Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Database Of Ultralight, Homebuilt, and Experimental Aircraft

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Birdman Chinook

Birdman Chinook is relatively modern high-wing ultralight produced by Birdman Enterprises. Production started in 1983 and continues today.

Some important things to say about this airplane:

  • The plane is available as single seater and two-seater.
  • Chinook 1S is Part 103 compatible ultralight with empty weight of 250 lbs.
  • Its cruise speed is 50 mph and maximum speed is 60 mph

Oddly enough, even in 2016 there are companies without a website. So the best place to look for semi-official information remains Wikipedia.

Calidus 09 Gyrcopter

Calidus 09 is a new and modern gyrocopter with a closed cockpit suitable for various weather conditions:

  • Two-seat autogyro
  • Ultralight certified so it can be flown under Part 103.
  • Cruise speed: 100 knots
  • Fuel consumption: 4 gallons per hour

Calidus 09 is a German autogyro built with the latest technologies and with modern design. More detailed info about is available here. Price is not listed.

CGS Hawk

The CGS Hawk is a family of ultralight and experimental aircraft produced by CGS Aviation. The assets of the company were sold to Short Aircraft Services in 2016 so we have to see whether production continues. CGS Hawk is available in several modifications:

  • Single Seat Classic with empty weight of 310 lbs and 55-75 mph cruise speed.
  • Hawk Arrow Single Seat with empty weight of 330 lbs and 55-75 mph cruise speed.
  • Hawk Arrow II which is a two-seater with empty weight of 550 lbs.
  • Hawk Plus Single Seat with empty weight of 350 lbs and 60-80 mph cruise speed.
  • Hawk Sport Single Seat with empty weight of 310 lbs and 55-75 mph cruise speed.
  • CGS Hawk Ultra which is a legal Part 103 ultralight aircraft with cruise speed of 50-60 mph.

You can find full details of all CGS Hawk aricraft at the official site of CGS Aviation. There you will also find the contact details of the new owners.

Jabiru J230

Jabiru J230 is a two-seat light fixed-wing airplane from Jabiru Aircraft.

It's currently sold as kit for building experimental aircraft. Also available in factory built form and few modifications - J230-SP and J230D.

It's cruise speed is 120 knots and fuel consumption is ~25 liters per hour.

As the company is Asutralian you may want to check for a local dealer near you, unless you are Australian too of course.

Full specifications can be seen here.

Used Jabiru J230 can be bought for between $50,000 and $100,000.

Kolb Ultralight

Kolb Aircraft is a company founded by Horner Kolb in USA. The history of the company is really inreresting so you may want to have a look at it here.

You can't talk about Kolb as about a single aircraft. It's a family of several interesting models:

  • Kolb FireFly is their Part 103 ultralight airplane. The basic kits cost only a bit more than five thousand dollars.
  • Kolb FireStar is loved by many experimental pilots because of its great visibility and high performance. It doesn't fit Part 103 though. It has a side-by-side modification called FireStart II SS.
  • Kolb SlighShot is a two-seater with cruise speed of 85mph - 100mph depending on the Rotax engine used.
  • Kolb Kolbra is two seater tandem aircraft often used for Part 103 training courses. Technically it's experimental airplane and you'll need Sport Pilot License to fly it.
  • Mark III Classic is a STOL aircraft. It's experimental LSA and you'll need LSA license to fly it. Cruise speed between 69 mph and 80 mph.

Besides the official site you can check many aviation classifieds site for used Kolbs. You can find offers for fully equiped ultralights at $7 - $8 thousands.

Lockwood Aircam

Lockwood Aircam is unique and modern amphibian aircraft produced by the company with the same name. Note that it's not a valid ultralight - it's much heavier as you'll see from the specs.

Here are the most important characteristics:

  • Cruise speed is 50 to 100 mph depending on the air.
  • Its empty weight is 1080 lbs normally and 1400 lbs with amphibious floats.
  • The price of an airframe kit is about $60,000.

You can find more information and pictures at the Lockwood Aircam website. The company is also producing Lockwood Drifter but there is no information about it at the website.

Magni M-24 Orion

This is a Rotax engine Italian autogyro. This is a new development that started in 2009.

Most important:

  • 2 seat gyrocopter
  • Weight 628 lb / 285 kg
  • 145 km/h / 90 mph cruise speed
  • Fully closed cockpit

The official page of this aircraft is here. Accordingly to PrinceAir the price starts at €81,000 (VAT included) and goes up to €87,000 with extras.s.

Rotary Air Force RAF 2000

Rotary Air Force RAF 2000 is an autogyro first produced in Canada, then in 2007 sold to Mocke Family in South Africa. It's sold in kit form and building the kit and flying the autogyro requires mandatory flight training.

General characteristics:

  • It's a two-seater so obviously does not classify as ultralight.
  • Its empty weight is 790 lbs.
  • Its cruise speed is 80 mph and maximum speed is 120 mph

The official site of RAF is excellent source of more detailed information. The current price of the RAF 2000 standard kit is approximately $45,000 (ZAR 600,000).

Sadler Vampire

The Sadler Vampire is a family of several USA-developed ultralight and light sport aircraft:

  • Sadler SV-1 Vampire is the first ultralight single-seater made in early 1980s
  • The Vampire
  • SV-1, SV-2, SV-2A, SV-3 which all qualify under Part 103
  • Vampire-2 which is a two-seat light sport aircraft

The ultralight Vampire has maximum speed of 63 mph, empty weight of 250 lb and 300 miles range.

Vampire-2 comes with cruise speed of 125 mph and fuel consumption 4 - 5 gph. Its max speed is 138 mph.

The official site is not very informative but at least you can obtain contact information.

Spitfire Ultralight

Worldwide Ultralite Spitfire, also known as Spitfire Ultralight, is amateur / homebuilt experimental aircraft that is sold as kit. Main characteristics:

  • Spitfire is a single-seat aircraft while Spitfire II allows a pilot and a passenger.
  • Uses Rotax 447 or Rotax 582 engines.
  • Fuel consumption is 3 gallons per hour for Spitfire and 4.5 gal / hr for Spitfire II.
  • Standard empty weight is 254 Lbs. for Spitfire and 477 Lbs. for Spitfire II.

There are full characteristics on this page. The kit prices shown there are $6,050 Spitfire / $7,500 Spitfire 2 for kit and $11,500 / $16,000 for complete aircraft.

Tucano Ultralight

Tucano Ultralight

Tucano is another Italian ultralight aircraft. It's very popular in Italy, and not only, and is widely used among flight schools. Tucano is a two-seat aircraft with empty weight of 220kg. Its maximum speed is 140 km/h and the cruise speed is 100 km/h.

There are several other modifications of the Tucano:

  • TUCANO Delta3 VTW which is slightly faster with cruise speed of 120km/h.
  • TUCANO HV - amphibian ultralight
  • TUCANO Delta3 TW - a twin engine aircraft with cruise speed of 100 km/h
  • TUCANO V - advertised for its reliability and easiness
  • NEW TUCANO DELTA3 with open cockpit and costing only €13,000

For more information about this excellent aircraft visit the official site of Flylab.