How to Make Wings for an Ultralight

Written by amanda hevener
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How to Make Wings for an Ultralight
You do not need a pilot's license to fly an ultralight aircraft. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Ultralight aircraft weigh less than 113kg. They have one seat, a maximum fuel capacity of 5 gallons and can travel at a speed of 55 knots. These aeroplanes can fly up to 15,000 feet in the air. When viewed from below, an ultralight aeroplane resembles a hang glider, but it has a motor, tail structure and a seat. The wings come in a kit that consists of aluminium tubing and polyester fabric. The aircraft itself is made of an aluminium frame with a seat, fibreglass side panels and the wings.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Ultralight-aircraft wings kit, with instructions
  • Aluminium tubing
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Polyester aircraft fabric
  • Epoxy
  • Clamps
  • Clothing Iron

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the ultralight wing kit and spread out the pieces. Follow them to assemble the aluminium frame for the wings. Starting on one side, use the drill to screw the components together securely. Lay the assembled wing down on a flat surface.

  2. 2

    Cover the frame with slow-drying epoxy. Place the fabric on the top of the wing, then wrap it around the frame so that both loose ends meet on the side of the wing that will face the tail structure. Clamp the fabric and the frame together and wait for 48 hours while the epoxy dries.

  3. 3

    Plug in the iron and let it warm up to maximum heat. Rub it over the wing repeatedly until the fabric tightens. This will increase its aerodynamics and stabilise the wing.

Tips and warnings

  • To qualify as an ultraweight plane under FAA regulations, the entire aircraft, including the motor, cannot weigh more than 115kg.
  • Although you do not need to be a licensed pilot to fly an ultraweight plane, you do need proper training from the United States Ultralight Association.
  • Ultralight aircraft can be flown only from sunrise to sunset, in noncongested areas.

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