Pilot’s Operating Handbook – Belite 254 / Taildragger / Trike
This is not an FAA approved document.
1. Safe operation.
The pilot is responsible for verifying that the Belite is in a safe condition for flight. This responsibility is only that of the pilot, not of any other individual or company.
2.1 The Belite’s maximum gross weight is 550 pounds. Do not exceed this weight under any circumstance.
2.2 Under no circumstances exceed 80mph CAS. Do not exceed 80mph under any circumstance.
2.3 Do not use flaps unless speed is 62mph or less.
2.4 Do not taxi in more than 12 knots of wind.
2.5 Demonstrated crosswind component is 6 knots.
2.6 Never takeoff or land with a tailwind.
2.7 Always ensure that sufficient runway is available for takeoff and landing.
2.8 Pilot weight must not exceed 270 pounds.
2.9 All aerobatic maneuvers, including spins, are prohibited.
2.10 Do not exceed 2 Gs of wing loading (positive) or 0 Gs of wing loading (negative). (The carbon fiber wing has been static tested to approximately 3.8Gs positive and -2Gs negative, but this has never been demonstrated in flight.)
2.11 In order to maintain FAR 103 legal flight, ensure that empty weight does not exceed 254 pounds (without parachute) or 278 pounds (with parachute). Also ensure that level flight does not exceed 62mph under full power. (Utilize a ground adjustable throttle stop as necessary, or change propeller pitch.) Compliance is the responsibility of the pilot.
2.12 In order to maintain FAR 103 legal flight, stall speed must be 28mph or less under specified conditions. The wing design used in the Belite design is very heavily undercambered and is an excellent choice for slow stalls and slow flight. It must be possible to demonstrate a stall at 28mph when Belite weight is 254 pounds or less, pilot weight is 170 pounds, and fuel weight is 30 pounds. Compliance is the responsibility of the pilot.
2.13 In order to maintain FAR 103 legal flight, usable gasoline capacity must not exceed 5 gallons (30 pounds). Compliance is the responsibility of the pilot.
2.14 In order to maintain FAR 103 legal flight, cruise speed must be limited to 62mph or less. This may be achieved by engine selection, propeller selection, or by throttle stop. Compliance is the responsibility of the pilot.
3. Demonstrated takeoff performance.
The Belite has demonstrated a ground roll of 330 feet in medium grass and no wind, with a density altitude of 2600 feet. This was achieved with approximately 37 horsepower. Additional horsepower will substantially shorten takeoff roll. Conversely, reduced horsepower will substantially lengthen takeoff roll. At sea level, we estimate that a takeoff roll of 200 feet will be required with 37 horsepower (dry pavement, no grass, no headwind, standard conditions). Takeoff rolls of less than 100 feet have been observed under conditions of increased power and/or headwinds.
4. Weight and Balance. Ensure that the Belite is within weight and balance. See separate weight and balance document.
5. Preflight. Check everything on the airplane. Pay particular attention to the wing attachment bolts, pins, and flaperon attachment pins. Check wheels, tires, brakes. Check for continuity on all control cables. Check for tears in the fabric. Check the engine and engine mount.
6. Engine check. Ensure your engine is operating properly.
7. Taxiing. For taildraggers, utilize rudder pedals and heel brakes for steering. For trikes, utilize heel brakes for steering. Do not exceed a taxi speed of 5 mph.
8. Takeoff. Your airplane is equipped with 0,1,2, and 3 notches of flaps. Use only 0 or 1 notches of flaps for takeoff.
8.1 For taildraggers, apply full power and push forward on the stick until the tail lifts. Allow the plane to accelerate to 45 mph, then pull back gently on the stick and climbout at 50 mph.
8.2 For trikes, apply full power and pull back on the stick to relieve pressure on the nose gear. As the nose lifts, gently allow it to drop back to the runway until the plane lifts from the runway. (In other words, don’t over rotate until the airplane gains flying speed of 45 to 50 mph.)
Until extremely proficient, use only one notch of flaps for landing.
9.1 For taildraggers, select an approach speed of 50 mph. Utilize only sufficient power to maintain a normal approach path. Reduce power as the airplane starts to float over the runway. Continue to reduce power and pull back on the elevator so that the airplane will settle to the ground in a 3 point position. After the airplane touches down, pull back on the stick to ensure that the tailwheel firmly establishes contact, ensuring that the tailwheel steering is effective during the rollout. Wheel landings are not recommended until pilots have demonstrated proficiency in all other respects.
9.2 For trikes, select an approach speed of 50 mph. Utilize only sufficient power to maintain a normal approach path. Reduce power as the airplane starts to float over the runway. Continue to reduce power and pull back on the elevator so that airplane will touch down on the main gear. After the airplane touches down on the main gear, allow speed to bleed off by keeping back pressure on the elevator. Allow the nose wheel to gently settle to the runway.
After landing proficiency with one notch of is demonstrated, landings may also use two notches of flaps. This will result in a requirement for either more approach angle and/or more approach speed, as sufficient energy must be maintained for an effective flare.
Utilization of brakes (if installed) will substantially reduce landing roll.
10. Stall technique. Stalls may be demonstrated with power on or power off, with 0, 1, 2 or 3 notches of flap. Slowly enter the stall condition by increasing back pressure on the stick and/or reducing engine power. Immediately upon stall buffet or break, push the stick forward to regain normal flight. Be aware that flaperon travel may be restricted (left to right and vice-versa) when 3 notches of flaps are selected.
11.1 Loss of power. As the Belite has very little kinetic energy (due to low mass), IMMEDIATELY push stick forward to maintain flying speed. Vy is recommended of 50 mph. Select landing location. Select 2 notches of flaps if glide time permits and approach angle allows. Try and land into the wind. Consider deploying the BRS parachute. Consider restarting the engine. If unsuccessful, turn off gasoline. Turn off electrical system, if any.
11.2 Airframe breakdown. Consider deploying the BRS parachute. Turn off gasoline. Turn off electrically system, if any.
12.1 Best Angle (Vx) – 45 mph.
12.2 Best Rate (Vy) – 50 mph.
12.3 Maximum Flap Extension (Vfe) – 62 mph.
12.4 Never Exceed (Vne) – 80 mph.
12.5 Cruising speed (Vh) – 62 mph, maximum.
12.6 Maneuvering speed (Va) – 62 mph.
12.7 Landing reference speed (Vref) – 45 to 50 mph.