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First flight of amphibious, carbon fiber, float-equipped aircraft falls on 110th anniversary of Wright Brother's first flight

First flight a success for Belite Sealite

On the 110th anniversary of the Wright Brother's first powered flight, Belite announces the successful first test flight of their new aircraft, the Belite SeaLite.

The SeaLite is an amphibious, carbon fiber float-equipped aircraft, designed to legally fly under U.S. FAR 103 regulations off of either water or land.

Although today's test flight was from a conventional grass runway, the expanded test plan will soon demonstrate takeoff and landing operations from water as well.

The base aircraft used in today's flight is a design variation of Belite's UltraCub aircraft. With almost every part of this aircraft designed in Wichita, KS, this innovative aircraft incorporates a large number of technically advanced features which allow it to fly with an empty weight under the FAR 103 prescribed maximum airframe weight of 338 pounds.

James Wiebe, CEO of Belite Aircraft, was at the controls for the first flight: “I was pleased with this test flight; it demonstrated the performance and utility possible with a single place amphibious aircraft. The ground roll was very short, the climb rate was impressive, and the landing manners were easy and benign.”

The spars in the wing are constructed from carbon fiber, as are the floats and certain other key elements of the aircraft. The fuselage is constructed largely from aerospace aluminum. Each basic wing panel weighs only 20 pounds; each individual carbon fiber float also weighs about 20 pounds.

The SeaLite, as flown today, also features a custom lightweight instrument panel with a full range of conventional instruments. The SeaLite was developed in direct response to customer request and will be delivered to an individual in the upper Midwest early next year. In amphibious (land/water) configuration, this new aircraft is priced at $60,000 FAF. In straight (water only) configuration, it is priced at $50,000 FAF. Other non-aquatic versions of Belite UltraCubs have starting prices under $20,000.

Press release issued by Belite Aircraft on December 17, 2013


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