About the information in this site:
Most of the information seems to be about problems I had with my build procedure. I am not trying to put anyone off buying a Jabiru. If the features you want are four seats at an economical price and to fly at 24 litres an hour then I would thoroughly recommend it. But just go in with your eyes open about some of the hurdles - they are not insurmountable. In the end I am very pleased to have built the aircraft. It has now flown roughly 240 hours (as at Jan 2011) including 4 trips interstate (Victoria 2008, Northern Territory May 2009, Lake Eyre June 2009 & South Australia 2010). It is a great little aircraft to fly, easy to start and great on country strips as well as bitumen. As a touring aircraft it is hard to beat. It carries two people with as much luggage as you would need at a very tidy speed for a low cost.
At the end of my build I sent a fairly detailed listing of problems I had with the build and hopefully Jabiru will have fixed any problems that could be fixed. This will hopefully mean that the builder won't have to face these problems. Most of my problems were related to the poor quality in the old instruction manual which has now been fixed. Since I finished my kit Jabiru has put out a complete new manual. It is now available on their website at www.jabiru.net.au Click on manuals to download it.
Since I completed my kit many parts of the kit have also been upgraded, modified or changed completely so what I have said in these pages may well be now out of date. Maybe some of it was changed because of my letting Jabiru know of the problems I had. Probably not but I like to think all my rantings came to something.
I have retained most of my original comments on this website (even though they may now be outdated) as there may be kits still under construction which have the same problems I encountered and if my method of dealing with it can help it will be worthwhile.
About The Kit.
You need to be aware there are “kits and there are kits”.
Some kits ( true quick-build kits) arrive with every part ready to be attached to other parts and with very little effort every part fits and does what it is supposed to do. Other kits come as very rudimentary raw materials which have to be made painstakingly into the parts required.
The Jabiru is somewhere between the two, though closer to the quick build. But it is not a quick build. The parts are all made but almost every part in my kit needed adjusting to some degree. Most predrilled holes didn’t fit the bolts and required redrilling. Some were pilot holes only and some were supposed to be final holes but still needed redrilling. Every fibreglass component required some degree of reshaping to fit. Some required heating and reshaping, most needed only sanding or grinding back and some required adding more glass to build up the part.
The time that Jabiru quotes for a build is very very optimistic. Their advertising blurb says 600 hours. I worked almost full time on mine (25 to 30 hours a week for 13 months (1400 hours) before mine was finished. I have talked to many builders of Jabirus and none got it done in less than 1200 hours. I have read of people taking around 1000 hours but they didn't do major portions of the build. They contracted out the surface preparation and painting, or building and installing the panel and instruments etc. One of my mates got his done at Jabiru using their builder assist program and he reckons might have got it done in 600 hours but they have all the jigs and specialty tools and they know what they are doing. So don’t plan on 600 hours – plan on 1200 as a more realistic figure.