Belite as EAB

Are you building/buying/flying an Experimental Amateur-Built (E-AB) or Experimental Light Sport (E-LSA) aircraft? Converting an S-LSA to E-LSA? Changing or adding equipment, or otherwise modifying an S-LSA? Need help with Letters of Authorization? Or maybe designing your own aircraft? This forum is the place to discuss All Things Experimental.

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Belite as EAB

Postby JoeM » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:44 pm

I would really like to build an RV-12 but know I can not afford to spend $70k on an airplane at this time. I can afford to build a Belite Ultra Cub with a ½ VW for power for about $15k. It looks like a really nice kit and comes close to meeting my mission (I would like more speed). As I live in the congested area between Baltimore and Philadelphia flying under Ultralight rules is not very practical. Does anyone see any issues certifying the Belite as an E-AB aircraft and fly under Sport Pilot rules? Do you know of any construction techniques or materials used in ultralight construction that would not meet the requirements of an aircraft to be E-AB certified? I would add the required items like comm and transponders needed for flying in the controlled airspace in my area and would most likely use a slightly larger fuel tank to meet my mission of a 200 mile xc range (visiting family in SE Virginia). These modifications would also take the aircraft out of Part 103 weight and fuel limit but should not matter as E-AB. I have checked with Belite and they said the airframe could handle the higher gross weight. They suggested getting the opinion of a DAR as their kit has not been submitted to the FAA for the 51% ruling. I just want to know if my plan is sound or way off base.
Joe Mikus
Perryville, MD
USAF Ret Avionics Tech
Student Sport Pilot

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Re: Belite as EAB

Postby drseti » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:12 pm

Joe, what you describe is what came to be known as a "fat ultralight". It was one of the reasons the LSA rule was adopted. Early on, there was a window of opportunity to license these as ELSAs, but that window has closed. So now, all that remains for you is E-AB.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
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Re: Belite as EAB

Postby FlyingForFun » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Last edited by FlyingForFun on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Belite as EAB

Postby Merlinspop » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:51 am

Someone correct me if I'm wrong (as if there's any risk that this group would let an incorrect statement slide by!)...

You said you live between Baltimore and Philly. There's not a lot of space between those two places that are outside of the Mode C veil. If you've got an engine driven electrical system, you'll need a transponder. Come 2020, you'll have to have ADS-B Out. Here's where I'm not sure... come 2020, will the exception for non-electric aircraft still exist, or will you have to have ADS-B Out if you're in any Mode-C required airspace? If I started building something today, I'd be lucky to be finished before 2020. It would royally suck to spend that much time on a project that you couldn't fly, or couldn't fly for very long.

Again... someone please correct me here.
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Re: Belite as EAB

Postby zaitcev » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:25 pm


I don't see anything wrong with an E-AB Belite with a larger fuel tank, and in fact I think such were built. However, I think Jim only sells kits at his discretion. He wants experienced homebuilders only.

The downside that I can see is that Belite cannot be made fast, and thus you're going to suffer from headwinds greatly. You really want something like Sonex instead.

I think it would be great if you contacted Jim directly with the same question and posted what you found. This is a matter of certain interest.

-- Pete

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