Click to return to Steen Aero Lab Homepage  
 
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
(Walt Disney)
 
Go to printable version 
 
  Our Aircraft:
 
    Steen Skybolt
   « Skybolt Home »
Specs / 3-Views:
    Standard
    Delta
    Radial
Airplane Photos
Construction Photos
History
Skybolt Videos  New!
Steenship
Articles
Pitts Model 14
Pitts S1
Knight Twister

 
  Products:  
    ONLINE STORE

Products Home
Bruntons Brace Wires
     About Bruntons
MT Props
Hoffmann Props
     Request Prop Quote
Vendenyev M14 Engines
Laminated Wing Spars
Laminated Leading Edges
Canopies
Motor Mounts
Wing Kits & Wing Jigs
Three-Section Wings
Piloti Shoes
VedaloHD Sunglasses
     Styles
     FAA Report on Sunglasses

 
  Builders:  
    Builder F.A.Q.
Construction
   Photos

Articles
Project Gallery
Submit Photos
Project Logs

 
  Resources:  
  News
Event Reports
Email List
Testimonials
Non-US Distributors
Links
Scale Models
Biplane Lore
About This Site
Website Updates
About Us
Contact / Visit Us

 
   

 

Skybolt Logo
Skybolt

The Steen Skybolt is an aerobatic biplane with great manners and room for a friend. This is Steen's factory airplane, the 'Yellowbird', built in the late 1990s by Steen Aero.

"The Skybolt is probably the best combination sport/acro plane..."
- Budd Davisson (Airbum.com)

Among four and six cylinder experimental aerobatic biplanes, the Skybolt is clearly the gold standard. The Skybolt is capable of extreme, on-the-edge aerobatics, yet it is polite, predictable and forgiving in the air and on the ground.

There are some 450 Skybolts licensed in the US and another 200 or so around the world. The Skybolt is by far the most popular 2-place experimental biplane, and is loved for its perfect, classic biplane lines.

There is maximum room for pilot and passenger, and the Skybolt is comfortable and practical for cross-country trips and sport flying. Clean, well constructed examples cruise at nearly 180 mph. Skybolts have always been popular on the airshow circuit.

The Skybolt is a straightforward, honest, and absolutely beautiful biplane.

Testimonials by those who know - One Two Three Four

Construction methods are conventional. The truss-rib wing is made of wood, while the fuselage and tail surfaces are welded up from chromoly steel tubing. The Skybolt is extremely strong, and has been thoroughly analyzed for strength - there has never been an in-flight failure attributable to insufficient design strength.

Power options range from 180 hp to 350 hp. Skybolts are built as open-cockpit, two-place canopy, or rear canopy only. It is common to build a convertible configuration which allows change from open to canopy in half an hour.

There are now several model options available to Skybolt builders -

  • Skybolt S (Standard)
  • Skybolt D (Delta)

In addition, the Skybolt R (Radial) is currently being developed.


Skybolt S (Standard)

The Skybolt Standard is the classic Skybolt design, which incorporates all the engineering updates made by Lamar Steen, improvements made by Hale Wallace, as well as other corrections and refinements. The Skybolt S features:

  • One Piece Upper Wing - The Skybolt S uses the classic Skybolt upper wing and cabane architecture. The upper wing can accommodate a nine-gallon auxiliary fuel tank which is great for cross-country.

  • Bungee Landing Gear - Tried and true, bungee shock cord landing gear is reliable and simple.

Skybolt S Options - The Skybolt S can be built with a number of options including the following:
  • Powerplant Options - The Skybolt S can be powered by four or six-cylinder engines between 180hp and 350hp. The airplane performs strongly with a typical 260hp O-540.

  • Canopy Options - The Skybolt S can be built open cockpit, with a two-place canopy option, or rear-canopy only. Any canopy option can be convertible to open cockpit by constructing a second set of combing incorporating the wind screens. Changing configurations can be done in thirty minutes or less.

  • Laminated Wing Spars - Our new laminated spars are much stronger than solid single-piece construction but do not weigh any more.

  • Smoke Systems - The Skybolt S can be equipped with an integrated smoke system for airshow work, or just carving your mark in the sky.


Skybolt D (Delta)

The Skybolt Delta version is the next generation Skybolt. The Skybolt D introduces the following new features:

  • Three-Section Upper Wing - The Skybolt D introduces a new three-section upper wing, designed by aerobatic biplane master Curtis Pitts. This configuration will help the many builders without the space and means to build and transport a single-piece 24 foot wing. The center section can accommodate an eighteen-gallon fuel tank. An existing Skybolt one-piece wing set can be converted with a modest amount of rework. This new design allows higher gross and aerobatic weights.

Skybolt D Options - The Skybolt D can be built with a number of options including the following:
  • Powerplant Options - The Skybolt D can be powered by four or six-cylinder engines between 180hp and 350hp. The airplane performs strongly with a typical 260hp O-540.

  • Canopy Options - The Skybolt D can be built open cockpit, with a two-place canopy option, or rear-canopy only. Any canopy option can be convertible to open cockpit by constructing a second set of combing incorporating the wind screens. Changing configurations can be done in thirty minutes or less.

  • Laminated Wing Spars - Our new laminated spars are much stronger than solid single-piece construction but weigh the same.

  • Smoke Systems - The Skybolt D can be equipped with an integrated smoke system for airshow work, or for making your own cloud formations.


Skybolt R (Radial)

The Skybolt Radial is the long-awaited version designed for use with the popular Vendenyev M14P nine-cylinder radial engine. This version features the following:

  • New Fuselage Design - The Skybolt R has a completely new, from-scratch fuselage design by Curtis Pitts which was designed from the outset for the Vendenyev M14P radial (either the 360hp or 400 hp version.) The design features an empty weight of 1500 lbs, 2250 lb gross weight, and Curtis stressed it for the same limit and ultimate loads as he's used in all of his designs. The weight and balance allows for the oil tank to be placed forward of the firewall. The "classic" Skybolt tail feathers will mount on the new fuselage.

  • Three-Piece Upper Wing - The Skybolt R uses the same three-section upper wing design as the Skybolt Delta. This wing was also designed by Mr. Pitts.

Skybolt R Options - The Skybolt R can be built with a number of options including the following:
  • Powerplant Options - The Skybolt R can be powered by a 360hp M14P or a 400hp M14PF nine-cylinder radial. It can also be powered by low-boost direct-drive variants of the engine at 260hp for a laid-back classic version. The M14P and PF models can be either electric or air start. (Learn more about the Vendenyev M14P)

  • Canopy Options - The Skybolt R can be built open cockpit, with a two-place canopy option, or rear-canopy only. Any canopy option can be convertible to open cockpit by constructing a second set of combing incorporating the wind screens. Changing configurations can be done in thirty minutes or less.

  • Laminated Wing Spars - Our new laminated spars are much stronger than solid single-piece construction but weigh the same.

  • Smoke Systems - The Skybolt R can be equipped with an integrated smoke system for serious airshow work, or for marking your trail.


Retrofits and Rebuilds

Much of the technology introduced in the new Skybolt models are adaptable to earlier Skybolts. Most features can be incorporated into projects already underway or retrofitted onto an existing airplane during rebuild and recovering. The three-section wing option can be installed onto any version, and a quality (one-piece) wing set can be reworked into the three-section wing system. You can also install various canopy types onto these airframes. When you add these features to the options already available for canopies and various engine and equipment options, you can see that the Skybolt is indeed a very versatile airframe.

Plans Availability

Skybolt Plans, Info-Packs, and Enthusiast Items are now available in our Online Store.

 


Skybolt Logo

  •  Skybolt Home
    Specs and 3-Views:     Standard     Delta     Radial
    Airplane Photo Gallery
    Construction Photo Gallery
    History
    Flight Videos
    The Steenship
    Articles



     

    FEATURED PRODUCT FEATURED PRODUCT FEATURED PRODUCT FEATURED PRODUCT FEATURED PRODUCT
    Skybolt Instrument Panel - Front Skybolt Horizontal Tail - Complete Assembly Book - 'Skybolt' by Robert Luther Firebolt Info Pack Skybolt S (Standard) Plans
    $110.00 $1,450.00 $20.00 No Charge $165.00
    Click Here To View Our Complete Product Listings!

     

  •  
      Steen Aero Lab      1451 Clearmont Street NE   Palm Bay, FL 32905 USA     
    Phone: (321) 725-4160      Fax: (321) 725-3058      Contact Us