Product FAQ
1. Do you allow visitors to your factory? Where can I see one of these fly?
2. Do you still offer the T-III Cargo plane?
3. Does the T-Bird have folding wings so that it is trailerable? If not, how big of task is it to remove the wings?
4. Does the T-II have any space for cargo/luggage?
5. How many hours does it take to build a T-Bird?
6. How much wind before I will not be able to fly?
7. Is the T-Bird I and a legal FAR 103 Ultralight?
8. Is there a license required for operating the T-Bird I and II?
9. What are speed struts, and how do they improve performance?
10. What is the bottom rib option, and what does it do?
11. What is the difference between the B and C gearboxes?
12. What is the ease of entry into a T-Bird?
13. What kind of safety record does the T-Bird I have?
14. What should you consider when purchasing a \"used\" plane?





1. Do you allow visitors to your factory? Where can I see one of these fly?
  We certainly welcome visitors. It would be best to contact us in advance, just to make sure I am going to be around. I tend to travel quite a bit. The best place to see us fly is to come see us here.
2. Do you still offer the T-III Cargo plane?
  The cargo plane is temporarily out of production while we focus on getting the T-I and T-II ready for light sport. However, if anyone is seriously interested in purchasing one, we would certainly consider building it.
3. Does the T-Bird have folding wings so that it is trailerable? If not, how big of task is it to remove the wings?
  The T-Bird does not have folding wings. The wings have been designed for removal and transporation. It is not a difficult task to do, and requires two people about an hour. There are indeed some people who use a trailer for storage and assemble the plane for a weekend of flying. However, personally the disassembly is more of transportation and off-season storage function, rather than for a "quick assemble and fly" function.
4. Does the T-II have any space for cargo/luggage?
  If you install wing tanks on the T-II, this frees up considerable space behind the seats, where the 12 gallon tank normally sits. Even when the tank is behind the seat, there is still quite a bit of space above it. There is certainly enough space for a couple of pretty good sized duffel bags, and/or equivalent.
5. How many hours does it take to build a T-Bird?
  The build time for a T-Bird II is considered to be about 120-150 hours, depending on options and other variables. It is a very easy plane to build, and for the most part is just assembly time with a couple of wrenches.
6. How much wind before I will not be able to fly?
  That completely depends on your skill level. The T-Bird can structurally take just about anything. The huge control surfaces allow good control in difficult weather, though the ride can be incredibly rough. Because of short distances required for landing, interestingly the stronger the wind, the more likely you can land diagonally, or even cross wise on a runway if you had to. I have personally flown a T-Bird in winds in the mid-twenties, with gusts in the low thirties. I didn't like it, and I probably would not do it by choice. But both me and the plane landed fine.
7. Is the T-Bird I and a legal FAR 103 Ultralight?
  The short answer is no, the T-Bird I is not 103 legal. It is overweight. The long answer is that there has probably not been a true "legal" ultralight manufactured for years by any company. There are few companies that will advertise that they do, but most likely they will talk you out of it if you actually try to buy one. The reason is because they are considered reasonably less safe. The FAA has ignored the weight restriction for years knowing this. With light sport now here, the big question is will the FAA continue in this fashion, or will they try to enforce the rules? There is no indication one way or the other.
8. Is there a license required for operating the T-Bird I and II?
  A Light Sport Certificate is necessary to fly the T-Birds. We would suggest you go to the EAA's website to learn more about Light Sport Aircraft.
9. What are speed struts, and how do they improve performance?
  The struts are the tubes that angle down from the wing to the bottom of the cabin. The standard strut is round. The speed struts are aerodynamically streamlined. This reduces drag significantly which increases cruise speed, improves glide ratio, and improves overall efficiency.
10. What is the bottom rib option, and what does it do?
  The bottom rib provides a bit of airfoil shape to the bottom side of the wing. In theory this should improve cruise speed. It does improve the appearance of the wing, and pulls the wing fabric much tighter, reducing or even eliminating the need to shrink the fabric.
11. What is the difference between the B and C gearboxes?
  The difference between the B and C gearboxes is the C is a more heavy duty gearbox than the B. It can take more horsepower and apply it to a larger sized propeller. The E gearbox is the same as the C gearbox from a strength standpoint. The difference is that the E box has the electric starter built into it. With the C gearbox, the starter is on the other end of the engine (if you choose electric start), and turns the flywheel.
12. What is the ease of entry into a T-Bird?
  Entry into the T-Bird is one of the best in the industry. It easily has the largest cabin made. It can accomodate large and tall people extremely well. And, since it has a yoke, rather than a stick, entry is about the same as getting into a car. Slide your rear end in first, swing your feet in, and close the door. Also, the rudder cable pedals have nearly a foot of adjustment, which allows just about any size person to fit comfortably.
13. What kind of safety record does the T-Bird I have?
  The T-Bird is one of the safest, easiest to fly, and most rugged light aircraft that exists. The T-Bird has been in production since 1983, for a very good reason. Even to this day, there are hundreds of 1983 aircraft still flying. If you would search the internet for reviews, you would find that the T-Bird is often referred to as the "tough ole Bird".
14. What should you consider when purchasing a "used" plane?
  In evaluating a plane, I suggest people break it down into three areas: Engine, Fabric, Frame...in that order. ENGINE: In buying a used plane, the engine is the most significant part. Since ultralights did not have to keep records, there is almost no way to know the engine's condition. Keep in mind that Rotax recommends an internal inspection at 150 hours (including replacing seals), and a crankshaft replacement at 300 hours. Unless you know the seller personally, I recommend an engine inspection, regardless of the hours. The other thing to consider is the crankshaft is prone to rusting, if it sits very long (unless it has been "pickled"). So if a plane has been sitting in a shed for a while, have the engine inspected. FABRIC: All fabric on light planes has a life depending on how much sunlight it has seen. Here is a simple test...poke the fabric with the ball of a bic pen, then try to rip the fabric. If it rips, it needs to be replaced immediately. FRAME: Evaluate it for "tightness", and wear around some of the holes. Also, many people try to fabricate their own replacement parts. There are two concerns about this. The first is using proper material. The second is hole accuracy. It doesn't have to be off much for there to be an affect someplace else.