About Foxbat Australia
Foxbat Australia began life in 2002 as SilverWing Aviation, based at Heck Field, Jacobs Well, in South East Queensland. Our first demonstrator A22 Foxbat was built from a kit in the UK - with a great deal of assistance from the UK Aeroprakt agent. It was shipped to Australia in early 2002 and originally retained its UK G-FXBT registration, before first becoming VH-VPH and finally 28-4163.
This aircraft was flown all over the east coast of Australia, using a tiny monochrome Garmin Pilot 3 GPS, until it was sold in 2004 - co-inciding with the delivery of the first Australian customer A22L. With a few developmental changes - reduced fin size and changes to the landing gear - the 450 kilo gross weight A22L was the mainstay of our fleet until the factory launched the LSA-compliant 600 kilo gross weight A22LS in 2009.
In between times, we imported a very limited number of A22LSA Foxbats - a USA development of the A22L with a 544 kilo gross weight, designed to satisfy the FAA light sport aircraft regulations.
In 2015 the factory launched the A32 Vixxen, which shares the Foxbat wing but has a completely different fuselage and tail feathers. The A32 Vixxen is probably unique among LSAs in the breadth of its flight envelope - stalls at 27 knots, top speed is over 120 knots - combined with amazing economy - typically averaging 16-17 litres an hour.
The latest addition to the fleet is the A22LS Kelpie, which is at heart a Foxbat, but with a number of extras to suit landowner/station/farmer use - a UHF radio, siren, bigger tyres and a special propeller.
In 2016, Foxbat founder Peter Harlow was joined by Ido Segev and together they operate Foxbat Australia from their base at Tyabb Airport, a few miles south of Melbourne
About the Aeroprakt Factory
Since its formation in the early 1990's, Aeroprakt has been building aircraft at its factory in the west of Kiev, in Ukraine. They have now produced well over 1,100 aircraft and have established a global reputation for rugged, well designed aircraft which are safe to fly and easy to maintain.
Founders Yuriy Yakovlev and Oleg Litovchenko originally worked together at the Antonov Aircraft Design Bureau in Kiev and their mutual passion for small light aircraft led them to form Aeroprakt. Yuriy is now CEO and chief designer, while Oleg looks after the commercial side of the business. Yuriy has a number of ultralight world championships to his name, as well as a swath of ultralight world records.
Aeroprakt currently employs almost 100 people, many of whom have been with them since the early days, now building close to 90 aircraft a year and now produced over 1,100 aircraft.
Aeroprakt also operates from its own airfield near Kiev, where there is a thriving club and flying school, using both A22 and A32 aircraft, as well as facilities for test flying and maintaining aircraft
Peter Harlow has been involved with light aviation in Australia for almost 20 years. He was originally trained to fly by the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm in the UK and has flown over 25 different aircraft types since then. From a very early age, Peter always wanted to learn to fly. There was no aviation history in his family and the cost made flying lessons way out of reach. But via the school cadet force, he obtained his PPL through a Flying Scholarship with the UK Royal Navy. He has since flown over 3,000 hours in command of fixed wing aircraft. He has also flown over 600 hours piloting hot air balloons.
Peter founded Foxbat Australia to import, market and support Aeroprakt ultralight and light sport aircraft. The company has now sold over 240 Aeroprakt aircraft in Australia since the first customer aircraft was delivered in 2004.
Apart from the basic design excellence of the aircraft themselves, Peter believes a key part of the success of Foxbat in Australia has been prompt and courteous service, technical and parts back up.
Ido’s history in aviation started at the age of six when he began to fly radio-controlled model aircraft. His experience in model flying progressed to the stage where he is considered to be a world class pilot and enjoys sponsorship from a number of major industry manufacturers. In 2011 he won the prestigious European Extreme Flight Championship and has competed as well as judged at events around the world. His skills and expertise were sought by a number of UAV operators and over the years he’s gained great experience with a range of aviation and commercial research and development teams.
Ido’s passion for aerobatics landed him in full size aircraft at an early age and he’s been spinning them around the sky ever since. He will fly anything with a stick and rudder, his favourite plane is a Pitts Special but he will also take the Boeing Stearman for an aerial jaunt if asked nicely!
Ido is a fixed-wing commercial pilot and instructor, with both GA and RAAus licenses. He has aerobatic, formation and low-level licence endorsements.
In 2016 Ido joined Foxbat Australia and was instrumental in helping to develop and market the ‘Kelpie’ version of the A22LS, designed to satisfy the specific needs of farmers and other landowners.