The Pelican was sold in kit form by Ultravia in 1984. It is an aircraft of traditionnal configuration with a taildragger landing gear and steerable tailwheel. The photo above shows the aircraft with the original Global engine fitted with a an aluminum cowling. The fuselage and tail unit are built with aluminum tubes covered with doped fabric. The wing structure consists of an aluminum D-cell spar on which the styrofoam ribs are mounted. The wings are also covered with doped fabric. Wings are hung to the fuselage with a single strut. All these characteristics combine to give an aerodynamically clean wing with an exceptional 12-to-1 glide ratio. I am selling this aircraft because I need room for my other ultralight, a tiny flying boat of my own design. That's why you can get this Pelican at such a great price.
The Pelican is powered by a Gobal engine. This is the original engine that came with this airframe kit back in 1984. The Global is a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder engine based on the Volkswagen flat four, air-cooled engine, except that this one has 2 cylinders instead of four. For this reason, it is often referred to as a half-VW engine. However, the castings are especially designed for aircraft use. This engine is very fuel efficient and burns barely more than 1 gallon of autogas per hour. It is also more reliable than 2-strokes. It features unique oil cooling and carb heat systems integrated in the engine crankcase. This engine is devoid of all the troublesome components such as a cooling fan, radiator, hoses, thermostat and other hardware associated with liquid-cooling systems; making it more reliable and less hassle to maintain. The 58 X 24 inch wood propeller is bolted directly to the solid forged crankshaft. This eliminates the potential problems of reduction drives with their added mechanical complexity and heavier weight. The Global develops 35 hp @ 3250 RPM and has plenty of torque for a direct-drive prop. Ignition is by a magneto. This eliminates the need for a battery and alternator and electrical system. The Global is started by hand propping; another simple and reliable system that never breaks down. This engine is surprisingly light for a 4-stroke; it weighs only 76 lbs ready-to-run. As far as maintenance is concerned, it is minimal and replacement parts are still available from several suppliers like Great Plains Aircraft. They can be ordered on the Internet and shipped all over the world. Total hours are unknown but it runs perfectly and is cheap to rebuild.
This engine features an ingenious design that combines both the oil cooler and the carb heater into one integrated unit. As you can see from the photo above, the updraft carb is bolted to the crankcase oil sump. The crankcase houses the intake manifold which split the charge to both sides where curved pipes take over and bring the intake charge to each cylinder. As the cool intake charge passes through the oil sump, it cools the oil in the sump. This is the engine's oil cooler. This unconventional oil cooler takes very little space and there is no need for a complex installation with tubes like in conventional oil coolers. But that's not all; it is also a carb heater ! Indeed. The updraft carb is bolted to the warm crankcase sump and some heat is transferred to the carb body around the throttle plate. This setup prevents in this way the formation of ice around the throttle plate. There is no need to install carb heater baffles like in other aviation engines. This integrated oil cooler/carb heater is unique to the Global engine. It is not found in other half VW engines because it requires a special crankcase casting.
The Pelican is not the easiest ultralight to handle on the ground. I have flown other ultralights that are more forgiving and more intuitive to master. But the Pelican, being designed like a traditionnal aircraft, also handles like a traditionnal aircraft. When I taxi with the tailwheel on the ground, forward visibility is obstructed by the engine. This is a common complaint for taildraggers. I got used to it pretty fast. I usually taxi on hard gravel and when I want to do a complete stop, I have to shutoff the engine (no brakes). On grass, it will come to a complete stop at minimum throttle. On hard surfaces, at minimum throttle, it rolls very slowly and I can do a 180 degree turnaround or other tight maneuvers, thanks to an efficient tailwheel (I had to modify the original design which gave me a lot of troubles). Once I reach the strip, I don't give full throttle in one shot because the P-factor will steer the aircraft to the right side. First, I give about half-throttle, just enough to raise the tail off the ground and adjust the pitch so that I can see the airstrip over the nose. Now, the engine doesn't obstruct visibility anymore. Then, I push the throttle to the max and work the rudder to stay inline with the airstrip. When I begin to feel it is floating, I pull the stick slightly, just enough to stay in ground effect. After a short stay in ground effect the Pelican gathers speed and begins to climb by itself with not much input from me. In flight, the Pelican climbs at around 500 fpm. It can cruise at 60 mph at full throttle but I usually cruise at a more relaxed setting, between 40 and 50 mph. I had some difficulty to achieve coordinated turns at first. I was trying to turn by using the rudder and ailerons at the same time, a technique that I used successfully on other ultralights. But that didn't work because the Pelican has so much dihedral that inputs from the rudder actually roll the airplane inside the turn without any aileron input. Now, I use the ailerons only to prevent the plane from rolling too much inside the turn. The tighter the turn, the better it turns. In flight, I feel like I am flying one of those old Piper Cubs, Aeroncas or Stinsons of the times back when my dad was flying. I must admit that flying behind a 4-stroke gives me a feeling of relaxed security. When comes the time to land, I do the usual circuit, but at 500 ft. On final, I control my rate of sink by throttle only and it is very sensitive. I have to be precise in order to have a steady angle of descent. Got to be careful not to lower the nose too much because it gather lots of speed very fast. It is very difficult to control the rate of descent by pitch attitude. I have the best success by keeping the same pitch attitude that I use for cruising and adjusting the throttle for the proper sink rate. I know this sounds unusual but it works for me. As I get close to touchdown, I keep a bit of power and prepare for a mainwheels landing. As soon as the mainwheels touch the ground, I reduce the power to idle and work the rudder to stay inline with the strip. The Pelican then slows down pretty fast and the tail wants to settle down. By the time the tail has settled down, speed has dropped to taxi speed and I use the tailwheel to taxi back to my parking spot. When my spot is reached, I stop the aircraft by shutting off the big fan and that's it. Of course, I also have the choice of doing 3-point landings with this taildragger. But this doesn't work well with this aicraft because the angle of attack is so steep that the Pelican wobbles from wing to wing, the ailerons don't respond fast enough and pitch control reaches the stops. I used the 3-point technique for landing on skis; to make sure the skis would not dig in and tip the plane over. I would also use this technique for emergency landings, on rough ground, to limit the touchdown speed. In a 3-point landing, the touchdown speed is so low that there is almost no rollout and the plane is already at taxi speed.
Controls are standard 3-axis with steerable tailwheel. There are no brakes and none are needed on grass runways. Instruments consist of a Hall airspeed, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges. The cockpit is tight and cannot accomodate people more than 6.5 ft tall and/or 250 lbs unless it is modified for this purpose. The 5-gallon fuel tank provides a maximun 4 hours of flight time with this fuel efficient engine. Remaining fuel can be checked by looking through the transparent tank behind the pilot. For winter flying, snow skis are included in the deal.
The The following specifications have been published by the manufacturer,
How to reach me
This Pelican can be yours for $6,000 CDN. I do not ship the plane. You have to come and get it. I live near Montreal, Canada.
NICE SKIES !