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Sherwood Scout


November 2014


Work continues on the Escapade in terms of manufacturing set up, the belated arrival of our CNC tube coping machine is creating a hietus and we need to be moving forward. We have been promised delivery of the first stage early December so things are moving forward.


A re branding work group set about bringing our 3 current aircraft into line and as a result the Escapade has now become the Sherwood Scout and the Kid has become the Sherwood Kub.


February 2014


When we took over the Escapade, we knew that whilst there has been some production occurring in the UK we would have our work cut out to move the project back to Norfolk, create and set up a fabrication and welding zone and a stores and assembly area, well thanks to the hard work of the team at TLAC we have now created an extended mezzanine which will be our parts storage and assembly area and beneath that the dedicated fabrication and welding area.


This alone has been a pretty major undertaking whilst keeping all the balls in the air on Sherwood Ranger production and aircraft service work, but we are there all bar the fine tuning, we have racking to assemble, welding curtains to hang and then we are there.


Assembly area 1


Showing wing and aileron jigs in the distance, work bench in the foreground and our huge transparent wall allowing great amounts of natural light to flood in.




Assembly area 2



Welding bay with jig rack against the far wall, front fuselage on a movable bogie in the distance, main fuselage jig against the back wall, wing strut jig in the foreground just in front of a newly acquired swaging machine and welding bench.




So are we on track for production to start at the end of the second quarter 2014, YES.


All the other work going on in the background is pretty significant and whilst it will never be seen in hard nuts and bolts or welded tubing it is never the less critical to the operation of the company and service to the customer, that is the entry of all stock files, supplier records, customer records, batch control systems, production records etc etc onto our newly installed Accounting production and stock control package that also deals highly effectively with all the other data, a major time consuming job.


Jobs for March 2014 are to finish getting raw material storage rack built and installed and spending the big buck and place all of the orders and start getting all the stock in, that consists of all the 4130 tubes, 4130 sheet 6061 tube and sheet, all composite components, all the rivets, nuts, bolts, fasteners, wheels, brakes and the list seems endless.


And while all this is going on we are flight testing to improve the design in several significant areas, we are already creating the next model in the range code name "Bobcat" and dealing with engine and engine mount options, all tasks that have been pretty much ignored since 2006.



September 2013


New Demonstrator, with what we have taken over in terms of tooling, drawings, and back of the fag packet sketches we are going to be working exceptionally hard for the next few months, on top of our normal business. This work load and the frequency of shows both home and overseas means that we would have little to zero time to produce a demonstrator, so we chose the next best thing, we acquired a well built and well maintained Escapade from Mr John Thornton. On Monday the 9th of September Ivor and I did a quick 430 mile round trip to meet up with John in the heart of Hampshire to collect his pride and joy, John had decided that with family commitments increasing and little time to maintain and fly this lovely Escapade the time had come to let it go to a good home, she now resides at Little Snoring and will be flow with great enthusiasm as soon as she has gone through her annual.


Having a working demonstrator on site means that all the fantastic feedback we have had from existing owners we can verify, scheme, plot and move the design forward, to all those owners who have come forward with their positive feedback many thanks.


Getting the Escapade back into sensible production will take time, we have to verify drawings, verify dimensions, verify stocks etc etc, I can confirm we have already started to place orders for raw materials, we are working hard on the CAD drawings to get CNC machined items in line with our manufacturing capabilities, quote requests have gone out for Laser cutting along with composite components.





August 2013


On the 31st July 2013 TLAC agreed terms with Escapade Aviation Ltd to acquire all Intellectual Property, design rights, jigs, tools and fixtures and remaining stocks for the Escapade 2 aircraft in both Microlight and Cat A formats.


Terry Francis owner of Escapade Aviation Ltd will continue with the SSDR Escapade 1 also known as the Kid.


What happens next?


During August we will be moving all jigs tools and fixtures along with remaining stocks back to our facility at Little Snoring airfield, then comes the big task of sorting everything out, restoring tooling that has been out of use for sometime and various other housekeeping tasks, the major one being integration of part numbers and stocks into our current stock control and manufacturing software, an IT nightmare.


Following the big sort out we will be getting the production areas laid out tooled up whilst getting all the raw materials on order for the first batch of new aircraft. We will be bringing in house 90% of the work that was previously outsourced, we currently do all of our own CNC work with our 3 axis CNC machining cent re and 3 axis large format router, we will additionally be bringing in house all welding and composite work.


Why the Escapade 2


We have known the Escapade aircraft range for some time, I have always fancied owning an Escapade 2 as it just ticks so many boxes. Its a great short field aircraft, huge load space, with the right engine a great performer plus a wing folder to match the Sherwood Rangers party trick, we have always thought that it would make the ideal stable mate.


Information and specs


The Escapade TWO is a rugged, safe and fun to fly two sealer aircraft. It can operate from a farm strip or a
tarmac runway. It has delightful handling, is easy to maintain and cheap to operate. Its folding wings (one man, 2 minute operation, with no disconnection of controls) gives you the choice of trailering it home or hanger storage (reduce area required) and the ability to trailer it to and from any operational location (e.g. farmers field). Unload from the trailer and be ready to fly in about 10 minutes, when you finish flying reverse the process. Both choices allow for big savings to be made on hangerage costs.


The Escapade TWO has a fabric covered, chrome-molybdenum steel tube frame which is both strong and light. The flying controls are conventional with three stages of flap if you need to get down fast A choice of engines (none cheap, we're afraid) gives builders a choice to suit their pocket.


The wide cockpit (44") is fitted with full dual controls and the sliding seats make it easy for large and small, tall and short pilots to achieve a comfortable seating position. The seats have energy absorbing foam for additional protection.


The Baggage area can take up to 35kg (.5 cubic metre) and, if necessary can be used to sleep in (on ground only). There is ample space for a wheelchair or a couple of folding bikes or camping gear. The large doors make it easy to get aboard and the seat hacks fold down for access to the baggage area. The doors and windows can be removed if you want to fly al fresco.


In the UK the Escapade TWO is only available as a kit for owners to complete themselves. Several levels of kit are available with most purchasers choosing the quick build kit with the wings factory set to die fuselage to ensure that the all important geometry is correct.


The aircraft can be covered using regular Poly-fibre materials, giving complete freedom in finishing colour and trim. Many builders are now choosing the new Oracover UL600 system, Pre-coloured with built in UV protection, it is much easier to manage with no solvents and no spraying required. Although it is a bit more expensive it does compensate with a large time saving and a consistent colour match.


The aircraft can be configured as either a nose or tail wheel. It is possible to convert from one configuration to the other in under a hour.


Wing Span  28'6" 8.7m
Length        19*       5.79m     with wings folded  20" 6.1m
Height TO    5*9"  I.75m   Nose Gear     T 2" 2.18m
Gear width     6'     1.98m (middle to middle)
Width with folded wings 8*
Load limit factors +4g -2g

Seats         2 individually adjustable tested to 120kg loading

Doors         2 each with opening window.


These vary dependant on build standard, engine and accessories.

Operational Category Engine Average Build Weight Kg Useful Load Kg
Microlight (UK) 450kg
Jabiru 2200
Rotax 912
VLA (Group A or Cat A)



Engine Options (Currently approved)
Jabiru2200 -  85hp - 4 cylinder 4 stroke - air cooled
Rotax912ul -  80hp - 4 cylinder 4 stroke - water cooled
UL260i    -  97hp - 4 cylinder 4 stroke - fuel injected - air cooled


Propeller Options (Currently approved)
Powerfin 3 blade ground adjustable composite (912)
Kiev 3 blade ground adjustable composite (912)
Woodcomp 3 blade ground adjustable composite(912)
Powerfin 2 blade ground adjustable composite (Jabiru and UL)

Hercules 2 blade fixed pitch wooden (Jabiru and UL)


Performance (Engine, prop and build dependant)


Max. level speed . 110mph
Never exceed speed 130mph
Economic cruise speed 85mph

Stall clean 40 mph
Stall speed full flap 36 mph
Max. climb rate at sea level /min. 880 ft/min

Take off roll 300 feet

Take off distance to clear 15 m obstacle on grass 800 feet
Landing distance to clear 15m obstacle on grass 1000 feet
Service ceiling N/A.
Range at average cruising speed miles.
Noise level N/A. (engine dependant)