Skybolt (Steen)

Among four and six cylinder experimental aerobatic biplanes, the Skybolt is clearly the gold standard. The Skybolt is capable of extreme, on-the-edge aerobatics, yet it is polite, predictable and forgiving in the air and on the ground.

There are some 450 Skybolts licensed in the US and another 200 or so around the world. The Skybolt is by far the most popular 2-place experimental biplane, and is loved for its perfect, classic biplane lines.

There is maximum room for pilot and passenger, and the Skybolt is comfortable and practical for cross-country trips and sport flying. Clean, well constructed examples cruise at nearly 180 mph. Skybolts have always been popular on the airshow circuit.

The Skybolt is a straightforward, honest, and absolutely beautiful biplane.

Construction methods are conventional. The truss-rib wing is made of wood, while the fuselage and tail surfaces are welded up from chromoly steel tubing. The Skybolt is extremely strong, and has been thoroughly analyzed for strength - there has never been an in-flight failure attributable to insufficient design strength.

Power options range from 180 hp to 350 hp. Skybolts are built as open-cockpit, two-place canopy, or rear canopy only. It is common to build a convertible configuration which allows change from open to canopy in half an hour.

There are now several model options available to Skybolt builders -

  • Skybolt S (Standard)

  • Skybolt D (Delta)

  • Skybolt R (Radial)

Radial engine option. Competitive through  intermediate, yet has enough speed and load-carrying ability for cross-country trips.

wing span
wing area
empty weight
useful load
gross weight
fuel capacity
Lyc. 10-540 D4A5 HP Range260/180-350
7.2 ft
24 ft
52.7 sq. ft
1250 lb

1970 lb
38 gal
450 n.m


takeoff distance, ground roll
rate of climb
max speed
cruise speed
landing distance, ground roll
service ceiling
300 ft
3500 fpm
210 mph
160 mph
800 ft
18500 ft

limiting and recommended speeds

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

All specifications are based on manufacturer's calculations