Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Building An Ultralight Helicopter - Start Action

This article is Part Two of a series about Building an Ultralight Helicopter. To read Part One click here.

The idea to build an ultralight helicopter on your own is very challenging, but you should approach it judiciously. The reason is that this decision will cost you money and time (which is again money).

You have probably made a search on the web for producers of ultralight helicopters and helicopter kits in order to find out the best quality, the best price or just the heli which fits best to your dreams. Before making the final step towards ordering a plan, different pieces or a complete kit, look at the following checklist, which will help you to make better decision.




Self-confidence


Do you have it enough? Many people decide to built their own aircraft, but they do not believe in their technical skills and knowledge. What is worse, some of them give up after paying good amount of money for a kit. The companies, producing the plans and the kits have very good instruction manuals and videos to help you. If you are ready to learn and to acquire new skills, you need just a little training and time to practice in order to build your ultralight helicopter.


Photo by misterbisson at flickr


Basic knowledge


Purchasing the helicopter kit with detailed manuals and plans makes your life overlgenerally easy. However, you need to be well versed in some subjects like comprehension and reading of instructions and plans as well as organizing and planning of the tasks to be performed.

You will need as well basic skills in working with metal, like: measuring and cutting of required lengths, drilling and countersinking of holes, work with aluminum (sheets and tubes), bending of aluminum pieces, smoothing of holes and edges, gluing of metal parts, etc. You have to be good enough in fitting the components together, assembling different pieces, welding (required for the exhaust system), connection and testing of the electrical systems, setting the engine and the particular fuel system.

Timing


Unfortunately you cannot build your ultralight helicopter in one day. You will need at least several weeks, up to 6 months, depending on the time you can spend and the skills you have. Before purchasing the kit think about the following aspects of your future work:


  • How many hours you can spend per week? Make a detailed schedule of your ordinary duties and reasonably assess the time you can devote your attention to the helicopter building. You may plan couple of hours working every day or every second day during the week and one full day during the weekend. Do not make your schedule too squeezed, as you will soon be disappointed. Make it reasonable and try to follow it.


  • How many people you will involve in your work? Maybe you cannot weld and do not like to spend money for welding facilities, but you have a friend with welding skills? Ask him for help! Someone from the family is ready to help you every day? Give him the chance. Or you may invite your children during the non-working Sunday afternoon to perform a particular task for you, learning new skills? Good idea: you will have an additional working day and your half will enjoy free afternoon without family duties

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    Post Your Comment

    User comments:

    daniel grogan at May, 16 '08 07:41
    I will FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply to this comment

    Bob at May, 27 '08 18:13
    Hi Daniel, let me know more please :) Have you started building an ultralight helicopter?
    Reply to this comment

    Sud at Dec, 14 '08 09:23
    Am based in Southern California. Want to work with anybody who needs help to build a kit helicopter. Am a fast learner. Have all the required engineering and analytical skills. Write to me on sudarshan_singh@yahoo.com
    Thanks and Regards
    Reply to this comment

    Farron L. Miller at May, 09 '10 20:01
    I AM A PRIVITE PILOT AND I AM INTERESTED IN HELI/GYRO COPTERS AND WANT TO BUILD MY OWN I AM A TOOL & DIE MAKER BY TRADE SO I AM GOOD WITH TOOLS AND MY HANDS,IS IT POSIBLE TO BUY A COMPLETE SET OF PLANS, AND BUILD YOUR PARTS FOR THE MOST OF THE PROJECT TO SAVE MONEY ? IF SO WHERE?
    THANK YOU !
    Farron Miller
    Sparta ,Tenn.
    Reply to this comment