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UL-39 Albi: The Future of Ultralight Aviation

Skyleader's brand new UL-39 Albi is a revolutionary carbon-composite two seater. If you've seen the full-size L-39 Albatross taking part at airshows and even attending fly-ins and many times I hear someone say, “I wish I could afford a machine like that”. Well now you can, not exactly a full scale jet but a very good replica that fits in the Light Sport Aircraft category.

The UL-39 Albi uses a high-revving BMW SR1000RR motorcycle engine producing 193Hp to drive a 13-blade impeller nestled in the fuselage aft of the tandem-seated occupants.

With Albi’s 7.2m wingspan and retractable landing gear, the BMW powerplant can push the aircraft to speeds of 140 knots. Stall is a modest 35 knots and comfortably cruise at 124 knots. Therefore UL-39 is no slouch but neither is it a military-grade jet. To keep the ducted fan rotating at an optimal rate, the engine will have to turn 12,000 rpm continuously, this would illuminate most conventional power plants from use in the UL-39.

The carbon-fibre composite construction was done by LA Composite. Assembly of the pieces was achieved by Skyleader, a producer of Light-Sport Aircraft such as the Skyleader 600 among several other designs. This ambitious LSA company also has a versatile full-motion flight simulator that can be made to function with a wide variety of aircraft designs.

First test flight took place on 4 April 2016 by Radim Sterba, Skyleader test pilot. The UL-39 Albi airframe, ducted fan and many other components are made from pre-preg carbon fibre composite which has been autoclaved for maximum strength.

The UL-39 Albi represents 18 years of design testing and development. Serial number 001 has been built and is final stages of windtunnel testing, in-flight testing, and certification. It will be completed in the spring of 2022. Standby will be taking position orders soon!


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