Backyard Flyer II, Valley Engineering Backyard Flyer series of experimental and part 103 legal ultralight aircraft.

Lightsport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight aircraft, light sport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental aircraft, amateur built aircraft, ELSA or homebuilt aircraft in the United States and Canada. These include weight shift aircraft, more commonly known as trikes, powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders.

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Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer video magazine talks to Gene Smith of Valley Engineering about his Backyard Flyer series of aircraft.

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I first met Gene Smith and his son Larry at Airventure in 1994. They had built a plane to fit into the ultralight category to demonstrate their Volkswagen engine and reduction drive propulsion package.

Generace Big Twin 4 stroke aircraft engine from Valley Engineering.Since then the father and son team has produced a number of unique aircraft designs in both single and two place versions.

They have also expanded their engine packages to include the twin cylinder, four stroke, Generac 40 hp aircraft engine with redrive.

Last year they mounted the Generac Big Twin engine with the Valley Engineering Propeller Speed Reduction Unit on their award winning single place ultralight the Backyard Flyer.

This year they brought to Airventure their two place experimental aircraft version the Backyard Flyer II. 

The two place features side by side seating and is powered by a 100 HP VW engine which Valley Engineering builds from scratch, from 100% new parts.

According to Gene that is one of the reasons for using the VW engine. "Every part of it can be bought brand new, with lots of parts available at a reasonable price."

The engine uses the Valley Engineering belt reduction drive. Which features a "spring loaded slack side idler." This makes the drive work in only one direction, which cancels out the resonance developed by the pulsing of the engine.

The engine uses a Compufire ignition unit, with two motorcycle coils. Gene indicates that the Backyard Flyer II can stay airborne on two cylinders if something goes wrong with one ignition.

The fuselage on the Backyard Flyer II is a high wind side by side seating two place featuring standard stick and rudder controls. Gene who use to be a crop duster favors the high wing configuration over the low wing because of the protection it affords pilots in the event of a roll over. He also prefers a tractor configuration, feeling that the engine and engine mount gives better pilot protection in the case of an accident.

The Backyard Flyer II features a welded "rigidized" aluminum fuselage. This process adds strength to the airframe, without adding weight. The wings use a leading and trailing edge spars with a ladder style construction, covered in standard aircraft covering material.

This is the first completely enclosed model that Valley Engineering has produced, which  allows for comfortable winter flying during cold Missouri winters.

Gene indicates that he will be moving two of his trainers into the new ELSA category before the deadline for exemption expires. Then the plane will probably only be available as an experimental aircraft under the 51% rule.

The Backyard Flyer Part 103 legal ultralight using the Generac engine will still be available ready to fly from the factory.

Valley Engineering offers Culver props, Volkswagen aircraft engines in 85 to 105 HP,  Volkswagen reduction drives, and the Generac 40 HP aircraft engine and or reduction drive.

The Generac engine package is currently flying on a number of Aerodrome Airplanes WWI replica aircraft, as well as several other lines of aircraft.

For more information contact:

Valley Engineering
19975 Co. Rd. 8280 Rolla
Missouri 65401

Widget lightsport aircraft - experimental lightsport aircraft

Valley Engineering single place
ultralight biplane - Backyard Flyer.
  Backyard UL Flyer from Valley Engineering powered by the
Valley Engineering single place
low wing- Backyard Flyer

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