View Full Version : STOL vs.2004 X-Air AULA ?????
02-26-2006, 11:36 AM
I am starting to think of buying an aircraft but would like to know what one design can do over another .
2004 X-Air AULA looks ok to me but so does a STOL . "Looking ok " is my present level of aviation knowledge. Is one better for flying a 200 mile round trip than the other . I would want to land on inland lakes in the summer in northern Ontario.
02-27-2006, 07:04 AM
Ed, having owned an X-Air I can say it's a very good plane. However a STOL aircraft is particularly well suited for strips and areas where you need a "quick getaway", hence the "Short Take Off and Landing".
Now by STOL I'm assuming you mean a Zenith 701? If that is the case then compared to an X-Air you're going to get a bout the same performance give or take. However the 701 is an all-metal aircraft which means you can hangar it outside if you chose whereas the X-Air being dacron covered my be hangared at all times. Both will give you the range you want (The X-Air with Flaps has an optional back-tank for extra range).
You can put both on floats. A X-Air with a 582 is minimum for float work. A 701 with a 912 is a very sweet aircraft. 912s are not common on X-Airs but Jabirus are.
Anyhow, your best bet if you're not in a rush is to attend the UPAC convention in August (provided you're close or wish to travel) and have a look at the airplanes talk to the pilots and get a check-out ride in them to decide which is best for you. I know it's not an easy choice.
Others are sure to chime-in here as well.
02-27-2006, 03:20 PM
Hey - I'll chime in too!
Another thing to take into consideration between a Zenair 701 and an X-Air of course is build time (if you are going to build) and cost (whether building or buying used). The 701 takes more of each - a lot more.
Trevor's absolutely right about talking to other ultralight owners and checking the aircraft out in person - and going for a ride if possible. I went for a flight in a 701 last fall and in a couple other ultralights, but not yet in an X-Air. All the hours spent drooling over back issues of Kitplane magazine and the multitude of websites isn't worth a single hour in the actual aircraft.
As difficult as it is, try to think carefully about the type of flying you want to do most of the time and then factor in your budget and honest ability to build something. There is no such thing as the perfect airplane so be prepared to compromise on something.
Another thing to factor into your consideration is the popularity of the aircraft and how many there are flying and owner support. Both the 701 and X-Air fair pretty good in those respects. Hundreds flying worldwide and both have been around for a while. There are plenty of "cool" looking planes featured in magazines and on the Internet -- but then when you research them, you discover there is a global total of 2 actuallying flying, or something like that.
You'll probably find that you can easily short list 2 or 3 aircraft. Find the nearest owners of that type (use Transport Canada's registration database for this or talk to dealer) and go have a first hand look and hopefully go for a ride or two.
I've been thinking about going the UL route for a few years now and still haven't made a final decision!
You're off to a good start by joining UPAC and participating in this forum. The regular UPAC newsletter alone is worth the price of admission many times over.
02-28-2006, 07:46 PM
Thanks for your replies there is obviously lots to learn for me. A plane that could have the wings fairly easily removed and trailered close to a take off location would be good. Am I right in guessing that would be more towards the X-AIR Aula??? There was a TV program on that had an ultralight as part of the program called the Easy Flier . Any idea what make that is ???
Thankyou Ed Waring Cambridge
02-28-2006, 08:28 PM
By "easy flier" I think you might mean the EZ Flyer. It is an airplane manufactured by Blue Yonder Aviation out of Calgary. They also manufacture the Merlin EZ among others.
Here is their website if you are interested: http://www.ezflyer.com/
It looks like there are 5 of them registered in Canada according to Transport Canada's database. Personally, I don't know much about the airplane itself.
Check out and bookmark the TC database at:
It's a useful site to check out how many aircraft of a particular type there are in Canada - and get the address of who owns them.
As for an aircraft with "quickly" removable wings for trailering to and from the airport or field -- I doubt you will be very happy with your search in this regard. I've researched a lot of UL's over the last few years and there really isn't anything like that. Most UL's have wings that are relatively easy to remove for trailering to an airport or private field -- but this is something you would generally do once or twice per season, or if needing to bring the aircraft back to your garage or shop for some work.
Others are welcome to respond here too -- but I don't thing anyone seriously trailers their airplane to and from home every time they fly. There just isn't a UL made with wings that are that easy to remove. Many have folding or "quick-folding wings" - but again, that is a design element intended more for ease of storage or hangering, rather than trailering to and from an airport with every flight.
From what I have learned, you will want to find an UL friendly airport or private strip to base your airplane at - if not permanently - at least seasonally. Ideally you would want a location that is a reasonable distance from your home. You don't want to spend 2 hours round trip driving every time you fly. You live in Cambridge, ON so there are a few options for our area. Even though I don't own an ultralight (yet) I personally do think it is a good idea to choose an aircraft which has wings that are fairly easy to remove or fold to facilitate transport to a field from time to time -- or to make it an easier operation to recover the plane from an unintended landing at some other site.
Don't be discouraged if you feel you have a lot to learn -- there is a lot to learn. I know - cause I'm still learning it! Far better to do your research first before jumping in an spending lots of money - only to find out you made many mistakes or are in over your head.
If you haven't already -- look through the many info threads already on this forum. You'll find out some good info right there.
And don't forget to check out the UPAC Convention -- August 18, 19 and 20.
03-01-2006, 12:06 PM
How often are you going to fly 200 miles?
How often are you going to take the wings off?
Are you going to be on Amphibs.?
Pay load in luggage or passenger?
How many of the Aircraft you are interested in are in the air.If there are only a few ,why.?
Determine your budget and then check out Challenger at WWW.Challenger.ca. :cool: But then I am really really happy with mine
03-01-2006, 12:36 PM
Hi Ed. Have you considered a Titan Tornado? Exc. performance speedwise, handling, and can also handle tight strips (We fly from a 600' strip) I am just east of Rockton, come down have a look if you like. Something like a Challenger or X-air are much roomier though, allot more room for stuff. And you miss the open air feeling, because you can't fly with the doors off, or open. We can have the wing off the Tornado in 10min. It is heavy though (1-peice cantilever) and just plain awkward! I agree with Dyceman, as quick as it is to remove, it would be a real bother to do it often. I hate even doing it once a year, for winter storage.
03-01-2006, 07:24 PM
If you're really set on having removable or foldable wings you should have a look at Kolbs and Skyraider. Both have that feature but nothing beats having a hangar with a plane ready to go.
03-07-2006, 11:40 AM
I think alot of the 2 stroke naysayers would find it hard to believe that a Kitfox can launch like a tru STOL aircraft in under 4 seconds and cruises in the 90s at low level -- over 8000 asl TAS ove 100 mph . not bad for a 582 :)
rotax 582 Kitfox takes off in uder 4 seconds (http://lazair.com/kitfox/index.php?showtopic=209)
The Kitfox has foldable wings and you can fold it in about 5 minutes and put it in a standard 8 foot wide garage door.
Plenty more movies and info here as well. great forum loaded with FREE Airplane movies (http://kitfox.lazair.com/)
03-07-2006, 11:55 AM
I thought Kitfox went bankrupt last year sometime -- filed for Chapter 7 protection in US anyway. Are they even producing kits??
If they are, it might be a bit risky to buy one -- I would want to give them at least 3 years in business following the chapter 7 filing to see if it looks like they will last.
From what I've read and saw in the past, they do (did) have about the slickest and quickest wing fold system (swings back at the rood, not folded down).
I've also read that you could expect to put 1,000 hous plus into a Kitfox project. With my schedule for example, we're talking years before the thing would fly.
The RANS Coyote also has a swing wing option (the complex fold is standard). The RANS website claims that one person can rig, de-rig the plane with the swing wing in less than 15 minutes. Again -- most Coyote builders I've read about have put at least 1,000 hours into their RANS projects.
03-07-2006, 10:07 PM
For all around cost/performance/room/design i went with the skyranger. so far so good but not as many flying in canada/us. off in 100 feet and handles strong cross winds. www.skyranger.net
I also like the challenger because of the local support and performance. www.challenger.ca
but pick a few and try get a ride in them all. fly one and you'll sell yourself.
03-09-2006, 09:49 AM
You are right, Skystar went chap 7 last year.
But that is no reason to not consider one. Kitfox and Avids have produced over 5000 kits approx. and they can be bought on the used market relatively cheap and at a fraction of a kit.
Avids and Kitfox are Superb all round performers and definalty not a plane to over look or anyone wanting to buy one. Parts can be easily made and there is alot of forum that support them as well as as few suppliers.
There used to be a guy selling plans for a Kitfox 1 clone in Brantford called the Raven.
I don't think he still selling them though.
You can buy a flying Kitfox for less than you can build one for from scratch.
03-09-2006, 11:14 AM
Hi there Shorty,
You are right, buying a used Kitfox would be fine, it has a good reputation and there are lots of them out there. But a potential buyer would have to make sure it was registered as amateur built or BULA. With a defunct manufacturer, an AULA Kitfox is a big problem.
If you need replacement parts for your AULA, my understanding of the regs is that the owner is not permitted to "manufacture" their own, or get someone else to do so. Most replacement parts (at least anything structural or significant) would have to come from the manufacturer only, or from a supplier that had pre-existing approval from the manufacturer to produce parts. I'm talking about engine mounts; landing gear; bent, shaped or otherwised formed parts; or pretty much anything that was welded as part of the kit. You could probably get away with repairing a straight piece of tube that just needs riviting, but I'm not certain how sticky Transport is on this matter with respect to AULA and manufacturer involvement.
Please . . . if anyone can confirm if this is not the case, I would like to know.
From my understanding, this is one of the greatest potential risks inherent in all AULA class aircraft, and I hope that the Working Group meetings that are currently underway with UPAC, COPA, Transport and others address this on some level. There needs to be some way to keep your AULA flying if the original manufacturer goes out of business. It happens quite a bit.
Right now, if you had an AULA and your manufacturer went out of business, your only option once it came time to repair something, would be to see if you could re-register your aircraft as BULA, or possibly move it into the Amateur class (following an inspection). Neither of those options may be attractive to an AULA owner, nor is there any guarentee it is even possible.
I think a number of UL owners or owner-wannabes would like to know more about this topic (I know I would).
I hope some others will chime in on this thread. If not - I may start a new post in the Regulations section.
03-10-2006, 01:56 PM
Dale some great points there.
I am only guessing here but Since the AULA really have no inspections done, who would ever know if you madea new part?
I would guess again that it happens all the time as if you need a part, you either find one or make one.
Now that the AULA crowd pushed and got passenger carrying rating now, I would bet that inspections or a new classification is not far away. It really odd that i think the vast percentage of ULs in Canada are BULA but the AULA corwd got catered too very well it seems.
Ulights have just got fatter and fatter and surely more regs will come to make certain pilot s are more qualified to fly them.
Conveting a AULA To a Amateur built ? Hmm better ask a Searay owner about that.
Easiest way is if you import from USA .
Amatuer Built give more priviledges as well.
03-19-2006, 10:19 PM
Thanks you to everyone for the responses , time and thought put towards my question .
Happy Landings Ed
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