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American Aerolights Double Eagle

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


This is the first known ultralight aircraft employed by a police force. The Monterey Park, California, Police Department first flew this airplane on September 2, 1982, and it quickly became a valuable asset to police work. However, the powerplant proved fragile and Lt. Joe Santoro, project manager, grounded the Eagle after seven engine failures in six months. Santoro continued to believe in the basic concept and experimented with several other types of ultralight aircraft. "Our hilly terrain and lack of appropriate forced landing sites do not allow a viable program in this community," Santoro said after grounding the Eagle, "but the concept is good." The National Air and Space Museum also displays another ultralight flown by Monterey Park police officers, an improved and more reliable twin-engine Ultraflight Lazair SS EC.

Gift of the Monterey Park City Council.

Manufacturer: American Aerolights Inc.

Date: 1982-1983

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Wingspan: 10.7 m (35 ft)
Length: 4.6 m (15 ft)
Height: 3.1 m (10 ft)
Weight: Empty, 141 kg (310 lb)
Gross, 299 kg (660 lb)
Engine: Cuyuna 430RR air-cooled two-cylinder inline, 35 horsepower

Physical Description:Side-by-side two-seat single-engined high-wing monoplane with conventional three-axis control. Aluminum-tube airframe propelled by a two-cycle, two-cylinder, in-line pusher engine mounted below and behind wing. Wing has swept back leading and trailing edges, and tapering chord; no tail and a canard wing with elevator for pitch control. Yaw control via wingtip rudders, roll control via one-third span spoilers. Control stick moves elevator and spoilers, foot pedals control tip rudders. Cable-braced wing with kingpost; double-surface wing covered with synthetic fabric. Tricycle undercarriage with bungee suspension on main gear, brake is fitted to nosewheel but no suspension.

Inventory number: A19850407000

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