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Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe?

 
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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:46 pm    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Greetings,

Since Kolb sells the plans for the Ultrastar now, has anyone tried to add up the materials cost to build one? Any rough guess at what the materials would cost? Also, assuming you're in driving distance of Kolb, would you figure it would be about as cheap to buy the materials from them as to buy them somewhere else? There is a very small, yet non-zero chance I might consider building one, so it would be interesting if someone has made a recent estimate of the costs.

Still looking for a Slingshot carcass BTW.

Cheers,
Rusty


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Rex Rodebush



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 203
Location: Branson West area, Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Just buy a set of plans, get an Aircraft Spruce catalog, make up a bill of material and add it up.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:59 pm    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

My thoughts, having owned and rebuilt an Ultra Star; Never flown...but am told that it is the best flyer of the whole Kolb stable..neutral thrust for one..Per Hauck...
for starters.very minimal fuselage..the Firestar gear is a definite good mod...the low to the ground prop is always in danger of nicks...the Cuyana engine was good for the time..but I am told that it tended to leak between the thin case halves..Electronic ign on the UL 202 , made for easy starts even being inverted. If I had another one, I might try large bicycle wheels to improve prop clearance. The fuel tanks worked but could be improved on today..
All in all...not a good plane to build these days...Likely many sitting here and there not flown for years...I would place a want ad on Barnstormers. $1000 dollars or more plus shipping for two wing spars makes me shiver...then again...so does the price of hamburger! Smile
I gave 1k for mine as a project...the cuyana engine is not worth much...very old...35 to 40 years old I think? The 377 or 447 should work. They are old too!! Hirth seems to have mended their reputation...so should be considered given that KOlb is using them..
I bought the Firestar II for 6k...with high time 503...and I do not doubt that you would spend as much building a US...
Two Fireflys sold on Barnstormers some time ago for 6 or 7k as I recall..for both..from the same seller...I could not get a picture before someone , more local beat me to them..Minnesota? but I would have paid shipping...and still have come out...A good Firefly with low time engine is worth 9 to 10 k in my book.
I have a boom tube, tail feathers and wings for a Firestar... I want to turn them into some sort of hybrid not unlike the US...but with a wooden fuselage..

Here is what can be done with a bit of imagination...Bill Bronson's Kolb parts used in a half vw tractor config...Herb

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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Sunday, January 20, 2019 11:28 AM, Rex Rodebush <jrrodebush(at)gmail.com> wrote:

Quote:


Just buy a set of plans, get an Aircraft Spruce catalog, make up a bill of material and add it up.

Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=487099#487099

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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Thanks for the great comments Herb. I pretty much suspect that you can buy most of these planes used for less than the cost of the materials, or at least that's how it works when I sell something.

For years, I've wanted to build a steel tube fuselage for some odd reason, and I like the Kolb construction. Unfortunately, the US is the only model they offer full plans for. I may very well buy the plans, since they are available, but I might save it for a future project.

As for combo planes, I also have a set of Airbike plans, and thought about maybe combining the Airbike fuselage with Kolb wings (because I don't care for wood construction). Somehow it seems a little too life threatening to eyeball something like that.

I'll keep looking around, and see what I can come up with for Kolb projects.

Cheers,
Rusty


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:19 pm    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

just sold an airbike and for an instant, I considered using the Firestar wings...7 rib...

I never want to build another set of wood wings....!!
The best flying plane I have had is the N3 Pup...The landing gear is a bit too lite for my long strip...and I landed too fast...went long and hit a rise that collapsed the left gear leg... Sits in storage waiting for the mood to strike..
I liked the Fireflys a lot...and would trade the FS II for one...Reg. EAB....waiting for the Gov shut down to end to get the paper work back from Oak city.. Herb
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Sunday, January 20, 2019 3:25 PM, 13brv3 <13brv3c(at)bellsouth.net> wrote:

Quote:


Thanks for the great comments Herb. I pretty much suspect that you can buy most of these planes used for less than the cost of the materials, or at least that's how it works when I sell something.

For years, I've wanted to build a steel tube fuselage for some odd reason, and I like the Kolb construction. Unfortunately, the US is the only model they offer full plans for. I may very well buy the plans, since they are available, but I might save it for a future project.

As for combo planes, I also have a set of Airbike plans, and thought about maybe combining the Airbike fuselage with Kolb wings (because I don't care for wood construction). Somehow it seems a little too life threatening to eyeball something like that.

I'll keep looking around, and see what I can come up with for Kolb projects.

Cheers,
Rusty

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http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=487106#487106



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DavidGerdeman



Joined: 04 Jan 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Medina, OH

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Rusty,
I bought a set of Slingshot plans from the factory last year and built up a material list to price. All the AL tube, not including the Spars and boom tube were $1,380 from TWMetals. I think that included shipping. I tried OnlineMetals but they would not quote anything not listed on their site. I found a source of 6" x .058 but it was the wrong alloy. You can't find the 6" 6063 T6 except from Kolb. I know they have to buy in bulk so I plan to buy from them if/when the time comes.

I'm slowly learning SolidWorks as time allows but plan to finish the fuse cage re-design this spring. Whether or not I build it, it will be a good project. You know the plans don't show any steel fittings but most are available from the factory based on the MKIII. I plan to lay it out with rear controls and a 25' span. Call it a super stretch Slingshot or a clipped wing Kolbra and that's what I'm after. Plan on running a 912 with Oratex 6000 covering. All calculations are being performed and reviewed. I'm an engineer and have friends that worked in Aerospace. Taking time to think is what we do. Smile

So figure $1,400 for small pipe, $1,500 for big pipe, Maybe $500 for 4130 steel tubing. That's $3,400 plus all the little bits to hold it all together. Add a $10,000 engine and $2000 in covering.... I think it would be a fun project but it's getting as pricey as a nicely appointed Sonex.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:32 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Rusty

by now everyone knows I am tigh...er Frugal....I bought the yellow sling shot shown on the factory site for $6500 as I recall...High time 582.

I say...simply..bide your time and buy used..near a third of the price of new many times.. Covering is simple on Kolbs and reasonably cheap and a good way to do value added...
Oddly, the list of kolbs for sale on Barnstormers is minimal now...usually two pages...Could be someone is buying them and refurbishing? Would be a good business...Might be going over seas?? That happened in the Sailplane business when the dollar was cheap...relative to European currencies..
I had dibs on a MkIII maybe an extra? Forgetful. with a low time 912s , certified engine for 13k...Did not want to go to West Va. to pick it up...bad decision to be sure...Guy in Pa. who bought it priced the engine for 13k on Barnstormers...Smile Herb
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Monday, January 21, 2019 10:50 AM, DavidGerdeman <davidrgerdeman(at)gmail.com> wrote:

Quote:


Rusty,
I bought a set of Slingshot plans from the factory last year and built up a material list to price. All the AL tube, not including the Spars and boom tube were $1,380 from TWMetals. I think that included shipping. I tried OnlineMetals but they would not quote anything not listed on their site. I found a source of 6" x .058 but it was the wrong alloy. You can't find the 6" 6063 T6 except from Kolb. I know they have to buy in bulk so I plan to buy from them if/when the time comes.

I'm slowly learning SolidWorks as time allows but plan to finish the fuse cage re-design this spring. Whether or not I build it, it will be a good project. You know the plans don't show any steel fittings but most are available from the factory based on the MKIII. I plan to lay it out with rear controls and a 25' span. Call it a super stretch Slingshot or a clipped wing Kolbra and that's what I'm after. Plan on running a 912 with Oratex 6000 covering. All calculations are being performed and reviewed. I'm an engineer and have friends that worked in Aerospace. Taking time to think is what we do. Smile

So figure $1,400 for small pipe, $1,500 for big pipe, Maybe $500 for 4130 steel tubing. That's $3,400 plus all the little bits to hold it all together. Add a $10,000 engine and $2000 in covering.... I think it would be a fun project but it's getting as pricey as a nicely appointed Sonex.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=487136#487136



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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Slingshot airframe? Reply with quote

Hi David,

Great first post! Thanks for the figures. I'd much rather talk about building a Slingshot than an Ultrastar Smile

I have a set of Slingshot plans also, and had figured that many of the parts will be the same as the Mk3. That should save some of the tedious welding, and give Kolb some business in the process. I'm only about 100 miles away, so I'd be inclined to just buy the raw materials from them as well if there wasn't a huge difference in price. I figure it's worth a few extra bucks to keep these guys in business.

I have a large number of Slingshot frame pictures, but no actual dimensions for the steel tubing or frame. The good news is that much of the cage isn't that critical as far as dimensions go. I'd want to duplicate the wing, engine, tail tube, and landing gear mountings as close as possible, but the less structural bits that hang off the front can probably safely vary some.

For your purposes, I wonder why you're not starting with a Kolbra. That probably seems closer to what you want than the SS. I want single place, and will probably use the HKS engine. I have an RV-3B that goes nowhere fast, so I think I'll be happy going nowhere at half that speed.

Feel free to drop me an email if you want to chat more about this offline.

Cheers,
Rusty
13brv3(at)gmail.com


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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Pfatchantz(at)protonmail. wrote:
Rusty

by now everyone knows I am tigh...er Frugal....I bought the yellow sling shot shown on the factory site for $6500 as I recall...High time 582.

I say...simply..bide your time and buy used..near a third of the price of new many times.. Covering is simple on Kolbs and reasonably cheap and a good way to do value added...


Herb,

I'm still looking for an airframe, and I have a line on one that will likely come up for sale at some point. I'd still like more of a project ideally, particularly if it's cheaper, but I do realize what deals you can get on used aircraft at times. If I find a complete airframe at a good price, I'll likely grab it, then focus my project needs on something else, like maybe an electric plane.

Cheers,
Rusty


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Rusty I have an airframe for sale that you might want to take a look at. It's a Firestar 2 with the tall Slingshot landing gear. I tried to send you an e-mail with photos but it came back as undeliverable with a bad address. If you would be kind enough to sendme a direct e-mail (separate from the Kolb list) I will be happy to send you photos and info on this airframe. victorbravo at sbcglobal dot net

Bill Berle
--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 1/21/19, Rusty wrote:

I'm still looking for an airframe, and I have a line on one that will likely come up for sale at some point.  I'd still like more of a project ideally, particularly if it's cheaper, but I do realize what deals you can get on used aircraft at times.  If I find a complete airframe at a good price, I'll likely grab it,


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Meeee Toooo!!Smile Bill...Rusty has dibs certainly...but I have all the other parts...wings boom tube gear legs tail feathers...so post some pics and a price...Herb
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Monday, January 21, 2019 12:52 PM, Bill Berle <victorbravo(at)sbcglobal.net> wrote:

Quote:


Rusty I have an airframe for sale that you might want to take a look at. It's a Firestar 2 with the tall Slingshot landing gear. I tried to send you an e-mail with photos but it came back as undeliverable with a bad address. If you would be kind enough to sendme a direct e-mail (separate from the Kolb list) I will be happy to send you photos and info on this airframe. victorbravo at sbcglobal dot net

Bill Berle
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Mon, 1/21/19, Rusty wrote:

I'm still looking for an airframe, and I have a line on one that will likely come up for sale at some point.  I'd still like more of a project ideally, particularly if it's cheaper, but I do realize what deals you can get on used aircraft at times.  If I find a complete airframe at a good price, I'll likely grab it,



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:16 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

David and Rusty

Cannot think of any reason to get in the rear seat of a Kolb Slingshot...!! ??? Same for the Firestar II...Maybe a pet dog Smile Nice place for some camping gear however.

Herb

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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Monday, January 21, 2019 12:14 PM, 13brv3 <13brv3c(at)bellsouth.net> wrote:

Quote:


Hi David,

Great first post! Thanks for the figures. I'd much rather talk about building a Slingshot than an Ultrastar Smile

I have a set of Slingshot plans also, and had figured that many of the parts will be the same as the Mk3. That should save some of the tedious welding, and give Kolb some business in the process. I'm only about 100 miles away, so I'd be inclined to just buy the raw materials from them as well if there wasn't a huge difference in price. I figure it's worth a few extra bucks to keep these guys in business.

I have a large number of Slingshot frame pictures, but no actual dimensions for the steel tubing or frame. The good news is that much of the cage isn't that critical as far as dimensions go. I'd want to duplicate the wing, engine, tail tube, and landing gear mountings as close as possible, but the less structural bits that hang off the front can probably safely vary some.

For your purposes, I wonder why you're not starting with a Kolbra. That probably seems closer to what you want than the SS. I want single place, and will probably use the HKS engine. I have an RV-3B that goes nowhere fast, so I think I'll be happy going nowhere at half that speed.

Feel free to drop me an email if you want to chat more about this offline.

Cheers,
Rusty
13brv3(at)gmail.com

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http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=487139#487139



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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

I've had the pleasure (?) of riding in the back of a SS, but no one ever rode in the back of mine. It makes a good place for a fuel tank.

Rusty (address maybe corrected)
Pfatchantz(at)protonmail. wrote:
David and Rusty

Cannot think of any reason to get in the rear seat of a Kolb Slingshot...!! ??? Same for the Firestar II...Maybe a pet dog Smile Nice place for some camping gear however.

Herb



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DavidGerdeman



Joined: 04 Jan 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Medina, OH

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

It's true the Firestar and SS are really 1 1/2 person planes but I fly mostly by myself now with a very rare passenger. I quit renting 172's and normally rent a little 150/152 when I feel like just blasting around or playing in a cross wind.

Thruth is I own plans for many planes and while the SS is very high on my list of favorites, here in Ohio there isn't much to do with the low end of the speed envelope. The $25k-$30k it will cost to complete can be a Sonex or even a Grumman AA5. So my tinkering side wants to design the front cage just to clear my head, guess we will see if anything comes of it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

wonder if anyone has tried a clipped wing Firestar?? Not so sure about a 22 foot wing span...24?
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Tuesday, January 22, 2019 8:07 AM, DavidGerdeman <davidrgerdeman(at)gmail.com> wrote:

Quote:


It's true the Firestar and SS are really 1 1/2 person planes but I fly mostly by myself now with a very rare passenger. I quit renting 172's and normally rent a little 150/152 when I feel like just blasting around or playing in a cross wind.

Thruth is I own plans for many planes and while the SS is very high on my list of favorites, here in Ohio there isn't much to do with the low end of the speed envelope. The $25k-$30k it will cost to complete can be a Sonex or even a Grumman AA5. So my tinkering side wants to design the front cage just to clear my head, guess we will see if anything comes of it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4639
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:33 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

A Firefly is a clipped wing Firestar.

The Fire Fly and Sling Shot both have 22 foot wing span. Both fly very well. I've flown passengers in the Sling Shot. Always enjoyed the quick roll rate of both models. I flew the Sling Shot before I flew a Fire Fly. Was a little apprehensive about those stubby little wings. My first flight was out of Oshkosh. It seemed to take a lot of power to taxi and a little slow on the take off. Also landed with a quick, short roll out. I mentioned this to Dennis Souder when I landed. He reached under the seat and turned off the parking brake with a big grin. After that, it ground handled much better. First Kolb I flew with a parking brake. I didn't have a clue. Glad I didn't put this new aircraft on its nose.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama


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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

I did quite a bit of searching for "clipped wing firestar", and it has been done, but there wasn't much detail. I think you could come pretty close to a SS, but it wouldn't have the stronger 6" tubes.

Rusty


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:45 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Bet the nose cone wasn't 500 bucks back then..Smile I think the nose cone could be abs molded...cost of the mold might be prohibitive..

Herb
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Tuesday, January 22, 2019 9:32 AM, John Hauck <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com> wrote:

[quote]

A Firefly is a clipped wing Firestar.

The Fire Fly and Sling Shot both have 22 foot wing span. Both fly very well. I've flown passengers in the Sling Shot. Always enjoyed the quick roll rate of both models. I flew the Sling Shot before I flew a Fire Fly. Was a little apprehensive about those stubby little wings. My first flight was out of Oshkosh. It seemed to take a lot of power to taxi and a little slow on the take off. Also landed with a quick, short roll out. I mentioned this to Dennis Souder when I landed. He reached under the seat and turned off the parking brake with a big grin. After that, it ground handled much better. First Kolb I flew with a parking brake. I didn't have a clue. Glad I didn't put this new aircraft on its nose.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama

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Posts: 4639
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:50 am    Post subject: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Don't think you can break a 5" tubular wing spar, especially on a 22' wing.
Don't know of anyone that has succeeded in breaking any Kolb wing spar, 5 or
6 inch.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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13brv3



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Cost to scratch build Ultrastar airframe? Reply with quote

Agreed. I recently re-read the "flight test to destruction" article about what it took to break an Ultrastar, and the wing was upgraded after that. It would be really hard to break for sure.

Rusty


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