New German aircraft manufacturer XtremeAir GmbH announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a type certificate March 21 for its two-place Sbach 342 aerobatic aircraft. With EASA type certification in hand, the company will seek FAA certification of the all-carbon-fiber airplane, said Philipp Steinbach, XtremeAir’s designer and test pilot.
“The Sbach 342 can claim many firsts,” Steinbach said, noting that the type certificate is the first issued to a new aircraft manufacturing company since EASA’s inception. He said it’s also the first aerobatic aircraft subjected to full occupant crash testing, the first with its main fuel tank placed in a separately vented compartment away from the cockpit, and the first to undergo full airframe fatigue testing. “So far, 19 of the Sbach aerobatic are flying, and [they] are already starting to achieve success in local and international aerobatic competition.”
Doug Jardine and Jim Bourke of Extreme Aerosports in Corvallis, Ore.—the U.S. agent for the XtremeAir line—plan to exhibit a Sbach 342 at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In.
EASA certification for the single-seat Sbach 300 is expected to be completed in April. “We’re working on it right now and have three airplanes flying under EASA permits,” Steinbach explained. Two are flying with the Matadors, a British formation team consisting of Paul Bonhomme and Steve Jones, while the third is with Mikael Brageot—a member of the French aerobatic team and XtremeAir’s French agent.
Both the two-place and single-seat models are fully capable of Unlimited-class aerobatic competition. Steinbach said pilots flying Sbach aircraft include World Aerobatic Champion Eric Vazeille; multiple-time British aerobatic champion Gerald Cooper; and French aerobatic team members Kathel Boulanger, who won Vice European Champion with a Sbach 342, and Brageot, who finished ninth overall in the 2010 European Aerobatic Championships, also flying a Sbach 342.
There currently is no Sbach 300 in the United States. Steinbach plans to fly the single-seat model during the World Aerobatic Championship in Italy later this year, and then bring it to the United States. Both Jardine of Extreme Aerosports and Steinbach will fly the 300 in the U.S. Nationals this September, Steinbach said.