Airbike ultralight aircraft, Airbike experimental aircraft, TEAM Airbike, ISON Airbike, Lightsport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.

Lightsport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit into what is described as ultralight, advanced ultralight, lightsport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental aircraft, amateur built aircraft, 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.

ISON Aircraft, TEAM  Aircraft single place ultralight, experimental, amateur built aircraft.

The Airbike was first introduced in 1995. It mates a welded steel fuselage to an all wood wing.

Standard features include an open cockpit, removable wings, steerable tail wheel, 4 point safety harness, fuel tank, factory welded fuselage and tail. 

Options include various engines, folding wings brakes, trim, wheel pants, wing tips bucket seat, extra fuel, plus various quick build and assembly packages.

ISON Aircraft ? 10790 Ivy Bluff Road ?
Bradyville, TN 37026
Manufacturer no longer in business.

TEAM Aircraft Air-Bike

A whole lot of nothing, might say you upon first look at an Air-Bike... but this is one case where beauty being skin-deep really doesn't apply, especially since there isn't a whole lot of skin involved. This is one great little airplane.

TEAM Aircraft Air-Bike Specifications
Empty Weight:

300 lbs.

Gross Weight:

560 lbs.

Wing Span:

26. ft.

Wing Area:

117 sq. ft.


447 Rotax

Cruise Speed:

65 m.p.h.

Stall Speed:

26 m.p.h.


90 m.p.h.



Building time:

250 Hrs.

The Air-Bike may be one of the most ultralight legal birds out there. The 220-lb bird is a conventional-geared honey with conventional controls and strut-braced wooden wings. The welded tube fuselage comes completely fabricated from the factory and requires little preparation from the builder. The wings are all wood and the building chores similar to those found in the model airplanes we built as kids. A single center control stick, left side-mounted throttle, and conventional rudder pedals were quite comfy and conformed well to my dimensions. No brakes were installed (or necessary for that matter) so some light, but careful, foot dragging can be used to hold position.

Ground handling is docile but with a pretty good turn radius. Rudder pedals require moderate pressure and are positioned very well considering the lack of structure around them. Firewall the baby and you'll go... sort of. The little Zenoah takes its time to accelerate you, but it doesn't take much lift to get this mass airborne. Initial control pressures vary from light to moderate and are accompanied by light to moderately defined static stability profiles in pitch and roll, with a surprisingly positive input from yaw. Dynamic tendencies are slow, but no less positive. Control response is agile but not twitchy and the overall behavior is fairly linear.

Even the lightest, lowest powered version (using the single-cylinder Zenoah G25, producing 22 ponies), has more pizzazz than you might expect. In 15- to 20-mph winds (almost all direct crosswinds), the little Air-Bike levitates off the deck despite the less-than-startling power of the Zenoah. We flew the final version, with the new inverted engine mount, and got off the deck in well under 200'... probably close to 100'. The initial rate of climb wasn't astonishing (about 400 fpm) but I was battling a lot of heavy sink and rotors from the heavily forested mountains surrounding the airport.

The Air-Bike is no F-16; as a matter of fact, I think the F-16 probably taxis faster than this critter cruises. However, about 45 mph feels great for cruise; the little windscreen keeps the June bugs out of your dentures; and the view is incredible. The bird stalls at about 22 to 24 mph, according to the Hall Wind-meter I was using for ASI, and the behavior is so docile as to be boring. There is no perceptible break unless you horse into a steep angle prior to the actual stall and recovery is simply a matter of lessened angle of attack and pitch input. There is little dissymmetry despite the seeming lack of vertical fin and side area, and moderate rudder corrects all ills. The bird falls off into the start of an autorotation, but leave it alone and the machine recovers well, and enters a slowly correcting spiral all on its own.

The unencumbered seating is a real thrill and does not feel as naked as one might first think, since there is a lot of adjacent structure to lend moral support. I was surprised at the overall handling; this is not a "me-too" boring little aircraft?it responds quite nicely but has not a hint of surprise or twitchiness in its soul. It does have a pretty good roll rate as long as you properly coordinate it with rudder (the rudder on this thing is the key to good rolling action).

The Air-Bike slips admirably considering there is not much of a fuselage to slip against... and the resultant descent rate is considerable. Landing is child's play and one has only to look to one's feet to see how far off the ground to start the landing flare. I settled in across the fence at 35 to 40 mph (below 40, the drag profile increases a fair amount and the resulting sink rate increases a lot), used a light flare, and settled in three-point with a solid 12 knots of estimated crosswind... and stayed pretty close to the centerline throughout. Yes, this is one "cheapskate flyer" but only in terms of price. In terms of performance, it has nothing to be ashamed of... a thoroughly outstanding little airplane.

TEAM Aircraft Air-Bike

ZOOM REPORT: The Mostest for the Leastest! No one gives you more bang for your ultralight flying dollar than the TEAM Air-Bike. I expected a boring, ho-hum flyer and was instead rewarded with a playful (but still docile), obedient little bird that handled 15-to 20-knot winds with aplomb. I am very impressed with the Air-Bike and predict it could be one of the most popular new aircraft to hit the market in years. It's a sweetie! 

USA Aircraft Ratings: TEAM Air-Bike

  • Design/Engineering: A.

  • Ground Handling: B+. No surprises.

  • Flight Characteristics: A.

  • Company Profile: A-. These people really give a damn.

  • Kit/Plans: A-.

  • Bang for the Buck: A+. I dare you to find more plane for less $$.

  • Risk Factor: 1. Outstanding reputation.

  • Final Grade: A. OUTSTANDING! Voted Best New U/L Aircraft for 1995 by USA.


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