Friday, February 5, 2010

The Foxbat, the Gazelle and the mysterious Stollite

After posting about the trip Chris and I took to Taree, I received an email from Jamie Honan from the Sydney Recreational Flying Club who pointed me to a slideshow of photos he took on a similar trip to Taree in a Foxbat A22.

The Sydney Recreational Flying Club is based at The Oaks, an airfield 25 nautical miles west of Bankstown. I have to admit I was never curious enough to visit the airfield and only knew The Oaks as one of the entry points to Camden aerodrome. It is now firmly on my list of places to fly to.

Looking at their web site I realised The Oaks is home to a vibrant community of aviation enthusiasts. It's not often that one comes across a flying club where a significant portion of members are not only owners, but builders of airplanes. And not only builders of kit aircrafts, which is increasingly popular and already a great achievement, but also the type of builders who master the entire process, from initial idea to flying aircraft.

The photos were taken from the FoxBat and show a Skyfox Gazelle and a Stollite in formation. Don't try to look up the manufacturer's web site for the Stollite because there's none. Arthur Armour, an instructor with SRFC who runs the Taree Wing of the club, built it himself and called it Stollite as in STOL Lite. A few performance figures and design details can be found here.

Digging deeper into the web site, I discovered SRFC members do not only build airplanes from scratch, they also build their own hangars. My hat off to them, they sure know how to keep the spirit of the pioneers of aviation alive.

Speaking of plane crazy people, I will be attending the Wings over Illawarra airshow organised by the Historical Aircraft Reconstruction Society on February 28th at Wollongong aerodrome. There's a fantastic program with the RAAF Roulettes and Connie among others, and all the profits go to a good cause. Now let's just hope the weather cooperates.

Updated: Arthur Armour kindly sent me a link to his photo gallery. Building stuff seems to be a common theme in Arthur's life: the house, the hangar and multiple airplanes: the Super Cricket, the LR-2, the Stollite and Arthur's ongoing project, the 'T'Star. An amazing range of skills.


Jamie said...

Thanks for the mention Julien.

Club president Joe Newham and his lovely wife Rebecca actually flew the Foxbat to Taree, Darryl Montgomery and I flew for the photos. Joe was in the Gazelle.

Although The Oaks is perhaps atypical in the number of home builts and home designs, it is by no means unique.

The whole recreational aviation movement in Australia has heaps of examples.

The web pages of Recreational Aviation Australia has more information, see especially the 'members market'.

Our big meetup is Natfly, this year held at Easter in Temora. Hepas of examples of home builts and home designs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julien,

I've really enjoyed reading your blog, particularly as I am also a part-time flyer based at Schofields and a Piper 'convert'. If you're ever interested it would be great to share piloting duties on a trip somewhere - just shoot me an email.

Ed (

Pylon500 said...

G'Day Julien, just thought you might like a link to a photo archive of all the various things I've done over the years with Ultralights and instructing with the SRFC.
Have a look at;
I cant create a link?
Arthur Armour.

Julien said...

@Arthur: I added links to your various projects at the bottom of the post.

I am absolutely amazed by the range of skills you display through the various projects. Laurence Hargrave would be proud!

mlesser said...

Hi Julien.

Thanks for reading my blog. Glad you liked the photos and be sure to drop by regularly. I learnt to fly at Bankstown so its nice to see a blog referring to NSW aviation. Hopefully in the not too distant future i'll be flying 402's and 404's and have some more interesting photos to show.

Cheers Mike.