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Ultralight helicopters allow flight enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the fun of flying without having to empty their checkbooks on a regulation size helicopter or airplane. Essentially, ultralight helis are small, bare bones models without the protective shell normally seen on helicopters. These flyers have two rotors--the primary top rotor, which spans 12 to 25 feet (3.5 to 7.5 meters) in diameter on most models, and the tail rotor, which has a 2 to 4 foot (60 to 120cm) diameter. Though the various ultralight models differ slightly in size and weight, most weigh in at roughly 150 to 180 pounds (68 - 82kg) and allow for pilots up to 275 pounds (125kg).
Though some ultralight helicopterss are available ready-made, most ultralight models are available in kit form, where the purchaser must piece the craft together before taking it to the air. Ultralight helicopters can fly at speeds topping out at roughly 90 miles per hour (145kph) and can reach altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet (3,000 - 3,650 meters). With a flight capacity like that, these ultralight machines allow flyers the opportunity to see a wide array of aerial views, as well as experience the excitement of flight.
There are no two ultralight helicopter models that are the same. Typical models bear names such as The Kestrel and The Mosquito. These efficient flyers are roughly 12 feet in length (3.6 meters), 5 1/2 feet (1.6 meters) in width, and have a height of 5 1/2 feet (1.6 meters).
In various vacation destinations throughout the United States, standard plane and helicopter rides are available to vacationers. For those who find they enjoy this hands-on feel of flying, an ultralight helicopter may provide just the thrill you need to keep that love of flying going. Most ultralights carry gas tanks of five to ten gallons (19 to 38 liters) and burn fuel at a rate of four gallons (15 liters) per hour. Although you will not be able to take lengthy ventures in this tiny helicopter, less you stop repeatedly to fill the gas tank, you will have plenty of time to see many fantastic views.
In addition to the kit form, many of the ultralight helicopters are classified as "experimental" and are build from "scratch". Many enthusiasts just purchase ultralight helicopter plans and build their experimental helicopters without using a kit.