Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 5 August 2016

Friday Wind In The Wires

Chicken Mom has her Friday Night Steam. CW has his Friday Night Open Road. They're delightful blog trademarks that I really enjoy so I figured I would come up with one for myself. In my younger and more foolish days I was almost a successful ultralight aviator. Maybe I can make that my Friday theme?

The aircraft that originally caught my eye and stirred my soul was the TEAM Airbike. The company that made the kit went out of business awhile back and then revived by new management. I dunno if they are still around today.

This is an uninspired, utilitarian build. With the right farkles this bird
is actually a show stopper.

The problem with the UL Aviation sport is that uninformed ground pounders (like yours truly) will look at that and see a fun machine like an ATV or a snowmobile. (It basically has a snowmobile engine, right?)

In the hands of a novice that bird is a widow maker. It will not forgive mistakes and it will hurt or kill you if you don't respect it. To do this sport make NO mistake about it - unless you have a competent mechanic in your back pocket, you have to be a gearhead and know your way around an engine. If you lose that engine you are going down in whatever is in front of you. I know because I did it. You will also need lots of training to begin with. Good training. In Canada there's any number of good UL pilots... but good instructors are few and far between.

While the VW engine is a spectacular choice for UL
aircraft - it isn't the right choice for this bird.
I would go with the tried and true Rotax 503.

Many people buy these things thinking they are fun machines - and then promptly either crash them or scare the chit out of themselves with them. Then they go into a hangar or a barn to languish for years. They can be rewarding planes to fly and own but getting the proficiency you need to enjoy them is hard work and costs $$$$.

This one is going for $8900.00 over at barnstormers and I would give it a miss.
a. that's the wrong motor for that bird
b. for $8900.00 you can have a professionally built UL VW engine
c. that bird has a pronounced 'used' look to it. You don't want some neglected hangar queen

Needless to say any bird you buy will need a formal inspection by a licensed professional.

I love the VW engines. They are reputedly a dream to work on,
reliable and even I can afford the fuel burn rates.

THAT is a righteous Airbike: Rotax 503 UL engine in a rare tandem
seat configuration.


  1. You are much braver than I. Like to look at 'em, but that's about it. If I can't drive somewhere - I just ain't going. Stick to the RC's.

    1. My chance at real flying came and went, CM. I suppose I should be thankful I survived it.