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Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd is an Australian aircraft manufacturer that produces a range of kit- and ready-built civil light aircraft in Bundaberg, Queensland. The company also designs and manufactures a range of light aircraft engines. Types include microlights (Ultralight or ULM), including the Calypso, two-seat trainers (J/120/J160/ J170/j230) and four-seat aircraft (J400/ J430/J450).

Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd
Proprietary limited company
IndustryAerospace manufacturing
HeadquartersBundaberg, Australia
Key people
Rodney Stiff
Phil Ainsworth
ProductsLight aircraft and aircraft engines

The aircraft are built largely of composite materials and are conventional high-wing monoplanes with typically tricycle undercarriage, although taildragger versions are also available. The wings can be removed for ease of storage or transportation.

Use of modern composite techniques has resulted in a strong yet light structure. The aircraft are designed around the pilot and passengers, being spacious and comfortable for touring, yet with a small footprint and frontal profile. Controls include a centrally mounted control column, brake and trim lever.

There is also a Jabiru assembly facility in George, Western Cape, South Africa.[1]


2001 model Jabiru SP-470
2004 model Jabiru J450
2003 model Jabiru Calypso 3300 on amphibious floats at the Canadian Aviation Expo, 2004
Jabiru 5100 eight cylinder aircraft engine
Jabiru Calypso 2200 on skis at Montebello, Quebec, January 2005

The company was formed in 1988 by Rodney Stiff and Phil Ainsworth to manufacture affordable light aircraft in kit and certified forms.[citation needed]

In October 1991, the first aircraft (Jabiru LSA 55/2k), was certified by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority.[citation needed]

Due to the original engine manufacturer, Italian American Motor Engineering ceasing production of the KFM 112M aero engines used, the company started development of its own engines, and by 1995 the Jabiru 2200, a horizontally opposed four-cylinder air-cooled aviation engine, was available for delivery. Since then the six-cylinder Jabiru 3300 and eight-cylinder Jabiru 5100 have been added to the range.[citation needed]

Also in 1995, it was decided to offer the aircraft range as amateur-build or experimental self-build kits.[citation needed]

The microlight version of the Jabiru two-seater aircraft, the Jabiru UL, holds two world speed records for three-axis microlight aircraft.[2] These were set over 50- and 100-kilometre predefined courses and certified by the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).[citation needed]



  • LSA - configured to meet ultralight regulations
  • ST3 - configured to meet general aviation regulations
  • UL-D - configured to meet UK Microlight regulations
  • J120C - Certified 2 seater with 2200cc Engine
  • J160D - Certified 2 seater with 2200cc Engine
  • J170C - Certified 2 seater with 2200cc Engine. Basically a J160 with longer wings for operation in hotter climates
  • J230D - Certified with 3300cc Engine


  • J200 - two-seat aircraft
  • J400 - four-seat aircraft
  • J450 - four-seat aircraft with STOL wing
  • J430 - four-seat aircraft with winglets for best compromise between STOL performance and speed
  • SP - Light aircraft version
  • SP-T - Taildragger version of SP
  • UL - export version to meet European microlight regulations (Calypso)
  • UL-T - taildragger version of UL
  • SK - two-seat aircraft (group A version)


Jabiru produces its own range of lightweight, four-stroke, horizontally opposed, air-cooled engines, specifically designed and engineered for use in aircraft. All engines are direct drive and are fitted with alternators, silencers, vacuum pump drives and dual ignition systems as standard. Over 3,600 four-cylinder engines and over 1,700 of the six-cylinder engines have been produced. The basic design is now so mature that only minor design changes have been made in the last 1000 engines or so.[citation needed]

In November 2014 the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) proposed restricting all Jabiru-powered aircraft to day-visual flight rules (VFR) only, without passengers or solo students and within gliding distance of a safe place to land due to the engine line's safety record. The final rule adopted somewhat softened the restrictions, allowing the carriage of passengers and students, but requiring them to sign an acknowledgement of risk before flying and restricting equipped aircraft to day VFR flight and within gliding distance of a safe place to land.[3] Both the manufacturer and Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) opposed the restrictions as unnecessary and unwarranted.[4] RA-Aus reported that it was supplied with only a fraction of CASA's source data – just a day before submissions closed – and that CASA seemed to have excluded all engine reliability data post-"early 2014".[5]


  1. ^ Jabiru Aircraft S.A. (2005). "SHADOW LITE – A BRIEF HISTORY". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  2. ^ Fédération Aéronautique Internationale microlight records Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Niles, Russ (21 December 2014). "CASA Issues Jabiru Final Rule". AVweb. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  4. ^ Niles, Russ (15 November 2014). "Australia Eyes Jabiru Restrictions". AVweb. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  5. ^ Article in Sport Pilot magazine (Aust.) titled: "RA-Aus Response", Feb 2015 edition, page 27.

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