Designed by Philipp Steinbach and Albert Mylius, the Sbach 342 – the marketing name for the XA42 – is a brand new high-performance aerobatic plane from German manufacturer XtremeAir.
Almost exclusively constructed from carbon fibre, this immensely strong, low-wing monoplane has fixed landing gear and tailwheel. It boasts a range of 700 nautical miles; has a 7.5 metre wing span; and the six-cylinder engine emits 315hp, hitting a maximum speed of 416km/h.
Considered to be one of fastest, most manoeuvrable and most capable aerobatic planes available – think a Formula 1 car in the sky – the XA42 is the tandem version of the single-seat Sbach 300 (XA41). A genuine leader in aerobatic aviation design, it’s the first two-seater plane that can be used competitively in Unlimited Level Competition.
In the 2015 Advanced & Unlimited British National Championships, the XA42 was used by three of the top 11 pilots, including bronze medallist Alan Cassidy in the British Advanced Champion category.
Flying the XA42, Idris went up against three experienced, qualified aerobatics pilots at the Coventry Airshow, and was marked by an independent, professional judge. He performed his four-minute routine from the rear seat of the plane despite being claustrophobic, asthmatic and afraid of heights!