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New Internal Spacer for GPL Electric Starter

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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.

-Buzz Chalmers

Info: free. GPL Enterprises, 1220 Tangelo Terrace #A10, Dept. UF, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: (561) 274-2247 * Fax: (561) 276-4159 * e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


New "Buzz" From Avid Aircraft

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Single-Seat "Experimental Light Sport Aircraft" Kit

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, Montana.

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

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Lockwood Expands in Anticipation of Light-Sport Aircraft

lockwood1.jpgIn 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 Lockwood.

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 says.

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 engine."

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 Aircraft NPRM.

"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 items.

"We try hard to keep just about every Rotax aircraft engine part in stock," Lockwood says.

­ Buzz Chalmers

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: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


International Pterodactyl Club Takes Flight

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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

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