Sun N Fun, Sun N Fun aviation show, Sun N Fun Lakeland Florida.

 L'il Hustler's Ultralight News
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Covering the World of Ultralight Aviation Canada


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Sun N Fun's Paradise City - so much to cover in so little time

When the Good Lord put me on this earth she must have thought I needed a little harder road to travel than others. My last couple of trips away from home have been adventures that I would not wish on my worst enemy. The trip to my favourite ultralight air show in the world was no exception.

Fours hours into the trip south, in the middle of nowhere  "L'il R n R" decides to blow not just one of her fan belts but all five of them! As luck would have it I had one spare belt  went around three of the pulleys I need to run R N R - the brakes, water pump and alternator. 

She did a lot of squealing but managed to limp us into a Ford dealership where two hours and three hundred dollars U.S. later we were  back on the road again. In years past I had driven down in "Elizabeth" my Chev camper van - but with the wife, son and daughter in law along I decided to take the motor home. 
It great to see familiar faces at the media center and at the ultralight camper registration, makes you feel like your at home.  Well on with the show.

While the show doesn't officially open until Sunday (this is Saturday)  all of the exhibitors are busy setting up, and many pilots have already flown or trailered their ultralights in.

There is quite a bit of information to cover so lets break it down into areas,  so you can sift through to what you want. If you subscribe to the Ultralight Flyer web video magazine you can see many of the interviews over the web if you have high speed internet.

Things that happened during the show.... here I have included stories on the volunteers, the people who really make the show what it is. How the F.A.A. reacted to some "ultralight trainers." Tim Williamson and John Moody entertain the crowd, a new ultralight magazine enters the market.

The volunteers at Sun N Fun - Each year people like myself go down to Sun N Fun to see what's new, what's changed, what's no longer here. We come back sit down at our computers and write the stories and articles that you read in Ultralight Flying, UltraFlight, AeroSport Connections, the Experimenter, Ultra Flyer and others.
But do you realize that we would not be able to report on anything.... if it wasn't for the volunteers that donate their time FREE to put on Paradise City!
Click here for more information!

FAA impounds 2 ultralights - 5 others sited for paperwork.
Thursday morning Lockwood Aviation sponsored the  SUN DASH 2000 race.  A TITAN  TORNADO II equipped with a Rotax 912, with no registration or markings, including a "Instructional use only" placard, entered the race and apparently flew too close to the viewing stand. In addition the  estimated cruise speed listed on the race data form as 120 mph! This of course exceeds the speed limit for a "two place ultralight trainer."  The FAA   started checking everyone in the race. Apparently 2 aircraft were impounded and 5 others cited for improper paperwork/documentation/placards.  

This prompted the people running "Paradise City"  to call an emergency pilot's meeting, to explain the problems of flying an unregistered, unlicensed, improperly placarded  "ultralight trainer".  

Another problem was that some of the pilots did not have the required paperwork on  board indicating their status as BFI's.  Those who had their exemptions  through ASC  were able to verify them at the ASC tent.  For some reason EAA and USUA were not able to deal with the problem at the show. 

Ultra Flyer Ultralight Magazine - While at Sun N Fun I came across a new magazine covering our sport the Ultra Flyer. According to the owner the Ultra Flyer is not a new magazine, it was available from 1982 to 1989 in West Virginia. 
For more information click here.

New ultralight aircraft accessories

Stream-Line - In an effort to produce faster speeds and better fuel economy pilots are "stream-lining" their ultralights. One way of doing that is to install "stream lined struts" or "stream lined strut fairings." The first of these two options can be very costly. To install new aluminum stream lined struts, plus design new fittings etc. can cost in excess of $1,000. 
Stream-Line of North Port Florida has a more economical option, installing a plastic streamline case over your existing tubing.  The extruded plastic fairings quickly and easily install over existing round lift struts, jury struts,  gear legs, etc.
Click here for more information:
Kuntzleman Electronics - New for 2000 from Kuntzleman Electronics is a  strobe light for "Trikes." A specially designed adapter, with mounting plate and installation kit allows for the mounting of streamlined strobe heads on a trike wing.
For more information click here:
The RiteAngle 2000 - While driving around in the "Gimpster' I came across a tent with a product called the RiteAngle 2000.
According to the designer the system " accurately determines your aircraft’s angle of attack", which of course can help prevent stalls! It does this by monitoring the relative air entering a wind vane mounted on your ultralight. This then sends a message to a sensor that displays the angle in a series of lights on "display."  
For more information click here:
The Powerfin Propeller - A company that had its wares on display at Sun N Fun was Powerfin. The Powerfin propeller is a composite propeller. It is available in several different models, some for specific applications, and various horsepower ranges.
For more information click here:
Airmaster AP 308 Propeller - Aero Trading Ltd of Aukland NewZealand is producing a variable pitch constant speed propeller for ultralight and light aircraft. The three blade propeller hub uses blades from Warp Drive and GSC propellers, with the addition of the Powerfin expected in the near future.  Currently the unit is set up to handle blades up to 72 inches, and weighs in less blades at 21.2 lbs. 
For more information click here:

New aircraft engines and drives

The SUB 4 Ea81 Subaru conversion aircraft engine
A company from New Zealand was at Sun N Fun 2000 with their SUB 4. The SUB 4 has been in the R&D stages for the last two years. While the basic block from the Ea81 is used the rest of the engine has undergone extensive changes and or modifications.
Click here for more information:
Raven ReDrives Inc. - Raven ReDrives has been providing the ultralight and light plane industry, 4 stroke engine alternatives for a number of years now. They first entered the market with a "how to manual" on converting the Geo Metro/Suzuki engine for aircraft application.  The manual takes you from what you need to purchase at the wrecking yard, the computer wiring, starter, alternator, how to lighten the engine on  through to installation of the reduction drive.
Click here for more information:
The Thunder Chief
In our coverage of Sun N Fun 99 we did a story on Larry Israel and Jim Holbrook of H&I engineering, on their 40 hp 4 stroke called the Thunder Chief. While I didn't have a chance to interview the factory according for Larry the engines are now being shipped. "The heart of our power plant is the factory-rebuilt French Citroen 602 cc engine that is modified and retrofitted with a prop speed reduction unit. We have also built into the engine a rugged electric starter with an 8 amp alternator. The Mikuni 34 mm carburetors provide the final touch for power and fuel economy."
I saw them flying the unit on a Mini Max, it sure sounded good, with the performance looking very similar to a 377 or 447 Rotax.

For more information contact H & I Inc.
332n 300e Warsaw In, 46580 -
Telephone 219-267-2217

New ultralight aircraft

A quick trip around the patch and I came upon a beautifully finished Early Bird Jenny - with a Canadian theme. 
Click here for more information
The Legal Eagle - Just over from the Jenny I came across the designer of the Legal Eagle, a single place legal U.S. ultralight.
Click here for more information!
The Doodlebug 
Flylight Airsports Limited has crossed the pond to introduce the Doodle Bug to the North American market. The Doodle Bug turns a hang glider into the  "the ultimate minimum flying machine," This makes those long expensive trips to mountain sites a thing of the past. With the Doodle Bug's ability to take off in less than 100 feet, trips to the clouds can be accomplished from just about anywhere!
Click here for more information:
Team Falcon: 
The new Falcon 2000 is now in production, this all composite, two seat, front and back seating, craft in a pusher configuration with a canard, looks like something out of star wars!
For more information click here.
Y2Fly LLC - SeaHawk - The new "Sea Hawk" trike is a 2 place fully amphibious trike unit constructed of reinforced fiberglass.  "The Sea Hawk is a purpose built unit." "built from the ground up to be an amphibious trike"
Click here for more information:
Affordaplane-The Affordaplane is the creation of Dave Edwards of Riverview Florida. His goal "combine the best innovations to come from the ultralight industry, to create a rugged, bolt together ultralight, with a build time of right around 150 hours, without any special jigs or elaborate setups."
Click here for more information:
Beaver SS - Aircraft Sales and Parts of British Columbia Canada has begun to produce the venerable Beaver single place ultralight. According to factory representatives over 2200 Beavers are currently flying world wide with nearly 1200 of them being single place.
Click here for more information:
The Fergie: In 1991 a plane called the Fergie won "Best New Design" at Sun N Fun. Since then over 27 kits have been produced and are up and flying. This year Ferguson Aircraft manufacturers of the Fergie, sold the design to a new company called Precision Tech Aircraft out of Cartersville Georgia.
Click here for more information:
Rocky Mountain Wings LLC of Nampa Idaho has two new planes out for 2000 The Ridge Runner UL and the Ridge Runner 11.  The basic difference between the two planes is that one is an ultralight while the other fits the experimental category.
Click here for more information:
Powered Parachutes are one of the fastest growing segments of ultralight aviation today. Click here for more information.
For a web video interviews on many of these stories subscribe to the Ultralight Flyer web video magazine - giving  you access to hours and hours of web video on ultralight aircraft, ultralight builders, manufacturers and accessories!

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