|Avid Flyer Mk.IV|
|Role||Two seat homebuilt aircraft|
|Number built||2,000+ (Avid Flyer + Avid Magnum) kits by 2001|
|Developed into||Avid Champion
The Avid Flyer is a family of American single engine, high-wing, strut-braced, conventional landing gear-equipped, two seat ultralight aircraft designed for kit construction in the 1980s. Its several variants sold in large numbers. In 1987 a Flyer became the first ultralight to land at the North Pole.
Design and development
The kitbuilt two seat lightplane was designed by Dean Wilson in 1983, the first prototype flying in 1983 and appearing at Oshkosh that year. Kits were produced by Light Aero with several names (Bandit, Lite, Magnum and Mk.IV) with many options including two wing designs, the choice of tricycle, tailwheel, ski or float undercarriages, rescue parachutes and a variety of engines. Lite Aero production continued until the company went bankrupt in 1998. Avid Aircraft reappeared in 2003 but by 2010 the kits, including new variants, and components were produced by Airdale Flyer.
The Flyer is a conventionally laid out, single engine, side by side two seat light aircraft, with a fabric covered steel tube structure. It has a high wing wing, braced with a pair of V-shaped lift struts to the lower fuselage. Each pair of lift struts has interconnecting auxiliary bracing, and the forward lift strut has an inward leaning brace to the inboard wing edge. The Flyer's ailerons are unusual: instead of moving on a hinge within the trailing edge of the wing, they move about an axis behind and below it, supported by three outriggers and an upper fuselage socket. The effect is to move the control surfaces well clear of the wing.
The fuselage is flat sided, narrowing towards the tail, where a braced tailplane is carried on the curved edge fin just above the upper fuselage line. The rudder, which extends to the bottom of the fuselage and operates in a cut out between the two elevators, was straight edged in early versions, later replaced by a fuller, curved edged surface.
By about 2008, some 2,000 Flyer kits had been built over five continents. 346 Flyers and Magnums appear on the European (excluding Russian) civil registers. Perhaps the most remarkable fight was that made by Hubert de Chevigny in an Avid Lite 532 equipped with an additional 300 L (66 Imp gal, 79 US gal) fuel tank. Accompanied by Nicholas Hulot in an Aviasud Mistral, he left from Resolute, Canada on 2 April 1987, reaching the North Pole on 7 May in three stages. They were the first ultralights to do so.
- Early versions with straight trailing edge rudder, foldable wings and either 45 hp (30 kW) Cayuna or 65 hp (49 kW) Rotax 532 engines.
- Mk IV
- Fuller, curved edge rudder and either a 64 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582 or a Rotax 912 engines. Baggage compartment added. Introduced 1992. The Mark IV was further developed into the Airdale Backcountry.
- Economy version with 50 hp (37 kW) Rotax 503.
- Heavier, powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Lycoming O-320 or an engine in the 125 hp (93 kW) to 180 hp (134 kW) range.
Data from Simpson 2001
- Crew: one
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 17 ft 11 in (5.46 m)
- Wingspan: 29 ft 10 in (9.09 m)
- Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,150 lb (522 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 582 two cylinder two stroke, water cooled, 65 hp (48 kW)
- Propellers: 3-bladed
- Maximum speed: 105 mph (169 km/h; 91 kn)
- Cruise speed: 92 mph (80 kn; 148 km/h)
- Range: 340 mi (295 nmi; 547 km)
- Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s) initial
- Related development
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avid Aircraft.|
- Simpson, Rod (2001). Airlife's World Aircraft. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing Ltd. pp. 64–5. ISBN 1-84037-115-3.
- Perrier, Patrick (2010). Fox-Papa Les avions de construction amateur. Rennes: Marines Edition. pp. 48–9. ISBN 978-2-35743-048-8.
- "Airdale sportplane and supply". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Partington, Dave (2010). European registers handbook 2010. Air Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85130-425-0.
- "20 April - 7 May 1987, North Pole". Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- Bayerl, Robby; Berkemeier, Martin (2011). World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12. Lancaster UK: WDLA UK. p. 92. ISSN 1368-485X.
- Vandermeullen, Richard: 2012 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 38. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
- Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, Fifth Edition, page 120. BAI Communications, 15 July 1998. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1