Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Would you trade your Royal Enfield for this airplane?

The owner of this lovely little airplane wants to trade for a Royal Enfield motorcycle.
People have offered to trade a lot of things to get their hands on a Royal Enfield motorcycle.

I've documented offers of a Cadillac Eldorado, a snow plow, and even a 1907 copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

But up to now, no one I know of has offered to trade an airplane for a Royal Enfield. The day has come. Here's the CraigsList ad, out of Southern New Hampshire, pointed out to me by reader Jeffrey Baker:

"Ultralight RagWing aircraft, Ultra-Piet. Ultralight version of Pietenpol Aircamper design. Single seat. Kawasaki 340 engine with JayBird belt redrive and 64-inch Tennessee wood prop. Five gallon fuel tank. Took the plane as part of a trade for another airplane last year. Been in storage. Realised I don't have time or interest enough for this project. It has flown. Engine is new as far as I can tell. Will sell or trade with or without engine, $1,900 without motor. Cash or trade for something interesting like maybe a Royal Enfield motorcycle. Ken Walter at 603-591-5377."

You don't need a pilot's license. Training is advisable.
The RagWing Ulta-Piet is said to cruise at 55 mph and stall at 24 mph. These stated performance figures just happen to match the U.S. definition of an ultralight. The U.S. considers it a vehicle and not an aircraft(!). It is not required to be registered and the operator doesn't need a pilot's license.

Plus, it's cute as a bug. The asking price for the airplane — sorry, vehicle — is only $2,500, motor and all. You could save that much in airline baggage fees alone!

Kawasaki twin.
The Kawasaki in-line twin in this one was intended by its maker to power snowmobiles. Kawasaki wants you to know they never suggested you should take it into the air. Just saying.

For an amusing description of flying (and crashing — lightly) in an Ultra-Piet, read Doug's Ultra-Piet blog. It's illustrated with this photo of his plane buzzing the Kansas River at "ultra" low altitude.

Any landing you can wade away from is a good landing.


  1. I've flown one of these. Great airplane. If I hadn't just dropped $900 on new tires and battery for my truck, I would BUY IT TODAY.

  2. Anonymous9/13/2012

    I say Blasco , that looks rather jolly - don't yer think .Just the job for aerial recon missions to check where the ruddy tax inspectors are hiding .
    Might have to fit a more powerful motor though , yes yes , need more lift to carry bombs . Drop 'em on the blighters !
    Haar haaaaar haaaaaaaaaaaaaaar !!
    Bottoms up . Your round I think .
    Your servant ,
    Maj Bunty Golightly MBH .


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