Heldeberg Marathon

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Role Powered parachute
National origin United States
Manufacturer Heldeberg Designs
Status Production completed
Unit cost
US$21,995 (2012)

The Heldeberg Marathon, also called the Blue Heron Marathon, is an American powered parachute, that was designed and produced by Heldeberg Designs of Altamont, New York.[1][2][3]

Design and development[edit]

The Marathon was designed to comply with the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles two-seat trainer rules and today is marketed as a light-sport aircraft. The aircraft takes its name from its design goal of an aircraft with long range and endurance and features a range of 115 mi (185 km). It features a parachute-style high-wing, two-seats-in-tandem accommodation, tricycle landing gear and originally a single 50 hp (37 kW) Rotax 503 engine in pusher configuration. The 64 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582 was the standard engine used on later models.[1][4]

The aircraft is built from a combination of bolted dural aluminium and stainless steel tubing. It features a double ring propeller guard that has been roll-over tested. The 10 U.S. gallons (38 L; 8.3 imp gal) fuel tank is made from aluminium. In flight steering is accomplished via foot pedals, or optionally a control stick, that actuate the canopy brakes, creating roll and yaw. On the ground the aircraft has lever-controlled nosewheel steering. The main landing gear incorporates gas strut suspension. The aircraft is factory supplied in the form of an assembly kit that requires 30–50 hours to complete.[1][3]

Originally marketed by the factory under their own name, the aircraft was later marketed under the brand name Blue Heron, although the manufacturer remained the same.[1][3][4]

Specifications (Blue Heron Marathon)[edit]

Data from Manufacturer[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
  • Wing area: 500 sq ft (46 m2)
  • Empty weight: 308 lb (140 kg)
  • Gross weight: 850 lb (386 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 10 U.S. gallons (38 L; 8.3 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 582 twin cylinder, two-stroke, liquid-cooled aircraft engine, 64 hp (48 kW)


  • Cruise speed: 32 mph (51 km/h; 28 kn)
  • Range: 115 mi (100 nmi; 185 km)
  • Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 1.7 lb/sq ft (8.3 kg/m2)


  1. ^ a b c d Cliche, Andre: Ultralight Aircraft Shopper's Guide 8th Edition, page D-8. Cybair Limited Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9680628-1-4
  2. ^ Downey, Julia: 2005 Trikes 'Chutes and Rotorcraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 22, Number 2, February 2005, page 50. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  3. ^ a b c Bertrand, Noel; Rene Coulon; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2003-04, page 80. Pagefast Ltd, Lancaster UK, 2003. ISSN 1368-485X
  4. ^ a b c Heldeberg Designs. "Blue Heron Marathon". Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 

External links[edit]