Teratorn Aircraft

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Teratorn Aircraft, Inc.
Privately held company
Industry Aerospace
Fate Out of business
Founded 1976
Defunct circa 1989
Headquarters Clear Lake, Iowa, United States
Products Kit aircraft

Teratorn Aircraft, Inc. (named for the extinct ice age soaring bird) was an American aircraft manufacturer based in Clear Lake, Iowa. The company specialized in the design and manufacture of ultralight aircraft in the form of kits for amateur construction and ready-to-fly aircraft under the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules.[1][2][3]

The company was formed as Motorized Gliders of Iowa, Inc. in 1976 and located in a 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) production facility. The company first produced the weight-shift Teratorn Aircraft Teratorn and the follow-up Teratorn T/A single seat ultraight motorglider designs. In 1983 it introduced the Tierra and Tierra II.[1][3]

After Teratorn went out of business in about 1989, Golden Circle Air of De Soto, Iowa took up production of Terratorn's designs.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Golden Circle Air went out of business in circa 2006, the designs were acquired by Indy Aircraft and put back into production in 2011.[12][13]

Terratorn's Tierra and Tierra II designs have a reputation for structural strength and robustness in service; more than 4000 have been completed and flown.[1]


Summary of aircraft built by Teratorn Aircraft
Model name First flight Number built Type
Teratorn Aircraft Teratorn 1970s Single seat ultralight motor glider
Teratorn T/A 1980s Single seat ultralight motor glider
Teratorn Tierra 1983 more than 1500 Tierras Single seat ultralight aircraft
Teratorn Tierra II 1983 more than 2500 Tierra IIs Two seat ultralight aircraft


  1. ^ a b c Cliche, Andre: Ultralight Aircraft Shopper's Guide 8th Edition, pages B-60, B-106, E-40. Cybair Limited Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9680628-1-4
  2. ^ Teratorn Aircraft: 1984 Teratorn Tierra II The Legend Continues..., Teratorn Aircraft pamphlet, 1984.
  3. ^ a b Teratorn Aircraft: Tierra Ultralight, Teratorn Aircraft pamphlet, 1984.
  4. ^ Pilot Mix. "Golden Circle Air, Inc T-Bird I". Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, page 168-169. BAI Communications. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  6. ^ Bertrand, Noel; Rene Coulon; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2003-04, page 142. Pagefast Ltd, Lancaster OK, 2003. ISSN 1368-485X
  7. ^ Downey, Julia: 1999 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 15, Number 12, December 1998, page 50. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  8. ^ Downey, Julia: 2001 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 17, Number 12, December 2000, page 54. Kitplanes Acquisition Company. ISSN 0891-1851
  9. ^ Downey, Julia: 2002 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 18, Number 12, December 2001, page 43. Kitplanes Acquisition Company. ISSN 0891-1851
  10. ^ Newby-Gonzalez, Tori: 2004 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 20, Number 12, December 2003, page 59. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  11. ^ Downey, Julia: 2005 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 21, Number 12, December 2004, page 61. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  12. ^ Vandermeullen, Richard: 2011 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 56. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  13. ^ Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 61. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X

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