Introduction to the BushCat Aircraft

The BushCat is the third and latest generation of the aircraft formally known as the Cheetah.  The BushCat has been designed around four principles: Simplicity, Ruggedness, Low Cost and Fun!

The original Cheetah LSA was a robust and reliable work horse. It quickly gained popularity among the South African bush flying community, and earned its reputation as a fun flying workhorse. Aerodynamic and ergonomic improvements were later made to the aircraft, as well as modifications from worldwide customer feedback, which resulted in the second generation Cheetah XLS.

It soon became clear that the role of the aircraft was to serve bush pilots in areas that other light sport aircraft just couldn’t handle. As a result, the focus moved toward making the aeroplane tougher than any other in its class, and able to withstand the might of the veld and tundra – as a result the BushCat was born.

Since then the BushCat has continued to serve its duties as a bush aeroplane and is being successfully used in anti-wildlife-poaching missions in various regions of Africa. More BushCats are on order by conservation entities for this very purpose as it meets the very specific requirements of these missions.

The aircraft is extremely comfortable with the widest cabin in its class and offers generous headroom making the aircraft perfect for all sizes of pilots.

Due to its simplistic modular design, the aircraft is extremely easy to work on thus reducing the cost of maintenance and repair to a minimum.

Available in nose-wheel and tail-dragger configurations, the aircraft also caters for all preferences. At the 2013 EAA Airventure Oshkosh convention, SkyReach proudly rolled out its Amphibian option, turning heads in the process. The price, performance and cheeky looks of the aircraft capturing the attention of many.

The BushCat demonstrates great performance and STOL ability – at the best price!


Building a BushCat?

Read about how the BushCat was built from a kit in just 3 weeks - Click here

BushCat – The Ultimate Bush Plane by Richard Bangs

Key Features of the BushCat Aircraft

Rotax 912ULS engine

The 912ULS is a 100hp normally aspirated, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine designed and built in Austria that is one of the most popular and reliable engines in the world and has a worldwide support network.

Aluminium tubular space frame

The primary structure of the aircraft is made from aluminium tubes bolted together via stainless steel brackets. The simplicity of this design reduces manufacturing cost and time, resulting in a product with a high strength per cost ratio. Furthermore, in the event of damage to the primary structure, this design philosophy allows the customer to replace only the parts which have been damaged.

Trilam skin covering

The aluminium space frame is covered with a Trilaminate composite fabric, commonly used in the sailing industry for yacht sails. It is incredibly strong and has proved itself against the elements. In addition to this, we offer all our customers the opportunity to pick from our range of five bright colours to form their own design for their aircraft covering.

Aluminium spring undercarriage

One of the biggest changes seen on the BushCat is the move from a braced undercarriage to a sprung undercarriage. The new design makes use of a solid aluminium spring gear, which proves smaller spring constant and results in softer off airport landings. The added strength of the solid aluminium construction means that the aeroplane is more forgiving to less experienced pilots operating in difficult conditions.

Hydraulic brakes

Another new feature found in all BushCat aircraft is the hydraulic disk brake system, which has been upgraded from the previous mechanical drum brake system.The new system became a necessity to aid with shorter landing performance.

Removable doors

If your mission requires the use of in flight photography or any other activity in which the doors might get in the way, it is useful to note that both doors are 100% removable.within 3 minutes.

Centrally mounted control stick

The BushCat is flown with a control stick mounted between both occupants, forward of the central arm rest. This configuration allows the pilot to keep his or her hand on the stick at all times, freeing the other hand for the throttle and panel mounted instruments.The use of a single stick ensures that control system complexity is kept to a minimum and that cockpit entry and exit is not blocked by floor or panel mounted systems.

Arm rest throttle

In order to accommodate the centrally mounted control stick, the designers of the BushCat have found a neat place to put the throttle. Two interconnected throttles are mounted comfortably at the end of the armrests. Both arm rests can also rotate to facilitate exit and entry into the cockpit, without affecting the throttle position.


The BushCat amphibian makes use of the 1400 Clamar amphibious floats. These composite floats are made using a combination of carbon, Kevlar, and S-glass fibres resulting in a lightweight product immune to corrosion and leaks.

+6 -4 Loading factor wing

The BushCat wing has been designed, tested, and certified to withstand +6G and -4G load factors at its maximum all up weight of 560kg (1235lbs).


BushCat Aircraft Specifications and Performance

For full details or clarification of this information please contact the team at Global Aviation Products or BushCat Australia.  (Refer to the Sponsors page for contact information)


Aircraft length 5.7 m 18.7 ft
Aircraft height 2.3 m 7.5 ft
Empty mass 320 kg 705 lbs
Maximum take-off mass 560 kg (currently undergoing certification to 600kg) 1235 lbs
Useful load 240 kg 530 lbs
Fuel capacity 94 litres 24.8 US Gal
Wing area 13.58 m² 146.17 ft²
Wing span 9.6 m 31.5 ft
Aspect ratio 6.8
Maximum wing loading 41.2 kg/m² 8.44 lbs/ft²
Engine Rotax 912 ULS
Maximum power 100 HP 74.6 kW
Power loading 5.6 kg/HP 16.6 lbs/kW
Fuel type Avgas or 95 Octane unleaded


The following performance data was achieved by flight tests with at sea level operating at the maximum all up weight of 560kg.

Stall speed (Clean configuration) 40 MPH
Stall speed (Landing configuration) 35 MPH 35 MPH
Cruise speed (65% power) 105 MPH 90 MPH
Take off roll 262 ft 540 ft on water
Landing roll 235 ft 305 ft
Rate of climb 1200 ft/min 850 ft/min
Ceiling 14 000 ft 12 000 ft
Maximum crosswind component 32 MPH 20 MPH
Never exceed speed (VNE) 125 MPH 115 MPH
Best glide ratio 10:1 8:1
Ultimate load factor +6/-4 +5/-3