"New" Ultralight Unveiled

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You haven't heard much about ultralights since the advent of the light sport category, but the Part 103 category still exists. But with advances in technology and materials, the latest ultralights are nothing like their irrigation-pipe-and-Dacron ancestors. The Czech-built ZJ-Viera is a carbon-fiber and Ceconite low-wing aircraft that weighs only 160 pounds (100 pounds less than the maximum weight for an ultralight) but will carry 240 pounds at the Part 103 maximum speed of 55 knots and a stall speed of 24 knots.

The aircraft is powered by a 27-hp, single cylinder two-stroke engine that sips the mixed fuel at about a gallon an hour. Although it's an ultralight, it has conventional flight controls, including rudder pedals. Full-length ailerons ensure plenty of roll control even at low speeds. The aircraft is available with a single-wheel or tricycle configuration.

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