Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Database Of Ultralight, Homebuilt, and Experimental Aircraft

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Affordaplane

Affordaplane is one of the simplest in construction ultralight Part 103 airplanes. It's a fixed0wing aircraft weigting 254 pounds.

Presumingly this is the official site where you can buy complete building plans for only $4.95.

A couple of facts to note:

  • It's known also as A-Plane so when you see it on a forum or website, have in mind they talk about the same thing.
  • Due to the simple construction is't easy to build even from first-time builders.

Estimated cost for building this airplane without engine and tools is only $2,000! (more info here) So it well deserves its name.

Belite Skydock

The Belite Skydock is one of the most affordable and easiest to build modern ultralights. It's offered as airframe kit but if you are a real enthusiast you can try to build from scratch and buy only the blueprints.

  • Qualifies as ultralight, Part 103.
  • The cruise speed is 50 to 62mph depending on engine.
  • The price is about $4,000 to $6,000.
  • The altitude range is 10,000 feet

You can find the full specs at the Belite official Skydock page. Belite is one of the few companies that produce modern and affordable kits and it's well worth to have a look at their site.

FreeBird 103

FreeBird 103 is a single-sear aircraft that falls under Part 103 (i.e. no license required). The aircraft is built by Freebird Aviation Australia.

Most important characteristics:

  • 3 axis control
  • Only 254 lbs weight
  • Black Max hydraulic brake system
  • 60 mph cruise speed

The average build time is 125 hours if you use a kit and 250 hours if you build by plans.

FreeBird 103 is a variation of a family aircraft including itself, Freebird I, Sportlite 103, and LiteSport Ultra. More info at Wikipedia.

More good pictures and info about this airplane can be found at this page.

Howland H-3 Pegasus

Howland H-3 Pegasus is an open-cockpit monoplane. It's currently offered as kits and plans for homebuilt enthusiasts (cost of plans is about $250).

  • H-3 Pegasus has weight of 345 lbs which makes it not qualify for Part 103.
  • There are modifications with Rotax 277 engine which make it possible to fit the Part 103 maximum weight
  • This is a single seat fixed wing airplane.
  • Its cruise speed is 55 mph.

If you are looking to fly a legally ultralight airplane by the US standards H-3 Pegasus might not be the best choice. Home builders report it being hard to fit in the 254 lb limit.

Learn more about H-3 Pegasus on this site and on Wikipedia.

The Fisher Fleet

This company sells a lot of excellent ultralight aircraft. Here is what they offer at this time:

  • Two seat monoplanes: Dakota Hawk, Super Koala, Horizon 1 and Horizon 2.
  • Biplanes: R-80 Tiger Moth, Celebrity, Classic, FP-404, Youngster.
  • Single seat monoplanes: Avenger, FP-202 Koala, FP-303, FP-505 Skeeter, FP-606 Sky Baby.

See the full list with pictures.

The airplanes are offered in quick kit form which is said to reduce the building time with about 200 hours. But there are more options too: airframe kits, wing kits, fuselage kits, hardware kits, or even just plans.

The prices for the plans are between $300 and $400. The complete aircraft package is $8,500 for FP 303 and goes to $14,100 for the Sky Baby.

These airplanes seem quite affordable and good. Here is the official company site: http://www.fisherflying.com/

The Weedhopper

The Weedhopper is a single-seat ultralight that was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s because of its really low cost. Kits were costing only about $2,000 when they were available. Unfortunately kits are no longer on sale.

  • Its empty weight is 250 lb (113 kg) and the gross weight is 550 lb (249 kg).
  • The cruise speed is 55 mph.
  • The price is about $8,500 (actual to 2011).

This excelent ultralight airplane is still one of the most affordable option for ultralight enthusiasts. Unfortunately the official site is no longer available but construction plans can be found on several sites online for about $30 - $40. The most comprehensive information about this airplane is currently available here.