This Bellaire SE was first introduced in April '97 and now reportedly has 220-plus hours of flying time. Co-owned by Arnold Gilmore and Richard Berstling (who assisted Gilmore in building the single-seat aircraft), the Bellaire SE is marketed by Berstling's Bellaire Monoplane Company, which expects to add 2-seat siblings (both side-by-side and tandem seating versions) to its hangar in the near future.
Bellaire designer Richard Berstling recently flew 13 1/2 hours from Florida to Wisconsin in his (and co-owner Arnold Gilmore's) beautifully finished Bellaire SE. Berstling assisted Gilmore in building the original Bellaire SE, a plans-built aircraft first introduced in April '97. The plane Berstling flew currently has a little more than 220 hours on it.
Powered by a 50-hp Rotax 503 dual carb 2-cycle aircraft engine using a 2.58-to-1 reduction drive, the Bellaire cruises at between 85 and 90 mph. When the Rotax B gearbox is changed to a Rotax C drive (with a 3-to-1 ratio), cruise increases to 105 mph.
Climb rate is listed at more than 1,000 feet per minute, with power-on stall speed coming in at 25 mph (power-off stall is 34 indicated), according to Berstling. Standard stick and rudder controls are used with a center stick and left throttle. When built from plans, the plane will take about 2,000 hours to complete, according to the Bellaire Monoplane Company. Component parts are also offered to cut down on building times. The plans consist of 12 pages of 24- x 36-inch CAD drawings.
According to Berstling, the plane will soon be available in a 2-place configuration (both side-by-side and tandem seating versions). Currently three 2-place craft are under construction with completion expected in about 6 months' time. These will be powered by the Rotax 912 series of 4-stroke engines, as well as the 75-hp Walter Micron 4-cycle engine.
- Report filed by Dave LovemanInfo: Bellaire Monoplane Company, 144 Pine Tree Dr., Dept. UF, Lake Placid, FL 33852.
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