NOTE:- The following is a description of the U.K. kit which has a number of modifications in order to meet the stringent BCAR section S requirements.
The Skyranger is a tube and fabric construction and is built by bolting together the frame components and then covering the finished wing and fuselage frames with the ready made covers. These covers are rather like three large socks, one for the rear fuselage and one for each wing. They are made from Dacron which is a very strong but lightweight sail type material. The covers are supplied pre-coloured in a choice of colour schemes and sewn together to provide the correct shape and strength. The flaps, ailerons, rudder, elevator, vertical fin, horizontal stabiliser and ventral fin are supplied pre-assembled with the covering already fitted. The cowling forwards of the cockpit is formed from several glass fibre mouldings that are supplied in white gell-coat finish and require only minor finishing to prepare for fitting. The screen, door skins and cabin roof have to be cut from the supplied Lexan sheet before riveting in place on the framework. The lexan is clear as standard but is available with a smoked tint as an extra cost option. Other components such as controls, cables, fuel tanks, undercarriage, wheels, tyres, brakes etc. are also supplied to enable you to build the complete airframe.
In addition to the basic airframe kit, other components are required to complete your aircraft. These will usually be ordered at the same time as the main kit. They include engine and accessories, engine mounting kit, Instruments (engine and flying) and propeller. Most people will also want to choose some of the items from the options list such as wheel spats, wing tip fairings, propeller spinner, cabin heat, 2-piece doors and tinted screen etc. Even if you do not order the engine with the airframe it will be necessary to specify which engine you will want to use before you order the airframe kit as the cowlings differ for different engine types.
At first sight the Skyranger may seem crude as it is built using straight tubes joined by bolts. Do not be mislead though, the structure may be simple but it possess immense strength and stiffness. The patented construction system is based on interconnected triangles. The use of only straight tubes does create a crude looking appearance. However, it has the advantages of making it easy to detect bent components, following for example, a hard landing. Should the worst happen and you end up bending some of your nice straight tubes, you will discover another advantage. Compared with having to repair or replace a complex fabricated component or composite moulding. It will be far easier and cheaper to remove the damaged tubes by simply unbolting them and then replace them with new ones. A number of methods of bolting the tubes together are used depending upon the function of the component. Some tubes are joined using plates bolted on either side of the tubes, some by simply through bolting using plastic or aluminium saddles between them, some using U bolts and saddles, while others have flattned ends where they are bolted. Each method has its own place in the structure depending on how the component is loaded. The joining techniques may be simple but each type is used only where appropriate. The bolted joints do not need to be excessively tight as in most cases they only form a pin joint, the rigidity being derived from triangulation of components. In most instances, Nyloc nuts are used on the bolts backed up with the application of Loctite 243 to prevent them from vibrating loose. In instances where a component must rotate on its bolt castellated nuts with locking pins are used. The majority of the tubes are made from the very strong but lightweight aircraft grade 2017 aluminium alloy, some having a slightly smaller tube inside to provide a reinforcing sleeve where strength requirements dictate. Anti-crush tubes are used to reinforce tubes at bolting points where required. Other tubes are of stainless steel, or in the case of the main crossmember and front fork assembly are of mild steel with an inner reinforcing sleeve.
All controls are connected using flexible stainless steel cables, while the hand operated disk brakes are hydraulically operated.