Monday, August 21, 2006


I saw a couple of ultralights with candy bar wing flying south along the Corral Hollow yesterday (on Sunday), at about 11 a.m.

In America, ultralights long were neglected, and the best you could find was a motorized deltaplane. In Europe, what is known as "ultralight" is actually a very small airplane. A big difference! About two years ago, FAA introduced a classification known as "Light Sport Airplane", which corresponds to European "ultralight". The intent here is to break the stalemate of defect lawsuits, inertial, liability lawsuits, onerous regulation, lack of parking, and other good things of modern life, in order to stem the decline of General Aviation. This is very interesting, and I am thinking about getting one of those things myself.

Meanwhile, ultralights made a small progress, within the existing law. The delta wing was replaced with a normal wing and empenage. The pilot does not control the machine with moving his/her body about, but moves control surfaces, just like Glenn Curtiss did in 1910. This is only possible within the confines of the regulations thanks to new lightweight materials made affordable. This type of ultralight is what I saw over Tracy.


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