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Chipper LSA Represents Freedom
Design modified to improve aircraft performance once flying
By Ti Windisch, EAA Staff Writer
July 27, 2018 - James Wiebe, EAA 859932, brought the latest iteration of the kitbuilt, light-sport Belite Chipper to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 with some key changes that differentiate it from the first Chipper built.
“There’s two big features on Chipper that are new,” James said. “The first is that we’ve added leading edge slats to improve the stall capabilities. … The second thing is that I’m showing it with a 130-hp ULPower engine up on the front. I wanted to try something besides the Rotax. Nothing against Rotax, they’re great, but the 130-hp engine is very light and very interesting, weighing just 173 pounds.”
The new Chipper doesn’t yet fly, as it’s only a month-and-a-half old, but James said once the cowling is on and the gauges are connected it’ll nearly be ready.
“We’re making the point that if you want to build an airplane you don’t need to waste time, you can get with the program and get moving,” James said. “I’ll have this thing flying by the end of August.”
The two-place LSA airplane is visually striking, with a paint scheme dedicated to its historic home city.
“The great big flag on the side is the flag of the city of Wichita, Kansas,” James said. “And then on the tail it talks about it, I called the plane The Spirit of Wichita. The description of the flag is, ‘The path of freedom to come and go as one pleases,’ and I thought that just works beautifully with the concept of aviation. The path of freedom to come and go as one pleases, that describes Chipper and what we do.”
The Chipper, as described in the January 2018 issue of Sport Aviation, uses honeycomb aluminum to make a multi-faceted airplane that is capable of low-and-slow flight and true cross-country speeds, thanks to easily removable slats. It can currently be found in the Ultralight/Rotorcraft Display area, Booth 914.
“What the Chipper is, is a utility STOL two-place aircraft designed to be super strong, easy to assemble, with stellar short-field characteristics but also, unlike my competition, it goes pretty fast too,” James said.