When you consider the mind set of government officials, it is quite amazing that we even have FAR103.
I have to take issue with those saying an ultralight can't be built strong enough under the current regs. It takes some careful work and planning, but they have been built for years. The Skypup design is over 25 years old and it is stressed to +6Gs, Challengers have been around for years and seem to be doing ok, I haven't heard of any Kolbs breaking up in mid air, and he Banty seems to be doing just fine. The plans and the completed planes are out there, and we have the option to design and build our own with no ifs, ands, or buts from the FAA.
I suspect the weight, fuel and speed limits are concerned with protecting people on the ground. If you do fall out of the sky, a 254 lb airplane with 5 gallons of fuel isn't likely to do much damage. And it is fairly easy to design an airplane that will not lose it's wings as speeds up to 63 mph.
When you look at how badly FAR103 was abused by all those with fat ULs, I am very pleased and surprised that the FAA didn't kill ultralights long ago. They cut us way more slack than anyone had reason to expect. If 103 is too restrictive, light sport is there and waiting. Production light sports don't come cheap, but there is the option to build one, the "E" does stand for experimental after all. And the cost savings continue because you can do your own work on the plane.
I think the thing that really needs to be addressed about Ultralights today, is the lack of airplanes to get training in. the FAA really killed ultralight flight schools, and it seems to me they are now doing too little, too late to make up for it. Granted, people were abusing the ultralight trainer exemption, but it seems to me that enforcement would have been a better option that eliminating the option for training in type. Now that they are finally backtracking to some extent, most of the outfits that were providing training are in the process of phasing it out. Ity also sounds like it would be very difficult for someone to get legal airplanes for training under the proposal that is kicking around now, if it happens. I don't know, I may not understand the proposal *** well as I should though. If anyone has insight on this, please chime in.
anyway, just my two cents worth.