The Weedhopper ultralight is a single seat ultralight aircraft originally developed by John Chotia during the height of the 1970s ultralight boom. It came as a kit and, according to the manufacturer, could be easily assembled in less than a week. Many of the early ultralights used a “weight shift” method of control, requiring the pilot to push a control bar to shift the center of gravity of the aircraft. The Weedhopper differed from most other ultralights in that had a control stick which moved the rudder and elevator, giving it two axis control (pitch and yaw). The steep dihedral of the wings caused it to bank into the turn, and resulted in a very stable, easy-to-fly aircraft. The Weedhopper differed from many of the other early ultralights in that it had a strut-braced wing. Most ultralights have wire-braced wings.
Thousands of Weedhoppers were sold throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was popular because it offered people an inexpensive way to fly for pleasure. The aircraft could be easily disassembled and put on a trailer for home storage. It was not necessary to rent an expensive hangar. It could also be flown from just about any field because of its short takeoff and landing requirements (about 100 feet with no obstacles). The kits originally sold for roughly $2,000. Today kits are no longer available.
General characteristics with Rotax 447
* Crew: one, pilot
* Length: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 meters)
* Wingspan: 28 ft 0 in (8.53 meters)
* Height: 6 ft 9 in (2.06 meters)
* Wing area: 168 ft² (15.61 m²)
* Empty weight: 240- 250 lb (113 kg)
* Loaded weight: 550 lb (250 kg)
* Powerplant: Rotax 447 Wood prop, 40 hp (30 kW)
* Never exceed speed: 65 mph (105 km/h)
* Cruise speed: 55 mph (90 km/h)
* Stall speed: 20 mph (32 km/h)
* Rate of climb: 1000 ft/min (5 m/s)