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Ultra Light Planes On Airliners.net  
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

Hi,

after careful consideration and communication with a moderator of this site, I have decided to post my thread about Ultra Light Aircraft here in the Tech / Ops section.
Technically not entirely correct, bear with me; but the aviation hobby forum is mainly on SIM-ming and aircraft models etc. Nothing wrong with that of course, but I´d like to get in touch with some hands on "Ultra Lighters" or general aviation experts and I fancied my chances of doing so here in Tech / Ops.

Airliners.net don´t seem to have a lot of info on Ultra Lights, probably because most of you are professionals and consider this sport child´s play.
And you have my complete sympathy..........if I may add.
However for the likes such as myself, this is the only way of making my way a bit closer to the cockpit other than booking a business class seat.
I imagine there must be more people like me out there.........

I´ve included a few pics of my recently acquired plane, for illustrative purposes:

Big version: Width: 3264 Height: 2176 File size: 1657kb
Genesis

1st question: will I get into trouble with that particular design?
I presume there´s a copyright law on plane liveries.
Big version: Width: 3264 Height: 2176 File size: 1584kb
La ciudad de la Haya

Any technical comments on the plane at all?
Anything I can improve perhaps, looking at it from a distance?
The engine is a small Rotax, 85 horse power.
I´m thinking about upgrading to 115 horse power in the future.
Would that be a good idea?

There are mountains up to 4000m high not far from the area where I live, but I reckon I need the bigger engine to venture that high, correct??
I navigate with a Garmin 296 by the way.
Big version: Width: 3264 Height: 2176 File size: 1508kb
Turning on to runway..........

Please note the reversed winglets (pointing down), I´ve been told that this is pure decoration on planes like this though.........
Are there people on here that are active with Ultra Lights within Latin America perhaps?

Any feedback would be welcome and perhaps we could discuss Ultra Lights in more detail in another forum if people feel like doing so..........

Cheers,

Ecuadorian MD11.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5256 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
1st question: will I get into trouble with that particular design?

I don't see why you would, it's not like you're a major airline operating with their same branding.

Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
Any technical comments on the plane at all?

Looks good to me. Maybe you could add some wheelpants to streamline things a bit more.

Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
I´m thinking about upgrading to 115 horse power in the future.
Would that be a good idea?

There are mountains up to 4000m high not far from the area where I live, but I reckon I need the bigger engine to venture that high, correct??

Sure, but I'd stay away from the mountains in such a small plane. Even larger planes get tossed around plenty when caught in mountain wave turbulence or rotor clouds. I learned to fly in pretty mountainous terrain and it does get interesting sometimes.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

I am a PPL with all my loggable time in Cessna's but I do like ultralights. I flew in a gyrocopter when I was 19 and several years later talked my way onto a flight in an amphib ultralight and loved it. I've also flown in a HyperBype homebuilt biplane and very recently a Glasair3. If it flies, I love it.

That being said I would only fly on nearly windless days in an ultralight, and I would stay away from mountains in one. I've had some crazy wind experiences in the 1,600lb 152 and 2,600lb 172 and I wouldn't want to have been in anything nearly as light as what you're flying in those conditions. And at least here in Florida those conditions can come up quite quick and out of nowhere.

Nice plane though and good luck and thanks for sharing.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineGLEN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 224 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5180 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 1):
Sure, but I'd stay away from the mountains in such a small plane.



Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 2):
fly on nearly windless days in an ultralight, and I would stay away from mountains in one

 checkmark 
This would be my biggest concerns as well. Especially the combination of wind and mountains is a no go for such a plane. I have several hundred landings in the mountains and even with a 180hp Super Cub we cancel our flights. Wind in the mountains means up- and downdrafts which easily outreach the climb-performance of any piston-powered plane. Even an upgrade to 115 hp on your plane would not help. As the plane isn't too fast you had still trouble escaping a strong downdraft.
An engine upgrade makes only sense if you will operate often in hot and/or high conditions with short, unpaved runways. Even then take-off performance should not be a problem with such a light plane and 85hp - 115 would simply increase the margins.

This brings me to the third point:

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 1):
Maybe you could add some wheelpants to streamline things a bit more

Looking at your photos you seem to operate the plane on dirt-strips - at least from time to time.
Therefore I would refrain from wheelpants as these get easily damaged. On a slow plane the drag reduction is negligible and it would be only a optical issue.



"The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view." - Albert Einstein
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5158 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
I imagine there must be more people like me out there.........

Lots. I've only ever flown in flex wing microlights and it was great fun. One fine day, when the money pot is a bit fuller.....

Looking at the reg HC-U-0009, are you the 9th ULM in Ecuador?? Nice looking plane.

Not sure what you can improve on the aircraft. The design is at least 11 years old so I'd imagine that it's been optimised pretty well. The only difference I can see over an earlier version of the design (from a 1998 home build aircraft book) is more bracing on the tail boom and I presume that's to increase rigidity, perhaps for tail strikes.



Looking at the specs for the various engine options

http://www.slipstream.bz/slipstream_008.htm

the bigger engine is likely to give you an extra 4000ft service ceiling (and I think there's a typo... 24000ft does seem a bit high) over what the plane has already and 200fpm extra climb. I'd echo earlier remarks that microlights are definitely fair weather aircraft and given how easily people can be caught on the ground by weather changes in the hills I wouldn't like to be "up there" when it does bad especially if there may be few places to land safely. I did have more than a few lessons cancelled (at sea level where there were lots of flat fields) because it was deemed too windy.

As far as the droop wing tips go, there is evidence that they improve stability and aileron effectiveness and reduce the stall speed marginally, but this aircraft may be too slow to see any real difference.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5113 times:

Wow,

that´s a lot more reactions than I was hoping for to be honest!
Cheers very much, to all!!
I really appreciate the feedback...........

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 4):

Looking at the reg HC-U-0009, are you the 9th ULM in Ecuador??

Yep, the plane is indeed. A few planes in our club our "single" digits actually!
It only became mine a few months ago though.........I did not have the capability (read "$$$") to import a brand spanking kit from Colombia or the States.
It adds up if you include transportation, labour and the notorious corrupt customs in Latin America. ($$$ yet again). This one was already registered obviously so with the buyer / vendor´s contract you simply put the plane in your name and Bob´s your uncle.
The airframe is over 10 years old, but the engine came from another plane and has low hours on. I think it´s a perfect bird to learn how to fly.

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 4):
24000ft does seem a bit high

Even if it wasn´t a typo..........I´m not sure if I´d be comfortable doing that.
"Altitude is your friend" is what they say, but 24000ft is perhaps pushing it a bit!

Quoting GLEN (Reply 3):
Therefore I would refrain from wheelpants as these get easily damaged.

Good thinking, I mean they look good etc but I think you hit the reason why the plane don´t have ´m anymore right on the head!!

Quoting GLEN (Reply 3):

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 1):
Sure, but I'd stay away from the mountains in such a small plane.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 2):
fly on nearly windless days in an ultralight, and I would stay away from mountains in one

This would be my biggest concerns as well.

Cheers guys, my instructor said something pretty similar with words like "later, much later: first learn to walk, before you run etc".
He´s been flying these for over 15 years and is obviously not to keen on the mountains either! You know what they say: "there´s many bold pilots, but very few old bold pilots".

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 4):
I did have more than a few lessons cancelled (at sea level where there were lots of flat fields) because it was deemed too windy.

Yep, we´re at sea level too and we try to fly early in the morning to avoid the wind.

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 4):
As far as the droop wing tips go, there is evidence that they improve stability and aileron effectiveness and reduce the stall speed marginally, but this aircraft may be too slow to see any real difference.

Firmative, that´s what I thought as well.

Big version: Width: 2342 Height: 2157 File size: 639kb
Controls


All in all it´s a nice plane, with luggage space in the back (you have more luggage space than luggage weight to play with actually), I like the centre throttle lever (outlined in yellow) and the fact that the prop don´t block your view (helicopter view) but the only downside of this particular design is when the plane is empty, its basic weight defaults to the rear and it lifts up its nose wheel.
Looks horrible and is uncomfortable while getting in........you smash the nose wheel down everytime. Any ideas on that?
Big version: Width: 3264 Height: 2176 File size: 721kb
Stabilizer

The red arrow points to a tiny little stabilizer that I can set electrically while flying on the same altitude for a prolonged time. That is a minor upgrade I had done.
Makes the steering slightly easier.

Anymore general feedback / pics?
Would love get in touch with more enthusiasts.

Cheers,

Ecuadorian MD11.


User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5108 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 5):
Looks horrible and is uncomfortable while getting in........you smash the nose wheel down everytime. Any ideas on that?

Install a cement sack when you leave the plane, that should keep the nose down Big grin

Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 5):
The red arrow points to a tiny little stabilizer that I can set electrically while flying on the same altitude for a prolonged time. That is a minor upgrade I had done.
Makes the steering slightly easier.

In other words, it's a trim tab  Smile


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5102 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 5):
Looks horrible and is uncomfortable while getting in........you smash the nose wheel down everytime. Any ideas on that?

Not a lot you can do with such a light weight aircraft. Other than, perhaps, have someone lift the tail to get the nose wheel on the ground, or remove a ballast load after you get in,



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5068 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 6):
Install a cement sack when you leave the plane, that should keep the nose down

I´ll discuss this with my flight instructor and I´ll let you know what the outcome is.
Guess I´ll be "sacked" from the course........

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 6):

In other words, it's a trim tab

I can´t say that I was familiar with that phrase, so thanks!!

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 7):
Not a lot you can do with such a light weight aircraft. Other than, perhaps, have someone lift the tail to get the nose wheel on the ground, or remove a ballast load after you get in,

I was thinking about installing some kind OF foldable stand at the tail.
The 2nd pilot retrieves the stand (folds it upwards) before boarding and vice versa, the 1st person out should deploy this stand before the 2nd person gets off. Does that makes sense?

Ecuadorian MD11.


User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2287 posts, RR: 38
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5064 times:

Ecuadorian,
Id recommend the "Private PIlot Manual" by Jeppesen for some reading. It will help your english / aviation language skills greatly!

Beautiful aircraft! I have a Piper J3 and its about the same size / weight. I dont have an issue unless winds pick up above 10kts, then I wouldnt recommend a new pilot flying in such conditions in such a light aircraft. Rotax makes a good engine and I think 85HP should suit you fine. Do you have a verticle speed indicator? If so what does it indicate climbing at gross weight? I know on my cub I get roughly 100-200FPM at gross on a hot day here in Texas and 3-400FPM (Feet per Minute) on a cool day/

Enjoy your airplane. She looks like fun!

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6015 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5035 times:



Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 2):
That being said I ... would stay away from mountains in one.

The very place that sailplane pilots tend to flock. Big grin



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5023 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 8):
I was thinking about installing some kind OF foldable stand at the tail.
The 2nd pilot retrieves the stand (folds it upwards) before boarding and vice versa, the 1st person out should deploy this stand before the 2nd person gets off. Does that makes sense?

That was my thought when reading your dilemna and the reason I didn't post it is because of the potential hazard. I was thinking of maybe one attatched to the frame that you could put down like a kickstand, but there is always the possibility of attempting to take off with it in the down position (rushed preflight, missed item, etc.) which could cause a serious problem, or of it inadvertently becoming 'unstowed' or lowered while in flight, which would cause a problem on landing. If you just prop one up I guess that would alleviate that problem though.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4978 times:



Quoting ATCT (Reply 9):
Ecuadorian,
Id recommend the "Private PIlot Manual" by Jeppesen for some reading. It will help your english / aviation language skills greatly!

I read up on it, and it turns out you weren't the only one that liked that book.
So, I ended up ordering it on-line!
Thanks!

Quoting ATCT (Reply 9):
Beautiful aircraft! I have a Piper J3 and its about the same size / weight.

Pics?

Quoting ATCT (Reply 9):
Do you have a verticle speed indicator? If so what does it indicate climbing at gross weight?

I do, but I can't fill you in on the details just yet, I'm afraid.
The simple reason for that is that I haven't been flying a lot due to my job.
I spend more than half the year out of the country and I since I bought it only a few months ago, had it done up etc etc; you can imagine that there are dissapointingly few hours in my logbook still.
I'm writing you from abroad (for instance), but I hope to get some hours in by September and then we can talk in more detail.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 11):
but there is always the possibility of attempting to take off with it in the down position (rushed preflight, missed item, etc.) which could cause a serious problem, or of it inadvertently becoming 'unstowed' or lowered while in flight, which would cause a problem on landing. If you just prop one up I guess that would alleviate that problem though.

Fair point..........it would have to be designed with a shearing pin (weak link) which would fail if you ever happen to strike the tail like that. I'd prefer that silly stand to shear off than to damage the entire tail!

But I do believe in check lists and thorough preparations etc.
Taking your plane is not like taking your car out for a spin, you have to get your brain in gear before even considering taking it up. I imagine I'd check and double check things like fuel level, engine / instruments and weather thrice before setting off.

One of our club members did not secure the "passenger door" properly before a solo flight the other day.
The door was ajar and ended up slamming the whole door pane area to pieces before he was able to land!

I have been taught that birds and electricity cables are our main enemies though............easy to miss and possibly lethal.

Ecuadorian MD11.


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4972 times:

All the photos I've seen of the plane show it with the nosewheel on the ground. Have you got the c.g. in the right place?


wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4953 times:



Quoting Oly720man (Reply 13):
All the photos I've seen of the plane show it with the nosewheel on the ground. Have you got the c.g. in the right place?

Very true, and all the pictures you've seen was with somebody inside!
I did that on purpose as I hate it when the nose gear's up like that.

But to illustrate my point, please see picture below which was taken a while back.
No doors, no name just yet.........it was just after her "D-check" if you like!!
Big version: Width: 3264 Height: 2176 File size: 1582kb
May 2009


Cheers,

Ecuadorian MD11.


User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2287 posts, RR: 38
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4941 times:

Md11,
Here she is by request!


Lots of pics captured of me at a Fly-in by a photo company (me and my wife)
http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=4241866&g=0WFE0006CJ



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6015 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4927 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 14):
Quoting Oly720man (Reply 13):
All the photos I've seen of the plane show it with the nosewheel on the ground. Have you got the c.g. in the right place?

Very true, and all the pictures you've seen was with somebody inside!
I did that on purpose as I hate it when the nose gear's up like that.

They are intentionally supposed to be that way. When a pilot(s) are in the craft, and as long as that pilot(s) are less than the max weight allowed, then the aircraft is in balance. The same is true for sailplanes. In fact, many sailplanes actually have a water bladder aft of the CoG to allow for pilots of various weight.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4840 times:



Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Reply 14):

I did wonder if the aircraft were ballasted for photographic reasons. It does look unnatural on its tail.... Is it happy on a windy day sat like that? I suppose it's not a lot different from a taildragger, just a shorter distance from main wheels to tail strut.

Are there any warnings about loading on the curved tail booms? Could you put a padded block under them to lift the aircraft onto it's nose with maybe 5cm still to go so that when you sat in the aircraft the nose would go down that bit further and the tail booms would rise clear of the block and you could then just pull it out of the way? I know the aircraft may sink a bit with load, but juggling the heights may get the nose wheel a lot closer to the ground. The problem with any method of raising the aircraft/lowering the nose is that the aircraft will settle when someone's in it so you don't want your support to then be stuck under the aircraft and possibly overload part of the structure. And this need only be a 5 minute sort of activity for when you're getting in the aircraft and the aircraft can be left in its default position when not in use so there's no risk of damage due to external influences like wind bouncing the plane or someone walking into it by accident.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

Nice plane. Ultralights are certainly the way forward for private flying, as the spam cans are frankly getting too expensive. However, at least in my neck of the woods, the training is insufficient which shows in the accident statistics for the ultralights. The ultralights have better performance than many spam cans and it seems to catch some unwary fliers off-guard.

Now, it's peculiar how you can log PPL hours droning around in an aircraft with less performance and complexity than many ULs/TMGs in which you cannot log hours...

What's the comfortable crosswind limit for that one?

Oh, and if you allow me to nitpick:

Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
I navigate with a Garmin 296 by the way.

Shouldn't that be "I navigate using a map and compass with a Garmin 296 for support"?  Wink



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6015 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4830 times:



Quoting FredT (Reply 18):
Quoting EcuadorianMD11 (Thread starter):
I navigate with a Garmin 296 by the way.

Shouldn't that be "I navigate using a map and compass with a Garmin 296 for support"?

I was gonna point out that pilotage seems dead now, and frankly, that's just sad how many people can't go anywhere without a GPS.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4824 times:



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 19):
I was gonna point out that pilotage seems dead now, and frankly, that's just sad how many people can't go anywhere without a GPS.

One of the tales of woe (or apocryphal warnings) my microlight instructor had many moons ago was of the pair of microlights flying somewhere and microlight #2 was using the GPS and following microlight #1. For reasons unknown (maybe #2 admiring the scenery) they got separated and #2 got a flat battery in the GPS.... and completely lost having not been tracking the route.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4753 times:



Quoting ATCT (Reply 15):
Here she is by request!

Congrats to you.........cool pics!

Quoting FredT (Reply 18):
Oh, and if you allow me to nitpick:

You are welcome, after all I did say all feedback would be appreciated.

Quoting FredT (Reply 18):
Shouldn't that be "I navigate using a map and compass with a Garmin 296 for support"

You are, of course, correct; however at this stage I'm more concerned with learning the flight controls etc than navigating as such......and we never go far.
But yes, I will be using a Garmin 296 to back up my paper chart and compass.

Quoting FredT (Reply 18):
the training is insufficient which shows in the accident statistics for the ultralights.

Where I´m at, "only" 2 people got killed in the last 20 years and the ultra lights manage to stay out of trouble and therefore out of the news. A low profile we intend to keep..........

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 16):
They are intentionally supposed to be that way

Oh, definitely; I realize that.
I just think that a small stand on the tail would improve things on both the cosmetic and the comfortable boarding side, without affecting the balance of the plane as such.

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 17):
The problem with any method of raising the aircraft/lowering the nose is that the aircraft will settle when someone's in it so you don't want your support to then be stuck under the aircraft and possibly overload part of the structure.

Therefore I´m thinking about putting something under the tail, so when somebody gets in this automatically takes the weight off the tail and off the stand, making it easy to fold up.
The other way round, upon arrival, when 1 pilot gets out he folds the stand out so the plane will hardly move by the time the 2nd pilot decides to jump out.

Ecuadorian MD11.


User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4710 times:



Quoting FredT (Reply 18):
Ultralights are certainly the way forward for private flying, as the spam cans are frankly getting too expensive.

Spam cans? Are you referring to Light Sport aircraft?



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4702 times:



Quoting Brons2 (Reply 22):
Spam cans? Are you referring to Light Sport aircraft?

Spam cans are your Cessnas, Pipers etc.



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4622 times:



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 16):
In fact, many sailplanes actually have a water bladder aft of the CoG to allow for pilots of various weight.

Not quite true. Whilst the ballast tanks can be used to balance a heavier pilot, sofar as I can see this is frowned upon. Valves can leak, or the handle can be nocked in the cockpit without the pilot noticing (has happened quite often), and all of a sudden you have an aircraft out of balance and out of trim. The primary function of the ballast in the tail boom is to alter the CofG to be sure, but relatively small ammounts to trim for higher speeds rather, but remain in safe balance when the water is jetisoned (before landing). Ballast in the wings is to increase the wing loading to optimise cruise performance, and is also jetisoned before landing.

I know of (but do not know persoally) one glider pilot who flies without parachute as this allows him to be inside the glider's weight limitations.


25 Goldenshield : In no way would I want a pilot to be heavier than allowed in the seat, that's for sure, and it's not what I meant. I should've expanded a bit more to
26 Post contains links EcuadorianMD11 : Somewhere in the Civil Aviation forum I came across this electric 2-seater by Yuneec in China: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwyyQ1BckK0 Would it qua
27 PlunaCRJ : Congratulations! She is a very pretty airplane, and you sound very excited about it. When can we expect to see pictures of her in flight (from the gro
28 Post contains links Oly720man : http://www.slipstream.bz/slipstream_007.htm About $25k according to this breakdown. The kits aren't complicated as long as you have the fight equipme
29 TripleDelta : Maybe even not. The 914 is turbocharged in most (all?) instances and 24,000 ft is about right for some other aircraft that have that engine. The Stem
30 EcuadorianMD11 : Why, thank you!! Your comment about the pictures in flight is something that has been on my mind as well. The problem is that I work abroad but as so
31 TripleDelta : One of the reasons you could upgrade to the bigger engine was mentioned by GLEN: However, you also have to factor in the increased cost of maintenanc
32 DiamondFlyer : The additional horsepower of a Rotax 914 (which is limited to 5 minutes) versus a Rotax 912 isn't going to make the plane much faster, maybe a couple
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