Introduction to Ultralight Aviation
Are the private airplanes only for the richest? So many people dream to fly but can't even imagine owning a private jet. Besides that flying with some of these machines rare gives really fulfilling experience.
It seems that too many people didn't agree just to dream flying so the ultralight aviation was invented. The ultralight flying machines are a lot more affordable than the other aircraft. They are smaller, cheaper, cutier, spend less fuel, fly slower and often give you the opportunity to feel the air around you.
This hub is a short introduction to ultralight aviation. Read below to learn what kinds of ultralight airplanes are available, how much does owning one cost and how can you actually start flying.
The ultralight airplanes are just like the normal airplanes, but much lighter. The light weight and cost saving are achieved by removing a lot of the "extras" that normal airplanes have. Sometimes this would mean even that there is no cockpit - this is often the case with the so called "ultralight trikes".
The ultralight airplanes usually are created for one or two people only. They don't fly as fast as the light airplanes - usually their cruise speed is 100 - 200km/h.
There are two major types of ultralight airplanes:
- Fixed wing ultralight aircraft. These look exactly like you would expect an airplane to look.
- Flex wing ultralight aircraft. The flex wings are even lighter, their delta wing is flexible and they take much less space.
Some popular ultralight airplanes are Challenger, Colb Ultralight and Rans Coyote.
Sometimes people refer to ultralight airplanes as light sport aircraft but there are some thin differences like you can read in the linked article.
The prices of ultralight airplanes are usually $20,000 and above. However you can have one even cheaper if you build it yourself with a kit or just plans. Another money saving option is to buy a second hand one or a share. A decent second hand ultralight trike may cost just $5k.
Here is a video of some nice ultralight airplanes
To many it sounds surprising that anyone would want to make an ultralight helicopter. But the ordinary helicopters are extremely complex and expensive that the flying enthusiasts who loved helicopters needed a solution for that and found it.
The ultralight helicopters have very simple construction,often no cockpit and in many cases are just built by their owners. Of course, most builders don't do everything in their own, but purchase helicopter kits.
The price of an ultralight helicopter can go as low as $8,000 or at least this what the Indian Ultralight helicopter creators claim.
A lovely Ultralight Helicopter
Ultralight Aircraft Kits
Like mentioned above, many people choose to build their ultralight aircraft on their own. Going completely from scratch is possible if you purchase engineering plans. It's a very tough job and takes a lot of time but some enthusiasts do it.
For many building an ultralight airplane with a kit will be much better option. Here are its advantages:
- Building from kit is relatively easy. Don't expect it to be a cake, but it's much better than trying to build all parts yourself. And the possibilities to go wrong are less.
- Using kit you have better choice of airplanes. That's true because many ultralights are sold only in kit form. Besides that transporting a kit is cheaper and easier than transporting a completed aircraft.
- Using kit is cheaper.
- It's a great learning experience. You will see all the parts of your ultralight airplane and will know where is each one of them. This makes support easier and flying safer.
The prices of ultralight kits vary hugely depending on the models. Some airplane kits can be bought for less than $10,000 while other cost more than $100,000. Before buying, make sure to check the airplane buyer guide.