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)