Just Escapade

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Just Highlander (N942K) - 1.jpg
Just Highlander
Role Two seat ultralight aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Just Aircraft LLC
Reality Aircraft Ltd
First flight 22 February 2003
Number built 230 kits, all variants, by mid-2010
Unit cost

Escapade, 2010, plus tax:

  • UK, £12,600, without engine or instruments
  • USA, $ 23,800
Variants Lanitz Escapade Two
Just Superstol

The Just Escapade is a single-engine, high-wing light aircraft, seating two in side-by-side configuration. It was jointly developed in the United States and the United Kingdom in the early 2000s and by 2010 some 145 Escapades and its "bush plane" variant, the Highlander, had been built and many more kits sold.

Design and development[edit]

The Escapade design can be traced back to that of the Avid Flyer, via the Denney Kitfox and Reality Easy Raider,[1] marrying the Easy Raider's wing to a stretched Kitfox Lite fuselage. The key differences between the two types are the Escapade's side-by-side seating in a widened cabin, dual controls, and the option of a tricycle undercarriage[2] It was developed jointly in the United States and UK by Just Aircraft and Reality Aircraft respectively,[3] the American prototype flying in February 2003, four months before the British one. These prototypes differed to fit into local classifications.[2]

The Escapade has a Chromoloy steel frame and is largely fabric covered. The wings have constant chord, ending in Hoerner-type wingtips; the trailing edges are aluminum. The ailerons and flaps, which can extend to 40°, have glass fiber leading edges. The wings are braced to the lower fuselage longerons with V-form struts and vertical jury struts. The fuselage is polygonal in section, sloping inwards above and below the center line, with a flat aluminum upper surface that slopes upwards from the tail to the wing trailing edge, at the rear of the cabin. The empennage is conventional, the low aspect ratio tailplane with its swept leading edge and rounded elevators located at the top of the fuselage. There is a portside flight-adjustable elevator trim tab with optional electric drive. The unbalanced rudder extends to the keel, moving in a V-shaped gap between the elevators.[2]

The seating is under the leading edge of the wing with a cabin roof window in the wing center section. Access is through side transparencies. Engine options include several Rotax or Jabiru units in the 37-89 kW (50-120 hp) range, driving two- or three-blade propellers and enclosed in a composite cowling. Both undercarriage versions have the main wheels on faired-in V-form struts mounted on the lower fuselage longerons, with rubber-sprung half axles fixed to a compression frame. The conventional tailwheel is steerable but the alternative nose wheel castors freely, though a steerable version is planned.[2]

The Highlander version, intended for rough airstrips and marketed only in the U.S.A., is designed to fly slowly and has a more robust undercarriage. Its wing has a 3 ft (910 mm) greater span, with vortex generators over the whole upper leading edge, and the fin is square cornered and 8 in (200 mm) taller. Its tail control surfaces are horn balanced and increased in area. The Highlander always has the conventional undercarriage, strengthened, with tundra tires and enhanced brakes. A 99 hp (74 kW) Rotax 912 ULS engine is fitted and allows a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 lbs (598 kg).[2]

The Jabiru-engined UK Escapade prototype gained its permit to fly in September 2003 and the SLA prototype received British Civil Aircraft Rules section S approval from the LAA in April 2008. The Highlander was introduced in 2004.[2]

Operational history[edit]

The Escapade made its first public appearance in the U.S.A. at Sun'n'Fun, Lakeland, Florida in April 2003 and in the U.K. at the PFA International Rally at Kemble in July. The type was Grand Champion lightplane at the following year's Sun'n'Fun. By mid-2010 230 kits had been produced, with more than 65 Escapades and 80 Highlanders built and flown.[2] In early 2012 there were 34 Escapades on the UK register.[4] One ex-UK aircraft had by 2010 moved to the Irish Republic register.[5]


[Notes 1]

Standard version, with range of engines, including the 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912ULS, the 115 hp (86 kW) turbocharged Rotax 914, 85 hp (63 kW) Jabiru 2200 and the 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300 powerplants.,[6] choice of undercarriage; kits sold in both USA and UK. 65 flown by 2010.
Escapade Two
Version built by Escapade Aircraft of Salisbury, United Kingdom. The original Escapade model was renamed Escapade Two from 2011 to differentiate it from the single-seat version.[7]
Larger wing, with anti-stall devices; larger fin and elevators; balanced tail control surfaces; strengthened conventional undercarriage. Engines are the 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912ULS, the 115 hp (86 kW) turbocharged Rotax 914, 85 hp (63 kW) Jabiru 2200 and the 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300 powerplants.[6] Kits sold USA only.[7] 80 flown by 2010.
Just Aircraft SuperSTOL takeoff
Just Superstol
Development of the Highlander with leading edge slats and robust landing gear.[8]

Specifications (Escapade, Rotax UL)[edit]

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2011/12[2]

General characteristics

  • Capacity: two
  • Length: 19 ft 0 in (5.79 m) excluding propeller. Wings folded 19 ft 2 in (5.84 m)
  • Wingspan: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
  • Width: 7 ft 11.5 in (2.426 m) wings folded
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) with tailwheel undercarriage
  • Wing area: 108.0 sq ft (10.03 m2)
  • Empty weight: 562 lb (255 kg) UK; USA, 615 lb (279 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 992 lb (450 kg) UK; USA, 1,320 lb (598 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 68 L (18.0 US gal; 15.0 Imp gal) standard
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 912UL air- and water-cooled flat four
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Powerfin


  • Cruise speed: 92 mph; 148 km/h (80 kn) ;as all performance data, at maximum US take-off weight
  • Stall speed: 26 mph; 43 km/h (23 kn) power off, flaps down
  • Never exceed speed: 130 mph (209 km/h; 113 kn)
  • g limits: +4/-2
  • Take-off run: 300 ft (92 m)
  • Landing run: 300 ft (92 m)


  1. ^ Despite the similar name, the Escapade Kid is not a direct relative of the Escapade Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2012-13, p.590


  1. ^ "Escapade lineage". Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Jackson, Paul (2011). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2011-12. Coulsdon, Surrey: IHS Jane's. pp. 771–2. ISBN 978-0-7106-2955-5. 
  3. ^ "BMAA on Escapade". Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "CAA - Escapade registrations". Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Partington, Dave (2010). European registers handbook 2010. Air Britain (Historians) Ltd. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-85130-425-0. 
  6. ^ a b Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015-16, page 65. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN 1368-485X
  7. ^ a b Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 46 and 62. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  8. ^ Bernard, Mary and Suzanne B. Bopp: Just Aircraft" Superstol, Kitplanes, Volume 29, Number 12, December 2012, page 26. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851

External links[edit]