I have recently become fascinated with ultralight aircraft and now I want to build one of my very own. I have built a 1.5:1 scale cg-4a stick and rag glider before that still flies today [a WWII cg pilot bought it from me one day when I was out flying! it was pretty cool to actually meet one of the original pilots]
Anyways this isn't my first aircraft, it is however my first ultralight so I have a few questions about materials:
First What size and thickness of tubes should I use for the craft? I would like to use 6061-T6 aluminum tubing because a supplier near me carries it pretty affoardably. plus I'm pretty sure its the metal used in the affoardaplane designs, so I trust it for aircraft use.
The aircraft will have around a 30' wingspan with a 4' chord including flaps and slats, weigh less than 254 lbs empty [in order to classify as an ultralight] but be able to carry 550 lbs of pilot+cargo+fuel+chute+etc... I weigh 200lbs suited up, a full tank of fuel weighs 40lbs, the chute weighs another 50 mounted, I would like to carry an additional 40 lbs of fuel as cargo to meet the ultralight limitation while still giving more usable range] so I can fly further, fuel up, then fly back if I choose. 2 gallons of fresh water adds 15lbs, guns and ammunition [for hunting] are probably 30lbs bringing me to 425lbs fully loaded
I would LOVE to put floats on so that I could land on the lake and fish, then dock and hunt. So I would add the weight of whatever I hunt [I would dress and pack it to save on weight] and the weight of the floats themselves [I dont actually know how much floats weigh but I'm pretty handy with fiberglass and foam so I could just fabricate them and they shouldn't weigh terribly much but to be on the safe side it would probably be around 550lbs total
Is this even possible? Am I dreaming too much with how much I could carry?
second would be a different scenario where I wouldn't add the floats but instead add a power transfer system to transfer power from the prop to the wheels so that I could fold up the wings and drive off the landing strip to my destination. Has anyone heard of such a system? would it be possible to replace the last gear in a motorcycle transmission to a 3:1 ratio so that I could spin the prop, but keep the first through fifth gears intact [1986, honda cmx 450] so that I could drive with them and fly with the last?
I know this sounds crazy but I think its possible, using a chain between the engine and the propeller with a movable second sprocket that could be swung into contact with the chain and locked in place to be started back up and driven away.
if you have a better Idea or can explain why this will not work please tell me, I don't want to build the craft, then get out to the runway and not be able to takeoff because of some problem somewhere that I didn't think of. So hit me with everything you've got to help design a better aircraft.
I am working on getting a 3d rendering up so I can better show you but my cad program is being buggy so I am working on getting it fixed for now.