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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedBelite: It Floats!
By James Wynbrandt
 

Belite Aircraft introduced a float kit, a tricycle gear Supertrike ultralight, and a low-cost version of its "Superlite" Belite 254 ultralight model. Photo by James Wynbrandt

Belite Aircraft of Wichita, Kansas, introduced a float kit, a tricycle gear Supertrike ultralight, and a low-cost version of its "Superlite" Belite 254 ultralight model at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Tuesday.

"The number one question we receive from our customers is: 'How can we put our airplane on floats?,'" said James Wiebe, Belite's CEO. "These floats are lightweight, strong, and continue to help let pilots enjoy the opportunity provided for ultralight aircraft under FAR Part 103 seaplane rules," he said introducing the floats.

Developed in association with MukTuk Floats of North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the floats weigh 29 pounds each and can be installed or removed in about 30 minutes with three adults at work, he said.

The floats' 1,100 pounds of total water displacement matches the gross weight of the aircraft.

The basic floats, delivered in kit form, cost $2,000; a pair requires an estimated 40 hours of build time. A hardware attachment kit costs $250.

Like the floats, the new Belite Supertrike, an FAR Part 103 aircraft, was created in response to customer demands, Wiebe said.

"Our customers want a tricycle-gear ultralight with state-of-the-art construction, impeccable landing manners, and with great performance," said Wiebe. "The Supertrike delivers it all: carbon-fiber wing spars, a powerful engine, recovery parachute, and much more."

Wiebe describes the handling characteristics as virtually identical to the conventionally geared Belite, except that it is easier to take off and land.

Optional spring landing gear makes ground operations even smoother. Additionally, the aircraft can be reconfigured into the standard taildragger configuration. The Supertrike is priced at $42,256.

The low-cost "Superlite" ultralight, which won 2010 Grand Champion Ultralight honors at Sun 'n Fun in April, features outstanding short takeoff and landing capability, partly due to the most powerful engine available on a legal Part 103 aircraft: a 50-hp two-cylinder engine.

Power is limited to 38 hp to stay within ultralight cruise speed limitations of 62 mph, but the aircraft requires only about 200 feet for its takeoff ground roll, according to Belite.

The low-cost Superlite uses the same fuselage and wing as the Belite 254 standard ultralight.

Belite reduced the cost of the new version by eliminating features such as carbon-fiber wings and ballistic parachute.

The lighter weight results in slightly higher performance than the standard Superlite. The economy model Superlite is priced at $28,655.

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