Sherwood Ranger

Those with a very long microlight memory may recall the Tiger Cub, a miniature biplane sold to budding microlighters in the days before Section S. It acquired something of a reputation for sensitive handling, but did achieve approval once regulation was upon us. Russ was involved with the Tiger Cub, and so it's no surprise that the basic biplane layout was chosen when Russ wanted to produce an updated microlight. It also produces such a practical microlight, I'm amazed no-one else has tried it.

Russ decided that going places wasn't his first priority. His experience in light aircraft told him that even with the high cruise speeds and sophisticated instrument panels of a conventional light aircraft, we in the UK are still to a large extent at the mercy of the weather, so it was more important to have something that would be cheap to operate and maintain, quick to get in the air, fun to fly, and good to look at - and for this, the traditional folding-wing biplane, as developed in the 1920's, was the perfect vehicle. Remove the four pins from the leading edges, and the wings fold to make the aircraft towable within five minutes, thus saving hangarage charges. The taildragger biplane layout is phenomenally strong, and will stand rough treatment both on the ground and in the air, and the classic looks will appeal to everyone and not be subject to the whims of fashion. A kit-built aircraft will keep the initial cost down.

He took this idea and fitted it around a bolted tube structure for ease of manufacture, and produced an airframe of immediate appeal to all aviators. I flew the prototype in 1995 and was instantly taken with its light handling, ease of stowage, and attractive looks.

Although the idea was sound, Russ had problems producing the kit, and only a trickle of kit-built aircraft have made it into the air so far - four to date from about a dozen kits sold.

wing span
wing area
empty weight
useful load
gross weight
fuel capacity
65-hp Rotax 582 or Jabiru 2200 and BMW
7.3 ft.
26 ft.
168 ft.
400 lb.
460 lb.
860 lb.
6 gal.
100 miles


takeoff distance, ground roll
rate of climb
max speed
cruise speed
landing distance, ground roll
service ceiling
800 fpm
80 mph
60 mph
(over 50-ft. obstacle) 770 ft.

limiting and recommended speeds

design manoeuvring speed (Va)
never exceed speed (Vne)
stall, power off (Vsl)
landing approach speed
100 mph
38 mph

All specifications are based on manufacturer's calculations