AMERICAN AEROLIGHTS DOUBLE EAGLE
NO CURRENT PHOTOGRAPH OF THIS AIRCRAFT IS AVAILABLE
Larry Newman designed and flew the first Eagle ultralight in 1980. The Eagle was a small, powered aircraft that recaptured the romance of flight and the seat-of-the-pants excitement of the old barnstorming days. Shortly after the Eagle’s debut, the Double Eagle, a two place version of the Eagle, appeared on the market.
The Double Eagle offered unsurpassed maneuverability in the air and on the ground. It was easy to learn and fly due to its stall-resistant canard and simple two-axis control system. The Double Eagle could fold easily into an 11 foot by 9 inch package that could be transported on the roof of a car or checked as excess baggage on most major airlines. As an additional feature, the Double Eagle could be converted to a float system for no-wind, water takeoffs and landings.
The Double Eagle was later adapted to offer larger pilots, weighing in excess of 200 pounds, the same excitement a 150-pound pilot achieved in the Eagle. One seat was removed from the Double Eagle and a more powerful engine was installed. This adaptation opened the Double Eagle up to a new market and became the powerful ultralight’s main selling point.
The single seat Double Eagle became the first known ultralight aircraft to be employed by a police force. Officers first flew the Double Eagle in September 1982, and quickly discovered the advantage of ultralight flight. The Double Eagle became a valuable asset to the work done by the Monterey Park police officers who operated the ultralights.
Bruce Purdy’s Double Eagle was a single seat version, but slightly modified. Instead of one, more powerful engine, Bruce’s Double Eagle employed two 1 cyl. Talon engines. In 2000, Bruce donated his Double Eagle to the EAA AirVenture Museum.
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