FireFly in a nutshell:
- High Performance UL;
- Legal Ultra light with Rotax 447;
- Partially Enclosed;
- Quick Folding Wings.
The FireFly is a significant breakthrough in ultra light aircraft design. The FireFly was designed to be a legal ultra light with the twin-cylinder 40 HP Rotax 447 engine installed. Until now, the FireStar (like most other designs) required the smaller single cylinder Rotax 277 to be light enough to be a legal ultra light. We have observed that the market place is not greatly interested in the Rotax 277 powered ultra lights. To be a "real" viable ultra light, a Rotax 447 (or equivalent) is needed.
The ultra light flying population has been lulled by the communications from the FAA for the past many years into expecting an increase in the weight and speed limit of ultra light aircraft. Consequently, both manufacturers and consumers have been marketing and purchasing aircraft in the weight and speed class of the expected rule change, thinking that the "promised" rule change would confer legality on their Part 103+ aircraft.
The recent ARAC meetings with the FAA concerning ultra light regulations seem to be in the direction of keeping the existing FAR Part 103 regulations the same -- no weight increase. So, we at Kolb Aircraft decided to accommodate ourselves to the probability of that reality and get on with designing and producing a "real" ultra light aircraft with real engine choices that the flying public has come to expect in ultra light aircraft.
The FireFly also offers the mainstay features that Kolb Aircraft are known for: quick-folding wings, enclosable cockpit, welded chrom-moly steel fuselage cage structure and, of course, the outstanding performance. Kolb can offer more for 254 lb. than any other manufacturer -- we invite comparison.
Many may not consciously be aware of the fact, but it is true: the better the visibility, the more enjoyable and fun the flying -- the more visibility the better. We retained the pusher configuration to maintain the vastly superior visibility that Kolb Aircraft have become known for. With the FireFly, you have more visibility than any other design. Keeping the engine in back also eliminates exhaust fumes and reduces noise levels.
The performance of the FireFly with the Rotax 447 is absolutely awesome. You need to watch the FireFly fly to truly appreciate what it can do. We at Kolb have never had the Rotax 447 in such a light aircraft -- and probably no one else has either.