10/23 Raptor Video

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Toobuilder

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Suggest all you want, but to step in forcefully is suggesting we abandon our current E-AB freedoms and start down a path of Draconian measure. None of us want that.
Exactly. We Americans have the freedom to succeed AND fail, and as calous as it sounds, we need to defend that right - even if it kills us.

We do not need the folks at the FSDO "responsible" to determine if a given airrplane is engineered correctly - that is up to the builder. Trying new things, contrary to standard practice has risks, but that is how breakthroughs are made. Sure, the PSRU design shown here is an obvious fail on many levels, but who would have believed 50 years ago that styrofoam was a major building material? If we had to ask the FSDO for an opinion of engineering sufficiency, would we have the Varieze today? Nope.

I say let us experiment - those who use the "experimental" label as a crutch will fail, while those of us who look to further our knowledge and the state of the art will do just that. It's worth the risk.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I am all for experimenting. Even the kind that involves trial and error over traditional engineering.

However, the goal of this project is to reproduce and sell to the public as many copies as possible. That's where experimenting has to morph into tested and proven with as few unknowns as possible. Anytime people can be hurt or worse, they should be reasonably assured the product they are getting is safe.
 

Mad MAC

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Suggest all you want, but to step in forcefully is suggesting we abandon our current E-AB freedoms and start down a path of Draconian measure. None of us want that.
Oh look the Bogeyman! Can I sell you some Gremlin repellent spray, only $100 a can.

The failure to prevent this smoking hole in the ground will undoubtedly be used as evidence to reduce the freedoms of homebuilding, just maybe not in the USA. It looks like pretty good evidence that the aviation community can not really self regulate to a regulator that wants it.
 

BBerson

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There are no regulation violations here. Even if the propulsion system fails it isn't a violation.
In fact, all pilots should be prepared for a propulsor failure at any time. He is experimenting over an unpopulated area with plenty of fields and lakes. The limitations specify flight over water or unpopulated areas.
 

Pops

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Exactly. We Americans have the freedom to succeed AND fail, and as calous as it sounds, we need to defend that right - even if it kills us.

We do not need the folks at the FSDO "responsible" to determine if a given airrplane is engineered correctly - that is up to the builder. Trying new things, contrary to standard practice has risks, but that is how breakthroughs are made. Sure, the PSRU design shown here is an obvious fail on many levels, but who would have believed 50 years ago that styrofoam was a major building material? If we had to ask the FSDO for an opinion of engineering sufficiency, would we have the Varieze today? Nope.

I say let us experiment - those who use the "experimental" label as a crutch will fail, while those of us who look to further our knowledge and the state of the art will do just that. It's worth the risk.
When the FSDO inspector looked at the JMR on July 7th, I ask if he wanted to see all the information on the design and the stress analysis on each part. He said , No .
 

Victor Bravo

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Let's consider what Mad MAC said again for a minute. If the entire GA world stands by and watches the Raptor poke a hole in the Earth, when it was an obvious train wreck, how long do you suppose it would be before someone uses that against aviation, or homebuilding? How long before someone looking to make his bones in the FAA comes up with the idea to "prevent future tragedies like this" with a whole volume full of new regulations, since we obviously refused to police ourselves?

The point is that you can make an equally valid case either way. You can defend his right to do stupid things away from populated areas, or you can just as rightly defend GA for upholding common sense and safety like we are supposed to do.

The difference is that if we stand by and exercise our clear right to do nothing, we look like we don't care about safety or needless loss of life. If we all occupy the airport and block the runway with signs saying "Canard Lives Matter", we look like we are responsible people and there may not be a need to print a whole new list of rules..
 

rv6ejguy

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I'm not sure what else we can do to convince Peter to change his course and get some experienced help to make the design and test program as safe as possible. He's chosen to take on the test flight task himself, just as he chose to take on the design of Raptor himself- in both areas with no previous experience. His hubris and inexperience has been clearly demonstrated numerous times. If it doesn't end badly, I'd be surprised but relieved at least. Clearly to most experienced folks here, he's been extremely lucky so far- ECU shutdowns, aileron flutter, severe shimmy, damaged landing gear, PSRU issues etc. have mostly happened on the ground. Guesses to the correct C of G position initially turned out to be just safe enough to make Raptor controllable. There are simply too many uneducated guesses here and that will almost certainly come back to bite this design and designer.

Aviation has a tendency to be unforgiving and he's used up most of his 9 lives now but I don't see a change in attitude coming any time soon unfortunately. We've seen others do similar things in the past with predictable results. I hope that is not Peter and Raptor but this project is heading down a familiar path...
 

BBerson

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He doesn't announce flight time and there are no spectators or cameras, nothing like Mad MAC* the stunt man. I don't recall any uproar for experimental bans after Sanjay's crash which was on video. Or Elliott's video, or that Valkyrie crash or......

edit: Mad Mike Hughes
 
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Vigilant1

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Remember Mad Mike, who wanted to go up in a steam rocket? Another idea with too little engineering, and it ended badly. Were we all supposed to go out to the desert to stop him? And my friends that marry the wrong people--I could prevent a lot of heartache there!
I hope Peter accepts the wise counsel of those he's hired and who are trying to help his project succeed. That would be best for everyone. But, unless I'm egging him on (or giving him money) to encourage his present course, I don't think I'm responsible for what he does. And I'm glad we live in a place where people can still make their own decisions.
 

Toobuilder

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Its not like the GA community is "doing nothing" - quite the contrary. But asking the Government to step in is asking for plenty of trouble. And this is even assuming "they" have the authority, juristiction and engineering expertise to somehow put a stop to the nonsense. Frankly, I dont think they have much to go on to shut him down. Because it is a VERY small leap to say that Raptor is somehow more dangerous than a kite like ultralight or even an RV. Look at this from the perspective of John Q. Public - we're ALL nuts!
 

BBerson

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My understanding is the FAA representative reviewed the aircraft and released it for experimental flights to find flaws in 40 hours of flight. Then they will review the results and release it to phase two with appropriate limitations. Is that how it works?
 

Marc Zeitlin

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My understanding is the FAA representative reviewed the aircraft and released it for experimental flights to find flaws in 40 hours of flight. Then they will review the results and release it to phase two with appropriate limitations. Is that how it works?
That's partly how it works for E-AB aircraft, but without a "review". However, Raptor is E-R&D. The first year's OL's were (as I've pointed out before) a bastardization of normal E-R&D OL's and E-AB OL's, with a 50 hour phase I period that had no geographic limits, strangely.

But since Raptor was given a new AC and OL's in August/September (E-R&D AC's only are good for 12 months to the day that they're written, if they're written per Order 8130.2J), and as far as we know, no-one other than PM has seen them (at least none of US have seen them), we don't know what they say with respect to IF there's a Phase I or how long the Phase I is (which there shouldn't be in E-R&D, but see my previous comments about the previous OL's).

In any case, in E-AB OL's there's no secondary "inspection" or "review" of Phase I - the builder merely signs off the logbook with a statement (per the OL's) that the plane has been tested and meets the requirements of 91.319, and that it's safe to fly within the tested envelope, and then it's free to fly in Phase II per the OL's issued.

In E-R&D, none of that Phase I/Phase II business is supposed to exist - there's supposed to be a testing plan, an approved geographic test area, and a time period of one year. But we have no clue what the AC or OL's say (or don't say), in this case. In no case, though, is there <supposed to be> a secondary review of the aircraft.

This whole thing's FAA approval has been very strange...
 

BBerson

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Maybe he applied for E-Exhibition the second time.
Anyway, reading 91.319 it appears the experimental certificate is an authorization to operate an aircraft that may have "hazardous operating characteristics or design features", as long as it stays in the assigned area.
 
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Andy_RR

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I'm not sure what else we can do to convince Peter to change his course and get some experienced help to make the design and test program as safe as possible...
Someone waving a big cheque in his face with conditions attached may do it. I'd suggest he's mainly doing what he's doing because he can't afford to do anything better or at least won't attempt to justify spending more development money to his investors.

BTW, with the aircraft under autopilot there still appears to be a roll oscillation evident. I suspect there is something floppy in the wingy things that's causing it - cable tension? pulley mounting stiffness? stiction? assymetrical wing lay-up? warped surfaces? Who knows and noone with clout seems interested in investigating.
 

malte

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Its not like the GA community is "doing nothing" - quite the contrary. But asking the Government to step in is asking for plenty of trouble.
Not quite. If you extend the view to the complete GA, Governments have stepped in a long long time ago. This is why we have certification for aircraft dedicated to be sold as aircraft (in contrast of being sold as kits or plans) to the general public and if you want to do certain things with it (commercially transport passengers for example). The Raptor is actually a good advocat for certification in these cases.

In Germany, for what it's worth, he would never fly. Here we do have a system of checks of builder and project and the LBA is involved in building experimentals. Also, the persons checking the projects are knowledgeable engineers. So we have comparatively few experimentals around. ULM (up to 600kg) are somewhat half-certified, but oversight is subcontracted and you see plenty dangerous aircraft out there.

But for the US, there have been higher profile losses in experimental aviation due to bad engineering that did not change your rules. And PM had access to all the good advice and offers to help, here on the forum even expert opinion for free. I think the community shows real greatness on him and that shall be reflected in an eventual (hopefully not necessary) accident report or evaluation of the aircraft.

You US Americans have the right to buy a gun to kill yourself and also to Muller you out of existence. I think that's part of your fabric, woven into society.

Problem occurs if the Raptor mullers someone else into the happy hunting grounds. Morally speaking. And isn't that what your tort law is for?

Needless to say I do not wish Peter Muller nor anyone else to be harmed by his experiments.

Happy landings
 

bmcj

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Suggest all you want, but to step in forcefully is suggesting we abandon our current E-AB freedoms and start down a path of Draconian measure. None of us want that.
Hey VB, this was not at all aimed at you. I agree that skilled knowledgeable people should do their best to convince PM to seek professional help (the aeronautical kind), but I don’t think we want to try to drag the ‘gubmint’ into this for fear of new rules being made in a system that already works well.
 
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