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Posted: 1/26/2012 6:18:00 AM EDT
So, I had to sell my simulator cockpit to cover medical bills from when my son passed...so I decided to take my love for aviation to the next level, while being conscious of the fact that I can't afford a PPL or LSL.

Looked and looked and looked, and I think an Afford-A-Plane is the cheapest and safest way to get into UL for me. I will be building for scratch - I am estimating around 3-4k for the aircraft, and another 3 for the powerplant (Rotax 447). Due to having to buy things a little at a time because of funding restrictions, this will probably be a several year venture. I will be completely building this in CAD before I cut a single piece of 6061.

Starting the CAD model. Here is the main fuselage. The main fuselage is bolt together 2 x 2 x .125 Aluminum square tubing, using gussets and aircraft grade hardware throughout. The tail section is 1" x .063 round tube for the internal diagonals.

Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:19:22 AM EDT
Very cool! In!


Aviator
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:20:44 AM EDT
In for awesome.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:21:02 AM EDT
OST
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:22:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:22:59 AM EDT
Can it be weaponized?

Just kidding, kinda, cool project
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:24:08 AM EDT
Tag for 1/4 mile high club.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:24:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 6:24:51 AM EDT by JSteensen]
I guess I should post pictures of the desired end state.

Two major mods I plan on making is beefing up the LG for rough unimproved desert strip TO/LDGs, and to make the wings and elevator fold like a Kolb, as this will be stored and transported in a trailer.

Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:26:29 AM EDT
Looking forward to the build.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:26:55 AM EDT
This is an awesome project. I'd love to do the same.

OP if you need any help with design or FEA let me know. I'd be happy to help.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:27:31 AM EDT

That looks awesome. What do you estimate it would cost to build without the mods you're considering?
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:29:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 6:32:02 AM EDT by JSteensen]
Red: Right around the same.

Jinx: Definitely. I was thinking about tossing up a Wiki to track info with a SVN repository for the models.


One nice perk is you can completely build this thing in a 2 car garage.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:31:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JSteensen:

I guess I should post pictures of the desired end state.

...snip...

Oh lawdy....you gonna die.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:35:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SevenMaryThree:

Originally Posted By JSteensen:

I guess I should post pictures of the desired end state.

...snip...

Oh lawdy....you gonna die.

Everybody does!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:38:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 6:48:31 AM EDT by JINXR]
Originally Posted By JSteensen:

Originally Posted By SevenMaryThree:

Originally Posted By JSteensen:

I guess I should post pictures of the desired end state.

...snip...

Oh lawdy....you gonna die.

Everybody does!


Just keep a high altitude so that if it does happen, you won't have to live through it.


Your wiki idea sounds cool and I would very likely contribute to it.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:43:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 6:44:52 AM EDT by Aviator]
Damn you. Just ordered the plans

Aviator

ETA... Need to start pricing engines and BRS systems
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:43:47 AM EDT
What's the weight capacity and range, etc?
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:45:26 AM EDT
Sounds like a -lot- of fun. I have a lot of friends into flying, some even use the ultralights. If you haven't already, investigate a parachute system for engine failure. Doubtful that you will need it but it almost makes it completely safe.

Have fun buddy. Condolences on your son.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:45:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HUMONGO:
What's the weight capacity and range, etc?


And how many hardpoints?
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:45:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HUMONGO:
What's the weight capacity and range, etc?


Specs say 6' 240 lb pilot. Am sure that will vary depending on fuel load.

Aviator
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:47:30 AM EDT
Just FYI there are a number of ultralight clubs in the USA that routinely have meet ups where everyone flies in. I've never been to one but I hear they are awesome!!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:47:47 AM EDT
Here are a couple for sale if anyone is interested. The first link is a complete kit that he never finished.

http://fayar.craigslist.org/for/2755928098.html

http://fayar.craigslist.org/rvs/2755936255.html
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:55:36 AM EDT
Wait! No one told me there would be math involved!

Seriously,
Good luck on your build
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 6:56:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JINXR:
Here are a couple for sale if anyone is interested. The first link is a complete kit that he never finished.

http://fayar.craigslist.org/for/2755928098.html

http://fayar.craigslist.org/rvs/2755936255.html


Not sure I would be too keen on completing an airplane project someone else started. If they are not willing to finish it, I would wonder what kind of shortcuts they may have made during construction...

Aviator
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:04:16 AM EDT
This definitely has my interest!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:06:34 AM EDT
Let me know if you get it to come in within Part 103 empty weight limits. I've heard that's a challenge for most.

If you pull it off I'd be very interested in your methods. I would like to go this route, too.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:09:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By JINXR:
Here are a couple for sale if anyone is interested. The first link is a complete kit that he never finished.

http://fayar.craigslist.org/for/2755928098.html

http://fayar.craigslist.org/rvs/2755936255.html


Not sure I would be too keen on completing an airplane project someone else started. If they are not willing to finish it, I would wonder what kind of shortcuts they may have made during construction...

Aviator


What is it,something like 85% of home built aircraft started never make it into the air?


There is a 1948 Ercoupe in a garage down the street from me. I have longed and lusted over it and even have the benefit of an A&P for a neighbor with a long time FAA inspector buddy. Only problem is that given how much over budget and over time my car and motorcycle restorations have been...I know better than to undertake the 10 year,$40k Ercoupe project!


Great blog by another Arfcommer if you haven't happened upon it yet http://dreambuildfly.com/
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:14:33 AM EDT
You might be able to get Donald Trump to help finance the project if you can mount an MG on it and tell him you'll guard the Empire State Building to keep it free of oversized primates


(OST)
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:28:27 AM EDT
I think it would be incredible to build an airplane just to mess around in.
My neighbor has built three now and I've seen him go over the house on nice summer mornings in his last one.

I've toyed with the idea of building a DR1 from these guys:
http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

Realistically, it won't happen. Which is probably a good thing as I've already amassed several bowling balls to drop into a local lake from the air.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:31:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By straatconst:
I think it would be incredible to build an airplane just to mess around in.
My neighbor has built three now and I've seen him go over the house on nice summer mornings in his last one.

I've toyed with the idea of building a DR1 from these guys:
http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

Realistically, it won't happen. Which is probably a good thing as I've already amassed several bowling balls to drop into a local lake from the air.


Sounds like you're a man in need of a mortar!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 8:43:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
Originally Posted By straatconst:
I think it would be incredible to build an airplane just to mess around in.
My neighbor has built three now and I've seen him go over the house on nice summer mornings in his last one.

I've toyed with the idea of building a DR1 from these guys:
http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

Realistically, it won't happen. Which is probably a good thing as I've already amassed several bowling balls to drop into a local lake from the air.


Sounds like you're a man in need of a mortar!

Yep...mounted in an AIRPLANE!

Jeez, think of the possibilities.

Link Posted: 1/26/2012 8:49:43 AM EDT
OST
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 8:55:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 8:57:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CSM:

When firing ordinance from an aircraft, I always prefer that it drop below my aircraft and continue well clear.

Unless... You want the dubious honor of being the first pilot to shoot himself down with a mortar! vv


Sounds like history in the making!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:07:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CSM:
Originally Posted By straatconst:

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
Originally Posted By straatconst:
I think it would be incredible to build an airplane just to mess around in.
My neighbor has built three now and I've seen him go over the house on nice summer mornings in his last one.

I've toyed with the idea of building a DR1 from these guys:
http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

Realistically, it won't happen. Which is probably a good thing as I've already amassed several bowling balls to drop into a local lake from the air.


Sounds like you're a man in need of a mortar!

Yep...mounted in an AIRPLANE!

Jeez, think of the possibilities.



When firing ordinance from an aircraft, I always prefer that it drop below my aircraft and continue well clear.

Unless... You want the dubious honor of being the first pilot to shoot himself down with a mortar! vv


As I recall, that has been done (but with cannon fire), during a test flight of one of Grumman's fighters (F11F, I think?).
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:10:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By peekay:
Tag for 1/4 mile high club.

Weird. Ultralights are single person. So he would have to self-stroke. Should be able to bring a Fleshlight. Might be able to pull it off . And could easily get to mile high status.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:15:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JSteensen:
Two major mods I plan on making is beefing up the LG for rough unimproved desert strip TO/LDGs, and to make the wings and elevator fold like a Kolb, as this will be stored and transported in a trailer.


Remember, you are already going to be pushing the empty weight restriction as it is. That stuff should be easy enough to change out as it is all in the open and the entire aircraft will weigh less than the average Arfcom GD dweller. Just make sure you are legal to fly before you start doing things that may be unnecessary in the first place.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:17:31 AM EDT
Sweet. My dream has always been to put together a Long-EZ.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:20:06 AM EDT
I'm interested and have always wanted an ultralight

This will be fun to watch your build

Sorry for the loss of your son.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:21:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aviator:
Originally Posted By JINXR:
Here are a couple for sale if anyone is interested. The first link is a complete kit that he never finished.

http://fayar.craigslist.org/for/2755928098.html

http://fayar.craigslist.org/rvs/2755936255.html


Not sure I would be too keen on completing an airplane project someone else started. If they are not willing to finish it, I would wonder what kind of shortcuts they may have made during construction...

Aviator


It would require some careful inspection of each component that was previously worked on, along with doing an inventory to see what parts may be missing.

I knew of one "recently restored" Cessna that the owner was trying to sell, after he had hauled it home and spent a year or two working on it in his garage (including overhauling the engine), then hauled it back to the airport and put the wings back on. After having to pull the engine back apart to overhaul the cylinders (TWICE!) in the first 150 hours of flying it after his restoration, he decided to sell it and listed the work he had done on the flyer he posted at the airport.

I made a mental note of the tail number, so that I could avoid getting too close to it, if I saw it on the ramp.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:23:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:27:28 AM EDT
Rotax 447? Always have a place to land. Crappy glide ratio and low altitude means you don't have much time to find a suitable landing strip. Plus you will have a helmet fire in trying to figure wind direction+speed.

A Hexadyne P60 would be a better fit. Four-stroke boxer twin, geared. Fuel injected, uses regular pump gasoline. 98 pounds with electric starter.
Yes, more expensive but the 447 has a 300 hour TBO where the P60 has at least 4 times that.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:27:49 AM EDT
Looks like fun! I used to fly trikes (Northwing Maverick) and will most likely do a rebuild of mine. (Was destroyed in a PCS, but I still have my wing, Rotax 447 and BRS750) I shoved it to the recesses of my mind, but talking to a few guys/pilots brought it all back. As much as I really enjoy shooting, I love UL flying! It's worse than BRD. I need to get back up... I hope you enjoy the building process. If you can meet up with other UL pilots, its all the more fun. If you're not already a pilot, I'd encourage you to seek out training...

On another note, I'm sorry for the loss of your son.

Best wishes to you. Good luck on the build and safe flying. Please keep us posted.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:53:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Rotax 447? Always have a place to land. Crappy glide ratio and low altitude means you don't have much time to find a suitable landing strip. Plus you will have a helmet fire in trying to figure wind direction+speed.

A Hexadyne P60 would be a better fit. Four-stroke boxer twin, geared. Fuel injected, uses regular pump gasoline. 98 pounds with electric starter.
Yes, more expensive but the 447 has a 300 hour TBO where the P60 has at least 4 times that.


The half VW engines (VW crankcase cut down to make a two cylinder) have been around since the 1970's, weigh around 90 pounds, but the horsepower is only 35 to 40. Cheaper than the Hexadyne, and there is something to be said for simplicity in an aircraft engine.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 12:32:40 PM EDT
BUMP
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 12:33:15 PM EDT
cool stuff!
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 12:45:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JPN:
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Rotax 447? Always have a place to land. Crappy glide ratio and low altitude means you don't have much time to find a suitable landing strip. Plus you will have a helmet fire in trying to figure wind direction+speed.

A Hexadyne P60 would be a better fit. Four-stroke boxer twin, geared. Fuel injected, uses regular pump gasoline. 98 pounds with electric starter.
Yes, more expensive but the 447 has a 300 hour TBO where the P60 has at least 4 times that.


The half VW engines (VW crankcase cut down to make a two cylinder) have been around since the 1970's, weigh around 90 pounds, but the horsepower is only 35 to 40. Cheaper than the Hexadyne, and there is something to be said for simplicity in an aircraft engine.

Remember, running an engine at 100% of its output decreases TBO dramatically. This is the issue with 447 and the VW conversions. The VW designs also suffer from direct driven props, meaning plenty of noise at 3400 RPM. Designing a reduction drive is out of the question as the engine is already heavy.

One of the more interesting designs of the P60 is common crank with perfectly opposed cylinders. This is done by having a double connecting rod on one cylinder. This makes the crank lighter as the rocking moment is reduced.

Remote oil sump also helps with weight and trim issues.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 12:53:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 12:59:39 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 1:03:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 1:09:27 PM EDT
Tagged as all get out
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 1:17:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:

As for planned beef ups and modifications, just stop it. If you plan to fly under FAR 103, you'll have a hard enough time making weight without getting off the reservation.


Word.

Weight is your enemy. 254 pounds (empty) is the max, IIRC. That's not a lot.
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