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Thread: Noob question on a Falcon

  1. #1

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    Happy Noob question on a Falcon

    I have been looking at an American Aircraft Falcon (1992 is written on several parts, so guessing that is the age), for which the seller is asking $2500. It is in beautiful cosmetic condition, though the wings need to be recovered (which I have never done!). Appears to be good mechanically--engine has not been run in a while but everything has been stored indoors and the engine treated with fogging oil (it turns over smoothly and has good compression, though obviously needs new fuel lines and I would assume a new belt and a complete carburetor cleaning/rebuild, perhaps more.

    No formal background in fixing airplanes but a long mechanical background, especially anything with an engine on it. I can't find a scratch on the airplane. It has been cared for even in storage.

    So...I know I am going to have to put a fair amount of time and money into it--quite possibly as much as the original purchase price. Does anybody have any thoughts on the price? There is no hour meter on the aircraft so....no idea there. The muffler does not look as if the engine (Rotax 277) has been run a lot.

    I've wanted to get into ultralights for a very long time....this seems like a reasonably priced way of doing it. Does anyone have any thoughts? Owner is a helicopter pilot who is at the "too many projects" stage of life. He was very good at pointing out details on the components, particularly those that are in need of attention.

  2. #2

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    I think the name is American Aerolites Falcon. Maybe they changed the name along the way? They were somewhat popular back in the canard days (1980's) when everything with a canard was popular. I think the price is fair for what you are getting. Post some pics when you get it home!

  3. #3

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    American Aerolites was the original maker. American Aircraft bought the name and design at some point. "1992" is written on a couple of places including the propeller hub--guessing that is when it was built? If I remember right the serial number is 1296. Since around 1500 of these were made....I presume this is one of the later ones.

    Many thanks for the advice. I have a preference for a canard as I will probably be flying out of a hay field rather than an airport. Something that is a bit more forgiving on the edge of a stall may be helpful. I don't think I mentioned it, but it comes with a set of custom-made skis (the original wheels, unfortunately, are not present) and has a two-piece cover for the cockpit--with both pieces in place it is fully enclosed. I don't know that I am hardy enough to try winter flying in an ultralight.....but nice to have the option. From what I have been able to find, a replacement set of wheels will not be a terrible expense, and the Falcon never had very elaborate brakes (something on the nose wheel only).

    Will post pictures if and when it comes home with me. It is a project I do not expect to complete this year as I have enough already to fill the summer. But by this time next year, I expect to be living on some acreage with a nice-sized workshop/hanger, and then.....

  4. #4

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    The American Aerolites version was apparently called the Eagle.

  5. #5

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    Oh, it is fitted with a ballistic parachute, which I presume is long past its expiration date. Can these be inspected/recertified? Or would a replacement be necessary?

  6. #6

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    The Falcon is two-seat and can't be flown without an airworthiness certificate.
    Make sure it qualifies under FAR 103 if one seat.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Aerolights

  7. #7

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    The lightest uncertified Dacron from Aircraft Spruce should work. With perhaps two coats of dope or acrylic exterior house paint. I would definately rib stitch or aluminum pop rivet (if metal ribs) the fabric securely to the ribs.
    Fabric adds weight, so check for aft weight shift.

  8. #8

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    That's why I'd like to see pictures, there seems to be some ambiguity as to what an American Aircraft Falcon is. Can find American Aerolights as well as American Aerolites with Eagle and Falcon models, there was the original ultralight Eagle, (a lawnchair ultralight), the single seat Falcon canard ultralight and a much larger Falcon 2-place. Then there is the Falconair aircraft of similar configuration but it is not called a Falcon.

  9. #9
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    The lightest uncertified Dacron from Aircraft Spruce should work. With perhaps two coats of dope or acrylic exterior house paint. I would definately rib stitch or aluminum pop rivet (if metal ribs) the fabric securely to the ribs.
    Fabric adds weight, so check for aft weight shift.
    If it's like most older ultralights it probably had sewn sails rather than doped fabric.

  10. #10

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    I think the factory provided Tedlar.

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