The Aeroprakt A-22LS is an Ukrainian-designed, metal-structured,
side-by-side two-seater ultralight aircraft, with an excellent short
take-off and landing (STOL) performance. The A22 is designed by
Aeroprakt Kiev. The history of Aeroprakt Kiev began in 1986 when Yuri
Yakovlev, after graduating from Kuybyshev (now Samara) aviation
institute, was invited to work at the Antonov Design Bureau in Kiev.
Having met the fellows in his hobby Yuri founded together with them an
amateur aircraft design club which received the name Aeroprakt nearly
similar named as the Aeropract in Kuybyshev the club where Yuri begun
his activity as aircraft designer and made his first successful steps in
this area. Kiev Aeroprakt began its activity from aerodynamic research
of Aeroprakt-8 aeroplane built by Yuri Yakovlev during his work in
Kuybyshev Aeropract. The research was carried out in a wind tunnel of
the Central Hydro-Aerodynamic Institute in Moscow. In winter of 1987
Kiev Aeroprakt started designing and building the two-seat primary
trainer Aeroprakt "T-8", and in 1991 the prototype A-20 was built by
members of the Aeroprakt Aero Club at Kiev. Among the club members were
aeronautical engineers employed by the Antonov company. The airplanes
were designed by Yuri Yakolev, Aeroprakt started production of the A-20 "Chervonets"
in 1993, initially with Finnish funding. The prototype of the A22 first
flew in November 1996 and was designated the A-22 "Sharik". The A-22 is
a two-seat ultralight airplane combining the advantages of a traditional
airplane layout (strut-braced highwing side-by-side two-seater with
engine in front and tricycle undercarriage with steerable nose-wheel and
traditional all-metal design. The continuity in structure of A-20 and
A-22 (wing and tail), wide-scale use of traditional and reliable "metal"
technology, high level of pilot comfort, excellent flight performance
and "classic" appearance of A-22 are the warrants of its success in the
light airplane market. At the present time A-22 is produced in series.
The A22 is available as a basic kit, a quick-build "final assembly kit"
or as a factory-built, fly-away sport aircraft. Standard engine is now
the 100hp Rotax 912UL-S although the plane performs very well with the
basic 80hp Rotax 912UL. Other power units such as the Jabiru could also
be considered. Yuri originally dubbed his new design "Sharik" likely
because of the distinctive fin. In Germany the plane has achieved
certification to the demanding BFU-95 requirement but is known simply as
the A-22. In the USA they call it the "Valor" or "Valour". In Britain
the A22 is called the "Foxbat". When the conditions are met, the Aeroprakt A-22LS is
approved as glider tug for gliders with a maximum take-off mass of 700 kg.