The aircraft was designed before the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules were brought into effect, but all models comply with them anyway, including the category's maximum empty weight of 254 lb (115 kg). The line of aircraft all feature a cable-braced high-wing, a single-seat, open cockpit, tricycle landing gear and a single engine in pusher configuration.
The Star Flight Starfire is the first aircraft in a large family of American ultralight aircraft that was designed by Dick Turner and produced by Star Flight Manufacturing, introduced in 1979. The aircraft were all supplied as kits for amateur construction.
The aircraft is made from bolted-together aluminium tubing, with the flying surfaces covered in Dacron sailcloth. Its 33 ft (10.1 m) span wing is cable-braced from a single element kingpost. The landing gear features a steerable nose wheel with a bicycle-style rim brake. The powerplant is mounted underneath the wing and drives a pusher propeller.
Single-seat single-engined high-wing mono-plane with hybrid control. Wing has unswept leading and trailing edges, and constant chord; cruciform tail. Pitch control by weight-shift; yaw control by fully flying rudder; no separate roll control; control inputs through weight-shift for pitch/yaw. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; wing profile; single-surface.
Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; with additional tailskid; glass-fibre suspen-sion on main wheels. No ground steering. No brakes. Aluminium-tube framework, without pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.
Up to the beginning of 1983 the Star Flight Aircraft company belong-ing to Dick Turner was called Starflight Manufacturing. His basic model, the Starfire made its appearance in 1982 and was sold as a kit requiring 16 h for assembly at a price of $3995, with options including wheel fairing for $150.
However, in common with other manufac-turers, Dick Turner has found that the market is moving away from hybrid control to stick-operated machines. As a result, the Starfire was discontinued in 1983.
Engine: Cuyuna 215R engine
Max power 20 hp at 6000 rpm
Propeller diameter and pitch 52 x 24 inch, 1.32 x 0.60 in
Belt reduction, ratio 2.4/1
Power per unit area 0.12 hp/sq.ft, 1.3 hp/sq.m
Fuel capacity 2.5 US gal, 2.1 Imp gal, 9.5 litre
Length overall 9.0ft, 2.74m
Height overall 16.0ft, 4.87m
Wing span 33.0ft, 10.05m
Constant chord 5.0ft, 1.52m
Dihedral 5 deg
Sweepback 0 deg
Total wing area 165 sq.ft, 15.3 sq.m
Wing aspect ratio 6.6/1
Nosewheel diameter overall 16 inch, 41 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 16 inch, 41 cm
Empty weight 175 lb, 79kg
Max take-off weight 475 lb, 215 kg
Payload 300 lb, 136 kg
Max wing loading 2.87 lb/sq.ft, 14.0 kg/sq.m
Max power loading 23.8 lb/hp, 10.83kg/hp
Max level speed 42mph, 68kph
Never exceed speed 55mph, 88kph
Max cruising speed 30mph, 48kph
Stalling speed 19 mph, 31 kph
Max climb rate at sea level 450 ft/min, 2.3 m/s
Best glide ratio with power off 6/1
Take-off distance 100 ft, 30 m
Landing distance 50 ft, 15 m