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XE Ultralight build
#1
I was wondering if it is possible to build the XE kit as an ultralight version so that it can later have the higher fuel capacity available when being converted to a registered experimental?

Seems to me that the only significant differences between the XE and XEL is fuel capacity and the floats.

I assume fuel capacity is molded/integrated (12gal vs 5) into the fuselage pod or is there a separate tank that I could change later on?

For the XE Ultralight version I would limit the fuel capacity by installing the fuel filler connection at a lower height on the tank.
I would also need to purchase floats, which I did not see on the XE kits options list.
What would the floats cost?

The main idea behind all this thinking is that you would have the option of flying it as an XE for resale purposes or as a progression in Heli flying objectives, but starting out as an Ultralight.

Hope that makes sense.

Ray
Ray
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#2
Hi Ray.

I had wondered the same things.  I bought an unfinished XE kit and I am going to build it as an XEL.  In time, when or if I feel the notion, I will transition the XEL to an XE.  I believe you are correct about the fuel tanks.  Last I checked, the floats are $1000.00.

I am pretty sure that if you purchase an already built XE that has been registered you can not go back to an XEL.  If you do decide build an XEL with the pretense of changing over to and XE later, document your build in writing and photos.  When the Mosquito XEL is changed to an XE the Ultralight aircraft becomes an Experimental aircraft. The FAA is going to want to see proof that you built the helicopter, you will also need to register the experimental aircraft and get an "N" number (in the USA).  I am going to document my entire build and have it ready when I do register is as an XE experimental.

Also the XE kit does not come standard with a horizontal stabilizer and you will need that to compensate for the floats on an XEL.

Robert
"Pilots - Looking down on people since 1903"
(author unknown)
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#3
Its seems that the XE and XEL parts are the same so Ultralight weight should not be too hard to meet.

$1000 for the floats seems to make sense as that is the price difference between the XE and XEL kits.

I'm almost certain you can fly a registered experimental XE as an ultralight under Part 103 as long as it meets the weight criteria.  I am not sure if you have to mask the N-Number though, probably not as I have seen some Ultralight flyers get N-Numbers but still fly under part 103. Its similar to how lightsport aircraft operate. Once registered though I think it will still need the annual inspection regardless of the regulations part it flies under.

I've owned a couple experimental aircraft over the years so I'm somewhat familiar with the whole documentation process.  In your case you want to disassemble, and take photos of the assembly process with YOU in many of the pictures at various stages so that you can do the annual inspections later on.  You just need to prove that YOU built it and hence are qualified to inspect it.

I also found out that the flight limitations are a negotiation with FAA officials not a dictated written in stone edict.
I negotiated an expanded flight envelope, greater range and an exemption from reporting exhibition events in my experimental (Exhibition/Racing category) airplance. I provided a good argument with evidence for what I was asking and they were very good about allowing my requests in the flight limitations letter that accompanies the Certificate of Airworthyness.
Ray
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#4
If an aircraft has an airworthiness certificate and N-number assigned, IT CANNOT be flown as a Part 103 Ultralight.  
The XEL has the fuel tank overflow at the 5 gallon full level.  The XE puts the overflow vent at the highest point and holds a lot more.

To legally fly an XL as an ultralight, it must have the overflow vent put at 5 gallons, and the Airworhiness Certificate and Registration Certificate must be turned in to the FAA and it must be removed from the Registry.  The N-Number cannot be displayed either.
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#5
The FAA regs are a little vague in some areas.  I suppose if you have a registered XE that you wanted fly under part 103, you could simply deregister it, set the 5 gal overflow, floats and weight etc.
Simply removing the N-Number and the registration placard gets you most of the way there from a practical perspective as the airframe is unidentifiable to the FAA and hence not registered at that point.

Just something I was thinking about as I want to fly as a part 103 initially so if I come across an XE for sale in the future I'll know it can be made part 103 compliant fairly simply.
Ray
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