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.
- 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.
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
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 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.
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.