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Aero-TV: Belite Aircraft – New Ultralights Make Their Debut

Belite Aircraft Announces Expansion to Product Line at SAE 2010

At the 2010 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Belite Aircraft unveiled the successors to their existing Belite ‘254’ FAR Part 103 compliant ultralight aircraft. Belite Aircraft hopes the two new models, deemed the “Trike” and the “Superlite,” will provide higher aircraft performance than the Belite 254 while maintaining economical pricing.

Both models feature the same weight-saving carbon fiber design as the original Belite 254, but as C.E.O. James Wiebe explained, “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.”

According to Belite, the Superlite offers exceptional Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) performance; flight test data shows a minimum requirement of 100 feet for takeoff.  Like the Belite ‘254,’ the Superlite utilizes a carbon fiber design, featuring the same fuselage and carbon fiber wing as its predecessor.  In order to reduce weight, however, Belite engineers used a more aggressive carbon fiber design in the Superlite cockpit, as well as removing the fabric covering from the fuselage rear.

In contrast to the ‘254’, these changes allow the Superlite to equip a twin-opposed cylinder 50hp Hirth engine, while still meeting FAR Part 103 weight requirements (under 278 pounds due to the Superlite’s standard-equipped ballistic parachute).  

Unlike the Belite Superlite or ‘254,’ the aptly named Belite Trike features a free castering nose wheel and composite main gear, eliminating the need for tailwheel piloting skills.  The Trike features a lightweight aluminum tube fuselage instead of the steel fuselage seen on the other Belite aircraft. Though the alumimun tubing makes the Trike easier to build than the other Belite models, it makes the aircraft heavier.  Customers can choose between a 28hp engine and 45hp engine, though the latter requires lighter carbon fiber wing construction to meet Part 103 weight requirements.

 

FMI: www.beliteaircraft.comhttp://jameswiebe.blogspot.com, www.aero-tv.net, www.youtube.com/aerotvnetwork, http://twitter.com/AeroNews

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