Named the UL-39 'Albi', it is powered by a BMW 1000cm3 engine driving an internal ducted-fan. The airframe, fan, Fowler flaps and many other components are made from pre-preg carbon fibre which is autoclaved for maximum strength.
With a wingspan of 7.2 m (23.7 ft), empty weight of 320 kg (704 lb) and minimum flying speed of 65 km/h (35 kt), the UL-39 can be registered in the European 472.5 kg ultralight category.
The exquisitely-designed prototype is the result of 17 years of work, 200 engineers/post-graduate students and nearly NZ$ 1 million of investment. . Skyleader test pilot, Radim Sterba, made the first flights on 4 April proving that this project is viable.
It is intended to develop the UL-39 aircraft further and put it into production for private aviation and military training. The price is estimated at Euro 180,000 (NZ$300,000 approx). Maximum level speed is expected to be 340 km/h (184 kt) with a 2 hr endurance.