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How far do you fly your ultralight?

Posted By:
Dean Billing
104
Posts
26
#1 Posted: 11/21/2009 12:40:17

This is an informal poll for true ultralights, i.e. without an N number.

What kind of ultralight do you have?

Where do you fly it?  (Local / X-country)

Average flight time?

Farthest or longest flight, how far / long?

Do you have any pilot certificate?  (Or are you a just an ultralight pilot?)

Thanks for any feedback -- Dean



John Cortesy
Homebuilder or Craftsman
4
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0
#2 Posted: 11/21/2009 22:39:54

Your definition called out true Ultralights. I fly a single seat trike that is considered a fat ultralight. I fly local and cross country. This next July I will fly from Santa Fe New Mexico to meet up with a friend in Amarillo Texas. He flies a single seat trike as well. We will both be flying to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2010. 3000 miles round trip. Hows that for a cross country?

John



John Cortesy
Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
Posts
43
#3 Posted: 11/22/2009 00:30:06

Dean,

Your request may have to be amended to one of the following:

Legal Ultralights - operating fully under the CFR   (a very short list).

Former chubby ULs now ELSA

Current chubby UL not transitioned

former UL trainers but not operated under the exemption

former UL trainers operating under the exemption

Former UL trainers now operating under ELSA

or  Tales of what we used to call ultralights in general. 

JIm



Dan Grunloh
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
66
Posts
25
#4 Posted: 11/24/2009 11:04:27

My longest flight in the Sky Pup was 75 miles.  Average cross-country was about 40 miles.  It weighed 238 lbs and carried 3.5 gal fuel max.  Consumed 1.6 per hour at at 55mph.

In my ultralight trike, with slow wing, I could fly 75 miles easily.  Only going 46mph but had 5 gallons on board and burned 2.2GPH.   Now the same AC Racer trike has been upgraded to a fast wing, 10 gallon tank, and N-numbers.  It cruises 60mph easily and burns almost 3.0GPH.  I can fly the 275 miles to Oshkosh and fill it only once along the way.   Routine cross-country is now 100-200 miles but at the longer distance an overnight camp-out is preferred.  Six hours airtime in one day gives no time for a visit at the destination.  A Very Good seat cushion is needed for such long flights

My average logbook entry is 20 minutes, mostly local.  There are a lot of 12-14 minute entries because my home field is just 8 miles from the nearby airport (1C1) where my friends are hangared.

--Dan



Dean Billing
104
Posts
26
#5 Posted: 11/24/2009 17:45:03
Jim Heffelfinger wrote:

 

Dean,

Your request may have to be amended to one of the following:

Legal Ultralights - operating fully under the CFR   (a very short list).

> ...

JIm

Jim -

I am only interested in Legal Ultralights operating fully under the CFR.  Everything else implies registration / N number, pilot certification requirements.

I am planning on building a legal ultralight, but I want to fly it long distances.  Since I am a certificated pilot that no longer wants to deal with the FAA in any manner, I have chosen this route.  I know the FARs and I can do the X-country flight planning and I know what to stay out of.  I realize there are still a lot of out of spec ultralights, but I imagine they stay close to home and don't make waves.  I'm just trying to find out if anyone else does this.

-- Dean



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#6 Posted: 11/25/2009 10:38:45

If that is what you interest is, other than the availability of fuel, there should be no restrictions on how far you can fly.  It becomes a matter of planning your route so that you have a refueling point within the distance your airplane will fly on one tank of fuel.  Others have even enlisted the help of a "ground crew"  to bring fuel to a preplanned refueling point if none is available normally.  Have fun!

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Roger Ford
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
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0
#7 Posted: 11/26/2009 04:57:41

I fly a Sky Pup in NW Ohio with the vast majority of my flights local probably averaging under 1/2 hour. The longest actual x-country (out--land--return) was 40 miles (80 roundtrip). My longest flight was just over 100 miles according to my gps. I have a sport pilot certificate. -- Roger



Frank Beagle
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
3
Posts
4
#8 Posted: 11/26/2009 09:16:44

In 1981 I flew my Easy Riser powered by a Solo 16hp engine from Kankakee Il to Oshkosh, a trip of 235 miles. I had to sit on my sleeping bag, my pup tent was straped to my nose gear just under my knees, two sport bags with plenty of socks, under wear, and my tooth brush, and two quarts of oil.

It took me three days to get there due to prevailing winds and the fact I was only cruising at a hot 40mph! I landed at airports all the way and just had a ball. Oh yes, no gorund crew to follow me, my car had just shot craps and the 'Riser was the only way for me to get to Oshkosh that year.

 

Frank "Woof!" Beagle



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Ralph Burlingame
Homebuilder or Craftsman
21
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4
#9 Posted: 11/26/2009 10:26:17



folded 2-.jpg


I fly the Firestar around the area 130 miles quite often. It's been to Oshkosh 300 miles away. This was all before the rule change. It's been since registered and I got my license to fly it after 19 years flying as a fat ultalight. It still has the 5-gallon tank, but I carry two 3-gallon tanks in back of the seat. I'm legal to do that now. I built it in 1986, 23 years ago. The best part is that I hanger it in my garage as the wings fold. If I want to go on longer trips, I take the Kolbra, but I still enjoy flying my Firestar.

Ralph

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Walt Snyder
5
Posts
6
#10 Posted: 11/27/2009 18:38:06

Dean, 

Sounds like you have the adventure gene and are looking for an uncomplicated way to fulfill it. One of my most memorable flights was when, as a GA pilot, I flew my ultralight Quicksilver MX on it's first long XC, 65 miles. It was liking riding a bicycle across the sky, after driving my mom's station wagon to do the same all those years. 

As is being pointed out, you are in for a great time, but you may be limited in your distances, unless you have a ground crew or can find airports with fuel within your limited range. Since you already have a pilots license, and are interested in an ultralight type aircraft, you may want to take a closer look at what an ultralight type sport plane can offer, particularly if cross country flights are something you definitely want to accomplish. I have a Quicksilver Sport 2s. and because it is N#d as a sport plane, and properly equipped, I can go anywhere I really want to, and land at any airport I need to. The best part, I still get the experiences of flying an ultralight type aircraft, and the unforgettable memories of flying cross countrys in that type of aircraft. 

Below is a link to more info re. XC flights in the Quicksilver, and what it's potential can be. Also, if you go to YOUtube and look up Quicksilver Across America, and Quicksilver down the Hudson,  you can get an idea of your scenery if you choose that route. 


http://www.oshkosh365.org/ok365_DiscussionBoardTopic.aspx?id=1235&boardid=147&forumid=520&topicid=2582


If this helps you, on my flights across the States my legs were 75-130 miles, the longest 2 1/2 hours. Flights closer to 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours seemed to be the most enjoyable. I would fly up to 8 hours a day, the average being 6 hours, which the plane is capable of, so it comes down to what is enjoyable for you. 

Best of luck, 

Walt Snyder




Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
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#11 Posted: 11/27/2009 21:58:15

I was hopeing you woud pipe up on this thread Walt.

 

BTW - Are you interested in doing a bit of speaking?  I am working on chapter PR and some fund raising.

We are in Sacramento.  Think about it and I will get to you in a few days to talk about speaking fees/transportation etc.

Time frame is Jan/Feb/Mar

Jim Heffelfinger

chapter 52.



Mark Stull
Homebuilder or Craftsman
6
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0
#12 Posted: 11/27/2009 22:41:43

Dean,

I fly a fixed wing U/L of my own design, that is completely Part 103 legal.  It even passes the stall speed limit.

I fly about 3 days a week all year, mostly short cross country flights to nearby private strips, but also some local.

Most often it's about 1/2 hour each way.  Occasionally close to 1 hour each way.

My very efficient U/L burns just 1.5 gph at 55 to 57 mph.  So I can fly for 3 hours, going 165 miles with a little reserve, on a tank full.  It will fly longer and farther if I go 50 mph or less.

The longest I've flown without stopping to rest was about 2 hours.  And stopping to rest, I haven't gone much longer than that... one way to a destination where I could refuel before returning.

I hold a private pilots license.

I achieve that efficiency by having high aspect ratio wings:  9.5 to 1, and using a lot of reduction to swing a large, efficient prop.

I too like the freedom from government with Part 103, and the freedom to design and modify my U/L any way I want.  This is my 7th, and best design.



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Russel Green
9
Posts
0
#13 Posted: 12/3/2009 18:57:19

Hi Dean--  Until a year ago I was flying a fat one-- not what you asked about.  But I believe I can extrapolate....  Almost all my flights were in the 1 hr range, but I did have a big adventure a few years ago and flew 250 miles round trip. Even cruising at 70 (and you'll be 50-ish) it was alot of buzz & vibration for a body in one day.  If you really get serious about some long XC's, get a good  noise-cancelling headset. Best thing you'll do for your UL flying.      russel green



Walt Snyder
5
Posts
6
#14 Posted: 12/4/2009 15:45:08

Dean, 

Russel made a very good point on a good headset.  The noise from a poor headset is probably one of the most fatiguing factors on a XC flight, particularly if you are straining to understand a conversation with fellow pilots or a tower if need be. I have not had any luck in getting an ANR GA type headset to work in any of my open cockpit planes, particularly with wind noise and such, which is a higher frequency then what I understand the ANR is designed to work best at canceling. There are  several good passive headsets out there, and I 've been very happy with my Lynx arrangement. 

There is a good explanation in the CPS catalog on why an open circuit type system generally works better than  the GA voice activated system in open cockpits.

Walt Snyder




Dewayne Weicht
1
Post
0
#15 Posted: 12/31/2009 11:48:26

jerry ...i live in butler,in....in the summer ....plane based in waterloo,in.......have a quicksliver sprint and want to get get with more flyers in the summer...dewayne,,,,,dunkin65@yahoo.com