Cheetah Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)  aircraft review, Cheetah light sport aircraft review and pilot report, rating the Cheetah light sport aircraft.

Light Sport aircraft news coverage of the Aircraft, including the factory history, the kit, the planes performance and an interview with a builder.


Cheetah XLS lightsport aircraft specifications. Cheetah XLS light sport aircraft power.
Cheetah XLS lightsport aircraft construction. Cheetah XLS light sport aircraft cockpit and controls.
  Cheetah XLS lightsport aircraft pilot report.




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Rating the Cheetah XLS light sport aircraft from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best or easiest. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Design - Structure, history, safety, resale value,              



According to the factory the wing structure has been tested to a G loading of +6 / -4 G with 1.5 x margin of safety so the wings are tested to +9 G / -6 G. The pilot enclosure is extremely strong. The plane is relatively new to the U.S. There are not enough kits flying in the U.S. to get a good idea on the resale value.
Kit - Construction style, complexity, knowledge requirement                


The Cheetah XLS kit features simple aluminum tube, bolt and rivet together construction covered in Trilam sail cloth.
Factory - Years in business, kits produced, kits flying.                  

The factory has been producing Cheetah Kits since 2001. Over 100 aircraft have been delivered and are flying.
Manuals - Ease of reading, completeness, drawings and diagrams                  

Assembly Manual - A kit builds log can be viewed at 
Cockpit - Comfort, noise, visibility,              



Entrance and exit to the Cheetah is a little awkward, until you have done it once or twice, as it sits a little higher than most on it's gear. Visibility is good to excellent. Noise is a little above average when flown with the Jabiru 2200 85 HP direct drive engine.
Ground handling and suspension - System, complexity, does it work              



The suspension works well, and ground steering is excellent. The brakes are operated via a lever on the joy stick. The brakes used would probably be okay for a single place Quicksilver MX, but for the speed and weight of the Cheetah XLS they are no where near adequate!
Flight Controls - Pressure, comfort, effectiveness,              



The flight controls gave excellent feed back. The throttles which are located on each side of the cabin on arm rests were quite comfortable. The draw back is the center mounted stick, to activate the flap handle located overhead between the seats, a pilot has to release either the throttle or the stick to reach up and deploy them.
Propulsion Package - Reliability, noise, vibration,              



The Cheetah XLS flown for this report was powered by a Jabiru 85 HP, 4 cylinder direct drive engine. The engine provided excellent climb and cruise performance for a craft this size. This engine has proven to be very reliable, and inexpensive to own and operate. Noise is a little louder than expected. Vibration from the engine was about average for most planes I have flown with this engine or a Rotax 912.
Performance - Compared to other craft with same weight, power and style of control systems.                


The Cheetah XLS powered by the Jabiru 2200 climbs out at between 650 and 700 feet per minute. Cruise comes in at a comfortable 80 to 85 mph. This puts it in the middle of the performance spectrum for most lightsport aircraft powered by 80 to 85 HP engines.
Editors Note: The factory reports that they feel the reported cruise should be 90 to 95 mph. and Jon Syvertson indicates that he flies the Cheetah XLS at 90 mph at 2850 rpm.
Overall Rating                


The Cheetah XLS gets a rating of 8.5. It is one of the lowest price LSA's out there. It looks good, flies great, has over 100 sisters ships flying worldwide. Has people behind it in the U.S. that are committed to making it a success.
Video - Quality, depth, arrangement Promotional                  


Video - Quality, depth, arrangement Assembly                  


Aerial photography - Digital aerial photography - over 40 years experience!

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