Thorp T-11 / T-211
Indus Aviation T211 Thorpedo
IndUS Aviation Sport E
A modern, higher horsepower version of John Thorp’s design, the Sky Scooter.
The Thorp T-211, was designed by John Thorp and first flown in 1945. The original airplane was designed and type certificated in 1946 as the Thorp T11. Thorp constructed eight prototypes, and had the design certified by the FAA, but was unable to find a foothold in the Cessna-dominated post-war US market. With its low parts count and matched-hole drilling process, it is an easy airplane to build and an easy airplane to fly, for the first time builder/pilot.
The T-211 was developed with a 90 horsepower continental upgrade in 1953. The project was therefore shelved until the homebuilding boom saw the rights to the aircraft acquired first by Adams Industries and then by Thorp Aero in the 1970s, the latter firm building five examples as the Thorp Arrow or T-211 Aero Sport built in Sturgis Kentucky, but only sold overseas or part 141 operations due to current liability laws. The kits were then manufactured by AD Aerospace in the United Kingdom and Venture Light Aircraft in the United States.
Tubular Aircraft Products Company Inc built under licence from Thorp Aircraft Company the Model 211. From 1965, Tubular Aircraft Products built 100 parts kits with Continental O-200 powerplants and 11 production models. Eight built by Spring 1965; suspended 1966.
In 2010 the aircraft was also back in production as a kit aircraft by AD Aerospace of Manchester, United Kingdom. This model is powered by a six-cylinder 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300 powerplant. The kit, less engine, sold for £15,000 in 2011.
A Wilksch Airmotive WAM-120 turbocharged 3-cylinder, 2 stroke, diesel, which burns 3-3.5 USGPH of Jet A fuel has been tested in a Thorpe T-211 in England. In four years to 2008, the aircraft completed 400 hrs. Performance included a 500 fpm climb at 14,000ft.
Updated to 100 HP in the 1960’s, and designated the T211, it was completely re-engineered, modernized and re-certified by the FAA in 1990. Thorp Aero of Sturgis, Kentucky purchased rights and tooling and in 1990-91, manufactured the T 211 under an FAA Production Certificate. The project was stopped due to the economic climate of the times.
Indus Aviation T211 Thorpedo LSA
Thorp Aero of Sturgis, Kentucky in 1990-91, manufactured the T 211 under a production certificate. The project was stopped due to the economic climate of the times. IndUS Aviation acquired the rights to production, tooling and a large inventory of parts and spares in preparation for the manufacture of this airplane.
IndUS, formed by Indian-born surgeon Ram Pattisapu, acquired the rights to the T-211, including tooling and parts. IndUS, formed by Indian-born surgeon Ram Pattisapu, had enough parts in hand to assemble an initial 20-25 aircraft, after which it is planned that TAAL will begin manufacturing parts. "We have shipped kits to India for assembly, to demonstrate what can be done," Pattisapu says. "They will have 10 shipsets by the end of December 03/early January 04, with half the aircraft coming back to the USA for the light sport market."
IndUS chose the name Sport E to reflect the fact that this FAA type-certified airplane was offered for the homebuilder to assemble under the Experimental category (51% rule), as well as the Light Sport Aircraft category. The Sport E was available in three product types depending on customer requirements and market regions: The Sport E / Certified, The Sport E / Experimental and the Sport E / Light Sport Aircraft.
The type-certified Part 23 Normal Category version Sport E, has the specifications as designated on the Type Certificate. A Continental O-200 Engine and a Sensinich metal propeller along with basic VFR instrumentation as standard. The aircraft were assembled at Dallas Executive airport.
Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited (TAAL) tied up with IndUS Aviation Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based company, to manufacture light aircraft in India. TAAL is scheduled to deliver the first aircraft for the Indian and US markets by 1 March 2004. IndUS was aiming for Indian certification of the Sport E, with TAAL assembling and delivering aircraft for the domestic market. Wings and fuselages will be shipped to Dallas, where assembly of aircraft for the US market will be completed.
The Sport E is expected to sell in the USA for $65,000-70,000 once the light-sport category is established. IndUS also planned to sell the aircraft as a fast-build kitplane, costing around $25,000, excluding engine and instruments.
There is also interest from flight schools in Australia and Canada in the fully certificated aircraft, Pattisapu says, but this will require TAAL to obtain a US Federal Aviation Administration production certificate, which will be difficult as there is no airworthiness bilateral between India and the USA.
IndUS Aviation began production of the T-211 to the guidelines of Light Sport Aircraft in the mid-2000s. The Thorp T-211 was the first US-designed Special Light Sport Aircraft to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The light-sport version uses the 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300 engine, while the type certified version uses a 100 hp (75 kW) Continental O-200 engine and is equipped for both VFR and IFR flying.
The Thorp T211 (also known as Sport E) was being manufactured in the US. Parts of two aircraft had already been delivered to TAAL for assembly in India. Parts for ten more aircraft were scheduled to arrive in December 03 for assembly. However, within six months, TAAL was to take up the manufacture of parts as well.
Thorp T-211 Sky Skooter on display at the IndUS Aviation booth at Sun 'n Fun 2006
TAAL has also planned to get the approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for flying this plane in India. At the introductory price in the range of Rs. 30 lakhs (including flying training), this aircraft was expected to give a boost to the absent owner-pilot category India.
Due to the high costs associated with product liability, the number of type-certified aircraft produced is a limited number of these aircraft available for sale in the USA and the United Kingdom to flight schools, clubs and individuals. IndUS was having the aircraft type-certified in India under the regulations of that country. Taneja, based in Tamil Nadu, southern India, manufacture the Thorp T211 two seater aircraft for domestic and export markets.
Thorp designed the T-211 to be an easy build aircraft. His innovative matched-hole drilling process makes it tremendously easy for even a novice builder to go from start to finish in the shortest amount of time. IndUS offered the Sport E / Experimental category aircraft in an EZ-Build configuration, which includes substantial finishout of sections of the airframe, allowing the builder to complete the project within the 51% rule.
Much of the assembly of the wings, empennage and fuselage completed, leaving bottom panels open for access to finish installation of the controls and other components by the builder. IndUS had available several builder assistance programs at our Dallas location. Through collaboration in India, IndUS were able to offer these fast and easy to build kits at tremendous cost and timesavings.
IndUS has several different engine options for the Experimental and Light Sport Aircraft: Continental 0-200, Jabiru or Wilksch Airmotive WAM 120.
IndUS planned to re certify the Sport E (T-211) under the LSA category.
The 1946 SkySkooter is based on the T-111 with an 85 hp (63 kW) Jabiru 2200 engine and is certified as a Light Sport Aircraft.
The Thorpedo is based on the Thorp T211 with a lighter 120 hp (89 kW) Jabiru 3300 engine and it is certified as a Light Sport Aircraft.
This aircraft is an FAA certified Thorp T211, similar to the original model and has a 100 hp (75 kW) Continental O-200A engine. It was available in two variants, one with VFR avionics and another with IFR equipment.
A prototype diesel-powered variant of the T-211 was produced in 2008, it is fitted with a WAM 120 two-stroke inverted diesel engine.
Engine: 1 x Continental O-200A, 100 hp (75 kW)
TBO: 1600 hrs
Prop: McCauley 2 blade, fixed pitch 67 in
Length: 18 ft 2 in (5.49 m)
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.92 m)
Wingspan: 25 ft (7.62 m)
Wing area: 105 sq.ft (9.67 m²)
Wing aspect ratio: 6.2
Empty weight: 750 lb (339 kg)
Max ramp wt: 1270 lbs
Max take off wt: 1270 lb (575 kg)
Max useful load: 537 lb
Max landing wt: 1270 lb
Power loading: 12.7 lbs/hp
Wing loading: 12.1 lb/ft² (60 kg/m²)
Fuel capacity: 21 gal usable (78 l)
Max useable fuel: 144 lb
Baggage capacity: 40 lb (18 kg)
Rate of climb: 750 ft/min (229 m/min)
Climb gradient: 966 ft/nm
Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,810 m)
Max speed: 138 kt / 120 mph / 193 km/h
Stalling speed clean: 50 kt
Stall speed flaps down: 42 kt
Range: 375 miles (764 km)
Turbulent air penetration speed: 109 kt
Indus Aviation T211 Thorpedo LSA