Belite introduced its first two place experimental aircraft design - the Pipper.
“I wanted to take my wife flying in a Belite aircraft,” explains James Wiebe, the CEO of Belite, “and implement my years of learning about what it takes to make a light plane quick to build, strong and affordable for the owner. I set my sights on developing an aircraft that comes with a high level of accuracy in parts production, and good repeatability in the build process. The more I aimed for, the more I realized that my many years of building planes had given me the perfect pipper to set my sights with… so the plane was called the Pipper!” (Pipper is defined as the center or bead of a ring gunsight.)
This aircraft had the following design goals:
- Conventional aerodynamic design
- Side by side seating
- Designed from a clean sheet in CAD and state of the art build technologies
- Very quick build time with highly accurate parts and high strength modern materials
- Classic look and fun to fly
- Good short field performance
- Rugged landing gear
- Taildragger or tricycle gear configuration
- Primary structure of aluminum with lightweight honeycomb
- 380 pound empty weight (with 2 stroke engine and normal instrumentation)
- 430 pound empty weight (with 4 stroke engine)
- 850 pound gross weight
- Up to 65HP engine
With the exception of engine, FWF, instruments and fuel tanks, everything is included in the airframe kit + completion kit; and the builder gets to pick tailwheel or tricycle gear. Wing tanks are available for $900 (set of two, five gallons each). Subassemblies are also available.
"I think that the future of experimental aircraft will feature CAD technologies and production technologies which did not exist until recently," Wiebe said. "Production techniques which are labor intensive add cost and time to aircraft projects. Our vision was to provide a complete kit which can easily be built by an individual in their garage, without special tools, and with state of the art strength and build methodologies."
First flight is scheduled for March. Introductory pricing on subassemblies for the airframe kit is: Rudder: $500, Horizontal feathers: $700, Rear fuselage: $2,100, Cabin: $2,900, Wings: $3,800. Or they can be purchased all together for $8,995, a savings of $1,005. Completion Options: Taildragger: $2,295 Tricycle: $2,595.
A limited number of aircraft will be released at launch price. They can be reserved with a $500 refundable deposit and gain access to our CAD files.
In the U.S., this aircraft is available directly from Belite Aircraft. In the UK, this aircraft is available in a special single seat configuration, meeting all requirements of the SSDR** market, from Belite’s distributor, Metal Seagulls. Metal Seagulls is handling all European sales as well.
Belite is seeking a distributor for Canada, China and for Central / South America. The technology behind this innovative design is also available for licensing to interested parties.