US Aviation CAVU

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Role Ultralight aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer AeroDreams
First flight 1997
Status Production completed
Number built 1 (1998)
Unit cost
US$6495 (1998)

The US Aviation CAVU (named for the aeronautical meteorology term meaning "Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited") is an American high-wing, strut-braced, single-seat, open cockpit, single engine in pusher configuration, ultralight aircraft that was designed and produced by AeroDreams of Manchester, Tennessee, but marketed by US Aviation of St Paul, Minnesota under their brand name. The aircraft was supplied as a kit for amateur construction.[1][2]

Design and development[edit]

The aircraft was designed to comply with the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules, including the category's maximum empty weight of 254 lb (115 kg). The CAVU has an empty weight of 220 lb (100 kg). The design goals for the CAVU were a simple and inexpensive aircraft, achieving good performance with a small and inexpensive engine.[1][2]

The aircraft is made from aluminium tubing, wood and fabric. The fuselage is built on an aluminium tube, which supports the tail as well as the pilot's seat. Its 31 ft (9.4 m) span wing is braced by a single lift strut. Powered by a Zenoah G-25 engine of 22 hp (16 kW), the CAVU cruises at 52 mph (84 km/h). Acceptable engines can range in power from 22 to 30 hp (16 to 22 kW). The fuel capacity is 3 U.S. gallons (11 L; 2.5 imp gal), with 5 U.S. gallons (19 L; 4.2 imp gal) optional. The landing gear is tricycle gear.[1][2]

Estimated assembly time from the kit is 100 hours.[1]

Specifications (CAVU)[edit]

Data from Purdy and KitPlanes[1][2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 17 ft 3 in (5.26 m)
  • Wing area: 151 sq ft (14.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
  • Gross weight: 520 lb (236 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 3 U.S. gallons (11 L; 2.5 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Zenoah G-25 , 22 hp (16 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed wooden


  • Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h; 78 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 52 mph (84 km/h; 45 kn)
  • Stall speed: 27 mph (43 km/h; 23 kn)
  • Range: 180 mi (156 nmi; 290 km)
  • Rate of climb: 500 ft/min (2.5 m/s)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b c d e Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, page 344. BAI Communications. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  2. ^ a b c d Downey, Julia: 1999 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 15, Number 12, December 1998, page 74. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851