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Top Rated Ultralight Aircraft in the US

written by: nostolgia•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 6/23/2010

Want to know about the world's most light weight aircraft? This article will enrich your information on most light weight aircrafts of the world and the top rated US ultralight aircraft.

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    Top Rated Ultralight Aircraft in the US

    The top rated US ultralight aircraft are the most light weight aircraft in the world. In USA they are catorgized as a vehicle and not an aircraft, thus eliminating the need of requirement of registration and license for pilots. According to the FAA rules and requirements, ultra light aircraft should have the following features: (1) one seat for pilot only (2) Aircraft is used for recreation and sports (3) No certification is required for pilot (4) weight should not exceed 155 pound with no fuel (5) with fuel its weight should be 254 pounds (6) maximum fuel limitation is 5 US gallons (7) when running at full power it speed is 102 km/h or 63mph and (8) inspected by FAA to make sure that they meets the requirements of an ultra light aircraft.

    They are not allowed to fly over restricted areas but can fly with authorization in different regions of airspace classified as Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D airspace. Visibility and cloud clearance rules are applicable like other aircrafts. Parts of the ultra light aircraft are not required to meet some standards as defined for avionics. No registration required for ultra light aircraft. Similarly there are no restrictions on pilots regarding knowledge of aerodynamics, age, experience and physical fitness. All this doesn’t mean that no rules and regulations are followed while flying the ultra light aircraft. They cannot stay in airspace 30 minutes before the sun rise and 30 minutes after the sun set. They are not allowed to fly over congested areas or over public gatherings.

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    Types of Ultralight Aircraft

    1) Hang Glider 2) Para Glider 3) Powered Glider 4) Para Sailing/Parachuting 5) Powered Parachute.

    1) Hang Glider:

    This is the simplest ultra light aircraft with no electric motor. Wings of the glider are made of tough sheets of aluminum with a combination of mylar. The flight mechanism is controlled by pilot weight with respect to the glider. The lower body of the pilot is completely prone to airspace, like a person hanging with something. The pilot changes the center of gravity of the glider and thus it moves the aircraft in different directions with control speed. The flight of a hang glider is similar to the flight of a bird. The flight duration is up to 3 hours. One of the main draw back of a hang glider is that it cannot be easily transported because of rigid wings.

    2) Paraglider:

    In paragliding the pilot body is not prone to airspace, but is in a sitting position on a chair. Paragliders works on air pressure. Its weight is around about 30 pounds and can be folded up easily for transportation. A paraglider flies relatively slower than a hang glider because the latter has simple aerodynamics. Paragliders can be easily flown by anyone as compared to a hang glider. One cannot stop a hang glider quickly, but a paraglider can be.

    3) Powered Glider

    It is like a simple glider with an electric motor of an aircraft. The direction and speed of the glider is controlled by an electric motor, with contrast to a simple glider in which flight is controlled by air currents.

    4) Para sailing / Parachuting:

    Para sailing is done on a beach. A person is tied to a boat and is dragged over the surface of the sea. Parachuting is used for free fall motion from aircraft.

    5) Powered Parachute

    Powered Parachute is a motorized parachute with wheels. Powered parachutes can fly at altitudes of 6 kilometers, but they normally fly in range of 15-500 meters with maximum flight time of 33 hours. They have a fuel backup of 5-1000 gallons.

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    Summary

    1. Ultra light aircrafts are aircrafts designed for light weight.
    2. Require no registration and no hard and fast rules for pilot.
    3. Can fly within a specified airspace boundary.
    4. Types of Ultralight Aircrafts are:
    • Hang Glider
    • Para Glider
    • Powered Glider
    • Paraliasing/Para Shooting
    • Powered Para shoot
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    Ultralight Aircraft Examples

    Hang GliderParagliderparachutingpowered-parachute