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Alaskan Ultralgiht Plan... is it possible???

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Bsky

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Sep 15, 2014
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31
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waterford,michigan
After further research, i have absolutely no doubt that the plane is possible. However, a LSA has soooo much more to offer in terms of total cargo and RANGE. At this point, i am going to postpone my little Alaskan adventure to summer following next in order to do it with an LSA. Supped-up flying lawn chairs are just not designed for that kind of thing. I wish the G-crats in Wishington would add 20lbs to the ultralight category.

In the mean time, I am going to build a cheap ultralight that can carry maybe 50 lbs of cargo without any amphibious ability. It is also possible that i might not be able to fight off the Alaska bug and use it to do that without ability to operate on water. I would charter a plane to fly most of my supplies out to camp while i fly my plane out there. So the new challenge i have assigned myself is to how cheap and awesome i can make an 103 ultralight.
 

Autodidact

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Oct 21, 2009
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4,513
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Oklahoma
I sketched this up for a very similar mission. It's meant to be mostly built flat on a table and only the firewall/windshield/gear-oleo attach outrigger triangles (about four tubes each side) added with the fuselage set upright. I guess the luggage could be carried in a pod (or even a duffle bag) slung underneath:

junglejim_2 001.jpg
 

garrywarber

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Mar 28, 2008
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164
Check out the Gemini Hummingbird Prospector. I just happen to have one for sale, and I live in Michigan. Join yahoo group Vee-Tail and check it out. Lots of info there. Sorry, cannot copy and paste link. Refuses for some reason...

Hello World!

My plan: I want to build an 103 ultralight for the purpose of sticking it on a trailer, driving it from metro Detroit area (via Alaskan Hwy) to around and about Fairbanks Alaska next summer. Want to use it to fly like 80 miles out of Fairbanks, camp out for a MONTH, flying occasionally (maybe 20 miles total), then fly back to Fairbanks and head for home. Has to be amphibious. Need to carry camping stuff and food. So, Is it possible to construct an ultralight to accomplish this with the following

specs:
2 x 15hp kt100 engines (typically used in go carts),
Span 31 feet, chord 4.7feet
wing area 135 ft^2,
twin props mounted on trailing edge, diameter about 3ft, each linked to its engine via a belt,
Floatation uses fuselage plus two outriggers,
total budget 3300$

Weight:
Empty(using float exemption) 304
With Fuel in tank(35) 339
With Pilot (175) 514
With extra fuel as cargo(35) 549
With camping gear(75) 624
With food(66) 690
Total take off weight 690

So, IS IT POSSIBLE??????????????

LSA wont work because i can afford 6k for a sport license or a plane, but not both.
 

garrywarber

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Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
164
Been done... Quite a few built. Called "Affordaplane," and there is a builders group in yahoo groups.

I sketched this up for a very similar mission. It's meant to be mostly built flat on a table and only the firewall/windshield/gear-oleo attach outrigger triangles (about four tubes each side) added with the fuselage set upright. I guess the luggage could be carried in a pod (or even a duffle bag) slung underneath:

View attachment 34804
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,409
Thanks for all the input. The way its looking now is this is can be done in several ways: (1) use lots of way to expensive carbon fiber, (2) make extensive use of steel cables, (3) make a tail dragger. Number 1 is out because of expense. Number 3 is no go because i have a fear of flipping over.
A common misconception, that taildragger phobia. There are more trikes than taildraggers that end up on their backs on soft surfaces or when some pilot loses control and starts porpoising down the runway and busts that nosegear off. For really rough strips in the bush, taildraggers have traditionally been preferred.

The only time I ever got stuck in mud with an airplane, it was in a trike. Taildraggers had taxiied thought that same spot without any trouble at all.

Dan
 

Chuckdw

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
3
Location
Magnolia, Tx
Your going on a 40 mile round trip, plus say 20 miles for fooling around. You don't need to take 35 extra pounds of fuel.
Need to find a nice size lake to land on cause you will need it to take off. I believe its possible. The larger and slower the props
you have, the more thrust you will have, but fly slower, say 40 MPH would be fine, get there in 1/2 hr. What's the rush?
 

Autodidact

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Oct 21, 2009
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4,513
Location
Oklahoma
Been done... Quite a few built. Called "Affordaplane," and there is a builders group in yahoo groups.

Right, but that was the whole idea, to make a better Afford-a-plane, one that wasn't automatically over weight, was stronger at the same time, had a better wing, tough undercarriage, STOL, etc...It's ugly, but so was the Feiseler Storch.
 

garrywarber

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Mar 28, 2008
Messages
164
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both are cute in a Flying Flea-Pelican kind of way. The Ison Air-Bike like that even came with tundra tires back in the day... I lusted after owning one, but never did it.

Right, but that was the whole idea, to make a better Afford-a-plane, one that wasn't automatically over weight, was stronger at the same time, had a better wing, tough undercarriage, STOL, etc...It's ugly, but so was the Feiseler Storch.
 
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Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,409
Bring a Biolite stove and leave the liquid and gas stoves home. ( freaking brilliant design IMHO.... and like the Segway, a scheme to help poor folk by selling toys to the rich... I'm not rich, but I'm getting one. ) Charge your USB gizmos with twigs.

The Award-Winning Wood Burning CampStove | Order Today
If a guy can't leave his cellphone or iPad at home when he goes out into the wilderness on a camping trip, he's in a bad way. Addicted. A slave to the technology. One can't appreciate nature until all other influences are left behind.

We just got back from a cruise up the BC coast to Alaska. There were people on the ship staring at their cellphones. There were people from the ships on the streets of the ports we visited walking around staring at their phones and texting. If you had asked them what they saw of the coastline or the whales or seals or porpoises or what they saw in those historical towns, you'd get a blank look. Their minds were still in New York or wherever. On Facebook. Why do they waste the time and money going on a trip anyway?

A hiker's GPS and a SPOT, maybe. That's enough technology in the bush. Learn to see what's around you. Before it bites you.

Dan
 
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Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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2,429
Location
Rochester, NY, USA
not going to argue on the cellphone bit. I've seen kids ride roller coasters with their heads down in their phones.

But you have to admit the Biolite is nifty. Cook breakfast, charge your GPS.... help save a stranger from dying?

Perhaps not so directly, but more rational than most "save the planet" schemes. And come on...... Charge your SPOT making dinner? Clever.
 

Michael Heit DAR

New Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
3
Location
North Pole
The survival gear plus a good 45/70 for bear protection is just common sense and if not required by state law should be used anyway .... oh hell forget it the bears are going to eat that thing anyways ....

I flew in Alaska 35 years and only met one pilot that didn't have a certificate.
In Alaska, a pilot certificate is not much different than a drivers license. Actually, the FAR's are complied with about the same as anywhere. Alaska has three regional FAA offices.

Flying near Fairbanks in July isn't bad. About 85° at noon and daylight almost 24 hours.
The state law requires quite a bit of survival gear. Not sure if that law applies to ultralights.
 

kennyrayandersen

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Jun 6, 2011
Messages
70
Location
Ft. Worth TX
I think you are on the right track with the LSA. One of my high school buddies was killed flying in Alaska and he was a professional pilot. I would put emphasis on airframe robustness, high lift, and load-carrying capability. I also second the zenith aircraft and in particular the CH750 which I believe has been specifically tailored to the LSA requirement and I believe there are floats available.

These zenith aircraft have been specifically tailored for the bush and have very short takeoff distances and large load capacities due to their high-lift airfoil. They aren't fast, but are fast enough. You really do need the right tool for this job!

Now, this is, or sounds like something that is currently in your budget, but this is somthing that really should be done right if you value your life.
 

Doggzilla

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Jun 2, 2013
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Everywhere USA
Id like to add that powered harnesses can propel someone at a pretty reasonable rate for around 22hp. They make gliders that take twice the load, which leaves you about 300lbs for equipment, if you made a large powered harness with about 40hp.

Keep in mind that the 22hp takes off with a brisk run, and if you intend any real distance for takeoff, 25-30hp would be possible.

Amphibious... mostly depends on how long it takes you to get up on the water. After that point, its the same as above. Also keep in mind that unless you are bringing a lot of crud home, your return trip is going to be a lot lighter.

Your best bet would actually be to get a job up there, adapt for a year, then figure out what you really want to do.
 
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