Category Archives: SP2000

5 Unforgettable Flying Trips you can take in Australia & NZ


Here’s our Top Five Aussie & NZ Light Aircraft Flying Journey’s to take in this vast and beautiful country of ours. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well, please share your light sport aircraft story’s with us!

1.

Let’s kick things off with a historical traverse from Charleville to Cloncurry in Queensland, which is the first scheduled Qantas mail and passenger flight, that occurred in 1922.  You’ll be flying alongside the stunning Diamantina National Park, over the Diamantina River and up via some of Australia’s largest and oldest cattle stations.

Up here, checking the back paddock in your trusty ute can take days, or be a much shorter time frame to factor  with your Australian LightWing work horse aircraft leading the way.

If you’re heading up this way, be sure to meet some Aussie locals in Longreach and Winton on your travels. You’ll find a bunch of LightWing owners up this way, so please say ‘Hi!’ from the Team here at LightWing. Australian LightWing CEO, Howie, recently delivered a plane up this way, check out his trip here.

Oz Runways

(Flight Plan: OzRunways)

2.

It’s hard to say where this flight might take you, because we highly recommend you take on the “Come and Get It Trophy Challenge. This event was created in 1990 and is still going strong, where an Ra-Aus registered aircraft makes a minimum of five hours flight, and the new trophy location needs to be over 100 nautical miles from the seekers collection point.

There’s a couple ways to track the Trophy, like The Come and Get It (CAGIT Hunters) Facebook page and we wish you great adventures and joy in seeking it!

Come and Get It

The CAGI Trophy!

3.

We’re going to have to add the stunning island of Tasmania to our top Five List. The city of Launceston and it’s surrounding areas offer so very many highlights including the beautiful Tamar Estuary and the northern coastline, the nearby islands,  and small towns dotted around this area provide a stunning backdrop to extensive entertainment opportunities .

Local airports nearby include Devonport Airport, George Town Airport, Burnie Airport. Be sure to pop in to Freedom Flight’s website (based  in George Town & Devonport) to gather some local knowledge!

We really enjoyed this recap of ‘The best way to see Tassie‘ on the ‘Flying in Tas’ Website.

Follow Australian LightWing’s board Tasmania on Pinterest.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

4.

Ok, Ok, this was going to just be a list of places just in Australia, but we have to break our own rules and suggest The Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. The  New Zealand landscape is utterly incredible!  The lush Raukumara mountain range, which rises to 1754 m (5755 ft) at Mt. Hikurangi, sets the scene and then the sprawling lush New Zealand landscape will leave you speechless at every turn.

Check out these images courtesy of Rob N, from his LightWing in The Bay Of Plenty’s Opotiki.

Opotiki1 Opotiki

 

 

5.

Well, what list around Australia isn’t complete without a stop at Australia’s most Easterly point – Byron Bay? Which, incidentally, (cough, cough *shameless self promotion*) sits next to the home of The Australian LightWing range of aircraft in Ballina.

Ballina to Byron

(Pictured: From Ballina’s North Wall, looking North up to Australia’s most Easterly point, Byron Bay, and beyond.)

Byron is what it is, and it ain’t what it was; it’s no longer the quiet sea side surfing village it was in the 70’s, but it still whispers it’s legacy of possessing strong community values, it’s attitude towards environmental and eco-friendly sustainable earth friendly living, and it’s natural beauty offers a wide variety of sights and sounds to check out. It perches on the edge of the stunning Northern Rivers Hinterland, the Mt Warning National Park; is framed by stunning beaches, and is flanked by many local airstrips and hosts a thriving aviation community.

The Ballina-Byron Airport is growing at a rapid rate as visitors flock to these golden beaches, and we welcome you to come in and say hello and look at our wide range of products and services, our feature packed aircraft, and meet the team.

 

Thanks for reading, but we know it’s an impossible list, the opportunities are simply endless.

So, what are your top five??!!

 

 

25 Years of Pacific Flyer




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It’s with much reminiscing over the past twenty five years we bid farewell and many thanks to The Pacific Flyer Magazine team.  We first ran in to them twenty-five years ago in Evans Head, NSW, and their support for manufacturers, and particularly Australian manufacturers, has always been very good.

Australian LightWing has been an advertiser and keen fan of this outstanding pillar of Australian aviation news and community. The shiny covered mag  would arrive clean and smiling and be ushered upstairs to the LightWing morning tea room for a month of reading, discussion and interest. It’s the end of an era, as we all busy our heads in our computers these days, but hopefully not for too long on a blue sky day.

We here at Australian LightWing are a hands on company. We love nothing more than simply building with our hands a tactile product, you can touch, construct and fly, as I’m sure the makers of a fine magazine would also enjoy. It is with our heads held high that we continue to strive to share flying, engineering and design with the next generations, in a continually improving and technologically advancing manner.  The development of our new aircraft, the GR-912-LSA, is a perfect example of our many strong years in the Australian aviation industry, it combines features from our fantastic range of light aircraft in one stunning new Light Sport Aircraft. 

Through our high school Fly Project, by approaching aero clubs around Australia, by taking flights and trips to nearby hubs of aviation enthusiasm, our under-grad program with DELFT University, among others, and more, we aim to continue contributing to this growing industry in which we have played a big part in for the past thirty years strong.

Hard days are indeed ahead, with new regulations and laws to keep our sport safe continually regulating our aircraft, business and affairs; but our mission has never wavered; the safest Australian Light Sport Aircraft is available right here, in Australia, with complete support, service, back up and repair, from a family business, with a name you can trust. Why go anywhere else?

Thank you for always sharing this message, Pacific Flyer.

Your team have been a delight to work with and we congratulate you for always putting out a quality magazine over the past twenty-five years.

We wish you many thanks and the best of luck for the future.

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The Australian LightWing CASA Audit May 2014


In the second week in May 2014, CASA visited the premises of Australian LightWing, represented by Mick Poole and Klaus Schwerdtfeger, the purpose being to assess our LSA manufacturing procedures and documentation.

There are five LSA manufactures in Australia. Namely, Australian LightWing, Jabiru, Brumby Aircraft, Airborne Edge and the Moyes factory in Sydney.

The audit procedure began some time ago, when the FAA decided to carry out a similar exercise looking at American LSA manufactures, of which there are approximately seventy to the best of my knowledge. The FAA found that the US manufactures had many areas of non-compliance.  In Australia, the manufacturers have come from manufacturing under CAO 101.55 or similar so the Australian level of compliance, as far as I’m aware, was a little better than the FAA found in America.

Mick and Klaus spent three days looking at our flight, service, Quality assurance and procedure manuals, and also manufacturing documentation including jigs, tooling etc. They are patient men and I believe they didn’t nod off once though we noticed they consumed quite a lot of coffee!

The audit in general went well, a few details were found and these will be attended to resulting in an overall enhancement of our level of compliance, which is of course an excellent thing.

Could we say that we are now an approved LSA manufacturer?  Well I don’t think this was the point of the exercise, as approved manufacturers are not really a part of the LSA regulatory process.  An example of a non-compliance came from the latest standard (the ASTM standards) on instrument marking where, if the airspeed limitations (red line for VNE etc.) are located on the outside of the clear cover then both the cover or glass and the instrument bezel must be indexed in case the glass rotates. Well it’s possible.

Audit

News


What’s happening at Australian LightWing this week?!

April 2014

The new aircraft under construction, the GR-912-LSA, at the Australian LightWing factory in Ballina is coming along very nicely, with completion due in the next few short weeks (April 2014). We’re very excited to see this aircraft taking shape, and even more excited to deliver her out to her new home near Longreach, QLD, Australia.  Check out the Longreach airport website here.  You can follow the GR-912-LSA’s progress with up close and personal shots on our Instagram channel at http://instagram.com/australianlightwing.

pacificflyer

We’re also very happy to have an interview with our PR Manager, Shelly Hughes, featured in this month’s Pacific Flyer Magazine. The interview features news about the new aircraft, a look back at our strong history in the Australian aviation industry, and also looking forward to the future of our company, with the development of the new aircraft, the Flight Simulator and upcoming options for our range of fully built and kit aircraft. Be sure to order your copy or start your subscription soon so as not to miss out on what’s happening around the Australian skies.

We’re also excited to be a part of the new Ballina Industrial Estate Facebook page, a new community based group of companies wishing to share their news, great deals and community based events in the local area. Please jump on board with this new activity and stay in touch with whats happening around Ballina, the Industrial Estate and the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia.

Ballina Industrial Estate

 

 

We are also really excited to launch the  Australian LightWing  Aircraft Database. A website designed to help the Australian LightWing community stay in touch, share photos and stories, as well as provides a Market Place for owners to buy and sell and a database of interesting aircraft and aviation related links.  We would be very interested to share your stories or promote your flying school or business. Please contact us with your details and we will happily promote via all avenues available to us. We intend to feature happy aircraft owners as often as possible, so please call or email now!

Ok, it’s 12.01pm, made it through and no one’s pulled any April Fools Day pranks 🙂 Safe!

Last but not least, you’ll be excited to hear that Howie has another gig at Club Lennox on Easter Sunday! Be sure to get down there, enjoy the music and have a great meal!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for further updates on the new aircraft, the Flight Simulator and news from our beautiful shire.

 

 

Press Release GR-912-LSA


The NEW Australian LightWing GR-912-LSA

Heading into our 29th year of designing and manufacturing the Australian LightWing aircraft, we cannot help but reminisce as we embark on the exciting new aircraft design currently under construction at the Hughes Engineering Factory in Ballina. The inspiration comes from a very satisfied and keen repeat customer who has owned and used an Australian LightWing on his expansive property in the outback, where paddocks are measured in the tens of thousands of acres. After two decades of good and reliable use, this customer wishes to upgrade his outstanding (and of course, still flying) industry workhorse, the GR 912. This aircraft signifies where our aviation roots took hold in the days of flying a simple two stroke powered aircraft along the beaches of the Northern Rivers.

Looking forward, the brand new High Wing/Tail Dragger GR-912-LSA is designed to integrate the features of the tried and true high wing GR LightWing aircraft, with the new low wing Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) SP Range design and innovations. With superior design and high anticipation, the new High Wing/Tail Dragger GR-912-LSA will take to the air this month (March 2014).

The new GR-912-LSA aircraft is focused around our initial concept of design of super strong and super light “rag and tube” fabric covering, keeping the pilot protection frame at its strongest and lightest. This provides maximum benefits for safety, maneuverability, upkeep, style and the all important paint job. We never forget that aesthetics have their place in the Australian sky.

This traditional method of aircraft design is expertly combined with our technological innovations: The Glass Cockpit; the VIP In-flight adjustable prop; the ALW Heli-vue windows and dash; bigger flaps; optional amphibian floats; and big clear bubble doors which can be easily removed for great observation around the paddocks or flying school.

GR912LSA

Looking back over our initial design concept, we can’t help but enjoy our rich history within the Australian aviation community. Our signature tail wing has graced many a Narromine airshow, Great Eastern Fly-In and Mangalore event as well as many, many more. Happy ALW customers may find our Australian LightWing Aircraft Database an interesting place to explore and contribute to. Visit it at http://australianlightwingdatabase.wordpress.com/

We plan on focusing on the tail dragger undercarriage option as the mainstay of the GR-912-LSA high wing aircraft range. Under the hood is the Rotax 912-ULS and optional turbo 914, with options for larger power plants on the not too distant horizon as we consistently strive to compete with the import market on price and power; but in style, we’ve got them beat.

Our long line of valued and happy customers, who we believe have come to be some of our very good friends, remind us that our company and aircraft have been built from the ground up. We are appreciated not only for offering the best customer service, efficient ordering and delivery of supplies and the ever-available complete nose-to-tail aircraft expert advice, but on designing and manufacturing the safest light sport aircraft in Australia. We intend to stick to our roots.

We at Hughes Engineering are proud to consistently design and evolve our stunning aircraft in response to the ever-increasing need to be bigger, better, faster and greener, as well as stepping our company into the digital age of interactivity.

One of the ways our company steps towards a greener future is through our ever evolving website. Here you are able to download your airworthiness requirements as well as service, flight, parts and kit manuals. We’re also proud to share our current design and manufacture activities with you via Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, and various Blogs designed to focus on different aspects of our processes. All of these are easily accessed via our website at lightwing.com.au. Also, visit our website to check out our very new and exciting two axis Flight Simulator featuring superb visuals and realistic action, and soon, the option to flight train in a simulation of our very own ALW SP2000.

alwLOGO

 The Australian LightWing is a solid investment in safety. Purchasing the new GR-912-LSA means your Australian dollar goes towards this passionately created, hand sculpted and enduring emblem of Australian Aviation.

alwGR912

Pictured: The GR 912 in flight

 

What’s Happening Today?


Before we tell you anything about anything – we need to let you know about a truly great deal available at the moment – We have a Factory Demonstrator SP2000 – two seat aircraft available for sale RIGHT NOW. This stunning aircraft is available for the amazing price of AU$120,000.00 OR NEAREST OFFER – All offers will be considered. This deal will not last long. The SP2000 Features: Autopilot, Odyssey Glass Panel, VIP Prop, 4 point Harness, Microair Transponder, ICOM VHF Radio, Optional Cert. of Airworthiness. This aircraft has 60 hours flying time. Please contact us immediately! fly@lightwing.com.au or call (02) 6686 8658

The Blue SP2000

 

Blue SP2000

 

Blue SP2000 Cockpit

2014 has taken off like a rocket here at the Australian LightWing Factory.

Today in the Australian LightWing factory we are focusing on the wings, fuselage and power plant for the new aircraft currently under construction for our excited return customer in Central Queensland, inland from Longreach.

The new aircraft is a combination of technologies developed here at Australian LightWing. It will feature the strong and light weight fabric fuselage of our original aircraft design principals – the ALW GR and ALW Sport models, combined with the more spacious fuselage (and therefore cockpit) of the newer models- the complete ALW SP Range. This new aircraft design features a high wing, large baggage area, the Rotax 912 100hp engine and is a tail dragger, which is all focused on combating the harsh, unforgiving and beautiful Australian outback.

This aircraft was to be called the Tapis – but the original Tapis design has a nose wheel! So we are currently workshopping the name of the new aircraft- Do you have any ideas or suggestions you feel we should consider?!?! We’re brainstorming ideas that hope to define the fusion of our tried and true design principals of the ultra light fabric body, with the strength and power of the new airframe and power plant. We appreciate and look forward to your ideas! Please share them either in the comments below, via email (fly@lightwing.com.au), or with us and our aviation community on the Australian LightWing Facebook page.

The fuel tanks are currently being pressure tested and fitted to the wing main spar, whilst the rear spar is also being prepared. The Fuselage is being fitted out with the ALW foot pedals, wood paneling and upholstery. The power plant is also being prepped for attachment for to the firewall. You can take a closer look at the progress on a factory walk thru video (“Australian LightWing: New Fuselage” Monday 20th January 2014) at our Youtube channel and also on the Australian LightWing Instagram page, which hopes to provide some beautiful shots of the extreme attention to detail we take with our aircraft design and manufacture. We’re proud of our aircraft, and we want to show and share it with you!

Australian LightWing Fueslage Australian LightWing Fuel Tanks Australian LightWing Rear Spar Australian LightWing Fuel Tank Pressure Test Australian LightWing Fuel Tanks to Main Spar Rotax 912 uls 100hp Australian LightWing

In other news, The Australian LightWing Team were delighted to attend the Great Eastern Fly In at Evans Head last week. The Fly In was captured by the awesome crew at the Byron Bay Echo DailyNet Team. You can view the video here. You’ll catch an interview with our very own Nick Hughes at about 6.30mins! Onya Nick! You can sign up to their daily email send out of news and entertainment for the North Coast.

Also in the Factory, we are working on the Australian LightWing Flight Simulator.

And, we have invested in a new coffee machine for Christmas. So expect updates on our passionate, friendly and efficient work as quick as you can say caffeine high.

Thanks for reading our Factory Update, if you would like any more information, please contact us, or sign up for our newsletter!

Many thanks, and we hope to see you soon,

The Team at Australian LightWing.

Australian LightWing’s Flight Simulator


Australian Lightwing’s fascination with flight simulation goes back to the early 80’s when we dabbled in the manufacture of what turned out to be a fairground ride. It was a capsule that sat eight people and moved in sync with movies that were shown on the screen inside the capsule. This device was trailer able and could be towed to air shows. The concept being that whilst at air shows it would generate an income.

This worked quite well, however the ‘Reality Simulator’, as we called it, was sold to an Italian entrepreneur in the 90’s. We delivered it and subsequently lost track of the device.

More recently however, an actual flight simulator has been built which runs proprietary flight simulation programs such as ‘X Plane’, ‘FSX’ (Flight Simulator X) or ‘Prepar3D’.

The simulator moves in two dimensions or has two Degrees of Freedom (DOF), as the current flight sim vernacular puts it. The Simulator also features a super wide screen video projector and all in all the result is nothing short of spectacular.

We have yet to go down the CASA certification track to get the simulator approved for flight training but this is unlikely to be a very difficult step.

The reality of the flight simulator is marvellous and it’s certainly more than possible to get a basic grounding in flight training from our system.

Navigation exercises can be carried out, also instrument flying. A GPS is on the screen at all times and quite a wide variety of aircraft can be loaded into the computer and flown from jumbo jets to a simulation our very own ALW SP2000 which we are currently working on.

We plan on installing the first Simulator in our Australian LightWing Showroom at the Ballina airport in the Northern Rivers, NSW, Australia.

(Pictured, The Flight Simulator in the Workshop at Australian LightWing)

Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator Screen

Don’t shoot the messenger


Don’t blame the executives. Or to put it another way, don’t shoot the messenger !

I recently travelled to Canberra to attend the  extraordinary RAAus AGM. I went there not expecting too much, at least Jenny and I would enjoy a weekend away and a stay with good buddy and LightWing owner George Jennings (Snowman). We got both.

The meeting presented a clearing area for some members to get their gripes off their chests. There were many motions put and much hot air dispersed. Eugene Read, for example, was castigated for being a month late presenting the accounts, he had the accounts on the day and they looked great- RAAus is in the red by a small amount, I suggested the audience look at the vacant shops in Canberra, in the street outside the venue, things are tough, but RAAus is doing just fine financially. I moved a vote of confidence in the board but no one took much notice of this.

Paul Middleton was under fire from the critics but he drew the analogy that all the various aircraft that had been picked up in the CASA audit as not complying where like rocks in a sieve, some fell through while the sieve trapped others. This suited my perception so I volunteered to be a rock in Pauls sieve.

That got a laugh and the meeting needed some humor !

Now, I did a little research prior to going to Canberra because I knew the trip was going to cost, so I wanted my moneys worth. I had found that there where “issues of governance” that the RAAus agenda needed overhauling and so on.  Call me old fashioned  but I like concrete things, things that cast a shadow,  “issues of governance “ don’t cast shadows and I have difficulty coming to terms with “issues”. I prefer  Middo’s rocks.

I described how an Australian LightWing owner who had owned a GR LightWing on a 10 sq mile property out the back of Bourke for about 25 years, had been pipped because he had a non-compliant propellor fitted to his aircraft and this had been picked up on his registration renewal. Now just have a think about this. This guy has been flying for decades, minding his own business and the CASA audit picks up this non-compliance, you could say “good job CASA” as this is pretty good auditing, but, the reason for this is simple. Back in 1985 when the aircraft was first registered the specifications showed a Catto prop. Back then there where few options when it came to props, Bolly had not been invented nor had Ivo or Brolga, so we selected the Catto. Problem was that over the years, alternatives came along. To vary a prop on a CAO 95.25 aircraft takes a lot of work. A CAR 35 engineer must be employed to do the sums, flight testing, reports etc and you can blow $5 to $10 K easy, so we never went down that path. We simply fitted mainly Bolly props and left the approvals to Bolly, which he obtained, not all strictly Cosha (that’s the jewish term meaning ok isn’t it ? it pisses me off when the spell check has no alternatives) but workable, safe and cost effective. Nevertheless, a rock in Pauls sieve.

I tried to explain all this to the meeting, the story meant a lot to me as it exemplified the situation and showed it for what it was, a storm in a teacup in this particular instance. No doubt this non-compliance was minor and there where a few major instances where imported aircraft simply and clearly did not meet the standards under which RAAus had accepted them like LSA or CAO 101.55 but most non-compliance issues were simple paperwork things and many were, and remain, the fault of individual members failing to send the appropriate photograph or form. About now the meeting is getting pissed at me and my rock analogy and I am starting to doubt the wisdom  of my weekend away in the nations capital.

I came away from the meeting with the belief that RAA was in good shape albeit with a few stuff ups to be sorted out, none the least of which appears to be a law suit over a fatal accident involving a non compliant aircraft, oops !

For the rest of the weekend we explored Canberra, the  National Museum is  a great visit and the small steam driven paddle steamer (George is one of the engineers on this national treasure)  parked out the back was a real step back in time. We lunched in the revolving restaurant  overlooking Canberra at a surprisingly low price for fantastic food. A big thanks to George for acting as our tour guide for the weekend. George has been busy volunteering many weeks of his time sorting out us rocks at RAAus headquarters… thanks George !

ALW

Ra Aus

Looking Back… Looking Forward…


Looking back over newsletters as far as 1986 ( a LightWing owner recently emailed me a scanned copy of the first newsletter we ever put out dated summer 1986! )… It read like a company history warts and all. Like the 2 cyl 2 stroke Sarich engine we planned fitting  to the GR-532, the engine never eventuated ! Float planes in, on or over the Richmond River, all great fun and nearly 30 years on, little has changed. Thanks to our new Richo colour printer, we now put out our newsletter in colour and print it in-house, but the fun is still alive and well.

We departed for NATFLY at Temora 2013 on a sad note with the death of Wayne Fisher. Wayne was a true aviation pioneer being the first to do legal aerobatics in his own re-designed Drifter. Wayne was testing a 2 seat homebuilt RV-12 when he hit the Lismore runway inverted. No reasons for the accident have been determined yet. The accident comes after detailed articles on test flying home built aircraft where published in the EAA January magazine. Wayne leaves three beautiful daughters and the same number of past wives, all of whom will miss him. No doubt the EAA saw the potential risks associated with test-flying new aircraft and sought to provide advice.

Well, a newsletter is supposed to contain news and we have this in spades. Our 6 seater progresses slowly toward its maiden flight in 2014, our Road-e electric car grows towards a very different form of sustainable personal transport, we recently tested the prototype at Evans Head airpark where a distance travelled of 90 km was recorded.  The re-design of the SP-2000 tooling, we hope, will contribute toward successful and pending joint ventures with not one but two Chinese prospective partners. Our trip to China last autumn  saw us visit Chinese start-up aviation company, Soar, located in Hebie Provence  (about 300 km north of Beijing), where their new factory was mind-bogglingly impressive.  Peter Addams  of Seabird Aviation, has signed a deal with Soar and we hope to follow suit in the  future.

Please call in at Ballina and have a look at our revamped showroom and lounge upstairs, check out our VIP in-flight prop, our CAN PC driven nav. software and soon, our latest flight school aid, our motion flight simulator. We look forward to seeing you soon and hope you enjoyed the NATFLY Temora fly-in.

at Temora 2013
at Temora 2013

The Australian LightWing Tapis


Introducing the new aircraft in the Australian LightWing Range of Aircraft –

The ALW Tapis.

The ALW Tapis is a high wing variation to the exceptional SP Range of Aircraft.

The ALW Tapis will feature a Glass Cockpit, Variable Inflight Pitch Propellor and a fully upholstered leather cockpit.

Available as a two seat aircraft, with an 8 metre wing span and feature cabin dimensions of 1.15metres wide and 1.01 metres high.

The power plant for the ALW Tapis aircraft is the Superior I0360 – 180 hp.

As with the complete range of Australian LightWing aircraft, the colour scheme and paint work is completely the customers choice.

More information can be found at the Australian LightWing Website at www.lightwing.com.au