Monday, June 16, 2008


I've recently fallen in love with the Pterodactyl line of ultralights. I've always loved canard aircraft, so it's only natural that I'd find a Pterodactyl. About a month ago I traveled out to purchase a Pterodactyl. I cannot believe the amount of money I have saved up over five years. Now is the time to find a plane!

I had written a whole post about my experience spending 11 hours on the road with an ultralight in "excelent condition" on my mind. I deleted it because it offended the seller (sorry seller). To put things short, I went back home with a $150 dent in my back pocket.

Here's a picture of the Pterodactyl Ascender in "excelent condition."

There is hope though. When I was digging up information trying to find design flaws, weak parts, and flying characteristics, I came across a man who was wanting to get rid of his Pterodactyl. It's not an Ascender, but he has the canard kit which will make it one. My plans with it is to install the canard, add brakes and a steerable nosegear. There are steerable nosegear kits available these days, so I'll definitely purchase one of those. Someone else has engineered a really lightweight brake setup, so I think I'll copy them with that. The canard kit should be a breeze since all you have to do is follow the directions and use common sense.

Lightweight Brake Setup

The seller has sent me some pictures earlier today and it looks like it's in very nice condition. Right now, I'm getting zero red flags from this guy. He sounds like he's a really honest guy. We probably spent a half hour to an hour on the phone hangar flying. Most of that chat wasn't even about his sale. The only thing that I'm a bit worried about is the wing. If I remember correctly, the guy hasn't opened it up himself. We will zip it out of it's bag and open it up together next Saturday and see how it looks.

The Pterodactyl Without Wing

If all goes well, I might have myself my first airplane!

"Find out next time on the hyperbole channel!"
-Scott P. Fletcher

Happy Flying,
Mark Zinkel