Bushwheels/Beringer Partnership Brings a New Ultralight Alaskan Bush Tire to Europe’s Light Sport Aviation Market
Chugiak, Alaska - Airframes Alaska is proud to announce the approval and first production run of the first Ultralight Alaskan Bushwheel. The Alaska-based company worked in collaboration with French wheel-and-brake manufacturer Beringer Aero to develop the new lightweight backcountry airplane tire specifically for European light sport aircraft (LSA).
The Ultralight Bushwheel is the ideal solution to the challenge of equipping aircraft with high-performance bush tires for off-field operations in France, Italy, and other European countries. Unlike in the United States where bush pilots face fewer restrictions in backcountry flying, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) only allow LSA, or planes with a maximum take-off weight of 1320 lbs (600 kg), to land and take off outside of established runways in Europe. At 21 lbs per tire, even the lightweight Alaskan Bushwheel brand 26” Airstreaks take up too much of that limited load.
In May 2015 CEO Gilbert Beringer approached Airframes Alaska with a proposition: Design and build an innovative Bushwheel light enough to run on European bush planes and Beringer Aero will conduct all the necessary performance tests before taking it to market. Less than a year later the international partnership resulted in the unrivaled 15.25-pound Ultralight Bushwheel.
The 26” x 12” x 6” Ultralight Bushwheel features Kevlar cording, reengineered sidewalls that provide the ideal flex and energy absorption for lighter aircraft, and .150” tread that slows wear even during long taxis on paved surfaces. The first order of 20 new Ultralight Bushwheels ships from Alaska to France in mid-March 2016. Beringer Aero is the exclusive European distributor of the Ultralight Bushwheel.
Although not yet FAA/PMA or STC approved, Airframes Alaska foresees an exciting stateside future for the European Bushwheel: The tires are ideally rated for U.S. experimental LSA as well. The company plans to demo the new design at the 2016 Great Alaska Aviation Gathering and Frank Knapp, winner of STOL competitions at the Valdez Fly-In and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, will run the new Ultralight Bushwheels on his rebuilt experimental LSA through the busy summer flying season.
Airframes Alaska LLC is an aviation fabrication and FAA/PMA certified parts manufacturer of fuselages, landing gear, lift struts, wheels and brakes, and more parts that support bush flying around the world. In 2014 Airframes Alaska purchased Alaskan Bushwheels and brought the venerable bush tire business from Oregon back home to the Last Frontier.