Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Are Ultralight Airplanes Right For Your Budget?

The ultralight aviation made it possible. Everyone, and I mean really everyone can have their aircraft today. What is your budget? What kind of flying vehicle do you want to own? This short article will give you some suggestions.

Over $100,000

You can get almost everything from the Ultralight aviation. Most ultralight and microlight aircrafts are cheaper than USD 100,000. If you can pay more than that, you can have luxury or even a light sport airplane. Here are some nice suggestions:

  • Fixed wing airplane: Cessna 182 P SKYLANE (Used or New), Cessna 172 Skyhawk (Used or New), Evolution (New)
  • Flex wing aircraft: you can afford almost any which is sold out there
  • Microlight: most new microlights cost under $100,000
  • Helicopter: most helicopters are really expensive, so it depends how much more than 100k you have. Robinson R22 HP (new) is quite a good idea for slightly over $100k.
  • Kit: all of them, you only need to know how to build a plane from a kit

$50,000 - $100,000

We are getting into more reasonable amounts, although when we speak about affordable ultralight aircrafts, I mean cheaper than that. Anyway, here are some ideas about what you can buy with USD 50 - 100k :

  • Fixed wing airplane: Cessna 172 Skyhawk (Used), Jabiru J400 (new), Pulsar Pulsar XP (new), Cessna 310 (Used) and many more of course
  • Flex wing aircraft: you must have talent to find a flex wing which costs more than 50k. Idea: buy two ;-)
  • Microlight - just like the above price category, you can have everything, unless it is something very unusual or brand new
  • Helicopter: Exec 162F Ultralight is one of the best things you can buy with such money
  • Kit: most ultralight helicopter kits, the airplane kits are usually cheaper

$20,000 - $50,000

Solar Wings Pegasus Quantum 15-912
This cutie also falls in the category.

This is the most reasonable range in my book. One of the main advantages of the ultralight aviation is that the price of a good aircraft does not exceed the cost of a good new car. 20k - 50k range is both affordable and ensures you are buying a quality and safe aircraft.

  • Fixed wing aircraft ideas: Eurostar (Used or New), Skyranger (Used or New), Challenger (Used or New) - the best idea!, Avid Flyer C / STOL (New or Used)
  • Flex wing aircraft: Pegasus GT450 (Used or New), Quick 912. Most flex-wings are closer to 20k than to 50k or even cheaper than 20k.
  • Microlight: you can afford almost any used and most new microlights for such money.
  • Helicopter: the things are getting harder here, but you can find home built/experimental choppers. Revolution Mini500 is one of the good deals. With some luck you can find used Aerospatiale Djinn to be sold for around $50,000
  • Kit: the best aircraft kits fall into this price category. Don't worry, budget is big enough to choose the best one

$10,000 - $20,000

We are getting into the real fun :-) This price category will allow you to buy mostly a kit, microlight, used aircraft or some other experimental or home built machine. Let me give some ideas:

  • Fixed wing aircraft: Thruster (Used), Xair 582 Rotax (Used), RANS S6 COYOTE (Used) - great idea, some old Cessna, Ultralight T-bird
  • Flex wing aircraft: You still can afford most of them. Pegasus Quantum (Used) is a good deal, MAINAIR BLADE 582 (Used) can be even better.
  • Microlight: this is the price category of the microlights. The best choices are RANS 4 Coyote and Challenger if you find the chance to buy such one. But any other microlight which fits here could make you happy for cheap.
  • Helicopter: you'll have to search for some experimental homebuilt ones. Usually they will be just an airframe with one or two seats, no cockpit at all
  • Kit: In most cases you can find good aircraft kits for $10,000 - $20,000. Rotax 912, Mark III, Kolbra and hundreds of other models are available as cheap kits.

$5,000 - $10,000

Even with such a low budget you still have the chance to find a decent used aircraft or kit. Just make sure what you buy is safe enough and also that it won't cost you more to repair.

  • Fixed wing aircraft: T-Bird Tierra (Used) or Thruster (Used) are among the best fixed wings I have seen to be sold at this price range
  • Flex wing aircraft: many good flex wing are available even for such money. Take a look at Pegasus XL-R or other Pegasus models (Used), you most probably will find a nice one.
  • Microlight - check the flex-wings or look for Rans Koyote or any other experimental vehicles
  • Helicopter - sorry, I haven't seen any to be sold so cheaply although the Indian Homebuilt Helicopter claims to cost about $8k to build yourself.
  • Kit - look for used kit (unfinished vehicle), most good new ones will cost more than $10,000

Under $5,000

Now, this is too little for an aircraft really, but still there is a hope that you can buy a decent one. Forget the fixed wings or helicopters. You can eventually find a nice used flex wing aircraft or experimental machine.

For such low budget you may find some used glider or gyroplane. But better try to collect more than $5,000. Perhaps the most realistic option is to buy or build a powered paraglider (see the bottom of the page). Although not exactly an airplane, it's still a good thing.



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User comments:

shareef at Feb, 20 '08 16:05
thank U :-)
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Tom Ingle at Aug, 29 '09 17:55
As written above, where oh where can I fing a used Challenger ultralight for the price quoted? (10 to $20,000)
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