PICTURE: Belite Aircraft unveil new ultralight aircraft

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Belite Aircraft has begun selling the Belite 254 single-seat ultralight as a kit and fully assembled aircraft.

The Belite 254 completed its first flight at the manufacturer's Wichita facility in early July and made its public debut in late July at the AirVenture 2009 show in Oshkosh. Belite president James Wiebe says it has started producing the aircraft, which technically is a "fat ultralight", but is designed to feel like a real aircraft, at a rate of two a month. Belite plans to increase production to four aircraft a month from 2010.

The fully assembled aircraft, available for $35,000, features carbonfibre wings and the MZ-201 engine. The most basic kit, which includes wool and aluminium wings, sells for $25,000. A kit with carbonfibre wings costs $32,000.

belite ultralight

The Belite 254 needs only 30m (100ft) of runway to take off and cruises at 54kt (100km/h). It has a full instrument panel and can be outfitted with the Ballistic Recovery Systems parachute.

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