Foxbat Australia began life in 2002 as SilverWing Aviation, based at Heck Field, Jacobs Well, in South East Queensland. Our first demonstrator A22 Foxbat was built from a kit in the UK - with a great deal of assistance from the UK Aeroprakt agent. It was shipped to Australia in early 2002 and originally retained its UK G-FXBT registration, before first becoming VH-VPH and finally 28-4163.
This aircraft was flown all over the east coast of Australia, using a tiny monochrome Garmin Pilot 3 GPS, until it was sold in 2004 - co-inciding with the delivery of the first Australian customer A22L. With a few developmental changes - reduced fin size and changes to the landing gear - the 450 kilo gross weight A22L was the mainstay of our fleet until the factory launched the LSA-compliant 600 kilo gross weight A22LS in 2009.
In between times, we imported a very limited number of A22LSA Foxbats - a USA development of the A22L with a 544 kilo gross weight, designed to satisfy the FAA light sport aircraft regulations. In 2015 the factory launched the A32 Vixxen, which shares the Foxbat wing but has a completely different fuselage and tail feathers. The A32 Vixxen is probably unique among LSAs in the breadth of its flight envelope - stalls at 27 knots, top speed is over 120 knots - combined with amazing economy - typically averaging 16-17 litres an hour.
The latest addition to the fleet is the A22LS Kelpie, which is at heart a Foxbat, but with a number of extras to suit landowner/station/farmer use - a UHF radio, siren, bigger tyres and a special propeller.
With effect from 01 July 2021, Smartair will formally take over the Aeroprakt aircraft dealership for Australia, including marketing, new aircraft sales and customer support activities such as supplies of parts and accessories. Smartair will continue to use the Foxbat Australia name and branding, which has become synonymous with competitively priced, rugged, reliable and easy to fly STOL aircraft coupled with superb aftersales and parts support.
Smartair is a diversified general aviation company based in Albury, NSW. Established as a flying school in 1968, operations now include flying training, charter and aerial survey. Maintenance capabilities range from Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) through to pressurised turbine aircraft, including piston engine and electrical component overhaul. Smartair is also an Authorised Mooney Service Centre.
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