Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Database Of Ultralight, Homebuilt, and Experimental Aircraft

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AirScooter II

The Airscooter is an amphibian helicopter with pontones which allow you to land in water.

Airscooter II is a single-seat Part 103 compatible ultralight aircraft.

This model unfortunately is not yet on the market. The expected price is around $50,000 if the product ever hits the market.

The project has been featured on many popular tech sites including Engadged.

Aliseo Flying Boat

Aliseo Flying Boat is a modern amphibian aircraft that does not qualify under Part 103. The plane is available in three models: Aliseo I, Aliseo II, and Aliseo III

General characteristics:

  • Aliseo I has total weight of 492 lb./216 kg. and max speed of 50 knots.
  • Aliseo II has total weight of 520 lb./230 kg. and the same maximum speed.
  • Aliseo III is the lightest with weight of 490 lb./215 kg and fastest with maximum speed of 55 knots.
  • The retail price of Aliseo is about $20,000 - $25,000.

You can find more information at the Aliseo Home Page which is relatively up to date offers enough contact information.

AMD Zodiac

AMD Zodiac is a light sport aircraft from the Zodiac series built by Zenit Aircraft Company.

This aircraft comes in many variants one of which is ultralight - the Zenair CH 601 UL model. The airplane is usually offered in kit form.

It's a rather popular 2-seat aircraft with more than 1,000 Zodiacs flying in the world.

For more information about the Zodiac series and pictures have a look at the official page.

Belite Aircraft

Belite Aircraft is one of the really active ultralight manufacturing companies out there.

The aircraft flies under Part 103 and is offered in ready to fly and kit form, and several modifications.

Kit prices start at just about $8,000 while ready to fly airplanes are between $16k and $30k. The weight of the different configurations is between 230lbs and 280lbs. Maximum speed of all modes is 80mph.

Unlike many others, this airplane can be bought directly from the official company website.

I suggest you also to visit James Wiebe's Belite Aircraft Blog

Brock KB-3

Brock KB-3 is ultralight single-seat autogyro created and built in the USA by Ken Brock (the creator of KB-2). It's sold as kit and classified as experimental homebuilt aircraft.

The most important characteristics:

  • Cruise speed of 64 mph / 103 km/h
  • Its empty weight is 250 lbs / 113 kg which qualifies it for Part 103
  • The maximum speed is a bit low - 63 mph / 101 km/h
  • It's fuel capacity is 5 gallons

Unfortunately, accordingly to this news, Ken Brock Manufacturing is closed. So your best bet to own KB-3 is to buy it used from the aircraft classifieds sites. Unless of course you want to build your own using consturction plans.

Celier Xenon 2

Here is one Polish gyrocopter! It's offered either as homebuilt/experimental kit or as complete aircraft.

The official site of Celier Aviation isn't very informative so if you want to learn more about this great gyro, here are few resources:

For more general info on gyrocopters check our page.

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.

Polaris AM-FIB

Polaris AM-FIB is an Italian flying boat built by Polaris Motor. This amphibian aircraft is in production. More than 1,000 of these airplanes have been sold since 1987.

General characteristics:

  • Single seat aircraft not compatible with Part 103.
  • Its empty weight is 239 kg (527 lb).
  • Its maximum speed is 80 km/h (50 mph; 43 kn).
  • Its cruise speed is 70 km/h (43 mph; 38 kn).

Although the website of Polaris Motor is under construction for some time, the company is alive and has a YouTube channel where you can see some videos of the flying boat.

Pulsar XP

This is a glass airplane offered as kit. It's loved by beginner builders because of its simplicity while the end product looks and works great.

Unfortunately the site of Pulsar Aircraft company is not currently accessible. There are many places however where you can find full specs and more info about this great ultralight:

Sorrell Hiperlight

Experimental ultralight aircraft in two versions - single-seat and double-seat.

Full specs and information can be found at Wikipedia.

This airplane is offered by Thinderbird Aviation and is still in production. Kits for the current versions of the Hiperlight can be bought for around $20,000.

If you want to build a model, here are some plans.

T Bird Tierra

T Bird Tierra is one of the easiest ultralight aircraft for home builders and takes only about 100 hours to build from a kit.

The most important characteristics:

  • Rotax engine airctaft
  • 70 mph / 113 kph cruise speed
  • 259 kg / 572 lbs empty weight

Such planes can be found second hand (sometimes unfinished kits) for less than $20,000 or even less than $10,000. I saw an ad for T Bird I selling for $6,000. It's lovely affordable experimental airplane.

T Bird is produced by Indy Aircaft Ltd. Check their official site for current product info and if you want to purchase a new kit. Price information is not available.

The Gyrobee

The Gyrobee is experimental kit gyroplane offered by Star Bee Gyros.

There are several kit types that are offered: Total BEE Kit (00TB), BEE Deal (00BD), and StarBee Light Kit (00SBL). The last one lets you stay under Part 103 which means no licensing is required. There are also various frames and parts offered by the company.

Another page with excellent information and links about the Gyrobee is available here.