View Full Version : Floats and Ultralight Helicopters
03-26-2006, 10:02 AM
The floats on the Ultralight helicopters (Mosquito, Air Scooter, Sportcopter) must add; weight, cost, and airflow restriction. In addition they may be a slight impediment to stability during autorotation,
I understand that the floats are added to increase the FAA maximum weight limitation, however, if there is no intention of ever using the floats could not these floats simply consist of a pair of collapsed airbags and a CO2 cartridges?
03-27-2006, 03:18 AM
kjust like to say it sounds kinda risky...having said that
helos that operate over water are often seen with inflatable sponsons stowed on the skiis. Ive no idea where you would source them, but i bet they cost a bomb.
You could look at fixed floats of a different configuration. I guess the type you are familiar with would be the Edo type of twin floats, but you could have a main float on the centreline as well as sponson floats rigged outboard. Voughts Kingfishers were so equiped, and they were common on fighters kept in marine environments too, including Zeros.
03-27-2006, 09:01 AM
The floats would never be used. They are just to increase the 254 lb FAA Ultralight weight restriction by 30 lbs.
Since there is no FAA restriction on equipment , the floats could be a pair of deflated inner tubes wire tied to the skid. :rolleyes: :)
03-27-2006, 09:39 AM
I may be wrong, but as I understand it your allowable weight would be 254 pounds plus the actual weight of the floats.
So, adding "floats" would not be a way to legally fly a fat ultralight.
03-27-2006, 03:26 PM
On the airscooter the floats are the main landing gear but the airframe is weighed without them to meet the legal 254lb limit, the reg says that floats or amphibious gear does not add to the total empty weight of the airplane. So if you have a gyro, airplane or heli and plan on installing floats you can leave all the attaching hardware, support tubes and floats off and weigh it, if it is under 254lbs you are ok.
04-17-2006, 03:03 PM
Lihe you sail, the floats are excluded in FAR 103. They use the Floats as part of the frame, making the frame/float exempt from FAR 103
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