Established in 1993, Kitplanes for Africa started producing the Bushbaby aircraft. The Bushbaby made a name for itself as a true Bushplane in the Microlight and Light Sport Aircraft category and soon became South Africa's best selling light aircraft with more than 160 sold. 2003 saw the birth of the Explorer, in essence a larger Bushbaby with some upgrades and subtle changes in the process. A third model was added in 2008 to the already popular pool called the Safari. The Safari is the largest of the three models with a maximum take off weight of 750kg (Experimental) but restricted to 600kg in the LSA (light sport category).
KFA is based at the Petit Airport (FARA) near Benoni, Johannesburg, South Africa
In 2018 the process for acquiring the German DULV type approval for the Bushbaby Explorer was started. This aircraft fell into the new 600kg UL category in Germany and it was decided to use the German DULV (a local German Rereational Ultright Assosiation) as the certifying body and also use the LTF-UL 2019 certification standard as the basis for the approval. It was also decided to rename the Bushbaby Explorer to the EXPLORER UL-600. During October 2018 all structural and computational requirements were met and the factory prototype was issued a Permit to Fly. The type Approval will be issued once the Flight Test phase is completed, after which Production build Aircraft can be supplied to customers. We expect this process to be completed by end of May 2019.
All KFA models will be available in kit or fly-away form. Factory completed Safari aircraft will only be available from mid 2019 when all approvals should be in place. (depending on the country being exported too, every country has their own local rules with regards to accepting foreign production build UL aircraft) Kit delivery times vary according to factory work load but are currently at around 8 weeks. The kits are easy to build and the average builder normally takes less than 600hr's to complete a build from a standard non-quickbuild kit. Various quick-build options are available that significantly reduce build times.
KFA has the best builder support in the Industry. You become part of the KFA family when you build or own one of our aircraft and we will always be there to support you, no matter where you are in the world. No real special tools are required to build your own aircraft and the ones we recommend can be bought with the kit for less than 100 usd.
Engineered for Adventure is what we do and “Build For The Bush” is our motto. Built to be off-field aircraft and suited to the harsh African environment. With super STOL capabilities, high payloads, a decent 100kt cruise (depending on engine and prop) and good endurance, the KFA range of aircraft are of the worlds best in category aircraft when comparing safety, STOL performance, ease of maintenance, affordability and a long history behind it.
The Explorer falls comfortably in the Light Sport Aircraft or UL-600 category with empty weights around 340-360kg including a rescue system. This leaves ample room for exploring new frontiers whilst carrying a 105 liter fuel load and 30kg of luggage. With cruise speeds ranging from 85-105kts depending on engine and propeller combinations, good STOL capabilities and good range, the Explorer will take you places and wont break the bank while doing so. “Dare to Explorer”
Development and refinement of the product is ongoing, engine choices tried and tested with excellent results are Rotax 582, 912UL and 912ULS, Rotax 912 ULST, Rotax 914, Rotax 912iS, Rotax 915iS, Jabiru 2200, 3300, Rotec radial 2800, UL 260i, Lycoming and Verner radial. Options are actively explored with spring gear, Berringer Alsakan Bushwheel and landing gear, EFIS instrumentation, brake systems, propellers, STOL modifications and full airframe fairing kits.
To date Kitplanes for Africa has produced in excess of 400 airframes, some of which have been exported to Germany, Australia, USA, UK, Netherlands, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
SACAA part 148 manufacturing approval no: M715