Sourcing ultralight aircraft parts

Introduction

Ultralight aircraft are designed for people looking to build their own aircraft. It is for those who are new to it, as also old hands. It is possible to assemble brand new planes using the different parts. These planes are meant for sports and recreational purposes.

In order to carry out the build, it is important to source all parts of the aircraft and assemble them according to a plan. The materials used should be top notch and the fittings have to be assembled as per instructions mentioned in the manual provided with the parts. It is possible to source these materials cheaply. But it’s important to remember that some of these manufacturers also make everyday items like some of the household items here. So you must be discerning in your search.

For people who are completely new to building planes, instructional videos can be downloaded or viewed on the manufacturer’s website. These videos make it easier to assemble planes, as they demonstrate how the different parts should be put together to build ultralight aircraft.

Sourcing the parts

·Websites

One of the easiest ways to find ultralight aircraft parts is through air parts websites. These websites are dedicated to sell ultralight aircraft parts and provide a variety of brands and equipment to choose from. Some of the equipment provided include Airframe parts, Avionics, Floats, Cables, Assemblies, Electrical parts, Engine essentials, Fuel Systems, Hardware equipment, Sails, Tools, Brakes, Tires, Wheels and some of them might also sell pre-owned equipment at lower rates.

·eBay

eBay is also an option to consider while looking for ultralight aircraft parts. You will find sellers listing the parts, be it new or pre-owned. You are free to choose based on your budget and requirements.

·Aircraft stores

If you are looking for bulk parts then consider choosing wholesale dealers. They will have a wide selection of parts at wholesale rates. Visiting the stores can help you get an insight into the type pf parts being sold in the market and what will suit your needs best. You might also run into experts, who can share tips on choosing the right parts for the build and also lend construction advice.

Build Plans

When it comes to ultralight planes, there are several build plans to choose from. Here are a few of the plans you can consider taking up.

For beginners, the Affordaplane is a good plan to start with. It comes with 49 CAD drawings with all parts laid out according to serial numbers thus making it easy for beginners to start building their aircraft. You can buy parts that are specific to this model and assemble them according to the manual.

If you are looking for something a bit more advanced then consider the Fighter Ultralight E-plans. They come with instructions to build simple, ultralight fighter planes. Look for parts that are specifically designed for planes like these.

If you wish to go one step ahead and build a helicopter then choose the Aeros Ultralight Helicopter plan. The manual comes with instructions and pictures that can be used to build the aircraft. It also lends information regarding specific parts to be used, engines suitable for the build etc.

Summary

As you can see, there are a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to sourcing, and building, ultralight planes for recreational purposes. Once you start building your own ultralight aircraft, you will see how easy it is to do so and much cheaper compared to buying new planes.

Proper maintenance of ultralight aircraft

Ultralight aircraft is a single-seater fixed wing aircraft which is an inspired derivative from hang gliders. With a conventional -axis control surfaces such as ailerons, elevators and rudder, and a power plant used to provide power to a rotor in order to accelerate the aircraft. Due to the minimal structure and components involves in an ultralight aircraft, the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is around 450kg.
Maintenance of ultralight aircraft
Ultralight aircraft have one of the highest numbers for civilian owned vehicle in the world. Mostly used for recreation and sporting activities, ultralight aircraft has to have proper maintenance and inspections thoroughly. Although, both the pilot and maintenance has to hold regulated license or certification in order to get proper approval from concern aviation authorities.
We have highlighted some of the important aspects required to have proper maintenance of ultralight aircraft. So let’s learn what they are.

  1. Skills and Licensing required
    The first step in the line of maintenance for an ultralight aircraft is to have proper skills about its structure, tools required and procedures. There are certain assessments considerations for your ultralight aircraft such as checking its airworthiness, compliance on approved techniques for repairs etc.
    You can only be legally fit to get your hands dirty if you have an adequate license on ultralight aircraft maintenance. Having an LSA repairman maintenance certificate along with the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) approved technical training to gets a hands-on working over the ultralight aircraft.
    Tools required
    No maintenance could proceed without proper tooling, specialized to work on the ultralight aircraft. Mostly tools are rather general ones for repairing and maintenance except for air pumps used to pressure air shocks. Below are the tools required for ultralight aircraft
  • Loctite (Antiseize lubricant) for frame
  • Rotax maintenance manual
  • Ring – open-ended imperial spanner set
  • Torque wrench
  • Air pump
  • petroleum lubricants
  • Dry lubricants
  • Tie wire
  • Swages and tooling
  • Hex key set
  • Petrol resistant tape
  • Various general used tools.
    Parts of an Ultralight aircraft
    Below are the parts of Ultralight aircraft and their components parts used
  • Aircraft Structure
    It includes Mast, front pole, Seat block, Seat frame, Engine mount, Base Tube, front end assembly and rear landing gear
  • Cockpit
    It includes Windscreen, seats, soft-side, and pods
  • Under seat bags
    Used in the case of emergency, which consists simply of under-seat bags
  • Mast Block Area
    Includes Inertia reel retractors, Mast blocks, Over-center lever, and seat frame
  • Steeting and foot lever
    For mechanical control, the parts are foot brake lever, brake park latch, front foot steering pedal, draft stop, dual steering linkage, and rear steering paddle.
  • Power Plant
    The components to power plant are Air filter, Carburettor, Propeller, fuel tank, oil cooler, muffler and water radiator.
    Airworthiness
    Airworthiness refers to the component life (per hours) in which they are considered to be either airworthiness to use. If a component or structural usage limit is crossed, it’s airworthiness is provoked. There is a complete set of instruction about each component and its allocated hours for service.
    Log Book
    With every maintenance and repair practices, it is necessary to fill out the check sheet provided by the ultralight aircraft manufacturer. The logbook is used to track the aircraft’s status and its component health for better airworthiness.
two-seater-ultralight

Common ultralight aircraft

Ultralight aircraft come in a range of specifications, sizes, and configurations depending on their purpose.
The following are a list of the most common ultralight aircraft found in the United States:

  • Aerolite 103 ($20 000):
    Designed by aviation lover Terry Raber in 1996, this ultralight aircraft is simply a joy to watch and a delight to handle. It is easy to fly and inexpensive to maintain. The Aerolite 103 comes with the following features and specifications:
    • Top speed of 60 mph.
    • Fuel capacity of 10 US gallons.
    • Range up to 100 miles.
    • Well fitted gears for shock absorption and Azusa brakes.
    • Electrical powered flaps.
aerolite 103
The Aerolite 103
  • CGS Hawk ($40 000):
    The CGS Hawk comes with a curved front design that bends in such a way that it creates more space for the cockpit and gives room for taller pilots. It is built with the following features:
    • Top speed of 80 mph.
    • Weight when the engine is removed- 550 pounds.
    • Dual 3- axis control.
    • Fuel capacity of 10 US gallons.
    • Well-built stabilizers and rudder for better controls.
cgs hawk
CGS Hawk
  • M-Squared Breese SS (~$150 000):
    This ultralight aircraft takes pride in its ultralight weight. It is powered by a 40 hp Rotax 447 engine and has a gross weight of 650 pounds. It also features:
    • Sailcloth wing with the double surface.
    • Fuel capacity of about 8 US gallons.
  • Quicksilver GT-500 ($20 000):
    This sturdy and easy to fly ultralight aircraft is one of the best performing ultralight aircraft in the US. It is equipped with the following features and specifications:
    • Cruise speed of about 80 mph that tops at 88 mph.
    • Weight when the engine is removed- 445 pounds.
    • Dual CDI ignition.
    • Tachometer, which measures the RPMs of its 80 hp Rotax 912UL engine.
    • Cockpit with adjustable seats built-in for comfort and vitality.
woopy fly
The Woopy-Fly
  • Woopy-Fly:
    This is a remarkable ultralight aircraft. It comes with an inflatable wing, a unique feature among ultralight aircraft. Other features include:
    • 20 hp powered engine.
    • Cruise speed of 37 mph.
    • The empty weight of 123 pounds.
    • An outstanding assembling time- 15 minutes!
  • Cri-Cri MC-10 ($1000):
    Michel Colombian designed this ultralight aircraft in 1971. A small economic aircraft can perform aerobatic manoeuvres, Cri-Cri MC-10 spots the following features:
    • Cruise speed of 124 mph.
    • The empty weight of 176 pounds.
    • 2 JPX PUL 212 engine.
    • Take off distance- 330 ft.
  • Air-bike 103 ($6 995):
    The Air-bike 103 pays close attention to its weight and therefore doesn’t joke around in its engine selection. This makes the aircraft easy to assemble and a delight to fly. It comes with the following specifications and features:
    • Fuel capacity of 5 US gallons.
    • 28 hp propeller engine.
    • Fixed conventional landing gear.
    • The range of 115 miles
air bike
Air bike 103

One sure thing worthy of note is the fact that these aircraft are extremely affordable. With prices ranging from $1000- $150 000, most of them are cheaper to acquire than automobiles.
With the excitement that these rides offer, I see no reason why anyone would want to resist them.

The joys of ultralight aviation

Everyone dreams to fly, and we’re not talking about commercial flights. Its something more than that. Like a bird, flying openly over the sky without a worry in the world. It really looks magnificent. To replicate the same experience, people are trying various methods such as parachuting, gliding, or even budgie jumping, but to experience the real pleasure of flying on your own, there’s no substitute of a ultralight aviation.
What is ultralight aviation?
An ultralight aviation is a lightweight aircraft for single person. It consists of primary navigational controls for an aircraft such as aileron, rudder and elevation. For power, ultralight aircraft also consists of power plant to provide rotary power as well.
Joys of ultralight aviation
The best thing about ultralight aircraft is that any one can built it. It very economical and easy to fly. Make sure you have adequate license to operate a ultralight aircraft.
Basically the main reason for ultralight aircraft is fir recreational purposes. You can’t earn from it, neither use it for delivery purposes. The entire concept behind the ultralight aviation is to have a flying experience and simply have a awesome time.
Uses of ultralight aircraft
After you have obtained your flight license for ultralight aircraft there are actually three domains in which you can use to fly ultraviolet aircraft ob your own.

  1. Sports
    There are plenty of sporting related event where the use of ultralight aircraft are commonly used. National and international level competition are being provided for ultralight aviators to perform various challenges such as time trial based sports in which the pilot has to fly this aircraft from one location to the other as fast as possible.
  2. Surveys
    Although an ultralight aircraft can’t go to a greater height due to its compact size, but still it can cover almost every terrain. With a simple onboard camera and radio system, the pilot can flyover to any designated area and provide information through his radio system. Ultralight aviation has been successfully used in the department of observation and survey for many years.
  3. Documentary
    Many news or reporters greatly admire over the top view for taking pictures or recording purposes. An other joy of using ultralight aviation in the department of documentary related missions, just as flying at the top if a rough terrain and record the birdeyes view about its landscape.
    Some important consideration for using ultralight aircraft
    There are various consideration will flying a ultralight aircraft. We have discussed the main ones below.
  • They cannot stay longer in air
    Due to its compact size and lower full capacity, an ultralight aircraft cannot be operated for a longer duration. Although you have full level indicators in your cockpit to provide data about the fuel and other important information
  • Unable to carry much payload
    Because of their light weight, as the name suggests, the ultralight aircraft cannot carry payload. It cab carry only a pilot and some small size camera and radi system
  • Can’t be used during bad weather
    Ultralight aircraft is suitable only to be used in perfect, low pressure environment. Rain, high wind pressure or cloudy weather is no suitable for flights
  • Only suitable during day Time
    With no onboard navigation system and guidance instruments, ultralight aircraft cannot be operated during night hours.