The performance numbers for Chipper, the experimental two-place airplane kit from Belite Aircraft, have been updated, providing gains in airspeed, climb rate, and range over previously released figures.
Chipper is also benefiting from a gross weight increase, according to company officials.
“We worked hard to make aerodynamic improvements in Chipper, and they have paid off with a big gain in demonstrated airspeeds, climb rate and range. We’ve also done additional engineering work, allowing us to increase the gross weight and useful load of the airplane,” said James Wiebe, CEO of Belite Aircraft.
[contextly_auto_sidebar]Chipper is Belite Aircraft’s entry into the experimental market. Belite Enterprise has sold Part 103 legal ultralights since 2009. It also has a line of instruments for light aircraft.
“Chipper is lightweight and strong, with many elements of its internal structure based on honeycomb aluminum,” he said. “Lightweight aircraft cruise faster, lift more and climb faster.”
Utilizing the four-stroke Rotax 80-hp 912UL engine, flight testing shows a top speed with full power of 100 mph, all with 21″ tundra tires.
Typical cruise speed is now 90 mph with the engine running at 75% power at an altitude of 5,500 feet, Wiebe reports.
Fuel burn at that power setting (per Rotax published documents) is 4.42 gallons per hour.
At a density altitude of 8,500 feet, Chipper demonstrated climb performance of 530 feet per minute. Aircraft weight was approximately 870 pounds.
With 21″ tundra tires and 28 gallon fuel tanks, Chipper has a range of 520 miles with 30 minute VFR reserve cruising at an altitude of 7,500 feet, company officials said.
Gross Weight Increase
Chipper is now available in two different weight variations. The baseline variation has a gross weight of 1,000 pounds, while the upgraded version has a gross weight of 1,200 pounds.
The builder can expect a useful load of 450 to 500 pounds with the base version and 600 or more pounds in the higher gross weight version. Recommended engine power is 80 hp for the smaller version and 100 hp for the larger version.
For those looking for even more performance, Belite officials said they expect to demonstrate further performance gains when Chipper is paired with an improved cowl and smaller tires, later this year.