The J-4 Sportster is virtually a kissin' cousin to the J-3 Kitten as it is simply an open-cockpit, parasol-winged version of the bird. And boy, is it cute!
importantly, this ultralight-legal, 248-pound
single-seater is a fabric-covered, steel-tube
baby with excellent flying manners and modest
landing habits. On the smallest Rotax 277
engine, the little J-4 will puff along at 60 mph
all day long (and surprisingly far on its 5
gallon fuel capacity). The J-4 climbs at just
over 800 feet per minute, stalls very calmly at
26-28 mph, and really has a delightful set of
The landing manners are very sweet and it puts up with novice taildragger-drivers quite nicely... and handles grass/rough fields with aplomb. I really liked this thing and can recommend it wholeheartedly. As a matter of fact, this thing slips like there is no tomorrow and with the open cockpit, parasol wing, that really gives you a blast! A non-ultralight version, which has to be registered experimental, has a bigger engine--the Rotax 447--and can cruise 75 mph.
The kits include engine, prop and basic instruments.
Zoom Report:This is a very sweet little bird. No kidding. The open cockpit flying, with all its wind-in-the-face romance, cannot be easily matched by many other aircraft. Couple that with some excellent manners, a very docile stall, and superior ground handling and you have a real winner. This is a good bird. I recommend it highly.
USA Aircraft Ratings:
HIPPS J-4 SPORTSTER
Ground Handling: B. Simple ground handling.
Flight Characteristics: B+.
Company Profile: B-. Very nice folks.
"Bang For The Buck": B-. Serious value for little money.
Final Grade: B+.