Flying is a dream a lot of people have but the popular believe is that flying an airplane can be extremely expensive and you have to be super-rich to become a certified pilot. It is true to an extent but today we are going to look at seven ultralight airplanes you can legally fly without a license and can be purchased brand new for less than the cost of a fairly used Honda car.
These ultralight airplanes are classified under the US FA are part 103 ultralight category meaning. They can’t weigh more than 254 pounds, have a maximum fuel capacity of five US gallons, have a top speed of 55 knots, have a power-off stall speed of 24 knots or less used only for recreational or sport flying and the pilot must be the sole occupant
Ultralight: Aerolite 103
The Aerolite 103 is one of the best ultralight aircraft in the market. A professionally built ready to fly aircraft with a pusher configuration. The high wing you can assemble yourself in less than 50 hours. This airplane has been in the market for over 20 years and production of the aircraft ended in 2005 when the manufacturer went out of business.
It was sold as an assembly kid aircraft. The kit includes the fuselage wings control surfaces jury struts and struts. The kit does not include powerplant propeller or instruments but recently the production rights to the Aerolite 103 were purchased by U-Fly-It Light Sport Aircraft of DeLand in Florida where the aircraft is now built and sold as a ready to fly ultralight aircraft.
You don’t get fancy avionics in this kind of plane it’s only equipped with rudder pedals a control yoke electric flaps a steerable nose wheel and a left-hand throttle which is okay for you to navigate around under the visual flight rule. When the aircraft was first introduced the standard engine was the 35 horsepower – 2si 460 F 35 engine with the 40 horsepower Rotax for 4:7 optional.
In 2009 the standard recommended engine was the Rotax 447 with 46 horsepower. Rotax 503 engine optional in this aircraft, you can cruise at 70 miles per hour over 100 miles and climb at 800 feet per minute. has an ultralight vehicle no license is required to fly the aircraft but training is highly recommended though it looks sporty, aerobatics and spins are not allowed in this aircraft.
The company estimates the time to complete the airframe at sixty to eighty hours the price for a completely assembled ready to fly Aerolite 103 is $12, 000. Though you can get a used model for less than ten $10, 000.
Ultralight: Hummel Ultracruiser
The UltraCruiser is a cantilever low wing aircraft a single-seat opener, optionally enclosed cockpit fixed conventional landing gear also known as tail dragger or optionally tricycle landing gear and a single-engine and tractor configuration.
It was first introduced in 1998 and was designed for first-time kit builders as well as first-time pilots. The UltraCruiser is easy to build and even easier to fly aircraft. It comes in two models the UltraCruiserand the UltraCruiser plus and is the only all-metal ultralight aircraft. The best thing about the UltraCruiser is the attention to detail design very good-looking and impressive.
If you love beauty this airplane is for you. You can cruise at 90 miles per hour in this aircraft and it can only stall at 28 miles per hour. Meaning you can fly extremely slow which makes it perfect for sightseeing flights. The UltraCruiser features standard three-axis controls with a center-mounted stick, left-hand throttle and rudder pedals the cabin width is 23.5 inches wide and is equipped with a windshield for wind and pilot protection but can be fitted with an enclosure for colder weather flying. TheUltraCruiser is powered by VW 4 stroke engine conversions ranging from 28 to 45 horsepower with a good climb rate of 1,000 feet per minute and cruise speed of 60 miles per hour.
The price for a new UltraCruiser kit costs $14, 500, the Rotax engine costs $3,400 and extras run well over $1,500 so for $20,000 you can buy one already built.
Ultralight: FlyNano Nano
The FlyNano is a finished single-seat amphibian ultralight electric aircraft introduced in 2011. This aircraft is half jet ski and half-plane the FlyNano combines marine and aviation technology creating a lightweight plane that only weighs 70 kilograms. Though a pilot’s license is not required to fly the aircraft however it is not for beginners as some flying experience is recommended before attempting to fly the seaplane.
The aircraft is only supplied as a complete ready to fly aircraft. Meaning you don’t get the option to build your own electric powered engine makes it extremely quiet cheap to run and maintain. It is made from carbon fibre, which makes it extremely light and strong. The good thing about this airplane is that the aircraft wing can be removed for storage or ground transportation so if you live close to a lake and love flying around on your day off this airplane is for you.
It features a joint box wing a single-seat open cockpit without a windshield a hull for water operations a single electric engine and tractor configuration mounted above the cockpit. This aircraft can fly incredibly fast at 87 miles per hour compared to others in this category as high as 9,800 feet. The downside of this airplane is the cost. To get a brand new of this plane will cost you $19,400 so if you love travelling fast and quiet in an ultralight aircraft this airplane is for you.
Ultralight: Quicksilver MX 103
Quicksilver MX 103 was first introduced as a weight hang glider, later evolved into a line of single-engine high wing ultralight aircraft. That has been in production since the late 1970s. The single-seat QuicksilverMX not only complies with the USF AR 103 ultralight vehicles rules but was in fact the aircraft around which the rules were developed. The Quicksilver was the most popular ultralight aircraft design when the regulations were first drafted in the early 1980s.
It was first introduced as a hang-glider and it differed from most hang gliders at that time. The Quicksilver had a rigid rectangular wing and a tail with a horizontal stabilizer and a rudder at that time the majority of hang gliders were simple regalo wing type hang gliders.
The earliest powered version the Quicksilver seat was created as a self-launching hang glider designed to allow pilots who lived in the flatlands to be able to self-launch without help. Piper later added seat wheels and a small engine behind the wing of the hang glider and the Quicksilver ultralights was born.
This aircraft was controlled by pushing a bar forwards and backwards and side to side in the same way that hangs gliders are controlled this shifted the center of gravity of the aircraft and allowed the pilot to control the plane. Many pilots wanted an aircraft that was controlled with a stick and rudder similar to the way typical light airplanes are controlled so Piper added rudder and elevator control surfaces to the Quicksilver ultralight giving it two axes of control.
This aircraft was called the Quicksilver MX the high dead roll of the wings caused the plane to Bank when the aircraft was turned with the rudder but there were no direct means of controlling the roll axis of the airplane. The aircraft only rolled in response to the yaw axis, pilots still wanted a true three access control ultralight so piper added spoiler ins the spoiler ins were only minimally effectively providing only a minimal amount of control over the roll axis. The next generation of MX had true ailerons which gave the aircraft full roll Authority the design later evolved into an ultralight aircraft for powered cross-country flying.
You can comfortably cruise at 50 miles per hour in this aircraft fly over 100 miles and climb at 800 feet per minute. It costs ten thousand dollars to get one of these.
Ultralight: UltraFlight Lazair
UltraFlight Lazair unlike other aircraft in this one is a twin-engine. The ultra flightless air is family-owned and designed in Canada and was sold in kit form between 1979 and 1984 designed by Dale Kramer. Dale Cramer saw the potential of the ultralight aircraft when he visited the Oshkosh EAA convention in 1977.
The Lazare is a single-seat conventional high wing monoplane with an open fuselage frame inverted V tail and twin tractor propeller as an ultralight aircraft designed for low flying speeds. The fuselage comprises an open frame of aluminum tube supporting the open cockpit tricycle undercarriage and inverted V tail.
The UltraFlight Lazair was a very unique plane in its day even to this day that’s longevity is a testament to its design and workmanship. It is powered by two Rotax 185 9.5 horsepower engines one mounted on each wing in the tractor configuration like a conventional twin-engine aircraft.
The aircraft is optimized for low-speed handling and very gentle stall characteristics. The high aspect ratio wing also made the Lazair a good glider giving it a twelve to one glide ratio. There were three series that were manufactured as kits only. Each series of modifications of minor improvement to the next.
The first of the series was equipped with the control stick mounted above on the upper fuselage structure through a control mixing assembly. The control stick input had coordinated your inputs into the rudder vader’s hence it had no rudder pedals.
Due to customer demand series, 2 included rudder pedals series 3 saw a change to the landing gear they wear whitened for better ground handling also the control stick was mounted on the floor in the more conventional manner. Jury struts were installed to increase the negative-g loading and tow brakes were included as standard equipment.
The early series came with 5.5 horsepower makalah chainsaw engines these were soon upgraded to the Rotax 185 9.5 horsepower engines to accommodate better performance on floats. This airplane cruise at 40 miles per hour over 100 miles and climb at 200 feet per minute.
The best thing about this aircraft is the stall speed in this aircraft you can only stall at 17 miles per hour fly as high as 11,000 feet. You can get one of the early models as low as $5,000.
Ultralight: Kolb Firefly
Kolb Firefly developed several years ago is a true-blue entry to the part 103 ultralight rule. This is the only model to include the ballistic recovery systems parachute making it marginally safer than others in the list.
It is American built it features an open cockpit single-seat high wing, pusher configuration and conventional landing gear equipped ultralight aircraft produced in kit form by new Colbert craft and intended for a mature construction since introduction in 1995.
The ultralight was powered by the heavier 40 horsepower Rotax 447 engine. The 28 horsepower Rotax 277 engine was also an option when the aircraft was first offered. The design features a forward fuselage of welded steel tubing made into an aluminum tail bone. The horizontal stabilizer tail fin and wings were also constructed of riveted aluminum tubing with all flying surfaces covered in doped aircraft fabric. The wings can be folded for storage and ground transport. The factory kit options include a complete cockpit enclosure that breaks quick build option ballistic recovery systems parachute and steel tube powder coating.
The best thing about this aircraft is the wings can easily be folded, so you can store them in your garage at home. You can comfortably cruise at 60 miles per hour in this aircraft and climb at 1,000 feet per minute the price of a brand new cold Firefly is $9000.
Ultralight: Phantom x1
The Phantom x1 was introduced in 1982 as a single-engine tractor configuration single-seat, high wing and tricycle gear ultralight aircraft. That is produced by phantom aeronautics of Three Rivers Michigan and is available in kit form. The Phantom x1 was originally designed as an aerobatic aircraft and was tested to positive +9 and -6.6 g before failure and carries operational limits of positive +6.6 g and negative -4.4 g.
The full span ailerons also give the Phantom x1 a fast roll rate factory options included brakes and complete airframe along with a variety of Rotax engines from 40 to 64 horsepower and you can assembly the aircraft yourself in just forty hours.
The best part is that a phantom aircraft company can sell you this aircraft for under $10,000 this modest amount of money will actually buy all the bits and pieces you need to get the airborne engine and prop included.
Naturally, if you want extra features like the full enclosure or other choices from a long list of options you will end up paying a little more. This aircraft uses the 40 horsepower Rotax 447 twin-cylinder engine which helps it to cruise at 55 miles per hour and climb at 800 feet per minute, with a range of just over 100 miles