Sadler Aircraft, a newly-formed company in Roseburg, Oregon, plans to produce an LSA version of the Sadler Vampire, a 1980s ultralight design that remains a cult classic in the U.S. and in Australia.
While the original Vampires were Rotax-powered single-seaters, the new design will feature side-by-side seating for two, and a 65-hp Rotomax rotary engine driving a pusher prop. Flyaway price is $79,900, and a 120-hp engine will also be available, according to David Littlejohn, head of Sadler Aircraft.
“We’re now considering whether to go ahead with a high performance version, with 450-hp Chevy V-8,” he says. “This would be based on the Piranha, a combat variant that Bill Sadler designed for Turkish Aerospace in 1997. It had unbelievable performance-it could climb almost straight up at 4,000 feet per minute.”
Low slung and menacing, the Vampire shares its basic configuration with the de Havilland Vampire, an early British jet fighter. And despite being classified as an “ultralight,” the single-seat Vampire was a maneuverable performer stressed for plus or minus 6Gs.
Rights to the Vampire changed hands more than once over the years, and the design has found its most ardent supporters in Australia. Ken Garland and his company, Aero V Australia, hold the Type Acceptance Certificate for the single-seat model.