TOP SECRET -- EYES ONLY FOR UNDERSIGNED
From: Ace Industrial Spy Service, Bob Phillips, PI, acting SPECIAL AGENT
Re: Belite's Product Improvements ----- TOP SECRET MEMO #18
Thanks for calling me earlier today. I appreciate your concern over the fact that Belite is preparing to offer a traditional opposed cylinder four stroke engine on a legal Part 103 ultralight aircraft -- this is indeed a gamechanger and will help re-awaken the ultalight marketplace. Per your request for information, I returned to Belite's facility late this afternoon and took some more clandestine photos while most of Belite's staff was absent.
It was sweltering out there. I can't imagine how they continue to work as daily high temperatures in Wichita are forecast to hit 107 degrees later this week...
Also, as a side note, I was able to observe Mr. Wiebe briefly, and I noted that he now is sporting a slightly "Harry Potterish" scar on his left forehead. What is with that man?? Between emergency room runs (a rumored six stitches on the last ER outing); welding burns; daily cuts; and odd bruises, I am amazed he still has his vision and his digits.
I agree with your comments concerning their aircraft finishing methodology. They are now able to create world class finishes on small aircraft, using less time and money than competitive approaches. Per your request, I have enclosed some sneakily taken photos of the fuselage which is covered with burgundy metallic.
The engine in question has been verified to be a 1/2 VW with an all up weight of about 88 pounds, developing 45HP (as I mentioned yesterday), with dual independent ignition. This puts it at less weight than other four stroke offerings! It is truly an aircraft engine on an ultralight aircraft. My understanding is the Belite is pursuing this engine approach due to the fact that 1/2VW engines have been flying for 20 or 30 years, with good results, and that these engines are available fully assembled at reasonable prices. In order to support them, Belite appears to have developed a custom four point isolated engine mount. I also understand that similar 1/2VW engines may be built from 'scratch', from common plans ($25 or $30), utilizing off the shelf VW engine components. Even better for Belite and their customers, the engines are available as kits at very reasonable prices.
Here are the spy photos I promised you:
|1/2VW on Belite Ultralight Aircraft: 45HP of four stroke reliability|
The above photo is a little better than yesterday's photo. The exhaust pipes have been attached, and the magneto is reflected off the firewall in the rear of the engine. The engine mount is clearly visible, as is Belite's custom developed heavy aluminum shock mount / engine mount plate. BTW, I was able to see the alloy stamping on the firewall, and it was 7075 aluminum -- top quality aircraft grade.
|Engine mount for 1/2VW on Belite Ultralight Airplane|
|1/2VW on Belite Ultralight airplane, from side|
|Tailfeathers: Burgundy Metallic Vinyl over Dacron on Belite Ultralight Aircraft|
|Closeup of rudder cable exit plate (sharp white paint) on Belite Ultralight Airplane|