Drifter lightsport aircraft, Drifter experimental lightsport aircraft, 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.

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Drifter lightsport aircraft, experimental lightsport, amateur built aircraft.

Drifter Manufacturer/www.lockwood-aviation.com

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 aviation movement).

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 critters.

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 antenna.

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 thoroughly.

Lockwood can support these aircraft, but inspect them and replace everything that's not kosher if you buy one of these older birds.

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 abuse.
Flight Characteristics:
A. A great-flying aircraft... period.
Profile: A. Possibly one of the b in the business.
Bang for the Buck:
Risk Factor:
1. A no-risk company and a documented aircraft.
Final Grade:
A-. Outstanding aircraft and company.

Drifter lightsport aircraft, Drifter experimental lightsport aircraft, Lightsport Aircraft Pilot News newsmagazine.
Drifter lightsport aircraft - experimental lightsport aircraft

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