Loehle Sport Parasol
ultralight aircraft, Loehle Sport Parasol experimental aircraft, Loehle Sport Parasol experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA), 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.
Loehle Sport Parasol ultralight, experimental
lightsport, amateur built aircraft.
Loehle Aviation Inc.,
380-U Shipmans Creek Road,
Wartrace, TN 37183;
Loehle Sport Parasol
For a very reasonable price, Mike Loehle wants to sell you a
complete airframe kit, to which you can add your choice of
engine and accessories to get flying for one of the lowest
tariffs currently known in the sport aviation business.
The high-wing, strut-braced Parasol is a deceptive creature,
much like its older Mustang Brother, but for different
reasons. A taildragger, the uncomplicated single-place
ultralight may be bargain priced, but it sure delivers in
terms of performance and handling.
The Loehle Parasol has a
small side door to offer entry/exit ease, and a small
windshield does bug-battling duty in front of a surprisingly
roomy cockpit. Have you ever inhaled a Junebug at 60 mph?
Not my idea of haute cuisine, and I don't think the Junebug
is too thrilled either. Taxiing is done with a minimum of
muss and fuss,
since visibility over the nose is not nearly as bad as
others of this genre, and the rudder pedals dominate the
tailwheel nicely without getting the slightest bit twitchy.
Hit the power, and with a Rotax 447, you're in for some fun.
There is plenty of rudder to counter torque, and the Parasol
hits the skies with a vengeance at over 800 fpm and 45 mph.
The run up to 1,000 feet went quickly where the Parasol
revealed a well behaved stall at 24 mph that was announced
with plenty of aerodynamic warning and a mild break that
offered no drop-off to either side without first receiving a
shot of rudder.
Full power, the 447-powered Parasol gets going at 75 mph,
tops, but cruises quite nicely at 60 mph and only 5,000 rpm.
The entire effect is not the least bit marginal, as you
might think you'd get for such meager bucks. Heading in, I
kept 50 mph on the downwind and worked my way down to 40 mph
over the fence, where the Parasol floated nicely to the
threshold and responded to a bit of slip as though I had
thrown an anchor over the side.
This thing slips well. In both two and three point
attitudes, the Parasol offers excellent ground tracking and
a few one-wheel touchdowns in the calm air showed there was
plenty of aileron to counter future crosswinds. Landings
seemed to terminate in well under 500 feet, and a little
practice showed that I could cut that much further. Nice.
All in all, the extremely affordable Loehle Parasol (a
scrounger could build one for as little as $4K) is a big hit
here at the Zoom Family Ranch.
I expected a very pleasant flyer with adequate power and
handling and instead, found it to be both pleasant to fly
but still possessing a spirit that was as playful as some
birds with more rowdy reps. Funny thing, though, I'd have
absolutely no problem letting loose any recently soloed
taildragger pilot in this thing, no dirty tricks, no bad
habits. Full flight report in the works. This one may be one
of the best new birds at this year's show. Rave review --
and I don't normally get my kicks from birds like this, I
kid you not.
courtesy of J.R. "Zoom" Campbell
Loehle Sport Parasol ultralight -
experimental lightsport aircraft
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