Belite's newest demo plane

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1Bad88

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I know some people here don't use Facebook, so I figured that I'd post the information for Belite's newest demo plane that they plan to have at Sun-N-Fun this year. It's been fun to watch the development on their Facebook page. (I have no connection with them, I'm just an enthusiast of product development.

From Belite's Facebook page:

================================================
Lightest real american ultralight with biggest features?? Is it fat?? The facts are below. The first one ever done with 21" tundra tires, and with a complete panel, with transponder, radio, landing light, strobes, position lights??

OK. Here is the option list for our new demo plane:

1. BASIC: Airplane. RTF. 28HP engine, oracal: wings / cabin / tail feathers, basic instrumentation. Aluminum spars / wood ribs. Doesn't include spring gear, cowl, brakes, turtledeck, rear covering. 231.0 pounds base weight. Then add options:

2. WING TREATMENT: SWAP Carbon Fiber main spar and foam / aluminum ribs improves aerodynamics and appearance. Includes rounded wingtips. **This is the fully foam CNC cut wing.** No weight change with this option.

3. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Flaperons from wood ribs to foam / aluminum rib / aluminum spar; improves aerodynamics and appearance. Saves 4.0 pounds.

4. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Rear Fuselage ProCub Lite with Carbon Fiber / ProCub Tail Feathers / ProCub TurtleDeck. This option saves 6.0 pounds.

5. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Elevator Push Pull Tube Carbon Fiber. Saves 0.3 pounds.

6. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Lightweight Lift Strut - Carbon Fiber saves 2.5 pounds.

7. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP from 4130 steel to 7075 aluminum Axles saves 1.0 pounds.

8. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Upgrade tail spring to fiberglass composite. Saves 0.4 pounds.

9. APPEARANCE: ADD Metal paint. This option adds 1.5 pounds of weight and was done with powdercoating.

10. APPEARANCE: ADD Complete Fuselage Fabric & more Oracal. This option adds 3 pounds.

11. APPEARANCE: ADD painted engine cowl. As this option is not structural and not required for flight, no additional weight is added.

12. GROUND HANDLING: ADD Disc brake set, installed . Adds 2.5 pounds.

13. GROUND HANDLING: SWAP Steel spring gear upgrade instead of solid link. Adds 2.2 pounds.

14. GROUND HANDLING: SWAP Upgrade main tires to 21" x 6 tundra tires, tubeless, includes mounting. Adds 18 pounds.

15. ENGINE: SWAP to 36.5 HP Polini 2 Stroke Water Cooled. Adds 13.0 pounds.

16. FUEL TANK: SWAP Upgraded Carbon Fiber seat back Fuel Tank, installed, with fuel probe. Removes 2.5 pounds.

17. BATTERY: Add Lithium Starter Battery (charges from engine). Adds 2.0 pounds.

18. PROPELLER: SWAP 3 blade composite ground adjustable prop. Adds 1.5 pounds.

19. SAFETY: ADD hand toss parachute, installed. Adds 9.0 pounds (FAA allows 24 pounds empty weight increase).

SubTotal 267.0 121.4

20. Custom Loaded Instrument Panel, radio, transponder, iPod Mini dock, antennas, lights, strobes, electrical, breakers, switches, dimmer, wiring, more. Adds 6.4 pounds

Totals (FAA maximum 278 pounds) 273.4 (124.3 KG)

The cowl adds around 5 pounds, but we don't include it in the FAR Part 103 weight calculations.

The turtledeck weighs 11 pounds, we also don't include it in the weight calculations.
 

saini flyer

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Looks like they are doing well with the development of Kitfox1. YOu did not mention the pricing on this(kit or ready to fly) or the build time. I hope the build time is not 500 hours+

I know some people here don't use Facebook, so I figured that I'd post the information for Belite's newest demo plane that they plan to have at Sun-N-Fun this year. It's been fun to watch the development on their Facebook page. (I have no connection with them, I'm just an enthusiast of product development.

From Belite's Facebook page:

================================================
Lightest real american ultralight with biggest features?? Is it fat?? The facts are below. The first one ever done with 21" tundra tires, and with a complete panel, with transponder, radio, landing light, strobes, position lights??

OK. Here is the option list for our new demo plane:

1. BASIC: Airplane. RTF. 28HP engine, oracal: wings / cabin / tail feathers, basic instrumentation. Aluminum spars / wood ribs. Doesn't include spring gear, cowl, brakes, turtledeck, rear covering. 231.0 pounds base weight. Then add options:

2. WING TREATMENT: SWAP Carbon Fiber main spar and foam / aluminum ribs improves aerodynamics and appearance. Includes rounded wingtips. **This is the fully foam CNC cut wing.** No weight change with this option.

3. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Flaperons from wood ribs to foam / aluminum rib / aluminum spar; improves aerodynamics and appearance. Saves 4.0 pounds.

4. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Rear Fuselage ProCub Lite with Carbon Fiber / ProCub Tail Feathers / ProCub TurtleDeck. This option saves 6.0 pounds.

5. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Elevator Push Pull Tube Carbon Fiber. Saves 0.3 pounds.

6. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Lightweight Lift Strut - Carbon Fiber saves 2.5 pounds.

7. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP from 4130 steel to 7075 aluminum Axles saves 1.0 pounds.

8. WEIGHT REDUCTION: SWAP Upgrade tail spring to fiberglass composite. Saves 0.4 pounds.

9. APPEARANCE: ADD Metal paint. This option adds 1.5 pounds of weight and was done with powdercoating.

10. APPEARANCE: ADD Complete Fuselage Fabric & more Oracal. This option adds 3 pounds.

11. APPEARANCE: ADD painted engine cowl. As this option is not structural and not required for flight, no additional weight is added.

12. GROUND HANDLING: ADD Disc brake set, installed . Adds 2.5 pounds.

13. GROUND HANDLING: SWAP Steel spring gear upgrade instead of solid link. Adds 2.2 pounds.

14. GROUND HANDLING: SWAP Upgrade main tires to 21" x 6 tundra tires, tubeless, includes mounting. Adds 18 pounds.

15. ENGINE: SWAP to 36.5 HP Polini 2 Stroke Water Cooled. Adds 13.0 pounds.

16. FUEL TANK: SWAP Upgraded Carbon Fiber seat back Fuel Tank, installed, with fuel probe. Removes 2.5 pounds.

17. BATTERY: Add Lithium Starter Battery (charges from engine). Adds 2.0 pounds.

18. PROPELLER: SWAP 3 blade composite ground adjustable prop. Adds 1.5 pounds.

19. SAFETY: ADD hand toss parachute, installed. Adds 9.0 pounds (FAA allows 24 pounds empty weight increase).

SubTotal 267.0 121.4

20. Custom Loaded Instrument Panel, radio, transponder, iPod Mini dock, antennas, lights, strobes, electrical, breakers, switches, dimmer, wiring, more. Adds 6.4 pounds

Totals (FAA maximum 278 pounds) 273.4 (124.3 KG)

The cowl adds around 5 pounds, but we don't include it in the FAR Part 103 weight calculations.

The turtledeck weighs 11 pounds, we also don't include it in the weight calculations.
 

1Bad88

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I haven't seen a kit price or estimated build time. If someone goes to SNF they could speak with James and report back here.
 

pwood66889

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Well, Bein's I'm flying down there over this next weekend, I guess I'll just have to have a squint.
Percy in SE Bama w/Ercoupe 94041 (white with red and blue trim)
 

Pops

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Well, Bein's I'm flying down there over this next weekend, I guess I'll just have to have a squint.
Percy in SE Bama w/Ercoupe 94041 (white with red and blue trim)
Is the serial # of your Ercoupe 1414 ? Dan
 

1Bad88

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Well, Bein's I'm flying down there over this next weekend, I guess I'll just have to have a squint.
Percy in SE Bama w/Ercoupe 94041 (white with red and blue trim)
If you see it, find out if he flies it without the cowling and turtledeck in order to remain part 103 legal...:roll:
 

nerobro

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The cowling and turtledeck are "baggage" and it will fly without them. The starter battery, seat cushion, also fall into that category.
 

1Bad88

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What is the defining line between a part of the aircraft vs. baggage? Is it in attachment?
 

Vipor_GG

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What is the defining line between a part of the aircraft vs. baggage? Is it in attachment?
Often thought the same thing. How about a briefcase size instrument panel that contains a motorcycle size battery that you can have quick release mount and plugs.
 

bmcj

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Often thought the same thing. How about a briefcase size instrument panel that contains a motorcycle size battery that you can have quick release mount and plugs.
Sure, why not? After all, the pilot is a necessary part of the operating equipment, but is 'detachable' and not counted against the empty weight. :gig:
 

nerobro

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As I understand it. If it's not needed to fly, is easily removed, and the plane will fly without it, it doesn't count versus the planes weight. At that point, those items become part of the load, and count against MTOW instead. The belite instrument panels also don't count against the plane, as they're removable.
 

1Bad88

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So, if I understand correctly, we are gambling on whether or not a government employee will interpret part 103 as creatively as we do? GLWT
 

nerobro

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No. If there's any question of airframe weight, you show it to the FAA dude without the parts that don't need to be there. Part 103 has no MTOW limits. And only cares about stall speed with 5 gallons and a 170lb pilot on board.
 

1Bad88

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Back to my previous question, how does one determine if something is part of the airframe or not? Is it the method of attachment? Technically a wheel pant is removeable and is not necessary for flight; it sounds like that would not be included in the empty weight calculatioin, is that correct?
 

1Bad88

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I decided to re-read the FARs and Part 103 specifies an empty weight of less than 254 pounds. The FAA's definition of empty weight is "the weight of the airframe, engines, propellers, rotors, and fixed equipment. Empty weight excludes the weight of the crew and payload, but includes the weight of all fixed ballast, unusable fuel supply, undrainable oil, total quantity of engine coolant, and total quantity of hydraulic fluid."

It appears that your point is that these items are "payload" items vs. fixed equipment, correct?
 

Hot Wings

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I decided to re-read the FARs and Part 103 specifies an empty weight of less than 254 pounds. The FAA's definition of empty weight is "the weight of the airframe, engines, propellers, rotors, and fixed equipment.
For part 103 it seems that the determination of payload revolves around the meaning of "fixed" equipment. Though I know of no FAA guidance about this, in my opinion if the use of a tool is required to remove the item then it is considered to be fixed. I've heard (unsubstantiated) that some FAA personal even consider Velcro to be a means of "fixing" while a hook or hanger is not. Using this interpretation an iPad that is velcroed to the ultralight would be considered part of the empty weight but if it simply slipped onto a tube or other part it would be considered baggage. My personal definition of "fixed" is that if I can reach it while seated in the plane and remove the item by hand, even if Velcroed or held with a wing-nut, and remove it from the plane in the flight bag or by hand in one trip, it is baggage.

From a practical point of view if you are having to argue with the FAA about if your Velcroed iPad or upholstery being part of the empty weight you likely have other problems with the plane or flight that attracted FAA scrutiny in the first place.
 

TFF

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I would think if you would fly it without with no rule infringement, it is cargo. It may add enjoyment to the flight but not nessasary as long as you are not throwing in the kitchen sink. If you have to have all sorts of gagits, your not really in the spirit of PT 103.
 

1Bad88

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I can see where tape or even Velcro could be construed as "fixed"

It appears that the Belite turtle deck is a friction fit and just sits in place so the reasoning behind arguing that it is payload makes good sense but I still am not sure if one would be able to convince an FAA agent to interpret it similarly. Therein lies my concern and why I was playing a little bit of devil's advocate. If you catch one of these jack booted thugs on a bad day it could end up costing you a lot of money. I know I'm playing it really conservative but I just don't trust government employees.
 

Aviator168

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If you have to have all sorts of gagits, your not really in the spirit of PT 103.

If you want to talk about spirit, the 103 can't beat this, and you don't have to pay much either.
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