Jabiru SP Vs D

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Jabiru SP Vs D

Postby Lpj470 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:55 am

Hi all,

New comer her and student sport Pilot.
I'm taking my lessons in a Jabiru 170SP.
My pipe dream is to buy a Jabiru 230.
My question is for those who have flowen the 230 how much difference is there between the SP and D models?
What are the main handling differences?
Is it worth Spending more on the newer D?
I've also heard of some issues with the Jabiru engines.
Something about through bolts and overheating chts (although the overheating may be Jabiru engines in non-jabiru planes).

Any and all information would be most appreciated!!!


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Re: Jabiru SP Vs D

Postby rsteele » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:40 am

You probably need to find a Jabiru specific board to ask about the engine issues. It's all about when it was made (the design has changed over time) and how it was maintained (there were some modifications). One guy at our airport had 3 catastrophic in-air failures of Jab 3300s in the same air frame. Another guy never had any issues at all with his. None of these engines were in Jabiru airframes. It looks like a great engine both on paper and hung on a plane but I'd be very careful to know what I was getting into before buying one. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy one, I'd just want to know a lot about it and understand what I was getting. I don't know, but I expect the reputation of the engine may effect resale price downward. So, if a used plane looks like a really good deal check the engine pedigree extra carefully.

A Jab is certainly a compelling plane for a lot of people. I personally found the seats too narrow to be usable, but that's just me. You have to love the "overbuiltness" of a 4 placer that's converted to a 2 placer.

Good luck with your training.

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Re: Jabiru SP Vs D

Postby HornedFrogGrant » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:29 pm


According to these guys, the tail is slightly redesigned, to require little rudder. Supposedly there are some minor updates to the interior too... different type of carpeting, different type of leather on the seats, stuff like that. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that.

I love the huge baggage area of the J230, and it's predecessor the J250. It looks like a dog bed would fit easily.

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Re: Jabiru SP Vs D

Postby MrMorden » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:14 am

The Jabiru 3300 engine has gone through several revisions, and IIRC the main difference is solid lifters vs. hydraulic lifters in the newer airplanes. Not sure why, but many owners consider the solid lifter engines to be better. If you buy one it would pay to do your engine research and find all the pros and cons of each revision.

The main Achilles heel of the 3300 is heat. No so much in flight, but on the ground. I have a very good friend with one in his Sonex, and his rule of thumb is that in the summer time from the moment he hits the starter to the time he breaks ground for takeoff needs to be less than ten minutes. More than that and his engine starts getting too hot and he'll have to shut down and cool off for a few minutes. Once he's in the air he has no overheating issues. He is very conscientious about maintenance (re-torquing the cylinder heads every 25 hrs as recommended, etc), and he loves the engine and has no trouble. But I think that engine does demand a degree of diligence.

Also Rotec makes a set of liquid-cooled heads for the 3300, that basically eliminates the heat issue. But it adds a bit of weight for the coolant and costs about $1k per cylinder if I remember right.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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Re: Jabiru SP Vs D

Postby HornedFrogGrant » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:14 pm

For what it's worth, a 2010 Jabiru J230-SP was recently added to the "In The Pattern" rental fleet at KDTO.

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