The SkyGEM is a wonderful little single seat high wing airplane – that anyone – and I mean ANYONE – can build in their garage with a rivet gun, a coupe of spanners.  Period.

The entire airframe consists of 12 (yes, TWELVE) pieces of aircraft-grade aluminium tubing, held together with aircraft-grade gusset plates and rivets.  There are no plans.  You don’t need them.  All the parts come ready cut and drilled – all you do is insert the (provided) rivets, squeeze the trigger, and repeat.  You can build the airframe in a couple of hours.  Certainly well within a day.  And the great thing is that the entire airframe costs less than $3k.  Ha ha.  Even YOU can afford one of these great little planes.

Of course, you will also need to buy the wing and tail surfaces ($3k), the hardware kit ($1k) the engine and instruments.  But as you can see – you can fly your own plane for the cost of a 2nd hand family car.

This is not a pocket rocket, fast glass or sexy cross-country machine.  But it is an extremely cute, safe, fun, weekend flyer.  So if you’re looking to spend a couple of hours wheeling and turning up among the clouds after work on or the weekends, this plane is for you.

Specifications:

  • Fuselage: Aircraft-grade aluminium tubes riveted together
  • Undercarriage: Triangulated fixed undercarriage which can be swapped (left/right) to produce either a tail dragger or a tricycle landing gear.  Have the very best of both worlds – depending on your preference.
  • Engine:  (Not supplied).  This plane is designed around the Briggs & Stratton 800cc industrial engine (50hp, 37kg, 8l/hr).  Any similar weight/power engine would also be suitable.  Some of the 2-strokes also come to mind, like the Polini Thor 250 or the Hirth F23
  • Wing: Three-piece composite construction (supplied).  The two outer wing panels fold downwards using a simple hinge arrangement, making this possibly the simplest folding wing airplane in existence!  Fuel is held in the fixed central section of the wing.  No cables to disconnect.  Simply pull two pins on either wing section, and fold the outer panels down.  Flaps on central section, ailerons on outer sections.  Junkers design.  Composite tail feathers (supplied) bolt right on.
  • Stall: 30kts
  • Cruise: 90kts
  • Climb: 1400fpm
  • FUN FACTOR:  Extreme
  • Likelihood of completing the kit: Very high