Before getting to the actual building and maintenance of the machine itself, you will be presented with a choice, one that will change everything. The first decision you need to make when acquiring an ultralight helicopter, is which one should I buy? There are of course certain considerations to be kept in mind when trying to answer this question. The following article will be focused on providing any future owners with a glimpse of what their options should be and what do they need in order to acquire, and ultimately fly one of these aircraft.
There’s a vast variety of ultralight helicopters on the market, but they all come in two distinct configurations: Single-seater, which are a bit less expensive and easier to fly but they represent a solo experience; and two-seater configurations which provide fun for the owner and a passenger. Before picking one, of course, you should be aware that, as stated in the FAA flight regulations, any two-seater vehicle must be crewed by a certified pilot with a valid license, unlike the single-seater variants. This is because, in the two-seater variant, the person flying it is not only responsible for himself, but for his passenger as well.
These are the most approximate experience to the real deal, they come with an enclosed fuselage and are generally a little bit heavier, but still inside the ultra lightweight category of air vehicles. In this category there are several models to choose from, but in this article, two of them were chosen to provide you with a general look on what a Two-seater aircraft can do.
The Dragonfly DF334 is a two-seat, single engine unit with a rather simplistic design, it’s a pretty accurate recreation of a huey helicopter at a much, much smaller scale. It features a skid type landing gear and a full composite cabin, this helicopter is designed for both amateur and professional pilots alike. Due to certain regulations in weight and passenger capacity, this aircraft needs a helicopter or fixed wing pilot’s license to be flown in the USA. This helicopter has a range of 300km (190 miles) and can fly at a maximum speed of 92mph.
ALPI Syton AH130
Another two-seat variant is the ALPI Syton AH130, this small and fast helicopter is an upgrade from the previous mentioned DF334. This little guy can fly up to a maximum speed of 118mph and can cover a range of 600km (373 miles). Same as the previous mentioned model, this helicopter features a full composite cabin for the pilot and one passenger in a side by side configuration.
There’s a lot of technical data that doesn’t really interest a newcomer into this hobby, but there’s an important factor in both of the aforementioned models. Two-seaters tend to have the longest range of the ultralight category, since they are somewhat bigger, enough to fit two people. They have an extended fuel tank and as such, have a bigger range that that of a Single-seater as well as a higher top speed.
For the Single seaters, the mosquito helicopter series are one of the many examples that can be mentioned, they are light, easy to control and build, and so are the perfect choice for amateurs. As these are single-seaters they do not require any sort of license and can be freely operated without any legal issues while they stay below a certain weight.
This aircraft is one, if not the most basic of airframes in the market. For a simplistic and out there flying experience, consider the mosquito air your choice. This aircraft can be flown under the FAA part 103 ultralight rules and does not require any registration or pilot license. It is a simple frame that provides an unobstructed view of the landscape as you fly by it. The perfect choice for an amateur that wants to get immersed in helicopter flying.
If otherwise, you wish to have a more secluded and safe experience, then the Mosquito XEL will meet your needs. Partially enclosed cabin, standard to all XE models forms a most pleasing and aerodynamic shell with all the required instrumentation and comforts a recreational pilot might want. It comes with skid type landing gear with flotation devices, these are the only exception to the 103 lb weight limit, keeping this aircraft within the regular flight parameters for an unlicensed pilot.
Since these are smaller and lighter versions, the mentioned models can only traverse a distance of 60 miles at a top speed of 70 – 80 mph. This is significantly slower than a two-seater, but these are cheaper and without the need for an aircraft registration and a pilot’s license, they make for an excellent choice for any newcomers to the fold.
Keeping all of this in mind, any amateur air enthusiast should be able to pick the best model that suits their particular tastes. Wish to experience the thrills of flying on a low budget? Then acquire a single-seater and launch yourself into the air. Wish to have some company while up in the clouds? Then a two-seater is the way to go, just make sure that all of your papers are in order before starting the engines and claiming the clouds.