Introduction to Ultralight Airplanes

Ultralight Biplanes

Biplanes have two wings one above the other. Usually the lower wing is at the bottom of the fuselage and the top wing is above the the level pilot's head. Or above the cockpit if there is such. These airplanes usually have shorter wingspan than similar monoplanes and can fly with little power. This makes them good choice for the ultralight aviation entusiast.

Biplanes also have some disadvantages however - significantly more drag than monoplanes for example. I suggest you learn more about this at Wikipedia.

Meet Biplane Fans

If biplanes look interesting to you, you are not the only one. There is a whole forum where people discuss biplanes. It's full of pilots, builders, and just plain enthusiasts. There is also a marketplace where you can buy or sell biplanes and biplane parts.

Interesting Biplane Model Pictures

So you want to see some of these? Here you go:

This lovely red biplane is Hatz. Learn more at the Hatz Biplane Association a place for builders and fans of Hatz biplanes.

Some biplanes are now flying over beaches for recreation. The one on the picture above is restored 1940 Waco UPF-7 aircraft.

I'm afraid I don't know the model of this biplane, used for advertising Oracle on air show.

This yellow WACO is vintage. But theWACO Aircraft Corporation is still alive and kicking, producing open cockpit sport biplanes. Unfortunately the prices are far above what the ultralight enthusiast is willing to pay (at least talking about me!). The prices fly close to half million bucks :

Some Models You Can Buy?

What about some more affordable options? Biplanes you can buy or at least buy used or as kits?

Tiger Club 440

Classified as Microlight, this cute baby is still popular. I think it's not in production but you can find it on classifieds sites.

The Firsher Fleet

I have no picture, but look at the site. They have biplanes, and the prices are much better than on WACO. Quick-build airframe kit for the biplane is $11,750. Or you cna buy plans for $350 and build it yourself. They also offer the Youngster-V biplane which is slightly cheaper.

Ragwing Aircraft

This site here is selling plans for just $25. The site is managed by the founder of RagWing Aircraft Designs so it is the ultimate source of these plans. The official site gives slightly different prices but looks like more plans are available.

If you are keen on building, have a look at this interesting discussion - Fisher vs Ragwing. Experienced people talk there.

The Easy Eagle

This is a beautiful aircraft. It's a single seater and qualifies for Part 103. With cruise speed of 95 mph and 90 sqft wing area it's an excellent small biplane that doesn't need much hangar space. Materials for the kit are available in the USA for about $10k, so it's very affordabe as well.

Murphy Renegade

Talking about beautiful stuff, here's another one:

Murphy Renegade is a two-seat tandem Canadian biplane. It's still in production and offered in kit form by Murphy Aircraft.

Sherwood Ranger

This one is from UK, offered from The Light Aircraft Company. It's a microlight sold as kit in two modifications. The price of the complete kit without extras is about GBP 13,750. It's not bad for such a good airplane.

I think you have enough food for thought now. If you have decided to build or buy a biplane, or even if you have only flown one, please let us know in the comments!

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User comments:

Bryan at Dec, 17 '15 15:45
This is very interesting I like it. You are new to this blog right? This is my fartvioe blog, welcome. I like what you have written and hope you write and post a lot of articles because I come here almost everyday it is my only link to home (USA) I am in Germany and I haven't been home in five years and this blog give me a link sort of. It is different every time I come here. Thanks for your articles.Can you tell us someting about yourself ands some of your background in aviation?I am Tom Brand and I am in Germany. Thanks.
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