You have to hand it to Buckeye. These guys and gals work exceptionally hard to refine their line of ultralight aircraft to a trend-setting state of the art. Complementing their award-winning series of powered parachutes, Buckeye has now added their new Endeavor trike. A couple years back, it was Buckeye’s single place Brat that grabbed attention for the Indiana operation. The purple airframe Brat represented a first among powered parachute producers to apply their experience to a related but different form of ultralight flight. Brat resembled the Cosmos Samba trike and offered a simple switch to powered parachute so owners could go both ways. Last year they refined the Brat to a two seat, more extensive aircraft. In the process, the quick switch to powered parachute became more elaborate. Now the Endeavor appears as a fully developed two seat aircraft that focuses on being a trike ultralight. Fortunately it shares the extreme attention to detail that characterizes the entire Buckeye line of ultralight flying machines.
Buckeye Industries Buckeye Trike
Phone: (219) 892-5566Argos, IN 46501 - USA
Not many question Buckeye’s leadership role among producers of powered parachutes. They move a lot of flying hardware. Now to expand even further, Buckeye has offered the Brat, new in a couple interesting ways. Buckeye’s little Brat is a single place aircraft. It can be fitted with one of the company’s canopy wings but that’s no longer all. Swap a couple tubes around and in a few minutes you can fix the trike carriage to a La Mouette Topless wing. This wing is one the top wings carrying hang glider pilots to record flights and contest championships. (Tested earlier with a Cosmos trike, I found the Topless wing offered superb trike handling.) To keep the rig simple and provide for such switchability, the Brat employs hand toggles for canopy wing steering. Their standard powered parachutes use foot pedals to do this same controlling. Flown for its first public introduction at Oshkosh 1997, the Brat appeared to be a particularly slow flyer with light touch handling – I never saw the pilot working hard to control the Brat.
In a calculated move planned for over a year, powered parachute leader Buckeye Industries introduced their new trike line at AirVenture ’98. This marks two points of interest to EXPERIMENTER readers. The first point is a significant entry to the trike market, a segment of ultralight aircraft that has finally shown real growth potential after many years of effort by trike makers. Though European companies threw open the door with persistent marketing efforts mimicked by a few Yankee builders, Buckeye’s entry to the field could increase the number of trikes sold by a good margin. Secondly, as a widely acknowledged sales leader among powered parachute builders, Buckeye is making something of a statement to that community of aviation enthusiasts. Powered parachutes deserve a follow-on aircraft and Buckeye has decided (logically, to my view) to make that successor a trike. And, Why Not? If you owned Buckeye and already made a slick, wheeled carriage for your powered parachutes, wouldn’t you also leverage that design to work for a trike?