|The New Kolb Aircraft Company was at Sun N Fun
2005 with one of their little FireFly's. The FireFly is Kolb's legal
part 103 ultralight, and the craft on display was advertised as
being legal even with a set of floats.
is the first time that a Firefly has been fitted with the aluminum
Czech floats from Skyshops. The plane was serial #7, which was
purchased back from a customer to be used as a test bed for the
float installation. The craft was recovered and painted and the
float mounting hardware and floats installed.
By using the aluminum floats which weigh in at
only 30 lbs, and using the parachute allowance the plane comes in as
a part 103 legal ultralight in the U.S. Powered by a Rotax 447
engine the craft comes out of the water in about 150 feet, climb
rates comes in at 800 feet per minute, with cruise at 5000 rpm
coming in at 55 mph.
The Firefly on display was sitting on a trailer
that had been built to transport the plane with the floats mounted
on it. The trailer was a standard aluminum boat trailer that had
been modified to the correct width, length and axle placement, with
a mount up tail boom, for transporting the Firefly.
With the wings folded it can be driven down the
highway to the lake. The wings are then unfolded, which takes about
10 minutes with two people, the trailer can then be backed into the
water allowing the plane to float off or be driven off under power.
The system also allows for storage of the plane on the trailer
with the wings folded in a garage.
According to the owner - "it is a lot like having
a Jet Ski that flies!"