ROBERT HODGSON COLLECTION
No. 10377. Rans S-7 Courier (G-BWMN c/n PFA 218-12446)
Photographed at North Weald, UK, June 17, 2007, by Robert Hodgson

Rans S-7 Courier

01/31/2011. Remarks by Walter van Tilborg: "The two-seat S-7 Courier was an a logical outgrowth of the S-4 and S-5 ultra-light category models. Design by Randy Schlitter, with engineering assistance from Steve Woods of Sport Flight Engineering, began in June 1985. Work on the prototype started simultaneously, and it flew for the first time in October 1985, powered by a 47 hp Rotax 503 two-cylinder two-stroke engine and was also tested with one 65hp Rotax 582. When marketing of the Courier started the latter engine became standard, but later the 80-100hp Rotax 912/912S also became available.

Production of kits for amateur construction began in December 1985, and a standard kit (300-500 working hours) and a quick-build kit (ca. 150 working hours) became available. Following the general configuration of the S-6 Coyote II, the Courier was fitted with dual controls and therefore suited to training in addition to recreational flying and such utility tasks as agricultural spraying. Unlike the Coyote, the Courier was only available with a tail wheel undercarriage. It could also be operated on floats or skis.

The S-7C was a much refined model with many aerodynamic improvements and developed for type certification (primary category). Development started in 1995 and the first S-7C made its maiden flight on December 20, 1996 and had a 80hp Rotax 912ULS engine. Re-engined with an 100hp Rotax 912S engine (intended for production aircraft), the prototype was first flown in March 1999, while a so called conforming prototype followed in June 2000 and the type certificate was issued in November 2001.

The S-7LS variant (sometimes referred to as the S-7S-LSA) appeared in 2005 and was developed to meet the USA Special Light Sport Aircraft criteria and was certified in October 2005. The S-7LS was largely based on the standard S-7S and was available as ready-to-fly aircraft rather than in kit form as the other models. Engine in the S-7LS was an 100hp Rotax 912S/912ULS, and the first production aircraft was delivered late-2006.

The S-7S was a kit version based on the S-7C and was introduced on the homebuilt market during 2004. Like the S-7C it was recommended for an 100hp Rotax 912S engine. Production had reached 463+ by July 2007 with the S-7S and S-7LS still available in 2011."

Created January 31, 2011