New Internal Spacer for GPL Electric Starter
For Rotax 447 and 503 Engines
GPL Enterprises, manufacturer of electric start systems for
Rotax engines, has announced changes to the internal spacer on
their electric starter kit for the Rotax 447 and Rotax 503 2-cycle
aircraft engines. "This new spacer eliminates the shimming
problem present on a small percentage of past starter kits,"
says GPL Enterprises president Gary Lutke. "This allows the
user to install the shim, or remove it for tight-fitting installations,
eliminating the need for a replacement spacer."
The new updated kit, identifiable by the green spacer, is currently
being shipped with affected GPL kits, according to the company.
"This change was made in GPL's quest for better customer
satisfaction and product quality," Lutke notes.
Info: free. GPL Enterprises, 1220 Tangelo Terrace #A10, Dept.
UF, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: (561) 274-2247 * Fax: (561)
276-4159 * e-mail:
New "Buzz" From Avid Aircraft
Single-Seat "Experimental Light Sport
Avid Aircraft of Montana's new Buzz is "about 15
pounds too heavy to meet the 254-pound weight limit for single-seat
Part 103 ultralights," says Avid president Jim Tomash. Jim
and Kim Tomash bought Avid Aircraft in late summer '99 and moved
the aircraft manufacturing company from Caldwell, Idaho to Ennis,
What's in a name? Quite a lot if you're marketing a product.
But it's not too likely that ultralighters will buy a brand-new
aircraft based solely on its name.
So why the buzz about this aircraft's name? Well, one
of the definitions in the dictionary for buzz is to
talk, often excitedly, in subdued tones. No doubt Avid would
like the Buzz to be the topic of everyone's hangar flying.
Avid Aircraft of Montana labels their new Buzz a "single-seat
Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft" kit. It doesn't meet the
requirements of FAR Part 103, according to Avid Aircraft of Montana
president Jim Tomash. And FAA's new Light-Sport Aircraft category
hasn't been approved yet, so Avid is anticipating approval.
Standard features of the Buzz include: folding wings, heavy-duty
bungee cord landing gear suspension, 800x6 tundra tires, hydraulic
mainwheel brakes, wheel lock braces, Maule tailwheel, elevator
trim, basic VFR instruments (altimeter, ASI, compass, turn-and-bank
indicator), adjustable bucket seat with 4-point pilot restraint
system, cargo area, 9-gallon fuel tank, fiberglass wing tips and
propeller spinner, booted cowling, doors, elevator trim, choice
of motor mount, and fabric, glue and tape provided. The standard
engine on the Buzz is an 80-hp Jabiru 4-stroke powerplant, available
from Avid Aircraft. Options include Rotax engines.
Avid Aircraft, manufacturer of the Champion* ultralight and
other Experimental-category aircraft, was sold in '99, and new
owners Jim and Kim Tomash moved the company to Ennis, Montana.
The "new" company Avid Aircraft of Montana
is manufacturing the new fixed-wing taildragger called the Buzz.
Avid Aircraft of Montana indicates the kit should take about
300 hours for an experienced builder to complete, or 400 hours
for a first-time builder. The company says they offer a "free
2-week builders assist program at the factory."
Price for the new Buzz kit is $10,995 (excluding engine, propeller
and paint). A tandem 2-seat version of the Buzz is "in the
works," says Avid president Jim Tomash.
*See "Industry Watch: New for '98 Flying Season
the Champion," June '98 Ultralight Flying! magazine.
For a flight evaluation of the Champion ultralight, see "UF!
Pilot's Report: An Avid for Ultralighters the Champion UL,"
October '98 UF! magazine
- Buzz Chalmers
Introductory flight at the factory: free. Info: free. Avid
Aircraft of Montana, 5057 Highway 287 North, Dept. UF, Ennis,
MT 59729. Phone: (406) 682-5615 * Fax: (406) 682-5554.
New High-Torque Starter for Rotax 4-Stroke Engine
Lockwood Expands in Anticipation of
In preparation for new business that the company expects
to come from the proposed Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft rules
and standards, Lockwood Aviation Supply is expanding their aviation
after-market facility in Sebring, Florida. The expansion should
be complete by early April, according to company president Phil
Rotax's new high-torque electric starter (bottom) for
their 100-hp Rotax 912ULS 4-stroke aircraft engine adds just 1
pound and approximately 1 inch in length compared to the old starter
(top). The new starter "will fit most existing installations
and can be purchased for retrofit," Lockwood Aviation Supply
Lockwood Aviation Supply a Rotax engine distributor and
authorized Kodiak service center for Rotax aircraft engines as
well as an ultralight and aviation after-market supplier
is introducing a new high-torque electric starter from Austrian
engine manufacturer Bombardier-Rotax. "The new starter, which
offers improved starting performance," Lockwood Aviation
says, "is now standard on the North American version of the
popular [100-hp] Rotax 912ULS [non-certified] 4-stroke aircraft
Lockwood notes the new starter is just a bit larger and heavier
than the old one and can be retrofitted to most current installations.
"The high-performance starter adds just 1 pound and is approximately
1 inch in length over the old starter," Lockwood Aviation
says, "and will fit most existing installations, and can
be purchased for retrofit."
Special price for the new high-torque electric starter is $499
(retail price is "about $540," Lockwood Aviation says).
Lockwood Aviation Supply is doubling the size of both their
parts warehouse and their engine shop, the company reports. "Both
our parts room and engine shop are doubling in size," Lockwood
Aviation says. The expansion is in anticipation of FAA approval
of the rules and standards in the proposed Sport Pilot/Light-Sport
"The expansion of our facility is well underway and should
be complete by Sun 'n Fun," Lockwood Aviation notes. "This
is unusual news in the aircraft industry these days," says
Lockwood Aviation Supply president Phil Lockwood. "The new
space will allow us to confidently take on any new business that
should come from the new Light-Sport Aircraft rules and standards,
and allow us to maintain our same-day shipping policy on our in-stock
"We try hard to keep just about every Rotax aircraft engine
part in stock," Lockwood says.
Info: Lockwood Aviation Supply, Lockwood Lane, Dept. UF, Sebring,
FL 33870. Phone: (863) 655-5100, orders (800) 527-6829 * Fax:
(863) 655-6225 * e-mail:
International Pterodactyl Club Takes Flight
The first Pterodactyl Pfledge flew in 1977 and five Pterodactyl
models are still available today, supported by DFE Ultralights
in Pennsylvania. During the Pterodactyl's 26-year production run,
with more than 1,400 ultralights produced, a type club has never
been formed for these models.
Over the years 'Dactyl drivers have earned a reputation for
being an independent breed of pilot, which is probably why they
never organized. However, there is still a need for a type club
through which to share information.
That need has been filled with the launch of the International
Pterodactyl Club (IPC), a nonprofit club dedicated to keeping
Pterodactyls flying. Supporting all the different Pterodactyls
and DFE models, the club is an online service entirely free of
charge. Interested 'Dactyl pilots and aficionados of the unique
design are invited to check out the IPC Website. Browsers will
find articles, photos, safety information, an online forum, guestbook
and lots more. And you can ask questions, send photos and share
your Pterodactyl stories.
Pterodactyl Club Website: www.pterodactylhangar.com .
Report filed by Adam Hunt