Belite Aircraft continues to expand product line; Tricycle gear and Superlite models to debut at US Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida
Higher performance and nose-wheel equipped variants are both FAR Part 103 compliant
Wichita, KS - Belite Aircraft is unveiling two exciting new versions based on its existing Belite '254' FAR Part 103 compliant ultralight aircraft at the annual US Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, January 21-24, 2010. The new Trike and the Superlite models will provide recreational flyers with an easy-to-land or a higher performance variant of the Belite 254. Like the original Belite 254 which incorporates extensive use of weight-saving carbon fiber, both of the new models are economically priced to make flying affordable and accessible, even to pilots without any medical or conventional pilot's license.
"Our extensive review and design study of FAR Part 103 aircraft has given us a significant appreciation for both the potential of the ultralight market and the desire for a range of options from which to choose," noted James Wiebe, Chief Executive Officer of Belite Aircraft. "As we've interacted with operators and prospects in this market segment, we've learned what people want, and we've taken their suggestions and input seriously. The results go beyond simply making an existing design lighter and incorporating some optional features. At Belite, we've been able to adapt and refine our designs to create aircraft and kit options to make flying available to a broader audience. We're excited about both the Trike and the Superlite because we've been able to integrate widely requested features into aircraft that are affordable, easy to operate, and fun to fly."
The Belite Trike
"Many existing pilots don't have the tailwheel skills, so the Trike solves the problem and opens up another flying option," Wiebe pointed out. "It's still an ultralight, so it can still be operated without Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration or a current medical, but its ground handling and landing manners are much like a Cessna 172. It looks good, it is fun to fly and it's also economical. It also incorporates a lightweight aluminum tube fuselage and can be ordered with either a 28 horsepower (HP) or 45 HP engine.
The Trike features a free castering nose wheel and composite main gear, a good looking 5 gallon spun aluminum fuel tank and a fully-covered cockpit interior.
Belite Aircraft is also announcing a new aircraft with outstanding Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) performance, the Superlite, which is equipped with a twin opposed cylinder 50 HP Hirth engine with dual ignition. Available in both fully built, Ready to Fly or kit form, the Superlite is also equipped with a ballistic parachute. True to its name, it tips the scales at a mere 278 pounds, making it FAR Part 103 legal with a parachute allowance.
"We have already put this aircraft through its paces in flight test," Wiebe stated, "and it required a ground roll of only about 100 feet to get airborne. When takeoff power is applied, it leaps into the air and climbs at an outrageous rate. The tail comes up immediately, and then the plane 'unglues' from the runway in an amazingly short distance. The Superlite is the aircraft for any pilot looking for a very high performance, low cost, unlicensed option."
Wiebe also pointed out that, in order to meet FAR Part 103 requirements, engine power in the Superlite is ground limited to approximately 38HP to ensure that ultralight cruise speed limitations of 62 mph is not exceeded. When owner built as an experimental aircraft, owners may dial in full engine power through a 60 x 36 propeller, providing absolute maximum takeoff performance.
The Superlite uses the exact same fuselage and wing similar to Belite's existing 254CF model. (Wing area has been increased by approximately 2 square feet through the use of larger flaperons.) The engine mount, engine and propeller provide a new performance combination. Carbon fiber is used extensively in the wing, firewall, seat back, seat bottom and floorboard to minimize weight. The fuselage and cabin area are welded aircraft steel for safety and strength. The cockpit windshield and cabin top are Lexan for safety and 360 degrees of vision. Belite also utilizes larger 5.00 x 5 tires in the Superlite, which provide better ground handling (especially on rougher runways) and a sporty look. Belite also now includes a spun aluminum 5 gallon fuel tank, which looks very sharp and is lightweight and strong.
Belite Ready To Fly Factory pricing starts at $25,000. Kits start at under $10,000.
Additional features, pricing and availability and information can be obtained by contacting Belite Aircraft at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 316-253-6746. Photographs and additional details of both versions of the aircraft are also published in James Wiebe's blog, www.jameswiebe.blogspot.com, which may also be accessed through the Belite website: www.beliteaircraft.com