Flight report on the L'il Buzzard, ultralight, ultralight, amateur built aircraft, or experimental aircraft.

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L'il Buzzard  Ultralight Flight Report

by Barbara Lynne Hare

I have lived on an airfield for over 25 years now, which is owned by my father in . With my dad owning a 150 Cessna, and him wanting the kids to learn how to fly, I decided to take up the challenge and get my license, not to fly conventional aircraft but to fly ultralights.

The reasons were:

  1. Even with my dad owning a 150 Cessna I couldn't afford the cost of training, fuel and maintenance.
  2. I wouldn't be flying in controlled airspace so much of the conventional training I would have to take would be unnecessary.

Over the years I have accumulated over 400 hours of flight time, in various ultralight aircraft, including the SeaRey, Cosmos Trike, Merlin, Coyote, Buccaneer Amphibian, Challenger, Carrera, Explore, Bushmaster and the L'il Buzzard. Which brings me to the point of this article, a flight report on the L'il Buzzard.

The L'il Buzzard

The L'il Buzzard is a side by side seating two place ultralight, designed from the ground up for a training environment. This is quite evident once you climb into the over 40 inch wide cockpit. 40 inches is enough for two large pilots dressed in snowmobile suits to sit comfortably in the cabin. (While this is nice it really isn't necessary when the optional two speed heater is installed). A 6 ' 6" pilot can sit, with a helmet on and not have his head hit on the overhead tubes, and with the seats adjusted to the rear of six positions he has ample leg room to stretch out.

The control systems are standard stick and rudder, with two sticks, and 4 rudder pedals. Throttle controls are located on either side of the fuselage plus in the center of the large instrument panel. Three throttles are standard, so that students flying aircraft other than the L'il Buzzard which might have center or left hand throttles can train with on a control system that they will be comfortable with. Independent hydraulic brakes are available, these are activated from two levers conveniently located between the seats. Another standard feature is in cabin adjustable elevator trim. The trim is found on the ceiling just in front of the pilot. The trim control is connected via cable to the elevator where a small hinged trim tab adjusts to relieve pressure on the stick and control systems. This allows for long comfortable cross country flights, without having to continually hold pressure on the control stick.

The control system to the ailerons uses push pull tubes. These are all located out in the open for ease of inspection and or repair. All of the control push pull tubes are straight, and are manufactured from 4130 chromoly steel. This is convenient for the owner, in case of damage he can repair the system himself, easily and economically using materials purchased from any local aviation supply outlet. The rudder and elevator cables are 1/8 cable which is the standard used in amateur built and most conventional aircraft. These are also all out in the open - easy to inspect or replace.

The L'il Buzzard comes standard with a large windshield, two doors and two rear tear drop shaped windows. The craft can be flown with the doors open or closed, and they can be opened or closed in flight. Locking of the doors is accomplished by lifting a small catch and clipping it into the wing or onto the fuselage. The lexan for the doors  and rear windows is flat so that replacement is just a quick trip to a local supply store.

The fuselage is 5/8" chromoly steel tubing. The wing uses "D" cell buzzard.jpg (19982 bytes)construction attached to an I beam spars. The ribs are aluminum, and the craft is covered in standard aircraft covering materials. The steel suspension systems uses a bungee cord shock system from a conventional "Cub" and is one of the widest in the industry for great ground stability. Fuel is supplied to the 582 Rotax 65 HP engine, 618, 75 HP, 912, 80HP or 914 115 HP engines, from a 10 gallon wing fuel tank with an optional 10 gallon tank available. The fuel tank(s) have simple sight fuel gaugesL'il Hustler on trailer located inside the cabin. A very large storage area located behind the seats allows you to stow a sleeping bag, tent, and tie downs for those cross country outings.

Another amazing thing about the L'il Buzzard is that it comes already built, the owner can have it up and flying in less than 40 hours. After installation of his engine and instruments. That's right I have watched as customers have finished assembly of their kits. They show up with a helper on Friday morning and by Sunday afternoon, the craft is ready to test fly.

molski.gif (33412 bytes)
Not only does the craft make a great land plane but skis can be installed in less than 15 minutes. Remove the wheels and slide the skis onto the axle stubs, and connect your safety cables and bungees.
The L'il Buzzard has float mounting attachment points welded right into the fuselage for Full Lotus Floats and float installation using the kit supplied will take less than a day.


Pre-flighting the L'il Buzzard is a snap. The large engine compartment is easily accessible by unlocking two over center latches on either side of the cowl. The Gull wing door compartments open up to reveal the standard 582 Rotax engine.

Next you slide under the craft to check the motor mount, and exhaust which are wide open for visual inspection. Then onto the adjustable Volkswagen radiator used to cool the engine. While down here you inspect the bungees for the suspension, wheels and bearings.

Next you open the door, clip it into the wing, and inspect the control systems, brakes, leading and trailing edge bolts, buzonwater.jpg (131278 bytes) fuel shut offs and glance at the fuel gauge. When finished you move to the strut attachment points, jury struts and run you hand along the leading edge of the wing. Walking around the end of the wing you check you aileron hinges and aileron attachment rod.

Now work you way along the fuselage to the tail section, check for any damage to the vertical fin, horizontal stab, and rudder. Checking all the pins for cotter pins and the trim system. With this done you repeat the procedure for the other side. Fueling the L'il Buzzard is easy - set the tank up on the wing and let the fuel siphon into the wing tank. With the tank in the wing instead of over head, or in the cockpit, no fuel is spilled onto the seats, and gas fumes are eliminated from the cabin area.

Climbing into the L'il Buzzard takes a little getting use to. You enter from behind the rear strut,yeller.gif (80410 bytes) by sliding your head in and grabbing one of the tubes up by the ceiling, now lift using your arm as you rotate your butt into the seat. Once inside you position the seat by gently pulling out on a lever on the side of the seat, just like your car, and pulling forward until the seat locks in the position you require. Now you do the safety belt up and put on your helmet. With your helmet on and plugged into your intercom box you can turn on the master switch and the two ignition switches. "Miss CT" is equipped with a new engine monitoring gauge . The gauge welcomes you on board with a visual message and then turns on its monitoring mode. You now push the primer in a couple of times and hit the starter button, the engine comes to life. A female voice is heard "Warning water temperature low" looking at the gauge you can see that the water temperature is only 90 degrees, once you reach operating temperature 120 degrees you hit the monitor switch and the gauge runs through the different instruments. EGT 1, EGT2, etc etc etc. more about this gauge in a later issue.

Arriving at the end of the runway, you use the manual select to run through the instruments, and do a mag check. With everything within working parameters you apply full throttle for take off. The L'il Buzzard springs to life. RPM for take off hits 6450, the craft remains in a three point stance and in less than 150 feet you are airborne. Looking at the VSI you see a climb rate of 700 feet a minute at 65 mph. as you approach the center line of the runway you pull back on the stick, airspeed drops to 55 and the climb rate is just of 1,000 feet per minute. Dropping the nose a little airspeed picks up to 65. You maintain 65 mph until you hit 2,000 feet. Setting out on a short cross country to Baldwin you level the craft, and back the power down to 5800 RPM and adjust the trim tab to release any pressure on the stick. At 5800 the airspeed sits at 80 mph. Looking at the engine monitoring gauge you see that the outside airtemp is 78 degrees, and note that it is a little warm in the cabin. This is easily fixed by adjusting the two window vents located in either door, so that they blow directly on to you. As your flying along a soothing voice is heard in your ears "all parameters normal". 18 minutes later you arrive at Baldwin Airpark, during this time the craft has been flown totally "hands off" with no adjustments required for trim on elevator or rudder.

Upon reaching the airpark you decide to do a dead stick landing. Setting up into a standard circuit you shut the engine off on as soon as you enter the down wind leg. A voice is heard "engine RPM low" looking up front you note that the 3 blade IVO prop is stopped, but turns a little bit now and again. With the engine off pressure is felt on the stick, so you pull the trim all the way back, the pressure is relieved. With about 1500 feet of altitude you slow the craft down to 55 mph, this keeps you up in the air but gives you little distance, you fly the downwind and base using this speed. As you enter final you drop the nose a little - airspeed is now 65 mph and you are able to cover a great deal of distance. You clear the hydro lines and then apply right rudder and left aileron to side slip, "Miss C.T." drops like a rock in a pond at about 25 feet you return to straight flight, and 10 you level her and at 5 you apply a little bit of back pressure and "play" with the stick until she comes in and lands in a nice three point stance. By applying both brakes you are able to stop in about 50 feet as you turn off to the side of the runway.

You fire C.T. up, taxi to the end of the runway and take off again. Arriving at altitude you decide to try some turns. You lead with a little left rudder and a little left stick, and then use the stick to control the angle of the turn, once around you feed in opposite rudder and stick until your once again straight and level. Next you decide to try a stall. From straight and level flight you slowly ease back on the throttle, while appct.gif (76581 bytes)lying back pressure on the stick, as you hit 35 mph you have to work the rudder pedals to keep the craft straight, with the engine at an idle and the stick back in you stomach C.T. waddles like a duck but refuses to drop her nose. You climb to altitude again, this time you back power down and then shut the engine off. Slowly you apply back pressure on the stick until at 35 mph C.T. drops her nose, in a stall, you release pressure and she immediately starts flying again. It's quite evident that the 172 sq ft of wing really make this one very forgiving ultralight. You hit the starter button once more and the 582 springs to life.

Landing back at the field you pull in front of your tie down , once out the plane you grab onto to the handle located on the rudder and pull her back into her parking spot or you and your student can grab onto either one of the two lifting handles located at the rear of the fuselage. You then tie her down using the rings located at the ends of the struts.

Lil Buzzard, Lil Hustler, Lil Hustler SS - two place ultralight trainers, built to be tough, reliable and easy to maintain.

With the sexiness of a Kitfox, the strength of a Merlin, at the price of a Challenger

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