Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Database Of Ultralight, Homebuilt, and Experimental Aircraft

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Air Creation Ultralights

This French company produces light sport aircraft and ultralight airplanes. The company is most popular for their trikes:

  • Tanarg 912 is a powerful flex wing aircraft with Rotax 582 or Rotax 912 engine. The weight of the different modifications is around 185kg / 410 lbs. Maximum speed 140 km/h - 160 km/h. Qualifies as light sport aircraft.
  • Sypper 582 and Skypper 912 are lighter trikes that can handle more payload than the Tanarg series. The maximum speed of the different modifications is between 100 km/h and 160 km/h.
  • iFun Pixel uses a Polini Thor 250 engine. With its weight of 90 - 95 kg and maixmum speed of 11o km/h (68 mph) it qualitifes as ultralight Part 103 aircraft.

Prices are unfortunately not listed on the site so you'll need to contact the company or its distributors.

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.

Aventura Aircraft

Aventura Aircraft is an amphibions ultralight airplane. It's offered in four modifications:

  • Aventura Sport which is a 2 seat aircraft and costs $33,400. Its empty weight is 650 lbs and the cruise speed is 70 mph.
  • Aventura II costs $44,900 and has a cruise speed of 85 mph. The aircraft empty weight is 800 lbs.
  • Aventura XLR has the same speed/weight characteristics. It's sold in severa lsub-modifications.
  • Aventura HP is lighter and slower - 650 lbs weight and 70 mph cruise speed (just like Aventura Sport).

Aventura aircraft is built by Aero Adventure Aviation, based in Florida, USA. All their models can be purchased directly from the official site.

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.

J-3 Kitten

Hipp's Superbirds J-3 Kitten is an ultralight Part 103 compatible fixed wing aircraft. The Hipp's Superbirds family also includes some heavier models which fall into experimental / homebuilt category. But we'll focus on J-3 here, because it's ultralight:

  • Its empty weight is 250 lb (113 kg).
  • The maximum speed is 63 mph (101 km/h; 55 kn).
  • Its cruise speed is 60 mph (52 kn; 97 km/h)
  • Available as kits or plans for enthusiast builders.

Unfortunately the company does not seem to have any active website. You'll have to seek for information on sites like Wikipedia or in various discussion groups. This page has some more detailed information about the plane. The plane can be found for sale at about $10,000 or even as low as $2,500 without engine.

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.

Quad City Challenger

Challenger Ultralight is one of the most beloved simplest in construction Part 103 compatible homebuilt airplanes. Developed first in 1983 it's still our personal favorite.

  • Available in several modifications - as Part 103 compatible ultralight and as Light Sport Aircraft ("E" Series and "X" Series).
  • Still in active development and available for sale.
  • For comparison between the different series and modifications click here.
  • Available also as amphibian aircraft.

Instead of listing the characteristics of the different models here, we suggest you to visit the official site which is well maintained and full of up to date information. Check also the 10 best reasons to buy Challenger.

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.

Snedden M7

Snedden M7 is a new Part 103 compatible ultralight. It's fixed wing and qualifies as homebuilt. Often criticized for its odd design. The price is not yet determined but it looks like affordable airplane.

  • Its empty weight is 277 pounds but that includes 24 lbs parachute allowance (so without that it's legal).
  • The maximum speed is 63 mph (101 km/h; 55 kn).
  • Its cruise speed is about 35 mph

It's unclear whether this airplane can be currently purchased. If you are interested in it, we suggest that you contact directly the creator through his official site.