Me and my friend love flying. After a trip to 2009's AirVenture, we discovered the world of Ultralight aircraft! After some research, we were quickly overwhelmed with some of the price tags stuck on these aircraft, and decided that we would build our own. This is coming to about our 6th month of research and designs, and we believe we have decided on one. Now you may be thinking "13 year olds, building and flying ultralights...?" And I've gotten the reaction from many people. The truth is, I am no stranger to aircraft. Me and my friend have done much research and practically know a plane inside and out! So, lets end this introduction and get on to the plane!
Our Ultralight Design
For our Ultralight design, we looked at some of the most successful light aircraft, such as the 162, 172, and 182. We decided on an overhead wing design. The wing span will be 23-27 feet, and the chord length will be 4-5 feet. Instead of cutting space for the ailerons inside the wings, we are going to attach them straight to the end, as well as the flaps, to increase the chord length without adding sufficent weight (They will be flat of course). We would also be able to apply droop to the ailerons and flaps. The length of the aircraft will be 15-20 feet. The cockpit will be under the wing, and will be open. Behind the wing will be the Fuel tank, and a storage area big enough to hold a small 1-2 person tent, a sleeping bag, and some food and water (Our goal is to fly this up to Airventure after completion). We would also be able to add fabric doors that we could zip up to protect the cockpit from rain on the ground or keep out harsh cold wind in chilly weather. In the nose of the aircraft would be the engine, preferrably a 2-Cylinder engine, but a 1-Cylinder engine would work just fine. the Vertical and Horizontal Stabalizors would be fairly large, and same with the control surfaces of the whole aircraft. For framework we were planning on using relitivly small and light weight Aluminum tubing, and for the skin uisng Decron fabric. To keep the aircraft as light as possible, we would make things like the seat Cusions, and other unneeded items easily removable, so they dont count agents weight on our airplane. Our control cables will be as simple as possible, using simple cable methods to control the aircraft. It will be a tail dragger, with the rear wheel attached to the rudder (again, for simplicity) and the main landing gear just below and infront of the cockpit. Instruments would also be very simple, using just a GPS for direction and altitude, and a pitch indicator and possibly an airspeed indicator (very simple things sense theres no point in putting too much stuff in there concitering ultralights can only fly by VFR rules). The cockpit would also be conciterably roomy, and comfortable to an extent.
Thats pretty much our design. Although we are still doing more research and profecting our design, this is what it has come to. We have found an airfield just outside of Madison that is often used by Ultralights, and I am working with a few pilots from Civil Air Patrol to help iron out some of the bumps. Please FEEL FREE TO LEAVE QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, AND SUGGESTIONS! It would be greatly appreciated, but dont criticize us, we're not stupid, and we know what we're doing.