What Are The Differences Between Jabiru J250 and J230?


The need and demand for light-sport aircraft are rising, with several manufacturers producing various airplanes to fill this gap. One of the leading aircraft assembly lines in the U.S. is Jabiru USA, which assembling plants in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The airline assembly company is known for its J250 and J230 aircraft models that stormed the light aircraft industry.

The Jabiru J250 and J230 are known for their superb design and performance capabilities. Its components are from countries outside the USA, with Australian-based Jabiru Aircraft providing most of the aircraft components found in these two aircraft. Despite sourcing materials from Australia, the USA-based assembly line conducts additional processing like molding. They ensure their aircraft comply with the relevant regulations concerning operational safety monitoring, making the airplanes U.S. products. 

What is Jabiru J250?

Jabiru J250 is an aircraft made by Jabiru Aircraft, a new product in the USA light-sport aircraft (LSA) market. Its manufacturer, Jabiru Aircraft, is an Australian airline company that also makes aircraft engines and frames.

While its appearance looks small, the modern cruiser has a large cockpit with additional space for luggage. The two-seat airplane’s design uses different components in its assembling. J250’s fuselage is similar to other Jabiru airplanes like the J400, which is a four-seat aircraft. The spacious baggage area is primarily because the J250 one does not have a rear seat as J400, which leaves more space for luggage. However, overloading the spacious luggage area can compromise the aircraft’s performance.

The aircraft’s interior features a bright-colored glass cockpit with avionics, an EIS, and an EFIS system. It also has impressive features that give it good performance capabilities.

The aviation product is airworthy and in high demand across the United States. It meets all the aviation industry operational safety standards and has certification from the Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA).

How was J250 produced?

The J250’s design and manufacture use the 3300 120 HP engine from the Bundaberg West-based airline company, Jabiru Aircraft. However, it consists of several components, and its assembling is done in the U.S. by the Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft, LLC, which is unlike other European-imported light-sport aircraft. 

Jabiru USA uses components that comply with the American assembly line standard requirements. However, they make different processes to these components, which include bonding and fiberglass works. It’s worth noting that Australian aircraft manufacturers use to make similar components, irrespective of their end-use, for certified planes, kits for other planes, or export to other countries.

Jabiru Aircraft doesn’t make full planes for the U.S. market intentionally due to its lack of belief in meeting ASTM’s continuous safety monitoring standards. While Jabiru USA sources J250’s components from many countries, it does the assembling, and the end-product, J250, is made an American product.  

What Is Jabiru J230?

Jabiru J230 is another light-sport aircraft from Jabiru USA. Like J250, it has a 3300 120 HP engine and uses different components, most of which are from Jabiru Aircraft. It differs from most LSA-legal airplanes as it is a four-seat plane with only a pair of chairs. The LSA requirement is that the aircraft should be a two-seater. The lack of an extra pair of chairs in J230 meets the strict LSA requirements in the U.S.

The Jabiru J250aircraft has a lightweight of 800 pounds, giving it excellent performance capabilities together with its powerful engine. It can cruise at a speed of 120 knots and requires only 700 feet to take off the ground. Landing is equally comfortable, thanks to its 45 knots stalling speed that allows it to cover 640 feet to come to a complete stop.  

 This aircraft model can carry a lot of luggage, thanks to the extra space left by its pair of chairs. However, overloading the plane can cause a speed reduction. It has several panel configurations, with the large ones can carry a dual brightly-colored display with modern avionics.

Jabiru J230 aircraft’s design serves to give it excellent performance capabilities. The plane, whose assembling is in Shelbyville, Tennessee, can carry reasonable amounts of luggage and maintain the speed limits set by relevant aviation bodies in the U.S.

The airplane satisfies all the requirements for operational light-sport aircraft and has certification from the Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA).

How was J230 produced?

Jabiru USA’s initial idea was to design and manufacture the J200 aircraft series for the U.S. market. However, they were to use a wing with a short tail, which could not allow the airplane to reach a speed of 45 knots (this was ASTM’s minimum requirement for light-sport aircraft).

This J230 series from Jabiru USA weighs 840 pounds and has a strong engine that allows it to give a good cruising experience. It can reach a maximum acceleration speed of 120 knots and cover 492 feet before it gets off the ground. It uses a stalling speed of 40 knots when it is landing and comes to a complete stop after a 656-feet runway distance. 

Jaribu’s next move was to use the wings on J250, which was superior to J200 (in terms of initial climb and service ceiling), but with a slower speed. However, to meet LSA’s weight standards of 1320 pounds, they had to cut its loading weight, a thing they were not ready to do.

Due to its customers’ immense pressure, Jabiru USA had to fix the wings to another J series aircraft whose design was for ultra-light airplanes in Europe. The end-product was the Jabiru J230 aircraft.

Jabiru J250 vs. J230

Jabiru USA, the company that assembles the Jabiru J250 and J230 aircraft, was banking on the idea of making a product that not only satisfies the market needs and demands but a plane that was in full compliance with the requirements of light-sport aircraft. Below are the details of the aircraft’s design components (the similarities and differences), engine specifications, and performance capabilities.  

Design of Jabiru J250 and J230 (The Similarities/ Differences in the Design of J250 and J230)

Similarities in Design

Jabiru J250 and J230 use similar engines (3300 120 Horsepower), and their assembling happens in the USA. Their wings have identical materials.  

Both planes use a fixed tricycle landing gear that features various components. Each airplane has a Jabiru engine, a 6-cylinder, and 4-stroke air-cooled engine with hydraulic filters (Read: same engine manufacturer).

Their design is in full compliance with the standards as set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The measures, which has made them get the airworthiness certification from ASTM, concerns the following;

  • Their design has met the LSA’s performance standard specifications.
  • Their manufacture has met LSA’s quality assurance requirements for Fixed Wing aircraft.
  • They have met LSA’s requirements for continued operational air safety monitoring.
  • Their care and development of maintenance comply with ASTM’s requirement for light-sport aircraft.

They both use a similar procedure to start the engine, which is straightforward. It includes a feature to warm up the engine during cold seasons.

Both planes have spacious baggage areas. While J250’s baggage area is due to its two-seat capacity, J230’s space is due to the absence of the extra pair of chairs.

Differences in Design

The Jabiru J250 and J230 have varying weight and balance capabilities. While the J250 has a most forward and most aft center of gravity of 6.89 and 13.3 inches aft of datum, the J230 has 3.89 and 11.1 inches aft of datum, respectively.

The two have varying seating capacities. The J250 is a two-seater aircraft with a spacious luggage area, while the J230 is made to carry four persons but has one pair of chairs.

J250’s rudder steering control is a bit unresponsive and requires the pilot’s extra effort, making it difficult to make sharp corners. The J230 does not have this problem.

Jabiru J230 has slightly longer and narrower wings compared to those of J250. Check section VI (questions) below to find the reason for the wing differences in J250 and J230.

 Description of Jabiru J250 & J230 Characteristics/ Specification

The Jabiru J250 and J230 have different engine specifications. Their specific engine characteristics serve to allow the aircraft to perform better than other LSA in the market. However, some specifications are similar to both airplanes.

The table below shows the unique design specifications in Jabiru J250 and J230 aircraft.

 Jabiru J250Jabiru J230
Engine TypeJabiru 3300 120 HPJabiru 3300 120 HP
Standard PropellerSensenich Wood (Fiberglass Sheathed)Sensenich Wood (Fiberglass Sheathed)
Length21 feet, 5 inches 21 feet, 5 inches
Height7 feet, 10 inches7 feet, 10 inches
Tail Plane’s Width7 feet, 10 inches7 feet, 10 inches
Cabin’s Width Hip44 inches44 inches
Elbow44.9 inches44.9 inches
Shoulder43.4 inches43.4 inches
Wing Area105 square feet120 square feet
Wing Chord39 inches48 inches
Wing Span32 feet, 5 inches30 feet
Wing Load (For Each Wing)12.5 pounds/ square feet11 pounds/ square feet
Aspect Ratio9.5: 17.5: 1
Weight (Empty)800 pounds840 pounds
Weight (Gross)1320 pounds1320 pounds
Usable Load520 pounds480 pounds
Structural Loading+4.0G -2.0G+4.0G -2.0G
Usable Fuel35.4 gallons36 gallons
Range800-newton meter800-newton meter
Endurance6.5 hours (with reserve)6.5 hours (with reserve)
Fuel Consumption (For Each Cruise)4.5 to 5.5 gallons/ hour4.5 to 5.5 gallons/ hour

Performance of J250 and J230

Despite having the same type of engines and similar features, the Jabiru J250 and J230 have varying performance capabilities. The comparison table below shows their varying performance strengths.

 Jabiru J250Jabiru J230
Maximum Speed120 knots120 knots
Cruise Speed120 knots120 knots
Stall Speed45 knots40 knots
Rate of Climbing (at gross weight)700 feet/ minute1000 feet/ minute
Takeoff Distance (at gross weight)700 feet492 feet
Landing Distance (at gross weight)640 feet656 feet
AirworthinessIt Has Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) certificationIt Has Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) certification
Baggage AreaLargeLarge

Final Thoughts

This article shows you the specific Jabiru J250 and J230 details. It includes details of their engine specifications and performance level, given their speed, range, climbing rates, takeoff and landing distances, and many other performance parameters. The key similarities and differences in the design of both Jabiru USA airplanes are part of the article’s information.

The article highlights how the design and manufacture of J250 and J230 comply with the light-sport aircraft requirements in the U.S. market. They also satisfy the needs and demands of its users.

Please note that the above information holds at the time of writing this article. However, the aircraft’s specification may change in the future due to continuous upgrading or new requirements for LSA.

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