According to Ed the engine runs very smooth even at an idle,
and performance matches that of the Rotax 277. Ed redesigned the Zipster at
the request of some EAA members who wanted to be able to use a new,
warrantied, off the shelf production engine that was readily available.
The Zipster features a lot of the design features of the
Micro Mong, Zippy Sport and Skylite including the swept tail and swept back
wing tips. When equipped with the Hirth F 33 engine the Zipster is a legal
part 103 ultralight in the U.S., weighing in at 249 lbs complete with wheel
For those wanting more performance in the experimental
category the Zipster is capable of handling the Rotax 503 or equivalent
Ed is offering a detailed set of construction drawings
and construction manual for building of the plane from raw materials. A
video on building the Zipster should be available by the fall of 2005.
Raceair is currently tooling up for production of
pre-welded fuselage, tail assemblies, and pre-bent landing gear. Raw
materials kits are currently available for wing ribs.
First time builders can expect to spend roughly 1100 man
hours to build their Zipster. The fuselage and tail section are 4130
chromoly steel tubing. The wings are standard tube and ladder construction
with a 2 1/4 inch front spar and 1 3/4 rear spar. The wing ribs are
aluminum angle using the "Raceair Widget rib design."
When up and flying using the Hirth F 33 engine builder
can expect their craft to be airborne in about 200 feet, climb out at
around 400 feet per minute and cruise along all day at 55 to 60 mph at 5800
rpm burning approximately 2 gallons of fuel per hour. Stall speed comes in
at around 26 mph, with plenty of warning prior to it getting to stall.