Ultralight Aircraft wins Reserve Grand Champion Ultralight
at Sun N Fun 2012, Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News
Light Sport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit
into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight
light sport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental
aircraft, amateur built aircraft, ELSA or homebuilt
aircraft in the United States and Canada. These include
weight shift aircraft, more commonly known as trikes,
powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders.
Belite wins Reserve
Grand Champion at 2012 Sun 'n Fun
If there is
one company that has used the internet to it's fullest it
has to be Belite Aircraft. Owner James Wiebe has covered the
web in video, editorial, blogs, pictures you name it. His
craft has won a number of awards, and has been featured on
an episode of Myth Busters, where it was proven that a plane
repaired with duct tape could actually fly!
This year at Sun N Fun James showed up with what many people
called the Wonder Bread Aircraft. James actually called it
the WoW Plane. The WoW plane featured faired lift struts,
faired landing gear and springs, which substantially reduces
drag, as well as increases the climb and cruise.
James calculated that just changing from the standard round
struts, to faired struts reduced the drag by nearly 17 lbs.
The horizontal stablizer also has been redesigned, and now
features an aerodynamic airfoil reduces drag and gives a
quicker smoother elevator response.
The Wow plane
also came fully equipped with electric start, a charging
system, a full instrument panel, hydraulic brakes, an
parachute system, and folding wings! Even with all of this
the Belite still comes in as a legal part 103 ultralight
with exception performance, even when powered by as little
as 28 hp. James reports that with the F33 Hirth engine and 5
gallons of fuel a pilot has "two hours to dry tank." Cruise
comes in a 60 mph. Giving the craft approximately a 100 mile
Two versions of the airframe are available, one manufactured
from welded together 4130 chromoly steel, the other rivet
together aluminum. Including covering and paint James says
the plane can be built in 500 hours, which normally means a
years worth of working weekends. The Belite is also
available in a number of sub kits so builders can buy and
complete one before moving on to another. The factory also
offers ready to fly aircraft in the ultralight category,
with order to delivery in approximately 90 days.
James reports sales for the first quarter of 2012 to be
brisk with seven aircraft kits already in customers hands.
Pricing of Belite aircraft (FAF) starts at $16,500. Pricing
of Belite kit aircraft starts at $9,000. James has a number
of dealers in the U.S. and also sells factory direct where
an area doesn't have a dealer.
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