the Jabiru SK airplane as eligible for airworthiness certification under FAR 21.191 (g) on 8 February 96.
Where we are now
Jabiru at peak production produces airframes at the rate of 20 per month and engines at the rate of 90 per month. Aircraft and Kits have been sold to 16 countries and engines to 31 countries (Click here for a list of our distributors worldwide).
In keeping with its mission of providing affordable flying and to assist in its engine installation into other aircraft types, Jabiru have developed, and continue to develop, "Firewall Forward Packages" for most popular light aircraft and experimental types. This program has been substantially supported by Jabiru's International Distributors who have worked with Jabiru to rapidly extend the range of aircraft types now fitted with the Jabiru 2200 engine. Firewall Forward Kits (or Firewall Rear Packages for pushers) are now available for many aircraft types. Many others are under development.
The Jabiru product range includes:
- Jabiru Type Certificated, factory manufactured aircraft.
- Jabiru Amateur-built or Experimental Kits.
- Jabiru Aircraft Engines.
In addition, Jabiru manufacture their own propellers, wheels and brakes and control system components. A range of propellers, specifically designed to compliment Jabiru engines, is being developed.
During 1997, European countries indicated a move towards a Microlight category requiring a lower stall speed than the standard Jabiru aircraft's 41 knots. A Jabiru model (Jabiru UL) was then developed to meet the 36 knot (65km/hour) European requirements. This model has an extended wing span and extended fuselage.
Newsletters and Service Bulletins/Letters are posted on our Website.
Jabiru has developed into both an aircraft and an aircraft engine manufacturer. One of very few in the world!
Jabiru engines are now being used in more than 30 countries. They are popular for flight training and recreational markets.
Jabiru is a privately owned Australian company. Rodney Stiff acquired 100% ownership of Jabiru Pty Ltd on July 1, 2005. Rodney has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal and been recognised by the Experimental Aircraft Association based in the USA for his contribution to aircraft design and technological advancements. Jabiru is proudly Australian, exporting Australian technology to the world.