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 True Folding Wing Ultralight

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FlyDiver

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Join date : 2008-07-22
Location : Shelton, WA

PostSubject: True Folding Wing Ultralight   Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:23 pm

Back in 2008 I began looking for a fixed wing ultralight with folding wings that could be transported in the back of a pickup. The first one I looked at was a Skyraider but the one I checked out was N numbered as light sport and far enough overweight I could not envision a way to realistically get it down to Part 103 requirements. So I kept looking and saving the $$ and I finally found the real deal. I now have a Belite with tricycle gear and its empty weight with an 8.1 pound prop was 254.1 pounds. It now has a 5 pound prop and I took advantage of the chute allowance an put a hand thrown reserve chute on it. The wings fold and it rides quite nicely in the 8 foot bed of my F150. At the time I bought the Belite, I was a dealer for Verner engines so the choice of their 360cc 4-stroke was easy. 35hp and still meets Part 103 weight limits. There is a builder log on my website at http://www.flydiver.com.

Arthur Thompson
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zaitcev



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Join date : 2012-07-09

PostSubject: Re: True Folding Wing Ultralight   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:46 pm

I see you got a kit from Jim although his website says that he won't sell to someone who haven't built two other projects first. Smooth.

I thought about a Belite, but factory built. Got my tailwheel endorsement a week ago just in case. I notice that a trike Belite is a bit heavier and more expensive. Also, the maximum pilot weight is less than I weigh. Of course being cheap enough to see the difference between the two, I would only go for the F33 engine.
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FlyDiver

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Join date : 2008-07-22
Location : Shelton, WA

PostSubject: Not a Kit   Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:20 pm

All I did was the paint and fabricate an engine mount. My excuse for buying a factory built instead of the kit is a bus conversion with an April deadling to be ready to live in for more than a weekend. Actually, Belite made me an offer I couldn't refuse but I think I got their first production all aluminum airframe because it took them way longer than they expected. My bus is doing the same thing to me so perhaps I shouldn't complain. the Belite is finally airborne and most of the bugs are worked out although I am not pleased with the climb performance with the prop I currently have. It is a fun flyer and it does fit easily into the back of the pickup or into the T hangar behind the wifes weight shift trike.
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zaitcev



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PostSubject: Re: True Folding Wing Ultralight   Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:49 am

I don't even need an excuse for factory built, I just prefer it that way. I live in a small suburban house and I cannot take over the garage for 5 years.

DId you look at Kolb Firefly and Aerolite 103 before chosing Belite? Just curious.

Also the idea of carrying the airplane in the truck is highly unorthodox. Now I'm wondering if Back Yard Flyer can be transported that way (with the wing going over the cab). Obviously one can only cover short distances that way while avoiding freeways.

For myself it's still a trailer regardless, because I want to cover large distances for flying out of remote locations.
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FlyDiver

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PostSubject: RE: Kolb Firefly & Aeolight   Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:26 am

I looked at the kolb but it did not appear that I could put my 70 lb. 4-stroke on it and remain 103 legal. I cannot see any folding wing option for the Aerolite so did not consider it. As it turned out, we had to go to carbon fiber wing spars and thinner wing struts to make the Belite 103 legal.

As for transporting in the truck, I have plans laid away to put up a frame over the cab and bed that I can lash a tarp over to act as awind shield and to keep the contents of the bed covered and hopefully dry. We have towed over the freeways behind the bus and the only issue is all the road grunge the bus kicks up. Front of the truck was truly filthy after going over a stretch in MT that had oil all over the road surface. We plan on removing the flapperons, rudder, elevator and cowling since they are just pinned in place and will store the parts in bags made of carpet padding. The prop sits about 2 inches above the cab roof for about the thickness of the hub. Will bag it as well to keep it from banging the cab roof.

Why transport in a truck instead of an enclosed trailer? No doubt the trailer is a more secure storage but when you park the bus a trailer is tough to use for ground transportation. I admit I am trying to knock off a bunch of birds with a single BB but for a couple of old geezers, having that truck for local transportation is a must and I don't think I could find a trailer big enough (and also legal length) that would house a car and the airplanes. Gauranteed I will investigate if such a thing exists.

Art
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