All About Ultralight Helicopters

Photo of ultralight helicopter.

Many have said that ultralight helicopters are the ultimate form of ultralight flight. Fast, nimble, and able to go almost anywhere, lightweight helicopters are also a more economical way to get into flying helis. Plans can be bought very cheaply on the internet. Kits are available for purchase, but typically cost more than building one from scratch from plans.

Check out this video of a Mosquito XE helicopter in flight!

YouTube Video


What is ultralight aviation?

Picture of ultralight airplane.
*The United States FAA's definition of an ultralight is significantly different from that in most other countries and can lead to some confusion when discussing the topic. The governing regulation in the United States is FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles, which specifies a powered "ultralight" as a single seat vehicle of less than 5 US gallons (19 L) fuel capacity, empty weight of less than 254 pounds (115 kg), a top speed of 55 knots (102 km/h or 64 mph), and a maximum stall speed not exceeding 24 knots (45 km/h or 27.6 mph). Restrictions include flying only during daylight hours and over unpopulated areas. Unpowered "ultralights" (hang gliders, paragliders, etc.) are limited to a weight of 155 lb (70 kg) with extra weight allowed for amphibious landing gear and ballistic parachute systems.[21][22]
Photo of light sport plane in air flying

In 2004 the FAA introduced the "Light-sport aircraft" category, which resembles some other countries' microlight categories.


In the United States no license or training is required by law for ultralights, but training is highly advisable. For light-sport aircraft a sport pilot certificate is required.

What is the best way to start?

  • The best thing that you can do is educate yourself. We recommend downloading the official FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook. Read through it and first familiarize yourself with helicopter flying basics.

  • Spend some time on youtube watching videos of ultralight helicopters. Much information can be gleaned from watching pilots fly and talk about their machines.
  • Decide if you want to build from scratch, or buy a kit and assemble it. The cheaper way is to buy plans and build from them. Parts and supplies can be scrounged, bought at discount, or sometimes be had for free.

How much will it cost?

That all depends on you. Plans to build an ultralight helicopter can be had for under 30 dollars. (we recommend the Adams-Wilson Hobbycopter)

Alternatively, kits can be purchase from various companies found on the web like the kit here. Cost? Only 28,000 USD

What is it like to fly a helicopter?

Again, we recommend reading the FAA book Helicopter Flying Manual.

Watch a video on flying a ultralight helicopter

YouTube Video



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