Unveiled only nine months ago, Just Aircraft’s Part 103 unfinished prototype is generating a surprising amount of interest.
Overall this seems part of a surge in Part 103 interest, for plenty of good reasons:
- Greater freedom (no license or registration required),
- No medical of any kind needed, and
- The aircraft can be delivered ready-to-fly.
The best news for budget-minded flying enthusiasts is truly low prices for these single seaters that typically fly 40-55 mph.
Companies like Kolb Aircraft and U-Fly-It — maker of the Aerolite 103 — report good sales activity and a number of producers are lining up to offer choices.
Just isn’t quite done with the Solo (or whatever its final name will be) but it is flying the model, still powered by the Polini single cylinder engine.
“It performs quite well with this engine,” said principal developer Troy Woodland.
He said he has logged a few short flights of early testing and one hour-long flight. More testing will follow.
Additional changes are likely, for example:
- A boom tube will likely give way to a welded steel structure supporting the tailplane. Welded fuselages are very familiar to Just and company officials are sticking with their core competency.
- Earlier plans for spoiler controls gave way to conventional ailerons, but spoilers and a slotted wing may come later.
- Simpler brakes will be offered in addition to the deluxe Beringer wheels and brakes on the prototype.
Troy also plans to fly with a brand-new Rotax 582 he has available. This would give such a light aircraft incredible performance — although it would not qualify as a Part 103 with that powerplant.
The prototype Just 103 Solo doesn’t presently make Part 103’s tough weight limit, but Troy is sure the company can trim the few pounds needed to qualify.
They will also likely offer a parachute, which can “buy” a few extra pounds according to FAA guidance on the matter (Advisory Circular 103-7).
By the time AirVenture rolls around this summer — barely over three months away — Just should be ready to start deliveries to selected customers who will build kits and offer Just feedback on the aircraft.
After a short period of evaluation, Just plans to offer fully-built models if the buyer selects appropriate engines and options.
As someone who enjoys genuine Part 103 vehicles, I am excited to see this resurgence in aviation’s lightest powered flying machines and I bet Just will sell a good many of the new entry.