Wichita-based Belite Aircraft unveiled its prototype airplane June 30, in a unique venue – Wichita’s Old Town Warren Plaza. The Belite, which will be built in Wichita, will be offered in both kit form and as a completed, flyable airplane.
James Wiebe, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Belite Aircraft, provided details on modifications he had made to lighten and modernize the Belite aircraft, which is the former Kitfox Lite ultralight.
“The Belite design incorporates a new carbon fiber wing and lift struts,” he said. “In addition, we’ve used carbon fiber in the cabin and firewall. As a result, our aircraft is FAR103 legal while offering a real instrument panel with real avionics, as well as a great engine.”
The Wiebes, who previously developed and marketed digital forensic computer storage devices as the founders of Wichita-based enterprise, WiebeTech LLC, acquired the tooling, existing parts and manufacturing rights of the Kitfox Lite in March and immediately began a complete review of the structure and composition. An instrument-rated pilot, James Wiebe developed a proprietary lightweight carbon fiber structure that has been utilized to strengthen and lighten spars, ribs and struts, replacing traditional steel, wood or aluminum to reduce the airplane’s empty weight.
Wiebe plans to take the Belite airplane to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh later this month.
For more information: BeliteAircraft.com.