Firestar ultralight aircraft
The Firestar was first introduced in 1993. It features a
welded steel fuselage, folding wings, steerable tailwheel,
spring steel landing gear, 5 gallon fuel tank and 2 blade wood
Options include the 503 Rotax engine, brakes, full enclosure,
ballistic parachute, instrument, composite prop, strobe light.
The craft is available in several quick build kits, partial kits
and fully assembled.
This baby is one of our favorites! How can you go wrong with
excellent (360°) visibility, awesome takeoff and landing
performance, and folding wings?
Using the 41-hp Rotax 447 and a two-blade wood prop, the
Firestar will launch in a mere 125'—a grass strip is no
problem—and will climb at 1000 fpm. Landing requires just 150'.
Cruise is listed at 60 mph, top speed is 70 mph. Kolb advertises
a sedate 29-mph stall.
Its dimensions are as follows: wingspan, 27'8"; length,
20'3"; and height 5'8". The doors are removable for comfortable
flying in the summer. Kolb also brags that it only takes one
person to take it from trailer to the air in ten minutes, no
tools necessary. Assembling the kit for the first time will take
about 400 hours.
The Firestar is a docile bird with a heart and soul that begs
to play... really superior ground handling couples with
excellent tailwheel authority to produce one of the best boony-bashing
STOL ultralights ever produced. It has a very good control
arrangement accessed by a single center-positioned control stick
and rudder pedals. The rudder is quite dominant in this aircraft
though the ailerons are plagued only moderately by adverse yaw.
The Firestar has a simple stall, little propensity to spinning,
and a very docile recovery mode if forced into it. Excellent
in-flight visibility makes this a particularly pleasant machine
to play with, and in the hands of a somewhat skilled aviator,
can be flown quite aggressively. Still, it's an easy flyer for
new ultralight jocks and the bird has few if any known surprises
for an unprepared pilot. Oh yes, this bird loves short grass
strips... that's where the original design was developed. A very
pleasant machine, with pretty mild stability demands.
ZOOM REPORT: The combination of a simple folding wing,
excellent STOL capabilities, responsive controls, and a dynamite
stability profile make the Firestar one of the best deals in
ultralight aviation. By the way, this is a very sweet
taildragger that is not at all taxing to those who are still
learning the art and craft of conventional gear. It's a great
aircraft by any standard.
USA Aircraft Ratings: Kolb Firestar
- Design/Engineering: B+. Folding-wing design is
- Ground Handling: B-.
- Flight Characteristics: B+. A real climber!
- Company Profile: A-. Very responsible, well-known company.
- Kit/Plans: B+.
- Bang for the Buck: A-. Very affordable, lots of
- Risk Factor: 3.
- Final Grade: B+. A thoroughly well-designed bird. Highly
The above courtesy of: