What's in a name? Foxbat, Valor, Vision, Shark...it's still an A-22 manufactured by Aeroprakt in the Ukraine.
Following the recent import by Andrew Papas of a Valor from the USA, I would like to clarify the confusion that has crept into the marketplace. DreamWings has been importing and selling the Aeroprakt A-22 "Foxbat" since 2003, and to date 21 have been imported. We have the sole agency for this aircraft in Southern Africa.
The A-22 is manufactured in the Ukraine by Aeroprakt. The official type is the A-22, but because the name is not too inspiring, we in SA, the UK and Australia we have nicknamed it the "Foxbat". In France it is called the "Vision", in Eastern Europe the "Shark", and in the USA the previous dealer called it the "Valor".
The US dealer, FPNA, sold this aircraft directly to Andrew, indicating that it was manufactured in the USA and was a different aircraft from the Foxbat. However, Aeroprakt ship the entire airframe to the USA, where they make some small changes to make it US LSA compliant. FPNA replace the ceconite on the top surface of the wing with aluminium, install the Rotax engine to LSA specifications, and equip the aircraft for night VFR use. FPNA used the same German DULV certification documents to get LSA acceptance in the USA as we have used to get CAA non-type acceptance here...it is the same aircraft. I have an email from the directors of Aeroprakt confirming this.
The aircraft that Andrew has is equipped with yokes instead of a centre stick. This is not unusual as nearly 1/2 of the Foxbat's in South Africa are fitted with yokes. Andrews aircraft also has an EFIS, and again, we have 5 Foxbat's flying using the South African Enigma EFIS and one with the Dynon. Nav, Strobe and tail lights - yes, we fit those too.
Importing these great aircraft from the USA and selling them in competition with us is simply not acceptable. We have taken this up with the manufacturer and will seek legal advise if necessary.
I'm not sure of the reason for importing the A-22 from the USA and selling them in competition to us, especially that the price works out R200k more for the US version - extra shipping plus extra (expensive) US labour.
Hopefully we can resolve this and save SA's small aviation industry from trying to cut each other's throats. Rather we respect each other and one another's products and aim our efforts at greater industry issues, like CAA.