|Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on December 13, 2017 at 4:45 PM|
After our first chapter gathering, I was speaking with student member who had an interest in a foam board ultralight. My initial thoughts were along the lines of “man, that is crazy”. But then I remembered that in 1977, a friend and I built one of these...
It was called a “Batso” - a primitive hang glider that we made from bamboo poles and black plastic. We never got airborne other than a hop or a skip, but it was fun just running with it across the school football field. I am sure that like me, and our student member, many of you had dreams of inexpensive - maybe even crazy - ways to fly when we were young.
DIY Foamboard Ultralight
Then I found the YouTube videos of Peter Sripol. He may have been the guy who our student member was referring to. He has built and flown an ultralight of his own design using foam board insulation, powered by two electric model aircraft engines. And yes, it actually flew. Pretty amazing for two electric model airplane engines.
Of course there were many others of course that have come before. Probably one of the most well known homebuilt ultralights is the Legal Eagle. It is designed by Leonard Mulholland, an EAA Hall of Fame inductee. Plans for the original design and a few variants are available for sale on his site.
And then there is the plane that everyone seems to want a ride in after they see it… the Breezy
Not actually a Part 103 ultralight, designed and built by Charles Roloff, Robert Liposky and Carl Unger in 1964, the original Breezy used a modified set of Piper PA-12 wings. Wings from the Piper PA-14, Piper PA-18, Piper J-3, Piper J-4, Piper J-5, or Cessna 172 can also be used on the design.
I would love to be involved in a build with youngsters of a Legal Eagle or a Breezy. They look like a lot of fun!