Extra 300 - The King Of Aerobatics

Written By: Gauranga Magriplis

The mighty extra 300 is a tried and tested aerobatic aircraft. The machine is the brainchild of German aircraft stunt pilot and plane maker Walter Extra. Walter Extra started his aircraft manufacturing company Extra Flugzeugbau (or simply Extra Aircraft) in 1980.

Born out of Extra Aircraft are:

  • Extra 200
  • Extra 230
  • Extra 260
  • Extra 300
  • Extra 330

But arguably the most popular variant is the Extra 300. It was designed in 1987 and since then has been used for aerobatics, training, air displays and for military training aircraft. With one of the most famous users of this aircraft being Redbull. Part of what makes the Extra 300 so special is the fact that it has the ability to operate under the Unlimited Category. This essentially means that it can do any maneuver you throw at it and more!

The aircraft itself has been stressed to ±10 G with one occupant and to ±8 with two. What this means is that it can perform all aerobatic tasks without really every getting close to exceeding the maximum structural loading.

Vertical Take-off in an Extra 300.

How much does an Extra 300 cost?

If you are in the market for an Extra 300 there are a few options. With 12 variants of The Extra 300, a brand new aircraft will cost around $500,000USD. While a used one with only a few hours of total time can be in the range of $350,000-$400,000USD.

How much does it cost to operate an extra 300?

The typical operating cost of an Extra 300 can be between $650-$1000 per hour. This of course varies depending on whether the flight is duel or solo and if you own the aircraft or not.

So assuming that you are duel and don't own the aircraft here is a rough breakdown:

  • Fuel burn (52L/h): $140
  • Pilot Time: $200
  • Insurance: $60
  • Maintenance: $100
  • Aircraft Hire: $250
  • Airport/Airspace fees: $70
  • Total: $820

Development and design

The aerobatic monoplane is an upgrade on the Extra 230. The aircraft is constructed from a steel body that is wrapped in aluminium fabric. The Extra 300 is a taildragger aircraft and has fixed landing gear constructed of fibreglass. The wings of the Extra 300 are built from high-quality carbon fibre composite making them very strong and lightweight. The spar that supports the wings is also constructed of this material, this in part is what allows a pilot to put the aircraft under such extreme loads and it having no adverse consequences on the aircraft.

Extra 300 Specifications

Fuel, Powerplant and Performance:
  • Fuel capacity: 50 US Gallons or 189L
  • Powerplant:  Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5 - Air cooled, 6 cylinder, 300 horsepower
  • Prop: 3 or 4-bladed MT-Propeller composite constant-speed propeller
  • Cruise speed: 171 knots
  • Vs (Stall speed): 55 kn
  • VNE (Velocity Never Exceed): 220 knots
  • Va Manoeuvring speed: 158 knots
Aircraft Dimensions:
  • Length: 6.9 m (22 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 10.7 m2 (115 sq ft)
Weights and Associated G Loading:
  • Empty weight: 660 kg (1,455 lb) equipped
  • Max takeoff weight: 
  1. 950 kg (2,094 lb) 2-pilot normal (+6g / -3g)
  2. 870 kg (1,918 lb) 2-pilot aerobatic (+8g / -8g)
  3. 820 kg (1,808 lb) 1-pilot aerobatic (+10g / -10g)

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