Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

See How Easily You Can Get Used Ultralight Aircraft

OK, so you are not so keen on building your airplane from a kit yourself, are you? But the new aircraft can be a bit expensive, even if they are ultralights. So it is a wise decision to consider buying an used ultralight aircraft and save money and time. But what should you know before going ahead? Here I am to share what I know.

The Price

The price of the used aircraft - pretty obvious - must be lower than the price of a new one. But how much? Depending on how many years the airplane is used and how it has been kept, you'll buy your machine for 30% - 80% of the price of new one.

If you take a look at some classifieds (for example here or there) you will see ultralights starting at $5,000 - $6,000 (and exceeding $50,000 of course) and flex-wings for as low as $3,000 - $4,000. Now that is really cheap. You just need to find the right deal for you and to ensure what you are buying is good enough.

Was it hangared

This is the second question you should ask. Obviously an ultralight aircraft which has not been kept in hangar would be much more damaged by the weather, rain or snow. A well hangared airplane can be in good condition even 50 years after the date it was built.

The fuselage

Next, take a look at the fuselage. Does it look ok, do you see any wear and tear. It's easy to notice wear around the connections with the wings, the areas next to the moving parts and the wheels.

The engine

The engine is the hearth of your ultralight aircraft. You don't want to buy it with damaged engine. The engine must be started after draining and cleaning the complete fuel system. If you miss to do that you can seriously damage the propulsion system - so you must check if there is a fuel left in carburateur.

Never ever consider having fuel in the used airplane as advantage - you will have to empty it and clean the engine.

The wings

Don't forget them. Check the colors - the fabric should not have significant differences. This is not because of cosmetic concerns - the different colored areas usually are decayed or corrupt. The decayed fabric will have to be replaced and this will cost you a lot.

Check also the places where the wings connect with the fuselage - any tears may cost you much more than money!

The parachutes

Finally, when buying used ultralight aircraft you must check the parachutes. If there are none or they are more than 5 years old, you will have to buy new. Add this to the costs.

In addition to all said above, you have to check any other moving parts for corrosion. Don't underestimate this, as it could lead to unpleasant extra costs or danger.

There are really a lot of things to be careful for. If you are seriously planning to buy used airplane, you may want to get Illustrated Buyer's Guide to Used Airplanes - an excellent choice for buyers of used airplanes.

If you thoughtfully check the airplane for various problems you can also end up with lower price. Once made a good deal, you'll hopefully realize that you have saved a lot of money from buying a new aircraft and a lot of time which would go in building it from a kit.

Sources and More Information

You may want also to check the following links for more details:



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User comments:

Captn RedBeard at Oct, 13 '07 00:53
Roads? Where were going we don't need Roads.
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Chugga-lug at Apr, 21 '08 09:06
I see your sense of humor. And, then there is the phrase that asks the potential buyer to "check...places where the wings connect with the corpse..."
Yep! That'll do it! Now, the only thing left to do is to figure out where that 'corpse' was buried, in the first place!
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Dave at May, 19 '08 11:21
Does anyone know of a good website to buy Kit Ultralights from.
Been looking for weeks...
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Bob at May, 27 '08 18:14
Dave, do you have an idea what kit models are you looking for? Basically, most ultralight companies sell their aircrafts as kits
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Vernon at Aug, 11 '08 21:35
Hey Bob, did you eventually purchase one of these ultralights? I'm in the market but just started the research. any suggestions
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Bdgotalotta at Aug, 18 '09 15:57
Hi all!

I've been flying for 20 of my 38yrs and am currently building the all aluminum "Waiex" EB-A sport plane kit. I'm also tinkering with a Leonard Millholland designed tube and rag Double Eagle LSA.I also owned two American Aero-lites "Eagle XLs" back in the early '90s, but I only flew them a few times before college and starting a new business depleted even the funds I had set aside to maintaining even just one of them in flying condition. Alas, they had to go to a new home, and I've regretted it ever since. Anyway, I'm looking to buy(or partial trade on my 25' Cabin Sailboat)something that flies low, slow and fun. I don't care a WHOLE lot about condition if the price is right enough:-) If anyone knows about something out there, or, hey, might wanna go in partners on it if you know someone who might have something neat! Who knows, but there has to be something fun and reasonably priced that might need engine or fabric work or is just a pile of junk. You know the old adage about one man's junk...well it certainly applies to me as far as aircraft go! Well, thank you gentleman for listening, please feel free to call/txt Doug DeLoach @ (972)953-9741 or preferably email me @ deloach_d@tx.rr.com Thanks Again, and happy flying :-)
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Myint at Oct, 12 '09 17:38
Any suggestion for ultralight kit to buy?
Appreciated.
myint
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BILL LEHMKUHL at Feb, 29 '12 20:33
PROBABLY GOING TO PURCHASE A POWERED FABRIC TYPE GLIDER.
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ian tasker at Nov, 04 '13 16:38
Would LOVE a straight answer on were i can look at and buy kit form altralight's for sale + second hand altralight planes for sale. I dont care if i hav to build it or check out whats for sale.But i keep getting the run around, "different info or sites"please put me on to a site i can see them and the cost, EASY PEEZY..IAN "EAGER TO SORE LIKE A BIRD"
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just me at Aug, 01 '14 05:00
nice info
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