Monday, June 16, 2008

Pterodactyls

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

8 comments:

T.O. said...

I have a friend with extra parts. If you are interested, let me know. tom@tomstile.com thanks.

Anonymous said...

Keep us posted. I'm as excited as you are! Your first plane will be as important as your first girl!!! You'll never forget either of them.

Jack

Mark Zinkel said...

Thanks Jack. I definitely agree. It's strange that you use the same analogy because I keep a picture of an airplane in my wallet. When people ask me if I have a girlfriend, I show them the picture. None of them understand, but I'm not the crazy one...they are!

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Great choice on a cheap ultralite. I built my 1st 'dactle in '79. I bought and fitted the canard kit and loved it. I sold the plane like that and ordered and built my '82 assender. I still fly it on nice days today!. No little homebuilt can equal the history Jacks pfledge and offspring have made.
pteam pteterson(Heppner guys know)

Rick@
cell 5413792720
pteam peterson

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Great choice on a cheap ultralite. I built my 1st 'dactle in '79. I bought and fitted the canard kit and loved it. I sold the plane like that and ordered and built my '82 assender. I still fly it on nice days today!. No little homebuilt can equal the history Jacks pfledge and offspring have made.

Rick@
cell 5413792720
pteam peterson

Anonymous said...

Mark,
Great choice on a cheap ultralite. I built my 1st 'dactle in '79. I bought and fitted the canard kit and loved it. I sold the plane like that and ordered and built my '82 assender. I still fly it on nice days today!. No little homebuilt can equal the history Jacks pfledge and offspring have made.

Rick@
cell 5413792720
pteam peterson

JP said...

Way to go Mark! Flying that plane is really your dream. I couldn't imagine you even saved for it for five years, that's absolutely incredible! I look forward to seeing some photos of you flying that pterodactyl. That would be exciting. Good Luck!

-JP
P90X Review

Astroturf Perth said...

Wow! You built your dream literally from scratch? You are really amazing Mark! How did the flight went? This is cool.