Winner of the Outstanding New Design award in its public debut at Sun ‘n Fun ’95, the SuperFloater was a well-received by many who flew with the ultralight glider. The light weight unpowered machine is a 20-years-later redesign of an aircraft created by Larry Hall and Klaus Hill in the mid-’70s. The SuperFloater was completely redone at the request of U.S. Aviation, who sensed the new market for the easy-flying glider – aging hang glider pilots, as well as ultralight pilots looking for a change of pace from power in flight. The ’95 SuperFloater has a beefed-up airframe for more frequent duty and tow launching. The high-dihedral wings were flat and flattened and the span extended for additional performance. Full-span ailerons replaced rudder and elevator-only controls. The ultralight sale plane is now supplied as a ready-to-fly, test-flown aircraft. The SuperFloater can be towed aloft by almost any ultralight with an excess of power.
A great old name has returned! The Flightstar is back. Actually, the design has survived various ownership changes quite well. The original Pioneer Flightstar became the Argentine Aviastar. Now original designer, Tom Peghiny, has bought the plane and the name. It’s all-American again, too, made in the USA. Above you see the F.A.R. Part 103-legal version, the Flightstar Classic. The Classic has a big brother single seater and of course, a two-seat trainer. The Classic is the company’s primary fun machine, though. All the Flightstars were designed under accepted engineering methods. They’ve also been given the touch by Peghiny, an ultralight pioneer who aviation business experience dates back to his teens. It’s easy to see this successful combination if you examine individual component design and finish. The Flightstar has an avid following of five hundred owners who love the way their planes fly. The Classic has simple features and low price while maintaining wonderful handling qualities.
You can’t find as many bargains in ultralight flying as you once could. Increasing sophistication of ultralights has, with economic factors, driven up prices. The Hurricane offers 1994 pilots a good deal, however, with prices in the $7,000 range for a complete, bolt-together kit. These days, that’s one great price! The Hurricane is a derivative design, owing its shape to aircraft like the Avenger, Phantom, and Mirage. Company owner Don Eccker has made numerous changes to the plane and a modern Hurricane has become its own airplane. Eccker was long associated with the popular Avenger which eventually left the market. He filled the gap with his Hurricane. Eccker and his staff reveal a fine attention to detail coupled with a love of flying. This shows readily in the Hurricane. The plane boasts very responsive handling which still imparts a feeling of solidness. Performance is good enough that Eccker performs exciting aerobatics with great competency.
Everybody knows that trikes are composed of a chassis and a wing. Many companies specialize in one or the other for good reason; the two manufacturing skills are quite different. For years North Wing Design owner, Kamron Blevins, has built the wings that lift many trikes. Now his Washington state based company does it all. A couple years ago the company introduced their Maverick trike, notable for its clean, simple, white chassis and unusually strut-braced delta wing. Later Blevins introduced his ATF model, a simplified and even lighter chassis which can connect to a conventional hang glider wing. Remaining busy, by spring of 2000 he offered the two-seat Apache model. In every case, of course, the trikes uses the company-produced wing. Beginning in the days when he supplied trike chassis makers with wings until he began to offer the whole trike aircraft, Cameron has clearly been listening to customers. From my inspection he has incorporated many features that trike buyers have sought over the years.