# ultralight insterments/gear question

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#### ryanjames170

##### Well-Known Member
Ok so pretent i know nothing about ultralight aircraft.. i do know some just wanted to see what you guys would recanmend here.

what interments/gear do i absolutely need.

what instruments would be nice if i could put them in if i had the unused for them.

and what instruments are not needed at all.

also should a ultralight have some sort of light on it perhaps just to make it easier for others to see. nav lights, beacon ect.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
None are needed for a UL. An Altimeter and an Airspeed would be smart. If you can power it you are suppose to have a blinking light, but if you don't have the equipment built in, you don't have to have it. I would have a radio if flying out of an airport.

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Nothing is absolutely needed, but as TFF said airspeed and altimeter are good to have. If you have a strobe you can fly one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset when the wind is calm, otherwise it's sunrise to sunset. Some airports require radios and it's a good idea around an airport even if it's not required. You should have engine instruments, tachometer, cylinder head temperature and oil temperature (and oil pressure if it's a 4-stroke). Some sort of gas gauge is also a good idea, though many ultralights have translucent plastic tanks so you can see the gas inside. I also had a compass on mine, rarely looked at, and I used a handheld GPS if I was going far (rarely).

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
BTW, mod note, I moved all three of the OP's threads to the "light stuff" area.

#### blane.c

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
FLIR (forward looking infrared radar) … nice to have.

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
and I used a handheld GPS if I was going far (rarely).
For much ultralight flying, a cheap portable auto GPS will be useful. Or a cell phone.

BJC

#### Derswede

##### Well-Known Member
For much ultralight flying, a cheap portable auto GPS will be useful. Or a cell phone. BJC
Yes indeed, not just ultralights, but any light plane, especially for IFR flying (I follow roads). Derswede

#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
If you are trying to fly within the actual ultralight rules, then you will probably not have the ability to carry much instrumentation at all. All that crap weighs something. What you can carry on your body (cell phone, portable GPS, handheld radio) does not count for the weight of the aircraft. So the absolute bare minimum weight of instruments goes on the airplane itself. Everything else goes on the pilot's belt clips, fishing vest, kneeboard, strapped to your thigh, etc.

#### jedi

##### Well-Known Member
If you are trying to fly within the actual ultralight rules, then you will probably not have the ability to carry much instrumentation at all. All that crap weighs something. What you can carry on your body (cell phone, portable GPS, handheld radio) does not count for the weight of the aircraft. So the absolute bare minimum weight of instruments goes on the airplane itself. Everything else goes on the pilot's belt clips, fishing vest, kneeboard, strapped to your thigh, etc.
VB, WADR A pilots flight bag is not included in the aircraft empty weight. The pilot does not need to wear the equipment. Portable GPS, intercom, PFD, EFIS, Com/Nav, ADSB, and any other semi required equipment can be clipped to the air frame or stuck in a pocket or slot prior to takeoff.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Why does anyone really need all the crap? Before the crap, people flew coast to coast without it. Yes a GPS is great but if you never develop your air sense, you really are lost in the air. If you are trying to use a UL for more than adventure of flying, like flying to work everyday, you will be disappointed in reliability of transportation.

#### lr27

##### Well-Known Member
Don't they make really light instruments for hang gliders?

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/inpages/hallasi.php

The Swift is a floor safe compared to the Hall.

Altimeter can mount on a foam wedge on your chest, skydive style, or on your wrist. You need one to stay out of controlled airspace. Otherwise you just look. Houses look like monopoly pieces? You are high. Looking in windows, not at roofs? You are low.

Glide path landing approach path indicator. Look over big toe. Airport go down, path high, airport go up, path low. Airport vanish behind trees getting taller than you? Path way too low. Simple.

Hang gliders carry minimum drag gear, variometer at least, if soaring. Flytech makes a powered paraglider model that combines altimeter, variometer, and basic engine stuff in one, portable, low drag unit. Various levels of GPS complexity. Including data logging and local thermal mapping. ( bet you don't have that in your Dynon glass cockpit. ) You store it in a padded bag and take it home. Mount it before flight. It may cost more than the ultralight you clamp it to. ( with a safety backup lanyard )

https://paraglidingequipment.com/variometers-2/

Very fancy. https://paraglidingequipment.com/product/flytec_motor-eco-gps/

There's probably a Swiss, helmet visor Heads Up Display model that does everything including enhanced reality display of controlled airspace as colored zones with radio contact information displayed in mile high numbers, but I missed it in my search and am jealous I missed it in life.

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#### BBerson

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Swift looks neat but requires a battery. I suppose a 9V battery might work if you can remember to turn it off.

#### ryanjames170

##### Well-Known Member
if i end up going with some kinda B&S type engine most of the big ones have a 1-2 lbs "10-15 amp generator behind the flyhweel so a small battery could be used with that to make anything electric work.

#### pictsidhe

##### Well-Known Member
A small belt driven BLDC motor and reg/rec will do the same job as the Briggs genny but with less weight.
If you keep the B&S flywheel, you need to bolt the prop to the flywheel, not the PTO end or you risk a broken crank. Those flywheels are really heavy, man. 19lb on the 627cc vanguards, so you may want to think about getting rid of it.

#### ScaleBirdsScott

There was a $500 instrumentation pod at one of the buildings at Oshkosh that had a pitot tube in it and weighed very little. Mounted to standard GoPro bases. Output data to iOS devices. Comes in a case. No reason to consider that unit as part of empty weight but it should give you very complete instrumentation (and flight tracking for after-the-fact documentation if that's interesting). Upside being you could clip it onto a variety of aircraft (or other vechiles) so it could actually be a flexible bit of kit. Not sure if it's any good, but, the concept makes sense. #### Tiger Tim ##### Well-Known Member There was a$500 instrumentation pod at one of the buildings at Oshkosh that had a pitot tube in it and weighed very little. Mounted to standard GoPro bases. Output data to iOS devices.
I doubt I’ll ever have the time but I’d like to have a go at developing something like that myself, only on a more permanent installation.

#### ryanjames170

##### Well-Known Member
Why would you want not run it off the PTO end?

#### pictsidhe

##### Well-Known Member
Why would you want not run it off the PTO end?
Torsional vibration.

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