Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Building Airplane Yourself Is Easy With A Kit

Building an ultralight aircraft with a kit is like assembling your first Lego or similar meccano. Do you remember doing this as a kid? It was not easy, but most of us were able to do it. It was exciting and fun and you were proud when you had it done, weren't you?

Later as the years go some kids continued to build more complicated meccanos and to enjoy doing this, while others preferred to move into different activities. If you are in the first group, keep reading this article to understand the basics of using an ultralight aircraft kit.

Ultralight aircraft kit in a nutshell

The ultralight and microlight aircraft kits are documented and tested packages of parts which allow you to build a fully functional airplane. If built properly, your new vehicle will be in no way less safe or less high-grade than a ready-to-fly ultralight aircraft.

The planes built from kits are considered experimental category and they should be registered as such after completion. Just like with any other aircraft you need a pilot's license to fly them. In some countries the building process is observed by specialized agencies, otherwise you won't get registered (as usual, check your local law about this).

Almost all companies that sell ultralight aircraft also sell kits. Usually there are many more models, colors and variations offered as kits rather than as ready airplanes.

Ultralight aircraft kit specifics

A good airplane kit must meet the following criteria:

  • Low weight - high strength
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Low cost
  • Easy to work with
  • Simple to repair

All of the kits offered by the reliable companies are not only complying with the above, but have many more advantages.

How much does it cost

The prices vary a lot just like the prices of the ready to fly airplanes. Most kits start at $10,000 - $20,000 but $20,000 is not the limit. On the other hand, with some more research you can find an ultralight aircraft kit for less than $6,000.

If you don't want to build the airplane yourself, there are companies who can do it for you. Of course this will add to the costs. And of course, this is not what the original idea of the aircraft kit is.

So you purchased the kit - now what?

Well... start building! Most aircraft kits require minimal technical skills. All you need to do is to carefully follow the instruction manual. The most difficult part is to get started - especially if you don't know where to start from.

It's a good idea to visit a nearby factory shop and take a look how they do it, and eventually get some useful advice.

Building your airplane from a kit can take 3, 6 months or more - depending on how much free time you have and how passionate you are. In working hours it usually takes between 500 and 1,000 hours. So yes, if you don't sleep at all you can have your vehicle ready in 21 days. But probably you are building it for fun, so don't rush it?

Using an ultralight aircraft kit is an affordable way to own an airplane - and a way to get exactly the one you want. But remember, it takes work and passion, and if you are not such kind of person, then it is not for you.

For these who like to build - now it's time to turn your garage into aircraft factory. In fact most of the homebuilt airplanes are built exactly this way. So what stops you to be the next one?



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User comments:

gagan at Mar, 28 '09 04:22
i like it
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Will at Mar, 28 '09 19:50
Can you please provide some company names/ websites we can trust to buy a kit?

Great article, thanks!! I feel like a kid again
Reply to this comment

Tina at Aug, 16 '09 04:43
Just attended 1st ultralight plane fly in and enjoyed learning about them. My son really wants to build one and this article was very informative! Thank you!
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Ravitejas at Sep, 20 '09 18:29
its very good information given to common man to uplift a aviation industry world wide.AND iam very proud say that i have built 56 microlight aircrafts in india*** please let me know that any valid information to my skills& informatic.
Reply to this comment

Myint at Oct, 12 '09 17:54
Is there any list of the ultralight kit sellers
as mentioned above in Ultralight aircraft kit specifics ?
Thanks
myint
Reply to this comment

Bob at Oct, 12 '09 18:07
I don't have a list, Myint as some of these reselling companies don't survive too long. You'd better check directly at the manufacturer whether they sell kits. Also, Ebay is a good place to search.
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doug blair at Jan, 08 '10 07:04
kits, kits kits, where the hell are the kits, I could have built one in the time I have been looking
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Crazyav8or at Feb, 20 '10 09:56
Hey folks.. you if you're looking for kits.. try
this one..
www.quadcitychallenger.com.
I work there as the techie, pilot, builder and coffee maker. These are great planes and very very versatile. I'm thinking of bringing one over to Belize.. with floats etc. If you call.. Ask for Des.
Have a great day and safe flying.
Reply to this comment

b king at Feb, 20 '10 11:07
I would like to see a list of more convential looking ultralight kits.
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Mach at Feb, 13 '12 12:44
Check us out for ultralights. We feature 2 models (floater and land) as dealers but sell more than 10 models. Contact us for specific details.

Thanks
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