Jabiru J-230?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Hambone
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Jabiru J-230?

Postby Hambone » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:49 am

OK... semi-retirement and returning to the US are now imminent. Tucson here we come!

I'm in the market for a sport plane, perhaps one that I can teach in and rent out. I'd like to be able to carry a couple of lightweight folding bicycles and some ultralightweight backpacking/camping gear. Side-by-seat seating appeals to me, and although I like the prospect of rugged backcountry flying, I think I'll go for tricycle gear.

So... I'm liking the Jabiru J-230. Useful large cargo space (yes, I know the 1320 lb gross weight restriction), and I've seen a fully-loading beaut on Barnstormers for a decent price.

Any owners out there? Pros and cons of the Jabiru engine vs Rotax/Continental/etc?

Comments & suggestions appreciated!

3Dreaming
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:18 am

Definitely do your due diligence on researching both the aircraft and especially the engine before making your decision.

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Hambone
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby Hambone » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:19 am

3Dreaming wrote:Definitely do your due diligence on researching both the aircraft and especially the engine before making your decision.

Thanks! I certainly will.

That's what I'm starting here on the forum...

3Dreaming
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:46 am

I don't have any personal experience, but I have heard about plenty of engine problems.

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Hambone
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby Hambone » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:49 am

3Dreaming wrote:I don't have any personal experience, but I have heard about plenty of engine problems.

That is certainly a issue to investigate.

It's the configuration that appeals to me, with the roomy cargo area. Any similar Rotax-powered LSAs with a large cargo volume?

MackAttack
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby MackAttack » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:38 am

I have not researched this aircraft extensively, but it would not surprise me if the Jabiru had the largest cargo area of the LSAs because I believe they sell the 230 as a 4-seater elsewhere. You'd have to research the cargo area volume specs on other aircraft to be sure ... but I would expect the main issue would not be cargo volume but would be weight. Given the 1320-lb LSA weight limitation in the US, you may have a lot of space but may not be able to carry all that much cargo under the rules. Still, it depends on what you plan to be hauling!

Also on the engine front, the Jabiru engines are not common in the US - the Rotax are much more common. As a result, it may be difficult to find someone who is trained and knowledgeable to service the engine, especially beyond routine maintenance. That's independent of whether the engine itself has issues. The Rotax web site lists all the trained IRMTs and heavy maintenance folks in the US - it's a fairly extensive network. If you are mechanically inclined (I am not, but several folks on here are), you can take the standardized Rotax IRMT training course and do your own annuals with a lot of factory support and materials.

I would expect the high-wing LSAs (Tecnam, Jabiru, Sirius, for example) to have larger cargo spaces than most of the low wings but I could be wrong ... the Sling LSA might be a little larger than most low wings. Not sure what your preferences are ...

But you've got some research to do! Good luck and please keep us posted. And we'll be glad to see you back in the good old US of A!

Cheers

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azsportpilot
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby azsportpilot » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:17 pm

I have some experience with the Jabiru engines, they are well made and have a good power to weight ratio

looks like a little baby Lycoming 6 cylinder... Beautiful.... and 20 more ponies than a 912s and just $1,500 more expensive
5 more ponies than a 914 without using a turbo..... and $8,500 cheaper
all while turning just 3300 peak rpm

I really like the direct drive cruising @ 2850 RPM eliminating the need for a gearbox, and air cooled really makes it simple, but......

What I don't like is how they perform in hot climates

when I was training a student in Phoenix in his Jab 3300 powered CH601 we often had to "step-climb" to keep the CHT temps in the yellow during the summer, a steady Vy or Vx climb would send the middle cylinders CHT's into the red

the middle cylinders in the 6 cyl 3300 would only drop back into the green during cruise at 75% power (was fine in the winter)

any attempt to climb would bring the middle cylinders back into the yellow, unless the air temp was below 80 degrees (which is rare in Phx)

after checking the forums and contacting the very helpful guys at Jabiru-North America, we installed a "trip-lip" (a fold in the lower cowl sheetmetal to cause a vacuum effect) it helped a little bit but not enough

we then upgraded the oil cooler to one double the size (this dropped CHT's further but still hard to stay in the green while climbing in Phoenix in the summer

next we added a second and larger oil cooler with a scoop to feed it (this made the yellow zone something only seen during extended steep climbs in July afternoons)

there is a mod that adds water cooling to the heads developed by Rotec (also Australian) but that defeats the purpose of the simplicity of the air cooled Jab.... but permanently solves the CHT problem http://www.rotecengines.com/LCHdata/LCH.html

I would recommend the Jabiru engines for cold climates as a simpler, more powerful alternative to Rotax
3300 (120-hp) - $18,500 USD vs Rotax 914 (115-hp) - $26,995 USD

not sure I would recommend them for warm climates and only with the understanding that you will have to make some mods for warm climates..... which you may not be allowed do on an SLSA

I see you are in the UAE but planning a move to Tucson AZ...... the Rotax is better suited to the intense desert heat you will be flying in

PS: If you were considering the Jabiru J-170 I would be less pessimistic as it uses the 85hp 4 cylinder 2200 engine which eliminates the middle cylinder overheating problem..... though still runs hot.. too hot for AZ without mods
2200 (85 hp) – $14,500 USD vs Rotax 912 (80 hp) $14,337
John Sarra CFI-S
1946 Aeronca Chief

-Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!

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Hambone
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby Hambone » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:21 am

Thanks for those comprehensive reviews!

I had already ignorantly assumed that the Jabiru engines were a bit "homemade" for my liking, but if they're having issues in the heat, that rules them out for me.

So the research continues in the quest for a roomy Rotax/Continental powered air machine...

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MrMorden
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby MrMorden » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:22 am

A good friend of mine has a Jabiru 3300-powered Waiex (Y-tail Sonex), here in hot and muggy Georgia. He has no real problem with temps in the air, but on the ground in summer from engine start he needs to takeoff within 10 minutes or his temps will get too high and he has to shut down to cool off.

Also you need to carefully follow maintenance procedures like re-torquing cylinder heads every 25 hours. Those little maintenance items make a big difference with that engine. If you stay on top of it, they seem reliable and powerful. They do weigh about 50lb more than a Rotax 912, which can matter in very light airplanes.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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joey4420
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby joey4420 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:44 am

From what I have read about Jabiru, they redesigned the engines in 2014 or 2015 and the overheating issues have been cleared up. They are also a much stronger engine as far as usable power now compared to the older engines.

There is a nice J-230D for sale in IL off of trade a plane https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?category_level1=Single+Engine+Piston&make=JABIRU&model=J-230&listing_id=2254465&s-type=aircraft
Joey
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MrMorden
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby MrMorden » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:43 am

Thanks for that video Joey, good stuff. I'd sure like to see the temperature differences between the older engine and the redesigned engine. It sounds like improved the oiling system could really make a difference.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

rsteele
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby rsteele » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:24 am

I have a friend with a 601HD with an old solid lifter 3300. He added the lip to at the bottom of the cowl (for vacuum effect) and spend months playing with the baffling on the fiberglass cowls that fit over the cylinder heads. It took a lot of time but he did finally get the cooling worked out. The HD will climb at 1200ft/min on a hot summer day in Virginia with no problems. So, the older engines can be made to work.

I love the simplicity of the Jabs, but they have had their issues. I'd look carefully at the specific model before I bought one.

Have flow a Jabiru airplane? I found the seats very narrow, but I'm a big guy. I'm also not wild about but the use if a push-pull cable (like a throttle cable, I don't know what the proper name is) for the stick. Not a deal breaker, but it seems like it might require maintenance. Otherwise a great looking plane with a ton of room.

Ron

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azsportpilot
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby azsportpilot » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:46 pm

joey4420 wrote:From what I have read about Jabiru, they redesigned the engines in 2014 or 2015 and the overheating issues have been cleared up. They are also a much stronger engine as far as usable power now compared to the older engines.


that is encouraging, my experiences with the 3300 model I discussed in an earlier post were with a much earlier version

It does sound like the 2014/2015 redesign may have fixed the heat issues

I see they have again updated the design for 2017.... they call it "Generation 4"

apart from the heat issue on the earlier versions I really love the design

simple
air cooled
direct drive
low rpms
single carb
built like an aircraft engine
introduced in 1992

vs

complex
liquid cooled
gearbox drive
high rpms
dual carb requiring syncing
built like a motorcycle engine
introduced in 1989

if the Gen-4 version eliminates the overheating issue completely... I think the Jabiru could be a viable alternative the Rotax 9 series, especially with the older pilot crowd who prefer the Lycoming / Continental way of doing things
John Sarra CFI-S
1946 Aeronca Chief

-Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!

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Hambone
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby Hambone » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:43 am

All great info. Thanks to everyone!

It looks like the new Jabiru engine is a big improvement. Perhaps that explains why some used aircraft are selling at a relatively low price.

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MrMorden
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Re: Jabiru J-230?

Postby MrMorden » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:08 am

Speaking of cooling, something just occurred to me:

Has anybody building an airplane ever experimented with external water cooling? By that, I mean spraying fine water mist onto the cylinders to cool them as air flowed over them? For performance cars there are water/methanol injection kits for cooling intake air that are basically just a reservoir, a pump, and a super-fine atomizing spray head. Something like this with a similar nozzle at each cylinder (or even just at the intake inlet that flows over the cylinders) could put a fine water mist onto the heads to work by evaporative cooling in a climb or for prolonged ground operation.

Obviously you'd have to be careful with the amount of water sprayed and where, to avoid warping any metal. But I think with judicious use this could be an interesting way to put some "experimental" in an airplane, and the previous generation Jabiru engine seems a good candidate.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA


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