Head on down to The Farm this year as ultralight enthusiasts celebrate the 30th anniversary of the FAA Part 103 regulation at AirVenture 2012. On the schedule are aircraft demonstrations, giveaways, and much more.
In 1982, the FAA published the Part 103 regulation, which defines a powered ultralight as having one seat, empty weigh of less than 254 pounds, maximum fuel capacity of 5 gallons, maximum speed of 55 knots, and maximum stall speed of 24 knots. Part 103's success led to the development of sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rules.
"We aim to make the ultralight and light-plane area of convention a fun-filled place," said Timm Bogenhagen, EAA's Ultralight/Light-Plane community manager. "We always have a nice crowd of people on hand watching the short takeoff and landing operations from our grass runway. It has a true grassroots feel to it."
Owners who register their ultralight or light-plane for display in the ultralight/light-plane area will receive a free commemorative 30th Anniversary Oshkosh Pilot 2012 hat courtesy of EAA. Located on the south end of the AirVenture grounds, volunteers like to refer to the area as "Down on the Farm" because of the large red barn used as the ultralight headquarters.
Daily flying takes place from 7 a.m until 3 p.m. and again 6:30-8 p.m. There are numerous photo ops, especially during the evening hours with the setting sun providing a gorgeous backdrop to flying light planes.
Other flight ops include homebuilt rotorcraft flights, noon to 3 p.m. daily, and tethered hot-air balloons are inflated each morning and evening. Get up early on Saturday, July 28, and see the mass balloon launch scheduled for 6 a.m., weather permitting.
Other special attractions this year include the Electric Lazair twin-engine ultralight flown at AirVenture last year by owner/creator Dale Kramer, EAA 145132. Visitors can also browse exhibitor displays highlighting the latest innovations in the ultralight, LSA, and homebuilt rotorcraft markets.