View Full Version : Skyrangers: Swift vs Classic?

17-01-11, 13:36 PM
I'm currently gathering information on Skyrangers for a possible group owned aircraft.

I've noticed that a basic classic is around 20k but that the swift can be 30k+. Is the swift really a 50% better aircraft? I know it's a bit quicker but what's it like is terms of overall handing and fuel economy? any other improvements on the swift that make a big difference?

Also the X-lam. Besides lasting longer what the main advantages (or disadvantages?) compared to dracon? How much extra is X-lam likely to add to the initial cost of buying?

Also any other issues in buying a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th hand) Skyranger?

Rick Goddin
17-01-11, 14:35 PM
You may not be comparing like with like Katie. New 912 classics are listed as 500 cheaper than new Swifts, both with standard 912. When the Swift was first introduced only the 912S was fitted. The relative prices for kits are shown in MF as 26465 and 26927, both excluding instruments. Most of the Classics which are being sold on the used market are likely to be older than the Swifts. I would say that 20 to 24 is the ball park figure for Classic and 26 - 30 for a Swift, but this will mainly reflect the age and hours. I sold my first SKR (Classic) after 1100 hours for slightly less than 20,000, but that was due to the hours.

My second SKR is a Swift, with a 912S. The main differences are in sharper handling, especially in roll, less effects of turbulence (both coming from the shorter span and smaller area) and faster, probably only 10 knots or so. Very little difference otherwise in handling. Swifts normally have nicer panel fits as the curved top dash wasn't available for earlier SKRs and would need to be retrofitted. Fuel usage very similar, I plan at around 12 lph and use about 11, cruising at say 75 to 80 knots.

All Swifts are in XLam, and I suspect the cheaper Classics will be in dacron. There were some very early dacron failures, after just a couple of years in some cases, and the cost of recovering is probably around 4000 as a ballpark figure. Paul Dewhurst could give you a better steer on that. It could be a very false economy to buy a dacron covered older SKR and find you have to buy new skins. XLam is vastly better, easy to clean and gives a few extra MPH, as well as having several times the UV life of dacron. I would not now buy a dacron covered microlight, they suffer from mould as well, some are lacquered but then impossible to repair without sacrificing the skins, so I'd avoid those as well.

You'd need to get a inspector's view of any prospect, but I'd be happy to have a look as well. After 1400 hours on type and two builds I consider that I am a "gifted amateur" .

best regards

17-01-11, 15:59 PM
Hi again Katie,
Our syndicate followed many others up the well trodden “upgrade” path, when we decided we wanted more range than our trusty X-Airs had, as well as four stroke reliability, and economy (with no more 50 hour de-cokes).
We discussed many options, including Eurostars, C42s, SKRs, Rans S6s, even (briefly) CTSWs.
As you know we ended up buying a 912s SKR Swift. Deciding factors for us were; X-Lam skins option and great value for money. We also reckoned the traditional rag & tube modular build would make maintenance and (heaven forbid) any minor repairs easier (and quicker) to sort out. The legendary type back up from Flylight is the icing on the cake, and our choice in the end was a no-brainer, so far, things have worked out very well. There are plenty of Skyrangers around, and, although an X-Lam variant would be more desirable from the start, all classics can be retro fitted with X-Lam, so there might be an older classic out there somewhere, needing skins, but going for a song? Buy & fit new X-Lams to it, and away you go! Peace of mind for 10 years or so?

Just seen Rob Weller has got his G-CRAB up on AFORS (and for only 20k) bargain.

17-01-11, 17:48 PM
Put your name on the rescue list you might just get a real award http://www.microlightforum.com/images/smilies/smileyflower.gif

17-01-11, 19:35 PM




Above are a couple of video's of my Zenair 601UL landing, The first one is a 240mtr private strip south of the edinburgh zone and the second at strathaven, the point at which i vacated Strathaven is about 190mtrs from the 27 threshold.
Its really is a very stable aircraft, a delight to fly and easy to land.
Unfortunatley I lost it in the hangar fire at Strathaven.

Rick Moss
17-01-11, 22:18 PM
I bought a "bargain basement" Skyranger for a figure significantly lower than any mentioned here. It's done 800 hours, and is Skyranger number 1; it was built by Paul Dewhurst and is the aircraft used for Section S approval. It was overhauled and reskinned with lacquered dacron in 2004 before it went to it's first individual owner (who I bought it from). It has the curved dash, and is pretty much immaculate. If the skins fail the next permit, I'll be upset about the bill, but she'll still owe me sensible money with XLAM skins. I wouldn't disregard a good Classic; never flown a Swift, but have debated fitting swift wings when the skins do fail...

I'm utterly delighted with mine; ~80mph at around 4100rpm solo, 4200rpm dual. I paid 450 for the 65 litre Quantum tank mod (unfitted, that held 57 litres.... grrr) and the SKR is going to Flylight to have them fit the 60 litre tanks for around 200. A world of difference.

17-01-11, 23:30 PM
You still got the quantum tank Rick?

Rick Goddin
17-01-11, 23:59 PM
That was a very good buy Rick, as the provenance and service record would be impeccable.

I have a US Skyranger tank in my workshop. One tank which holds 83 litres, but not legal here nor can it be, because I think its welded structure would take the empty aircraft weight over the max (?265kg). Great for touring abroad, especially as the reclaim of fuel duty (at around 50p/litre) is calculated on a full tank and not related to what is actually used.

Rick Moss
18-01-11, 08:48 AM
You still got the quantum tank Rick?

I've got a 47 litre tank, but the (supposedly) 65 litre tank went with the Quantum.

That was a very good buy Rick, as the provenance and service record would be impeccable.

I have a US Skyranger tank in my workshop. One tank which holds 83 litres, but not legal here nor can it be, because I think its welded structure would take the empty aircraft weight over the max (?265kg).
83 Litres? Sounds ideal. I wonder if a particularly light machine with dacron skins and no heater would squeeze in below 268kg....