Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Homebuilt Ultralight Helicopters

Many ultralight enthusiast build their airplanes on their own. They use kits or work "from scratch". The produced ultralight airplanes are known as Experimental/Homebuilt Aircraft. Although doing this requires a lot of work and passion, it does not require engineer skills or high level knowledge. These enthusiast are just people like me and you who are eager to achieve their dream to fly.

Being a helicopter fan, when I found out about the homebuilt airplanes I was immediately interested in having a homebuilt helicopter. Is it possible? Yes, of course. Am I the first who thought about that? Of course not!




The helicopters by default are much more complicated vehicles than the airplanes. But the experimental/homebuilt industry took care for that and created many simplified models. They are perfect for building a helicopter on your own in your garage or personal workshop.

Some of the most poplar simplified homebuilt ultralight helicopter models are the famous G-1 ultralight helicopter, the Indian Ultralight Helicopter or OMH-Eagle Ultralight Helicopter. There are of course many other models with plans available on the Net.

Homebuilt Ultralight Helicopter
Photo from http://www.vortechonline.com


What do you need to build an ultralight helicopter on your own?


Of course you can purchase a kit and make the things easier. The kits are available for most experimental models and are easier to build up than if you do it from scratch.

The real fun however is to start with a construction plan and your two hands. This will not only save you money (and cost you time), but also give you a lot of entertainment and make you a proud owner of an aircraft that you have really built on your own.

If you choose the second route, you only need standard parts and materials which can be bought from an auto store. The plans which are sold for building experimental homebuilt helicopers consider working with approachable parts.

Isn't it too risky?


The practice shows that the homebuilt helicopters are as safe as any other ultralight helicopters available on the market. Of course, you need to follow the instructions in the construction plans and consider flying in good weather conditions.

As many people in the ultralight aviation like to say, flying is as safe as good the pilot is. Saying this, it's good to know that some countries (USA) don't require pilot's license to fly on homebuilt helicopter (if they weight at the range between 150-190 lbs), so the accidents mostly happen because of inexperienced pilots.

The costs of your homebuilt helicopter


If you start from the scratch the parts might cost you as low as a thousand of US dollars. The kits prices start from several thousands USD. The total cost can be kept under $10,000 just like the advertisement of the Indian Ultralight Helicopter says.

Of course, there are much greater models whose kits can cost $20,000 - $25,000 - but even this is nothing compared to the price of a regular helicopter.

Another thing to consider is that the ultralight helicopters are not so hungry for fuel like their bigger brothers.

If you have decided to build an ultralight aircraft or helicopter, it costs you almost nothing to try. The plans start from just $20 and rare exceed $100. Many sites offer digital plans for download so you can start right away!

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Post Your Comment

User comments:

Adam at Oct, 26 '07 06:14
Great to see people supporting this ever growing niche market of the helicopter industry. So many have fallen by the wayside because of lack of support eg: Cobra 2 seat pison powered, Predator single seat turbine powered (long before the Helicycle), Mustang and Lonestar single seat 2 stroke powered helicopters and many more.
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rizwan at Oct, 27 '07 00:44
i am small auto electrition.my dreem is flying in whool sky my own sport light glider.i want made my home simple light glider.my own /please help me and send me plan catalouge with building phootose.i am not rich man.i born in pakistan.middle family.pakistan private avition coasts to long.i dnt pay this coasts.i undarstand no body help me.......................its my dreem built flying machine own hand thanks ....god bay.
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Charles at Apr, 04 '08 03:45
rizwan,
please email me and I will try to help.
ae1god at hotmail
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mike anderson at Apr, 11 '08 23:01
Save your money. OHM eagle offers no support. I paid and recieved a crupt download fron Roe Aviation and was told its not out problem. Tried to call, they have no listed number in MD.
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Bob at Apr, 17 '08 16:08
Hey Mike, I'll try to contact them and see if they can get it sorted out.
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Mr Rowe at Apr, 18 '08 17:32
I have tried to talk with mike anderson, he is unreasonable.
I even sent him an additional free download, and he still posts this?
We have had hundreds of people download these same exact plans, and never a problem.
He downloads it an says the file is corrupt. We contacted him, and told him to try it from a different computer, and gave him an additional free download. We have been more than helpful with him, yet he refuses.



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Bob at Apr, 18 '08 17:34
Thanks for taking the time to reply here, mr Rowe
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mazen at May, 03 '08 01:09
Hey,
Rizwan i am fro egypt, "kif il hal".......i share your same dream and i also need help...so charles this is my e-mail "vip_mazen@hotmail.com" if you can help me too then please do!!
Reply to this comment

mazen at May, 03 '08 01:10
Hey,
Rizwan i am fro egypt, "kif il hal".......i share your same dream and i also need help...so charles this is my e-mail "vip_mazen@hotmail.com" if you can help me too then please do!!
Reply to this comment

Fon at Aug, 05 '08 07:06
For homebuilt ULH need:
1. Define main parameters of ULH, because UL machine are very sensitive to optim of parameters/..
2. to define prototype (it isn't problems
My hand book "Designing a home buil ULH@ can help to builders. Book sold in ten countrie USA, Canada, Belgium, Poland, Italy, S. Korea, New Zeiland, Iran etc.
please e-mail
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JERAMIE T. at Aug, 10 '08 17:30
I am thinking that building a "home-built ultralight helicopter" it would be theriputic & productive for me! I will first tell why I think it will be "THERIPUTIC" for me. On December8th 2003, I was driving a KIA RIO ! I had a Head-on collision, my air-bag or seatbelt didn't function! I was imaditaly in a comma for 2 & a-half months! When I wokeup I was told "In your accident you fractured both thigh-bones, shattered both knee-caps,broke your left ankel & got a TBI (TRAMATIC BRAIN INJURY)! I am still making a "slow recovery" I have wanted, since I aas 8, to fly a HELICOPTER, since I was 8 & hooked on the TV show AIR-WOLF!I also think that " doing somthing with my hands , that is far more productivein the long-run, than spending money to visit the OT-THERAPIST in the office multipule times a week! this way I get to enjoy the therapy @ home making my life worth more each day & the fact that I PERSONALLY am working to fullfill a DREAM SINCE i WAS 8! If you will find a digital copy of the plans & instructions, email them to me: papatesky@gmail.com, I will work on them Dilligantly" & when I am finished building I will fly my "ULTRALIGHT" to where-ever you are to give you $7000 CASH as a thankyou, pay for the plaan &pay you for being my "COUNSOLER"!
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Alexander at Oct, 12 '08 05:46
I'm trying to bulid a ultralight helicopter from scratch based on the G1. The only thing I can't figure out is the rotors. can anyone tell me how to buid them, I could even use wood if necessary.
I really dont want to spend $2000 on rotors.
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Fon at Oct, 12 '08 07:16
Sir,
1. I am thinking? that main rotor(blades) better to used making on factory. It is very important.
2. About plan of G-1 wiil be carefully!!!
Read my handbook "Designing a home built ULH" or my articles in magazines"Homebuilt rotorcraft"...
3.If you have questions use my E-mail
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Ali at Jun, 13 '09 07:37
I belong to rawalpindi pakistan and also hunger to fly at my own since my childhood but yet today have not enough resources to fulfill my desire of flying due to higly cost of flying clubs in pakistan which no body can afford except the wealthy one. In pakistan bread earning is almost difficult to a common man then how he fulfill his desire of flying.
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tony s at Jun, 19 '09 19:46
do not waste time or money on g1 plans they have no pitch control so no way to autorotate, that is a killer. there are many other good plans out there, furia, mosquito, hrh, safari, lonestar,ect ect.. the main two things are access to good power (60-80 hp) at a light weight (60-90 lbs) and rotor blades. if you can get these two things where you are the rest ids just determination and will power.
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nikhil at Jul, 26 '09 19:59
This seems very interesting. I would like to try and build my own homemade helicopter or even a plane. I have only 2 questions. Which book would you recommened if i want to construct my own homemade helicopter. Does the book that u will recommend contain details about step by step construction methods of the helicopter along with all the required parts and what they are to be made from eg, alluminium alloys, stainless steel sheets, etc (since i would like to made it from scratch) and second, do you need to know how to read engineering drawings to follow the instructions in your recommended book.
waiting for your reply eagerly. thankyou!!
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Pop Emil at Aug, 15 '09 21:57
To Rizwan and all the other poor dudes like me:

DO NOT BUILD a helicopter that is comanded in flight as a deltaplane (by shifting your weight) and to climbe you have to raise RPM of the rotor.
That's suicide.

Rather build a simplified rigid or semirigid rotor as Furia (that is damn obsolete, but far better than G1 and his brothers)

You can build an helicopter with some car mechanics, car engine (or motorcycle, at least 100 Hp) and pipes, lexan, and fabric, if you can weld, drill, thread.

Important is to know what you are doing, how to draw, calculate and test your work. You still wanna live after the flight, right?

So my little friends, take my advice and start studying hard aerodynamics, rotordynamics, balances, eliminating vibrations, safety mesures, etc.

Is worthwhile.

For more detailes click on my name on top of my coment to go to Plaxo group where I posted some pictures, get plaxo membership and than subscribe to my group, it's all free.

Emil.

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Bob at Aug, 15 '09 22:02
Thanks for your insightful comments, Emil, it's always nice to get info from first hand.
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Ronald Singh at Oct, 30 '09 14:37
Hi there to all you flying lovers.Iam from the Fiji Islands in the Pacific.Over here, it will cost you nearly $90 grand(US) to get your pilots licence.I applied n passed my interview but the fees I can't afford coz I earn only $100 a week n Iam the solebreadwinner of my family.Iam realy very interested in flying n if someone can only help me with the theoy only, not the plan then blessing s to you from my heart.
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Ronald Singh at Oct, 30 '09 14:39
Sorry Folks, I forgot to give my email. ronaldsingh1981@yahoo.com

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Brie at Jan, 08 '10 01:43
GOOD for you, not giving up. I was VERY badly injured in a Helicopter crash while in the Army, and I was told that I would never walk again. Three years later, I was playing NCAA soccer, so NEVER give up! I currently own and fly several fixed wings, and if I ever get the money, I will find a partially completed Rotorway Scorpion, and get it flying, so I can one day get back to flying with a rotor over my head. Brie
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b at Sep, 06 '10 19:08
Hello from Lowe Army Airfield( LAAF).
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VISWAS VISWAM at Oct, 23 '10 09:39
Respected Sir I am viswas from I am from INDIA .I am very fond of single seater helicopter. so pls help me to construct a single seater helicopter and please send the requirments list and whatever requirments needed during the construction , its , its construction procedure ,working mechanism , some diagrams also. It would be nice if its cost comes under $15000 or 7-8 lakhs rupees. so pls send your positive reply I am waiting for your answer
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VISWAS VISWAM at Oct, 23 '10 09:44
Sir please also suggest any book for the making of single seater helicopter in which it provides step by step procedure from basics.
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Dara Him at Dec, 19 '10 04:14
Hey, I have a question: I live in Cambodia where the nearest medical help is 3 - 4 hours away. I was wondering if an expirimental helo or airplane would be reliable enough for emergancy evacs to a major city. What do you think?
Dara Him
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Bob at Dec, 19 '10 04:41
As reliable as the plane and the pilot are reliable I guess! For sure it's a good option if you have a place to land in the city
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arun kumar sharma at Oct, 11 '11 06:31
i want to made the helecopter but i cant be success
what i doing please telll me
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haider at Oct, 29 '11 12:46
its reply for Rizwan. im also from pakistan and know the know the basic and moderate technique of aircraft. and also already worked on well known companies aircraft , may be i will be helpful to you. you can contact on this mail address haiderdanyal@yahoo.com
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Paul at Dec, 11 '11 17:51
I am looking to build an experimental ultralight. I am looking for sources to parts already built. Especially the Tail Rotor Kit. I don't need the gearbox just the tail rotor blades and swashplate to control pitch if that is what it is called and the axle/shaft. I will need four of them. If anyone has a good source please respond to this post. Thank you. Must be a USA company who builds these kits. Just trying to help our economy before helping others. No offense to anyone.
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faizal ishani at Aug, 24 '13 10:19
i m too frm indian guys we can make group
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Farid at Aug, 26 '15 17:08
As mentioned on this site. I opened the Indian helicopters site. To my surprise I couldnt find any link or any contact details of this company selling Plans. And according to them one can built this helicopter under 8000 US $ including engine. I was going to ask they gave me a kit for 8000 $. But no way to contact except if you want to pay for the plans , the new window will take you to the paypal website. Its all about money . they even dont care if you are killed.
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arta mahapatra at Mar, 06 '16 08:33
Hello friends, I m arta mahapatra from India (odisha), I also want to build a single man helicopter, plz help me...my email- mahapatra.mahapatra.arta4@gmail.com plz contact me
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Asim khan at Aug, 27 '16 10:39
Hi! Friends, I am Asim, also working out to built a single seat light helicopter, if any could help me anyway, either by layout plan, notes, information, video or someone's experience. It would be great help to me.
Iam from India(UP).
Email - asimmak007@ gmail.com
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