ARV_Super2_logo.jpg   ARV Aviation Ltd.
Island_logo.jpg   Island Aircraft
ASL_logo.jpg   Aviation (Scotland) Ltd.


After breaking the world land speed record in 1983, Richard Noble, on returning to the UK, recognised that there was a gap in the market for a low cost light two seat trainer. Noble brought in Bruce Giddings as chief designer, who gained experience with microlights along with Nick Sibley and James Morton from John Britten's Sheriff project, by then abandoned. Noble formed ARV Aviation Ltd (ARV standing for Air Recreational Vehicle) and set up a factory at Sandown on the Isle of Wight to build the aircraft, named the ARV1 Super2, the first prototype flying on 11 March 1985. It was grounded in November 1987 owing to problems with the three-cylinder Hewland powerplant. Although these were solved, it forced ARV into Administration.

Chris Wald, who had been brought in as managing director of ARV when Noble stepped down from the financial direction of the company, formed Island Aircraft in 1988 to acquire the assets of ARV. Continued production on the Isle of Wight was considered uneconomic and, in an effort to reduced costs, Aviation (Scotland) Ltd. (ASL) was established in 1990 to take over development. Still the program was plagued with high costs but in 1993 found a partner in Uvan Invest, a subsidiary of Swedish engineering company Uddeholm Tooling. ASL Sweden was established as a joint venture, under which Scottish-built kits were to be assembled at Hagfors, about 95km (60m) from Kalstad in southern Sweden. The aircraft was renamed the Opus and had the Austrian 80h.p. Bombardier Rotax 912A four stroke engine in place of the original Hewland powerplant. The aircraft was also intended to be available from ASL in kit form under the name Highlander. This was not to come about, and the kit plane was taken over by Highlander Aircraft of St Paul, Minnesota . The factory-built aircraft, now known as the Opus 280, were still intended to be built in Sweden, the company having by now become ASL Hagfors Aero but, by September 1995, they too had gone into voluntary receivership.

By August 1996, Highlander had sold six kits. Production moved to SkyCraft Int'l. Inc. of Paris, Ohio in 1999, where at least one aircraft appears to have been built (although some sources attribute this to Highlander) and then in 2004 to Opus Aircraft Llc. of Stoneville, North Carolina, the Opus version designated 'Super 2' with separating space before number. In mid 2008, British entrepreneur Tony Dawson bought Opus Aircraft.

Company References
  1. Wikipedia
  2. Flight International 13 Sep, 1986
  3. Flight International 19 Mar, 4 Jun, 25 Jun, 30 Jul, 1988
  4. Flight International 21 Jan, 6 May, 1989
  5. Flight International 11 Aug, 15 Sep, 21 Sep, 1993
  6. Flight International 1 Jun,1994
  7. Flight International 12 Apr, 27 Sep, 1995
  8. Flight International 17 Jul, 2008

Project Data top

Project No

Type No


Alternative Name(s)







  ARV1 Super 2  1985  Prdn 35 1S, 1E high-wing light plane 1,2,3,4

Project References
  1. Air International Magazine, Jun 1985
  2. Air Pictorial Magazine, Apr 1986
  3. Flight Magazine, Apr 6, 1985
  4. Flight Magazine, Sep 13, 1986

Production Data top

 ARV1 Super2

US Kit Built Highlander (1)


Initial Registration



Initial Registration


 ARV 001 G-OARV PFA 152-11060 0001 N280KT 
 ARV 002 G-STWO PFA 152-11048
 ARV 003 G-DEXP PFA 152-11154
 ARV 004 G-BMDO PFA 152-11127
 ARV 005 G-BPMX 

US Built Skycraft ARV Super2

 ARV 006 G-BOGK PFA 152-11138
 ARV 007 ZK-FSQ 




 ARV 008 G-TARV PFA 152-12627
 ARV 009 G-BONB PFA 152-11182 CAN-002 C-IGYY    
 ARV 010 G-BMSJ 
 ARV 011 G-BMOK 
 ARV 012 G-BMWE 
 ARV 013 G-BMWF 

Total ARV Production

 ARV 014 G-BMWG PFA 152-12802
 ARV 015 G-BMWH 
 ARV 016 G-BMWI 


Built New



 ARV 017 G-BMWJ 
 ARV 018 G-BMWK  ARV Super 2



 ARV 019 G-BMWL  Opus 280



 ARV 020 G-BMWM  Highlander


 ARV 021 G-BNGV  Skycraft


 ARV 022 G-BNGW 




 ARV 023 G-BNGX 
 ARV 024 G-BNGZ 
 ARV 025 G-BNHA 
 ARV 026 G-BNHB 
 ARV 027 G-BNHC 
 ARV 028 G-BNHD 
 ARV 029 G-BNHE 
 ARV 030 G-BNVG 
 ARV 031 G-BNVH 
 ARV 032 G-BNVI 
 ARV 033/ G-BNVJ To SE-KYP; became prototype ASL Opus 280
 SCAA 33-1046  
 ARV 034 G-BUXH PFA 152-12424
 ARV 035 G-ZARV PFA 152-13035
 ARV 036 G-BNVM Not built
 ARV 037 G-BNVN Not built
 ARV 038 G-BNVO Not built
 ARV 039 G-BNVP Not built
 ARV 040/ G-BNVR/ N.T.U - to SE-LCF as ASL Opus 280
 SCAA 40-1047    SE-LCF
 SCAA 41-1045 SE-LIZ ASL Opus 280
  PH-OPV ASL Opus 280 (see note 2)

  1. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 2009 records that by August 1996, Highlander had sold six kits, two of which were flying by year end.
  2. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1996

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V1.3.0 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated February 2017