Tricycle Gear Ultralight from Belite

Our tricycle gear variant is a hoot to tool around an airport in.  I did not bring one to AirVenture, but if I had, you’d have liked it, a lot.

Belite's Tricycle Ultralight Aircraft flies over.  Blue on blue, nice?!

Belite’s Tricycle Ultralight Aircraft flies over. Blue on blue, nice?!

It sits at a well-proportioned height off the runway, and allows proper entry and exit, just like its (very) distant cousins, the Cessna 152, 172, and 182.  The takeoff manners are docile (pull back on the stick to provide a little back pressure, (DON’T do a departure stall!) and it will fly itself off the runway.  Landing is a breeze as well — keep a little power in, add one notch of flaps on base, and keep the nose off the runway.  Let it float down the runway until you gain proficiency.

(First landings are recommended on extra long runways — this is not a ‘brick’ or a ‘flying lawnchair’ — it will float if you have too much speed dialed in).  Did I say keep the nose off the runway?  Add in more back pressure as the main wheels touch….

So let’s digress a moment and show you a good landing in the tricycle gear airplane.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  In this case two pictures are worth even more:

Nearly down; letting speed bleed off.  As the plane settles down, I will apply increasing back pressure.

Nearly down; letting speed bleed off. As the plane settles down, I will apply increasing back pressure.

prepare to land 2

Keeping the nose up by applying back pressure on the stick. Note the elevator position, note that the nose wheel is still off the ground.

The plane pictured was delivered to yet another Belite customer shortly before Airventure.

If you want to fly and you have tricycle gear solo proficiency, you’ll want our Belite Tricycle gear airplane.  We are selling it in 3 different versions:

BASIC TRICYCLE GEAR AIRPLANE:  The base configuration comes with a proven 28HP Hirth F33 engine, electric start, a nice digital Belite instrument panel, and your choice of Oracal color!  The fuselage is entirely uncovered — it flies great without covering and it can be your winter project.  Some people enjoy the uncovered look.  It even includes brakes, so you can steer the swiveling nose wheel without difficulty. $17,995 FAF Wichita, KS.

UPGRADED TRICYCLE GEAR AIRPLANE:  The version with a 45HP MZ-201 is mostly as pictured in this blog post.  It is completely covered with Oracal in your choice of color; the engine is very, very beefy; and the spars are carbon fiber.  Ribs are aluminum (instead of Baltic Birch wood), which reduces weight.  The aluminum fuselage is primed and then painted your choice of color.  (For instance, consider a Cocoa brown fuselage in conjunction with a Metallic Burgundy exterior.  Looks very nice.)

A cowl is included (albeit we are switching to our new aluminum cowl design, posted elsewhere); and the turtledeck is finished and removable.  The brakes are disc, instead of the drum brakes on the base model.

In addition to other basic instruments, the instrument panel also includes a turn coordinator and a fuel gauge.

Completing the airplane is a safety element — a hand toss parachute with a rating of 550 pounds.

This is an excellent aircraft for $27,995.  There is no other competitive tricycle gear ultralight aircraft in the market.

Interested in a four stroke variant of the tricycle gear Belite??  Look for info on that BELOW all of the following pictures….

Let’s look at some more features of the airplane:

Blue Tricycle Ultralight

Flaperon control cable and attachment. Note machined fittings.

flaperon attachment-2

Tip flaperon attachment on Belite’s ultralight tricycle gear aircraft.

flaperon view

View of the flaperons on Belite’s tricycle gear airplane.

front of plane

View of the nose on a tricycle gear airplane from Belite.

quarter view

I love this airplane’s look. It’s hard to come up with a caption that does it justice.

rear view of plane

Likewise for this picture. Same problem as the preceding caption.


So let’s forget about the problems of writing captions and go flying, OK? Note plane leaving ground in noseup attitude.

taxiing 2

This is what it looks like without a turtledeck. Belite’s ultralight airplane on tricycle gear.


Taxiing around.

top nose piece final detail

Very nice photo of the nose fork attachment detail. Good engineering. Angle piece of aluminum to front firewall not shown in this photo.

Tricycle fueling 2

Tail feathers are like mirrors when the Oracal is done right.

Tricycle nosewheel

The nose gear assembly. Free castering. Lightening holes. Nice engineering.

Tricycle tail feathers

Another view of the mirror like tail feathers. Note the open door reflected in the top vertical stabilizer.

Tricycle wingtip

Flaperon attachment detail on a Belite Ultralight airplane.

Now it’s time for the four stroke information…  In order to meet the weight requirements of FAR Part 103, we have to build every piece of carbon fiber we have into the airframe.  By doing that, we can offer the Belite Tricycle gear airplane with an easy starting hand prop 45HP 1/2VW motor, and still meet the weight requirement.  The carbon fiber and the engine all cost some money, so we have to charge $35,995 for this variation.  You’ll have the only 1/2 VW 4 stroke tricycle gear ultralight in the country, complete with an enclosed cabin.  Expect a fuel burn of around 7-8 quarts of gasoline per hour.

Here’s the spreadsheet breakdown on the four stroke Tricycle Gear from Belite:

1 BASIC:  Aluminum Airplane.  Includes 28HP engine, oracal on wings / cabin / tail feathers, basic instrumentation.  Aluminum spars / wood ribs.  Does not include spring gear, cowl, brakes, rear covering. yes 16995 16995 221.0 221.0 100.5
3 BASIC:  ADD Tricycle Upgrade includes nose wheel, extensive fuse mods yes 1300 1300 12.0 12.0 5.5
6 WEIGHT REDUCTION:  SWAP Stamped aluminum ribs substitute for wood. yes 1000 1000 -2.1 -2.1 -1.0
7 WEIGHT REDUCTION:  SWAP “Lighten Up” package.  Includes CF Wing upgrades, Flaperon upgrades, Tail upgrades.  Must order CF spars as well. yes 3900 3900 -16.9 -16.9 -7.7
10 APPEARANCE:  ADD Removable Doors yes 500 500 0.0 0.0 0.0
11 APPEARANCE:  ADD Metal Priming (covers metal) yes 300 300 0.9 0.9 0.4
13 APPEARANCE:  ADD Complete Fuselage Fabric & more Oracal yes 2000 2000 4.0 4.0 1.8
14 APPEARANCE:  ADD Engine cowl, constructed from fiberglass. yes 350 350 0.0 0.0 0.0
15 APPEARANCE:  ADD Turtledeck yes 1300 1300 0.0 0.0 0.0
17 GROUND HANDLING:  ADD Disc brake set, installed yes 700 700 2.5 2.5 1.1
18 GROUND HANDLING:  SWAP Steel spring gear upgrade instead of solid link yes 400 400 2.2 2.2 1.0
20 GROUND HANDLING:  ADD Trailer kit (4 steel support struts).  Allows trailering of aircraft. yes 300 300 0.0 0.0 0.0
26 ENGINE:  SWAP to 45HP 4 stroke 1/2VW yes 5200 5200 46.0 46.0 20.9
29 INSTRUMENTATION:  ADD Fuel Gauge, Turn coordinator and VSI, wiring, install yes 500 500 0.3 0.3 0.1
32 SAFETY:  ADD hand toss parachute, installed yes 2000 2000 8.0 8.0 3.6
Subtotal $36,745 277.9 126.3
Package Savings -$750
Total $35,995

If you want to fly any of these tricycle gear airplanes next year (2014), you need to get serious about ordering them now.  Please call us.


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