Lightning

rhtrudder

Well-Known Member
#1
Dreaming about buying a lighting, all the numbers look impressive, 150kn cruise on a jabi 6 , anyone with any experience can tell me if these figures are true
 

billwoodmason

Well-Known Member
#2
A guy called Dennis Borchart from South Aust. used to be an agent for Lightning aircraft. He has owned a couple of beautiful examples over the years and would be seen at a lot of fly-ins. I believe he no longer has the agency . He would definately be the "go to" person to speak to, sadly I can't help you with any contact details. I'm sure others on here from SA would be able to help locate him.
 

turboplanner

Well-Known Member
#3
The performance numbers did look good and I came close to buying one some years ago before I woke up to a lot of the differences between a traditional fast GA turing aircraft and a Recreational Aircraft with this type of performance, but with the sort of experiences you meet with Lancair and Cirrus type aircraft.

There's plenty of detail you can research out there to make an informed decision on whether you will be a match for this aircraft; it's certainly a beautiful aircraft to look at.
 

turboplanner

Well-Known Member
#7
It's dioxin day today, I've just finished reading through FIVE FEET of USEPA documents to get to the bottom of the politics and tighening of regulations, so no time now, but you can start searching on the NTSB database and googling.
 
#9
I also had an interest in the Lightning. It ticks all the right boxes, but after Turboplanner’s post I did a Goolgle search. 150 build according to wikipedia.

Found 6 accidents on the ASN website; 2 Jab engine failures, 1 ULPower failure after electic bus short, 2 landing and 1 take-off accidents.

Wonder how many accidents are not on the website?
 

rhtrudder

Well-Known Member
#11
I also had an interest in the Lightning. It ticks all the right boxes, but after Turboplanner’s post I did a Goolgle search. 150 build according to wikipedia.

Found 6 accidents on the ASN website; 2 Jab engine failures, 1 ULPower failure after electic bus short, 2 landing and 1 take-off accidents.

Wonder how many accidents are not on the website?
Those stats don’t seem that bad , 180kns vne, tested to 9 g, the airframe seems solid.
 

flyvulcan

Well-Known Member
#12
I had a good look over them at the last 2 Oshkoshes and they look like a very good quality kit that can be built into a very good quality aircraft.

I also spoke extensively with the designer Nick Otterback who is a super nice guy.

Steve Biele in Adelaide has one with a Jab3300 in it and I believe that he is very happy with it.
 

Deskpilot

Well-Known Member
#14
A very nice looking aircraft. I visited Dennis at his Kingston base some years ago. Unfortunately it was well out side the limits of my pocket at the time....................and still is.

Lightning Aircraft 01 (Copy).jpg Lightning Aircraft 03 (Copy).jpg Lightning Aircraft 05 (Copy).jpg Lightning Aircraft 07 (Copy).jpg Apart from wishing I could a ford a Lightning, I also wish I was still as slim as back then.
 
#20
I am very tempted to purchase a Lightning XS with IO320 (or MAYBE the Jabiru), and I am looking for more input from any owners or folks that have flown them. Performance, controllability, reliability, and build time are all important to me. Cost is usually a factor, but these are very close (see below).

Some of my observations on this so far are: The lightning is a better looking airplane outside and inside (just opiniion), and it appears to be solid and very fast to build (comparatively). From the build manual (online from flylightning.net), required techniques, and the relatively small number of airframe parts in the kit, it appears that this kit can actually be built within (or close to) the manufacturers stated build time. IF not for this, I would be more inclined to go to a Vans RV-7 or RV-9 series for the piece of mind associated with a much much larger company and the plethora of RV support.. But It seems with RV's, most folks take at least 2x the manufacturers stated time, if even that fast (especially if building the dreaded slider canopy). I went to Arion this March and got a test ride in the O-320 powered demo plane, and saw a couple in progress. ( I didn't fly the Jabiru powered version--- heck, i have never even seen/heard a Jabiru run.) I did NOT get to land the demo, but it was a joy to fly (responsive, but not twitchy, ok stall recovery, etc.). I did a spreadsheet (as best as I could) to compare cost of a Lightning XS/O320 and a quickbuild RV-9A/O32 (the standard lightning kit is at least as far along as a Vans quickbuild, so this is a reasonable comparison). Apples to apples, comparably equipped airplanes looked to be within about $!000 of each other (i.e. too close to call).

I am a little perplexed about performance. This is hard to compare from manufacturer claims since you need to factor in whether the listed speed is IAS, CAS, TAS (at what altitude), and CS vs. fixed pitch props (and also solo or gross weight for climb, not to mention the conservatism of the manufacturer numbers. Gross weights and power are about the same, wing load significantly higher on the lightning. Allowing for differences in basis (as noted above), I can't say there is much difference, but it appears that stated numbers favor the RVs a little in most categories.

Related to nose gear damage accidents, my recollection of conversation with Nick Otterback was that the new, larger horizontal stabilizer (besides pitch stability) improves low speed control by improving tail stall margin. Previously, if the pilot allowed a balloon or held up the nose at very slow speed, the tail could stall, allowing the nose to drop and damage the nose gear. But better stability probably helps with ballooning as well, so you're better able to handle a bad situation that you are less likely to get into.. Nonetheless, landing difficulty or weak gear is the major thing I am concerned with, besides the TINY company size, but I am also curious about the Jabiru performance/reliabilitly.

Thanks for any comments from owners!
 
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