lightsport aircraft, Drifter experimental lightsport aircraft, Lightsport Aircraft Pilot News
Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit
into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight
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, amateur built aircraft.
Nearly everything in aviation has some sense of risk
associated with it, even the choice of an aircraft
manufacturer, unless you deal with a company like Lockwood
Aviation (possibly one of the best companies in the sport
I've known it's proprietor longer than I care to admit and
have yet to hear anything overly negative about Phil
Lockwood or his company.
The Drifter is one of the true
legends in the sport aircraft industry. This is the
top-of-line version of the craft that went out business in
the early 90's, and is now being produced
by Lockwood Aviation.
This Drifter series is an
ultralight-style, tube and rag structure with Dacron
sailcloth covering, wire bracing, pusher power, with dual
controls, and conventional gear. The 21' long Drifter is
9.3' in height and has a wingspan of 30'. The 150-sq-ft wing
sports full-span ailerons (which can be modified to act as
flaperons) and is stressed to +4 and -2 G.
The Rotax 582 (65 hp) Drifter ARV582 has a top speed of 85
mph, a cruise of 70 mph, and an exceptionally docile stall
of 39 mph. It needs 200' for takeoff and some 300' for
landing. The rate of climb is a solid 800 fpm. With fuel on
board you should get down the road some 180 miles,
longer if you opt for optional larger tanks.
This is definitely a good airplane for the big-and-tall
flyer, since the seating is so open and offers plenty of
headroom and width. It has gross weight of 900 lbs. an empty
weight of 420 lbs., and a useful load (including fuel) of
480 lbs. The Drifter ARV582 has a service ceiling of
16,000'. I've been nearly that high in one of these
The kit should require some 150 hours to complete. The
dual controls, nose fairing, brakes, and basic instruments
are standard equipment. Options include a flaperon retrofit kit,
extra fuel tanks, muffler kit, intake silencer kit, tundra
tires, floats, amphib gear, intercom, and a remote mount
One Caution: Do be advised that older Drifters produced
under the control of the formerly Georgia-based Max-Air
company of the late 1980s had some serious quality control
problems and often sported non-aircraft grade hardware.
Several of them got their builder/pilots hurt. If you buy a
used bird, have a knowledgeable person look it over
Lockwood can support these aircraft, but inspect them and
replace everything that's not kosher if you buy one of these
ZOOM REPORT: Rugged, rowdy, and reliable, the Drifter
series is possibly one of the best two-seat,
ultralight-style aircraft ever produced. With excellent
control response and fairly positive stability profiles, the
Drifter makes a good trainer, an excellent cross-country
tourer, and a real load lifter.
It also offers very docile ground handling and excellent
abilities on short and/or rough strips. The Drifter is a
thoroughly outstanding aircraft with as good a company
backing it up as you could ever find. More than 1000 were
sold and a now flying! I particularly like the 582-power
version. It has excellent climb capabilities a gets out of
strips in a hurry. The dual-ignition liquid-cooled Rotax 582
can't be beat for its combination of cost effective
operation, weight and simplicity.
Design/Engineering: A-. Extremely rugg and
adaptable to many a mission.
Ground Handling: A-. Pretty docile, able take
Flight Characteristics: A. A great-flying
Company Profile: A. Possibly one of the b in the
Bang for the Buck: B+.
Risk Factor: 1. A no-risk company and a
Final Grade: A-. Outstanding aircraft and
Drifter lightsport aircraft -
experimental lightsport aircraft
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