View Full Version : Aerolite 103

7th February 2012, 09:43
Aerolite 103

Be gentle this is my first posting! Will admit to being an avid reader for some considerable time.

I dream and dream of eventually flying, and having my own a/c. Have come to the conclusion that SSDR will probably suite me best now.

Whist surfing the internet, I found this interesting machine, I have only found one mention in the past on this forum and that was way back in 2008!

Seems to be a well sorted and potential for SSDR in the UK?


Attached files [IMG]http://cloudniner.co.uk/images/converted_files/111939=8331-aerolite-103.jpg (http://cloudniner.co.uk/images/converted_files/111939=8331-aerolite-103.jpg)

Paul Dewhurst
7th February 2012, 09:59
They have a good reputation from what I have heard, and with the little engine. The specs suggest 11.2M wing area and 110kg, so should meet our regs with a touch of slippage.

Price a reasonable 15000 dollars which will be around 10K in our money. Shipping will probaly add a couple of K and then there is duty and VAT, so around 15K total.

Wally Hayward
7th February 2012, 10:20
Problem is that the Aerolite 103 is no longer manufactured although spares are still being made and an updated version produced the Pheonix 103.


(The website has been under construction for some time, so is not too informative)

You may be interested in the Aerolite Forum


A couple of general things to bear in mind is that, the quoted weight for ANY US FAR 103 Ultralight... they often simply quote the legal max and not actual, there never having been any checks in the past:-)

And as I have found out, unfortunately Engine manufacturers are "ecconomical with the truth" regarding weights etc so do not rely on published figures:-(

A similar aircraft which does meet the weight limit when used with the Kawasaki etc is the GCS Hawk Ultra


As does the Hiperlight (just) which I am in the process of importing


Just seen Paul's post and as a general rule, i suggest you budget rather more for shipping. (on which you also pay VAT, but you could import the aircraft under "End User relief" and obviate import duty)
Shipping (LCC sea freight) and crating varies enormously depending upon the construction used and thus the crate size from around 3K for a Challenger FAR103 to almost 8K for a Soaring Gull.

Paul Dewhurst
7th February 2012, 11:05
Sorry to here that wally, seems LSA has really put the boot into the US ultralight scene.

End use relief not so simple to set up, but does help with duty, but VAT is still payable.

Shipping a bit of a movebale feast - not too bad if kit packs nice and flat, but if you are shippng something built or fast build with some big bits erected, it can get very expensive.

wally's words on weight very wise - make sure you can verify before parting with any money.


7th February 2012, 12:31
Thanks for the replies, and the advise. Its hard to tell on the web if a site is still current, as the address I found for the Aerolight 103 appears to have a youtube clip from 2011? So I took it be be a current manufacturer. Confusing when you follow the other links supplied.

Anyway I will not be doing any importing myself, well not just yet ! Need to get my licence first! Then build experience, so maybe in a few years. Should be a whole lot more choice in the UK by then, and a healthy second hand market.

Good luck with your import.


Wally Hayward
7th February 2012, 13:00
As Paul says, get weights verified independently. statements from CEOs etc are generally not to be taken too literally.
For example, I have received formal weight confirmations from Senior Executives/CEOs which upon finding someone to physically weigh an engine proves them to be way out. In 1 case an engine quoted as 32Kg installed, turns out to be almost 40Kg
Another advertised for "donkeys" years as 31 Kg, actually weighed 34Kg

Important with SSDR

As a private individual there is now "in theory" a simplified "End User relief scheme" which does not require pre registering.

"Simply import under Customs Procedure Code 4000028."

Having said that, mine has been stuck in US customs for 3 months because the US shipper "crossed all the "i"s and dotted all the "t"s and ticked all the wrong boxes, so US Customs must have thought it contained Mexican drug Barons, or similar:-(

As you say, the US scene is rather hectic. I have just heard of 2 more Ultralight Manufacturers up for sale (in addition to JDT Minimax I mentioned in another thread)

ASAP Aviation (although Canada) manufacturers of the Beaver and Chinook having sold their PPC division, now want to sell their fixed wing division as well

and already announced....
Starflight Aircraft

Starflight Aircraft is for sale. All jigs, master documents, logo's,
intellectual rights etc. Plus one XC2000/503 as a show and tell.

"Flylight expands"/emoticons/smile.gif

Mike Cowlishaw
7th February 2012, 13:46
Agreed; it is rather 'fluid' over there at the moment. I spent some time with 'Mr Belite' at Oshkosh in 2010 -- possibly why he later came up with an SSDR-compliant version a year later -- but as far as I know no UK takers yet, which is a shame.

In early 2011 (before I ordered my MotorFloater) I again talked to a number of USA (and European) manufacturers. Apart from Belite, the USA manufacturers were not the least bit interested in the UK/Europe market -- "enough problems at home".

I might have stayed 3-axis and gone for a Belite or Kolb, except that the SSDR versions of those were both taildraggers (cue another thread :-)) ...


8th February 2012, 09:07
Mike, Wally, et all,

If you need a bit of help with your shipping and imports, I can help by giving advice and hopfully get some good shipping rates and organise brokers if need be. I currently spend my day importing and exporting aircraft parts for a major Aerospace manufacturing company so have contacts in all the right places. Just drop me a PM if you need any help!!

The only thing I expect in return is for you to fly to my local airfield so I can have a look at the machine once it's up and flying (and a cup of coffee)!!

Mike Cowlishaw
8th February 2012, 10:52
Not currently planning on importing anything, but thanks for the offer, anyway! Mike

Wally Hayward
17th February 2012, 09:29
I, mentioned earlier that the CGS Hawk could meet the bill.......... looks like I placed a jinks on it.
I have now heard that company too is shortly going up for sale again. After being sold only a "couple" of years ago.

That makes 4 Ultralight manufacturers up for sale in the last couple of weeks, with (I am told) yet another in the pipeline.

17th February 2012, 09:35

I will buy a manufacturer, set it up over here and, export the aircraft back to the USA; not having to worry about importing them into the UK after being manufactured in the USA...LOL. (Just joking guys...I may be able to move them around the world but am rubbish with a spanner)!

Wally Hayward
17th February 2012, 09:44
Have a quick talk to "the Bank Manager".. StarFlight is only asking $20,000 to include 1 complete aircraft, jigs fixtures etc.:-)

17th February 2012, 11:22
I am trying to convince "the bank manager" at this stage to finally let me take a withdrawl and use it towards actually flying a microlight. As much as I would love a career in flying, manufacturing, selling, importing, exporting, flight instructing, fixing, eating, breathing and sleeping microlights. She doesn't seem to think any of my ideas will take off and land enough money to pay the bills!!