Fri, Aug 02, 2013
Jim Weibe Puts One Of His Airplanes On Floats
By Gene Yarbrough
Belite’s latest offering showed up at Oshkosh late Wednesday afternoon and was on display Thursday morning. The Sealite from James Weibe’s innovative company sports carbon fiber amphibious floats, carbon fiber primary structure, and a 50hp Hirth F-23 engine.
The floats are carbon fiber wrapped around a core construction of plywood templates and foam planking, making the floats very easy to build and super lightweight at only 19lbs each in the non-amphibious configuration. Even in the amphibious configuration the combination of floats, safety equipment, and engine allow the Sealite to meet the Part 103 all up weight of 338lbs coming in just shy at 335lbs. Weight with straight floats is 300lbs.
The Belite floats are the newest product from Belite Aircraft, along with their new Angle of Attack indicator announced a week or so ago. The floats and their construction are typical Weibe brilliance and are extremely robust and well built. James is constantly creating new, useful, and innovative products developing them from a simple and cost effective approach.
The angle of attack indicator is all the rage among the light aviation groups and promises to increase pilot safety by indicating reserve lift available preventing unwanted stalls and spins. Kit prices for floats start at $1500 for straight floats and $3000 for amphibious. All parts including the foam planking are CNC cut for precision assembly and the carbon fiber fabric is included in the kit.
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