New Kalypso - Definition of Amphibious Trike?

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On land or on the water, the new Kalypso amphibious trike is "designed with ease of use and total enjoyment in mind," says Bob Bullock of Water Trikes. With the new Swing Wing Butterfly trike wing (note the new "nose post" forward of the kingpost on top of the wing), the Kalypso claims a 5-minute setup. And with its Krücker floats and standard 50-hp Rotax 503 dual carb 2-cycle aircraft engine, the Kalypso also claims 5-second water takeoffs, according to Water Trikes.

We've said it before - Bob Bullock isn't bashful when he boasts about the ultralight products he sells. His company, Water Trikes, is the U.S. importer of the Canadian-made Krücker floats,* designed specifically for trikes, and Bullock absolutely raves about their performance, as well as water-based amphibious trike flying in general.

And now Water Trikes has joined the ranks of ultralight manufacturers, and Bullock has a new product to brag about - the Kalypso amphibious trike, which he boldly claims is "the definition for amphibious trike." And his brash statements don't end there. "The Kalypso is the first truly functional amphibious trike," he enthuses, "designed with ease of use and total enjoyment in mind." How so? Bullock backs up this claim with another: "With the new Swing Wing from Butterfly Wings by GibboGear you can go from trailer to trike flying in just 5 minutes.

"The Kalypso is a complete departure from other float trikes," Water Trikes explains. "Designed around the Krücker floats, the Kalypso has the ability to get two large trikers off the water with [less] horsepower because the floats don't get 'on step' like '3-axis floats' do. They act like a ski and [plane on the water's surface] with 70% of the float riding in the water to give unparalleled stability while the patent-pending design seemingly has no resistance."

The Kalypso combines the latest design of floats, trike wing and powerplant "to make float flying as enjoyable as you dreamed it would be," Bullock goes on. "From floats designed specifically for trikes to the Swing Wing designed by Mark 'Gibbo' Gibson at Butterfly Wings by GibboGear, you'll enjoy 5-minute setups and 5-second takeoffs. If you ever wanted to fly an amphib, now you have a reason."

Standard features of the Kalypso include: 50-hp Rotax 503 DCDI (dual carb, dual ignition) 2-cycle aircraft engine, Zanzottera MZ 3.11-to-1 reduction drive (with clutch) or Rotax B gearbox drive, 67-inch Hotprop 3-blade composite scimitar propeller, GibboGear's single-surface Butterfly** trike wing with the Swing Wing option, electric retractable wheels (with manual backup), instruments (dual EGT, tach and Hobbs® hourmeter), and protective covers for the instruments, engine and prop.

One Kalypso standard feature not usually included in the price of other amphibious ultralights is the Kalypso's custom trailer, which Bullock added to his list of standard features after a trucking company wanted to charge him more than $1,500 for shipping just the floats after the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon. Now the fully assembled and ready-to-fly Kalypso comes to customers "on its own wheels." Customers can either pick up the Kalypso on its trailer at the factory, or Water Trikes will deliver the trike and trailer to the buyer (for an additional fee).

Options include: Other engines, other trike wings (by BB Trikes, GibboGear and North Wing Design), and a ballistically deployed BRS emergency backup parachute.

Construction of the Kalypso is an all-aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum frame with stainless steel components, stainless steel cable and AN hardware, according to Water Trikes.

Price for the complete ready-to-fly (and factory test-flown) Kalypso amphibious trike (with 50-hp Rotax 503 DCDI engine and Butterfly trike wing), including custom trailer, is $21,995.

- Buzz Chalmers

*See "Industry Watch: Water Trikes Imports New Krücker Floats," November '01 Ultralight Flying! magazine
**See "Industry Watch: ...And Now, a Trike Wing Kit," January '01 UF! magazine

Brochure: free. Video: $25. Water Trikes, PO Box 345, Dept. UF, White Rock, SC 29177. Phone: (803) 407-2338 * Fax: (209) 633-6652 * e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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