The Lightning EAB was designed to be an easy to build and economical to operate kit aircraft. The components used and techniques employed to build the kit do not require any special knowledge, tools, or building space. The kit is very complete and leaves little searching of suppliers for parts. All hardware is AN, the painted pre-welded components are 4130 steel,
and all machined aluminum parts are of the T6 grade. Other airframe parts include: aircraft wheels and brakes from Matco,
control cables from McFarlane Aviation supply, and a canopy
formed by one of the Leading companies in the industry. This is
all put together in a kit, along with a comprehensive build
manual that will take the guess work out of finding components to complete your Lighting, and get you in the air quicker.
What is in the box?
All main fiberglass assemblies are pre-formed and fabricated. This includes: Fuselage halves bonded together with bulkheads installed, wings closed with fuel tanks installed, all flight controls pre-molded and closed, cowls, spinner, canopy frames, cockpit seats, and baggage floors.
Welded structures, such as: motor mount, spar box assembly, gear leg sockets, and various brackets, are epoxy painted and ready to install. The landing gear is machined from 7075T6 aluminum and ready to fit. Other components are machined from 6061T6 and are ready construction.
Also supplied in the kit is raw stock 6061T6 aluminum for fabrication of longerons, pedals supports, bell-crank mounts, and other various brackets. Some fiberglass tape is also supplied for different tasks.
There are a variety of components that are sourced from other aviation industry manufacturers. The Wheels and Brakes come from Matco Mfg
(these are the 5” size and use standard 500-5 tires). The Canopy and quarter windows are supplied by Aircraft Windshields Inc. All hardware is drop shipped from Aircraft Spruce.
The Lightning kit comes with the firewall forward package for the Jabiru 3300
engine. This includes: all engine controls, carb heat system, oil recovery system, battery and battery mount hardware, oil cooler, and AN fittings with braided lines.
As mentioned before, the motor mount, cowls, and spinner are included too.
What is not included?
You will have to get an engine. The Kit was designed around the Jabiru 3300
120hp aircraft engine. Arion Aircraft, LLC has these in stock for the kits we sell. A prop that is suited to the plane you are building must be purchased. We have tested a lot of props, and
we can suggest a prop for the Lighting you are building.
The kit does not come with any avionics. Since this is one area that many builders like to add there own touches too, we do not supply any. Also with that in mind, we do not supply an Interior. There is a local shop here in Shelbyville that does our interiors, and
we can supply a custom kit to meet your needs. There is no paint, but
you will have a gel-coat surface, free of pinholes to start body prep on.
Because you are building a fiberglass aircraft and will need extra epoxy and resin from time to time, or fiberglass cloth, we do not supply it. Arion Aircraft, LLC does not have the correct chemicals approval to ship this item, so the cost is eliminated from the kit, and you will need to purchase some from Aircraft spruce.
We have several optional items not included with the kit which can be purchased at any time. One item which must be ordered at the time of kit order is the long range fuel tanks. These are integrated into the wings and can not be changed.
Long range tanks increase fuel capacity from 22 gallons to 30 gallons total.
For the EAB “Go-fast” kits, we do offer a speed fairing kit. This will increase cruise speed about 10knts, and decrease fuel burn. These are a tedious part to fit and install, but well worth your efforts in performance and looks.
If you decide to build your kit to meet the LSA requirements, you will need to slow the stall speed down some. We offer a wing tip extension with winglet to do so.
This will add roughly 12sqft of wing area, and bring the span up to 30’ 6” from 27’ 2”. Even if
you are not building the LSA compliant version, this will help climb rates, takeoff distance, and, if installed on a “Go-fast” Lightning, increase the cruise speed about 8knts above 10,000ft.
Other items which are optional include: landing light pockets for the wings, boarding steps, Aluminum Spinner, and a few others.
Building the kit
The Lightning kit is considered a quick built kit in industry terms. It should take an average builder with some mechanical skills about 500 hours to complete the basic structure of the Lightning. A 2 car garage is best, however it has been done successfully in a single car garage.
A comprehensive build manual, with good photos and simple CAD drawings, is on-line to help you thru the process
. This manual is online in the support section of this web page.
There is also a Lightning chat group which you can join and get ample amounts of building tips and suggestions. You can always call us here at Arion Aircraft, LLC, or any of our dealers to get the help you need in building the Lightning kit.