Display aircraft built: 1980
Country of origin: USA
Designer/engineer: Bill Adaska
No. produced: Over 2,000
Crew/passengers: 1 pilot
Top speed: 64 kph
Stalling speed: 32 kph
Ceiling: 4,000 m
Span: 9.4 m
Power plant: Chaparral snow scooter engine, 32 hp, 338cc 2cyl 2-stroke air-cooled
Length 5.38 m
Height: 3.28 m
Range: 150 km
Rally 2B is a microlight aircraft of the lightest and simplest kind, developed by Bill Adaska in 1977 as a kit for amateurs. It was later developed and sold in several variants. The first microlights, including Rally 2B, came to Norway in the early 1980s.
Microlights could take off from any flat field. They were economical and easy to fly, so they represented a new era in sporting aviation in this country. Exhilaration, the feeling of freedom and the chance to see one’s home area from the air meant living the dream for the first microlight pilots in Norway.
Since the 1980s, microlights have developed rapidly, with high-technology materials and advanced equipment. There are many different types, used for both recreation and longer trips. The most advanced microlights are easily confused with normal light aircraft.
The museum’s aircraft
The museum’s Rally is Norway’s first microlight with conventional controls and control surfaces in all three axes - so the aircraft can be flown with stick and pedals like a normal aircraft. It was manufactured in 1980 and was imported by Even Birkeland in 1984.
It is a good example of an early microlight. With its simple construction it is often compared to a motorised hang glider with wheels. It is constructed of aluminium struts and wires, fabric, a snow scooter engine, a couple of wheels and a plastic dining chair.
When the aircraft was imported in 1984, there were no regulations for microlights in Norway. Birkeland belonged to a small group with a landing strip at Kløfta, who were working to put the rules in place. Because he had a glider pilot’s licence, had flown some hours on powered aircraft and had previously flown this type of machine abroad, the aviation authorities gave him dispensation to fly.
The machine flew for a few years and was then transferred to the Norwegian Technical Museum. It was stored there for a while and was then lent to a restaurant on Aker Brygge, before being sent back to Birkeland. Even Birkeland donated the aircraft to the Norwegian Aviation Museum in 2016.
The Museum’s Rally 2B is in original condition, except for the propeller, the stick and some wires.
Reminds us of aircraft from the early days of aviation
The aircraft characteristics and flying experience are also directly comparable.