The Sadler SV-1 Vampire is a single-seat ultralight sport aircraft developed in the United States in the early 1980s. It is uncharacteristic of ultralight designs in both its layout and its construction. The Vampire is a mid-wing cantilever monoplane of pod-and-boom configuration and twin booms joined by a common horizontal stabilizer. The wings fold for storage and transport, and the undercarriage is of fixed tricycle type. The single engine is mounted pusher-fashion at the rear of the pod that also includes the open cockpit. Construction throughout is of metal.
The Vampire won the "Grand Champion Design" Award at the EAA Fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin in August 1982. Subsequently, designer William Sadler founded American Microflight (later Sadler Aircraft Company) to produce the aircraft. Series production began in February 1983, and had reached the rate of four per month by 1984. Rights to this sport version were sold to Aero.V.Australia based at Illawarra Regional Airport in Albion Park Rail, New South Wales.
By the late 1980s, Sadler was offering a militarized version of the design as the Piranha. Equipped with an enclosed cockpit, bullet-resistant fuselage pod made of Kevlar, machine gun mounts in the wing roots, and a hardpoint under each wing for disposable stores, the Piranha is intended to provide ground attack, counter-insurgency, and interdiction missions. Power was originally provided by a converted Volkswagen air-cooled engine, but a converted Chevrolet V-8 automotive engine was eventually fitted.
A UAV version was developed around the same time. Designated the UAV-18-50, it carried a pilot for takeoffs and landings. It never flew without a pilot on board and was never fitted with any armament.
Specifications (Vampire Ultralight)
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1985–87, p.677
Specifications (Vampire LSA)
Data from http://www.sadleraircraft.com/specs.html
Published in July 2009.
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