B1RD Robertson ultralight aircraft, Robertson B1RD experimental aircraft, B1RD Robertson experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA), Lightsport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.

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.

Lightsport Aircraft Pilot

B1RD Robertson Index

B1RD Robertson Pictures

B1RD Robertson Video

B1RD Robertson ultralight, experimental lightsport, amateur built aircraft.

Manufacturer/Robertson Aircraft/No longer in business/No longer in production.

Tech Talk  courtesy of (http://hometown.aol.com/skyking366/index.html) is provided in an effort to enhance safety in our aging flock, share techniques for improving performance and handling, and disseminate the accumulated wisdom from over 16 years of B1-RDing. 

The first offerings: immediately below is the Annual Inspection Guideline, originally published in B1-RD Droppings #3 published May/June 1985.  Click here for to read How to Rig Your B1-RD from B1-RD Droppings #2 published March 1985. 

We've had a lot of questions concerning maintenance of the B1-RD with the emphasis on what to look for specifically to keep flying safely.

B1-RD ultralight specifications
Empty Weight: 220 lbs.
Gross Weight: 500 lbs.
Wing Span: 32 ft.
Wing Area: 162 sq ft.
Engine: 430 Cayuna
Cruise Speed: 38 mph
Stall Speed: 15 mph.
VNE: 50 mph.
Construction: aluminum tube and fabric
Building time:  
For additional information check out: 

 With that in mind we're going to run through a quick guide to proper inspection.
    An annual inspection implies a yearly look over of the airframe.  What it really means is a thorough inspection and tear down to determine if the aircraft is still in airworthy condition.  It is not a pre-flight, in that you look at all the operational systems to assure proper function and integrity.  It is a deliberate attempt to find fault with the craft and to repair anything that is less than perfect. 
    Don't attempt to perform this operation in one afternoon with the aircraft out on the grass.  I done right you will inevitably find something that needs replacing, even if it's just a bolt, and you won't have it.  Find a nice dry hanger you can use for a couple of days and take your time. 
    This checklist is intended as a guide only and is not intended to be all-inclusive.  It is your responsibility tomake sure everything is looked at and that the aircraft is completely airworthy.

Note Inspection of any assembly not plainly visible will require some disassembly.  Any part of bolt not easily seen with a flashlight must be exposed for proper inspection.



1.    Control Stick - Remove and inspect control stick assembly.  Check for bent bellcranks and worn rod ends.
2.    Aileron Control Cables - Inspect for fraying, kinks and wear.
3.    Rudder Control Cables - Inspect for fraying, kinks and wear.  2-place B1-RDs should have new heavy-duty cables installed.
NOTE:  Do not wash internal lubricant from control cables.
4.    Elevator Push Rod - Inspect for straightness, wear, cracks and security of the rod ends.
5.    Rudder Pedals - Check for binding and security of the return springs.
6.    Ailerons - Inspect for security of hinge points, structural integrity, and loose fasteners.  Lubricate hinge points.
7.    Elevator - Inspect for security of hinge points, structural integrity, and loose fasteners.  Lubricate hinge points.
8.    Rudder - Inspect for security of hinge points, structural integrity, and loose fasteners.  Lubricate hinge points.
9.    Rigging  (flight controls) - Inspect all control cable installations for binding, wear spots or mis-alignment.


1.    Cables - Inspect all flying wires for frayed spots, kinks, or damaged sections.  Cable should exit swagged on fittings cleanly, with no kinks or loose wires visible.  Its possible the able coating may not reach all the way to the fitting.  This is not usually a concern as the coating sometimes shrinks with age and will pull away from the fitting.
2.    Turnbuckles - Inspect for correct thread engagement, corrosion and proper safety wiring
3.    Cable Attach Tangs - Check for cracks or elongation.  Inspect all clevis pin and cotter pin installations.  Replace any rusty cotter pins. 
4.    Rigging - Inspect for proper cable tension.  Aircraft will usually need a thorough re-rig at the conclusion of the annual.  See B1-RD Droppings #2 for rigging hints.

Robertson B1RD SAILS

1.    Sail Surfaces - Inspect for fabric deterioration, loose stitching and evidence of damage.  Signs of sail deterioration begin at the highly stressed areas such as the tensioning grommets at the corners of the sail.  If these stress points are tearing out and the color is noticeably faded you can consider the sail as ready to replace.  We are currently working on a sail strength test kit that should take the guesswork out.  Call for info.
2.    Battens - Inspect for damage and general contour.  Battens should be matched side for side, and should be over-curved slightly at their forward 30% for added sail tension.  Make sure the battens haven't chafed through their pockets into the spars.
3.    Control Surfaces - Check general fit and condition of sail.  Tail surfaces must be as tight as possible for proper aircraft performance.


1.    Wheels and Tires - Check for damage and proper inflation.
2.    Wheel Bearings - Check for wear and lubrication.  The best lube for nylon wheel bearings we've found is anti-seize compound usually used on auto exhaust system fasteners.  Ball bearing wheel bearings should be available by the time you read this.
3.    Swing Arms - Inspect for wear and damage.  Bent swing arms can usually be straightened if the bend is mild.  Lubricate hinge point.
4.    Bungee Cord - Inspect for damage, rot and even tension.  Correct tension gives movement when rolling over irregularities but not when pilot sits in machine.
5.    Main Axle Assembly - Inspect for bends, cracks, hole elongation, corrosion or other evidence of damage.  Inspect security of all weldments.


1.    Wings - Inspect tubs and attach channels for cracks, dents, bends, abrasions, corrosion, hole elongation or any other sign of damage.  Inspect all fasteners for distortion, rust and integrity.
NOTE: Tubes sealed with end caps (even if only on one end) tend to hold moisture and accelerate fastener corrosion.  Throw the end caps away and remove and inspect any fastener that you cannot see directly.
2.    Fuselage and Keel - Inspect tubes, fittings, and attach channels for cracks, bends, corrosion, finish, hole elongation and evidence of any other damage.  Inspect all fasteners for distortion and security.
3.    Tail Section - Inspect tubes, brackets, and attach channels for cracks, bends, corrosion, finish, hole elongation, and evidence of any other damage.  Inspect all fasteners for distortion and security.
4.    Harness System - Inspect for damage or cracking.  Inspect attach hardware for integrity.  Clean only with mild soap and water.  Wax the latch parts to eliminate rust.
5.    Seat Assembly - Inspect for damage or cracking.  Inspect attach hardware for integrity.


1.    Propeller - Remove and inspect for cracks, delamination, warpage and hole elongation.  Refinish and rebalance according to condition.  Your propeller should last a lifetime if properly maintained.  We recommend leading edge protection tape for erosion resistance and longest life.  Call for information.
2.    Drive Belts - Inspect for wear, fraying and glazing.
3.    Large Drive Pulley - Remove system and inspect condition of front and rear bearings, shaft alignment and straightness.  Make sure shaft is a press fit in both bearings.  Check pulley groves for wear, damage and glazing.


4.    Small Drive Pulley - Inspect for damage and wear.  Re-torque (50 ft.lbs.) the retainer bolt and safety wire.
5.    Motor Mounts - Disassemble and inspect for cracks, hole elongation, fastener distortion and security.  Inspect Lord Mounts for deterioration and cracks.  Eliminate any parts mis-match or hole mis-alignments during re-assembly by pass drilling questionable holes.  Be sure that the prop shaft is notched and the safety bolt has been installed through the eccentric shaft per safety bulletin #7.
6.    Fuel Tank - Remove and inspect for cracks, worn spots, security of hose fittings and internal contamination.  Replace tank cap gasket if the old one is crumbly and the fuel line if yellowed and hard.  Replace fuel filter.
7.    Fuel Pump - Inspect for damage.  Air blown gently through pump should flow only in direction of arrows.  The center tap should be sealed internally.  Do not use compressed air to blow through the pump.
8.    Air Filter - Remove, inspect, clean and re-oil.
9.    Muffler and Exhaust System - remove, clean and inspect for cracks, leaks, broken welds, and loose internal baffles.  Tap the muffler body against a wooden object and listen for internal rattles that indicate loose internal parts.  Replace grommets and springs if worn.  Use high temp (orange) silicone seal on muffler junctions to minimize leakage.

  It is our experience that most Cuyuna 430 R engines mounted on a stock B1-RD with a stock Cuyuna Muffler (5"x18" with vertical exhaust outlet and double ball and socket inlet) will not run consistently or with any linearity.  If your unit is stock and is still refusing to "tune", the only in-expensive cure is an exhaust system change.  Some older Fischer systems are still around and work well.  The only fix left now is our Rotax Muffler Conversion Kit, which in reality makes the Cuyuna run very much like a Rotax.
10.  Throttle Control - Inspect cable and housing for fraying, kinks, abrasion and routing. Pay particular attention to the end stop that pulls on the throttle slide.  The throttle should move smoothly throughout its travel. 

an adjustable non-slip one piece throttle cable is available for all B1-RDs.  If your original Cable won't stay adjusted, this is for you. 
11.  Engine - Refer to your engine manual for detail information.
A.    Remove exhaust manifold and inspect pistons and cylinder walls for scratches or galling.  Inspect the rings and determine that they are free to move in their grooves.  If there is heavy carbon build up on the piston crown, remove the cylinder heads and de-carbon the engine per the engine manual. 
B.    Pressure check the crankcase and inspect for leaks.
C.    Remove recoil starter and inspect ignition points for dirt, proper operation and timing.  Make sure the condensers are properly seated.  A drop of "super glue" to "safety" the condensers in is recommended.  The have been known to fall out.
D.    Inspect and adjust the fan belt.
E.    Inspect the recoil starter rope ends for fraying and wax the rope with bee's wax and re-install.
F.    Re-torque the head and crankcase nuts.
G.    Inspect and clean all cooling fins.
H.    Replace the spark plugs.  (Gap .015-.020 for magnetos - .035 for CDI units).
12.    Carburetor - Inspect for integrity.  Remove bowl and check for contamination.  If dirty, disassemble and clean entire carburetor.  Inspect the rubber carburetor mounting flange for cracks.

That's about it for our outline.  Remember, when inspecting your aircraft, the golden rule is thoroughness.  If in doubt, tear it apart and look.  If a part is less than perfect, replace it.  Your life depends on it.  No aircraft we have inspected was perfect. 
Believe it or not, no matter how well you maintain your machine,

B1RD Robertson ultralight aircraft, Robertson B1RD experimental aircraft, B1RD Robertson experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA), Lightsport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.
B1RD Robertson ultralight - experimental lightsport aircraft

Lighsport Aircraft

B1RD Robertson Index

B1RD Robertson Pictures

B1RD Robertson Video

Quad City Challenger aircraft covers.

Rotax 912,  Rotax 912 manuals, Rotax 912 installation manual, Rotax 912 maintenance manual, Rotax 912 parts list.

K & N airfilters, K and N air filters, K&N air filters

Aircraft brakes, ultralight aircraft brakes, light sport aircraft brakes, hydraulic ultralight and light sport aircraft brakes.

Rotax 582, Rotax 582 aircraft engine rebuilding manual for the 582 Rotax  engine.

Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News Web Magazine.  You may link to these pages or print them out for your own personal use.
No part of this publication may be copied or distributed, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any human or computer language, in any form or by any means, electronic,  mechanical, manual, or otherwise, without the written permission of Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News.
By copying or paraphrasing the intellectual property on this site, you're automatically signing a binding contract and agreeing to be billed $10,000 payable immediately. Copyright Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News. Email