View Full Version : Weight Issue
04-24-2009, 10:12 AM
Not that I'll be owning an ultralight anytime soon but someday I'd love too. I'm a big guy. Loosing weight but a long way to go but I'm just curious where limits lie in terms of weight in most ultralights? Specifically the cheaper ultralights. 10k second hand. I know there's a very broad range of options out there but are there options for people over 250 pounds, how about even heavier people like 325?
04-25-2009, 02:51 PM
As far as "weight limits" are concerend with UL's -- basically, the magic number is gross take off weight of 1,200 pounds (that includes the plane, you, the fuel, everything). Advanced ultralights are allowed 1,232. Don't ask me why - just the way it is.
So, it depends on the empty weight of the plane as to how much weight allowance remains for you, fuel, etc. There are rules for maximum empty weight as well. You can't have a UL with an empty weight of 1,000 pounds, with only 200 lb useful load. I forget the mathematical equation off hand.
For you, you might like the Chinook Plus 2 from Aircraft Sales and Parts. It's a two-seat tandum, but is quite wide and roomy - particularly the front pilot seat. Almost as wide as some side-by-side aircraft
The Chinook has a really good useful load too. I've read that many "heftier" pilots really find the Chinook the perfect "fit" :)
You probably wont' be able to find a decent used Chinook for only $10K. Maybe an older one with just the Rotax 503, but that's still a little low. Most used Chinook's I've seen range from $15K to $25K -- depending on engine (503; 582; HKS; 912), age, and other equipment.
Check it out though.
08-07-2009, 10:11 AM
I'm also curious about the weight issue for passengers. While I'm interested in flying myself around, I'm more interested in getting into the air as a student photographer as aerial and aviation photography are subjects I'm interested in pursuing. I'm no lightweight - am around 300lbs now, but losing slowly. Will this be an issue with Ultralights or should I be looking for someone with a Cessna to fly me around while I learn the craft?
08-07-2009, 07:38 PM
Good for you to work towards dropping a few pounds. I can't say for sure, but I would think a 300 lb passenger would probably end up exceeding the gross take off weight of most 2-seat UL's. They don't call them Ultralights for nothing!
Again, it all depends on the empty weight of the aircraft. Maximum take off weight is 1,232 for AULA. Most two seat ULs come in empty anywhere from 400lb to as high as 600 or 700lbs. Add the weight of the pilot and fuel, and what's left over would be passenger weight. That's the weight part of the equation, but then there's balance. You could be under the gross weight but still out of balance. Not sure, but 300 lb in the rear seat of a tandum might be out of limits for most tandum ULs.
Having a commercial pilot/flight instructor take you up in a Cessna 172 might be better (if you are charging money for our aerial photography). If you're just taking pictures for fun, then a Private Pilot taking you for a ride would suffice.
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