Belite offers an affordable FAA Part 103 aircraft unlike any other single place airplane.
Belite’s mission is to provide affordable high quality aviation products and aircraft at affordable prices, allowing more people access to flying.
Many pilots and aircraft owners have appreciated the latitude of the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 103 which has opened up many legal options for flying enthusiasts. However, FAR 103 airplanes have traditionally had great difficulty meeting legal weight requirements while providing airplane functionality. As a result, many people have flown what are called ‘fat ultralights’ – overweight aircraft.
Belite Aircraft took on the challenge to develop an ultralight with the feel of a real airplane, yet one that met the qualifications of FAR Part 103.
Belite offers both a Taildragger and a Trike version in both Kits and Ready To Fly Aircraft.
New Technology for the Belite
First, owner James Wiebe looked to the new technology of carbon fiber. While it is an optional component of our product, we use it mainly in the wing spars. It helps reduce the weight of the airplane by about 12 pounds. Wow! But it was (and remains) fairly expensive.
What do our customers really want in a single seat airplane?
We wanted to give as many people as possible access to flying, so we asked our customers what they thought of our airplanes and price points.
A survey of customers indicated:
They like the Belite.
They want to fly
They want to afford the Belite.
And another factor had entered the equation.
Heavier pilots still want to fly. Could Belite accommodate them?
How did Belite respond to the challenge?
We looked at how we could cut our costs and provide weight saving, affordable airplanes with cool technology.
1) We began machining our own parts on our 4 axis CNC machine. This helped save money.
2) We also invested in a CNC router – which helped us cut out all of the flat parts in a perfectly uniform manner. This brought down costs and improved quality.
3) We updated the designs to reduce costs.
4) We subtly increased the wing span, the wing chord, and the size of the flaperons. As a result, the overall characteristics of the aircraft have changed. With the enlarged wing area, the new Belite aircraft is a much better performer.
5) We redesigned the fuselage and cabin to use aluminum, creating the “UltraCub”. This made it easier to fabricate, and also helped reduce cost and weight. As result, we could simultaneously cut our prices, increase the weight of pilots we could lift, and offer bigger engines on lighter airframes, improving performance.
6) Then we improved the aircraft look and performance by coming up with a lightweight, machined foam wing. This is the “ProCub”.
7) Our latest innovation is a ground up, clean sheet design for the “SkyDock”, which provides a fresh, sexy look to ultralight aircraft. It hits every point which our market segment wants — low cost, great looks, ease of construction, good performance, tricycle gear, high technology, designed for slower flight.
New Aluminum Fuselage
And the new aluminum fuselage in the UltraCub passed the strength tests:
- • Engine mount strength
- • Pilot seat strength
- • Airframe strength — taxiing (super hard jolts while going up and down the runway without shocks)
- • Costs are much lower, so prices are more affordable.
And its lighter weight, yet sturdy frame, offers safety and maximum performance.
New ProCub Foam Wing
The ProCub foam wing is an engineering marvel. Combining a stack of CNC cut foam ribs, it provides a very smooth and aerodynamic wing. We’ve tested it to some really high loads, and it’s come through.
The flight characteristics of the ProCub are delightful. It’s slippery, so it’s no surprise that the ProCub climbs better and cruises more efficiently ahd faster than an UltraCub.
Other Belite Innovations
Belite includes additional innovations like a full instrument panel that takes the experience beyond that of a traditional ultralight. Click here to see Belite Electronics.See also: