American GEM - Youth Flight training System (from Lithuanian Youth Glider)

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DBN

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Indianapolis, IN
The American GEM - Youth Flight Training System consists of: American GEM Ground Effect Machine ( hence GEM) glider, a Plane on a Post [PoP] Stationary trainer rig, powered ground tow line loop, ground school - and sortie by sortie flight plan for students, all of which fit easily into an 8'X8'X22' standard enclosed trailer. We are based in Indianapolis IN. There is a FaceBook page American GEM will get you there.

Currently have two GEM's, prototype is a modified Kolb Firefly - 22' wingspan, with safety cage, PoP fitting, and Glider Tow release. Gear is modified to be nearly "flat" for initial training. GEM #2 has FireStar wings (27'- w/ under camber) and has flown at less than 25 mph.

GEM #1 has been used extensively with youth 11-16 (and some adults! it is FUN) for PoP training and low and high speed taxi training. It "hops" at about 25-27 mph.

Next step is the Ground Tow Line power system - fabrication is underway now!

We start tow testing and verification of the taxi portion of the Instructors and Students curricula next week.

Video is of GEM #1 (still wearing some leading edge flagging for attention at an event - will not do that again!) as we did an assembly / disassembly check list confirmation.

Intent is to get to a full package that we will provide INFORMATION on to others wanting to duplicate the Lithuanian LAK-16 based ground tow line flight training system.

If you are in the Central Indiana area and want to help PLEASE contact us via the FB page.Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 5.38.06 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-01 at 5.38.35 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-01 at 5.39.09 PM.png
 
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DBN

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Indianapolis, IN
The first step for youth in learning to aviate is to understand the interaction of moving air and the aircraft controls. Our American GEM PoP (Plane on a Post) helps get that understanding before actual taxi, hopping and grass skimming. (GEM = Ground Effect Machine)
The series of photos show how the AmGEM PoP gets assembled onto the airframe.
This is a great project for an EAA chapter to make and use at Young Eagle events - where the youth are waiting for their flights.
Video is in a 10 knot breeze - freely turning in all axis.
each photo has notes to help explain the process.
We are in Central Indiana. Give us a response if interested in seeing this system at work!CE8D2FE1-782C-4644-9777-C877E1969F6D.jpegFF4C477B-4C29-411E-A048-5C57CE2A92FE.jpegC92A966F-348A-4453-9F6F-8B37402A2132.jpeg9E665039-FB2B-4C06-A183-0B76247BAD0C.jpeg96A65264-F071-473E-AB2C-64ADD9020387.jpegCF50BD68-63DC-4858-B5B3-74786AF57A95.jpeg
 

EzyBuildWing

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Sydney NSW Australia
Great idea with the Glider......
Be sure to suggest all aspiring "Young Eagles" watch the inspirational Movie below.....it's all about a young girl who is determined to learn how to fly.....stars Bette Davis......watched it so many times, it's brilliant!

 

DBN

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Indianapolis, IN
The American GEM (Ground Effect Machine) version 2 [GEM II] has completed a rigorous series of taxi tests and ground skimming tests on hard surface and grass runway. We have a few minor improvements to make - padding on some cockpit rails, seat harness arrangement, and maybe longer gear or larger wheel / tires.
GEM II with 1/2 Flaperon gets her tail up at 20 MPH, hops at 23-25, and lifts off in Ground Effect at 25-27. Likes to fly at 30 - loves it at 35.
Photos of GEM II testing -
Sunset photo at end of day
Tail up - high speed taxi
Grass Skimming - two images
Full flight - Video

Our goal is to deliver a package of information - "The Book" - so that any youth oriented flight program can duplicate this program - more on that later.
"Stick in the hand
Wind in her hair
Smile on his face
Eyes on their futures!"
tempImage1Q5boT.pngCT Grass Skimming American GEM.png
 

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D_limiter

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Would love to get something started like that here in NorCal! Thanks for all the work you are doing!
 

karmarepair

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If starting from scratch, a Harper Motorglider 101 might be a good Plane On A Pole, although it might need a little more wing.
Making it could be a Young Eagles project.
Cloudster would be another candidate, but you'd need a chunk of lead in the nose to balance it.
The nice thing about starting with a Kolb is the folding wings/tails. Start with a Ultrastar?
 

DBN

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And hers is our
If starting from scratch, a Harper Motorglider 101 might be a good Plane On A Pole, although it might need a little more wing.
Making it could be a Young Eagles project.
Cloudster would be another candidate, but you'd need a chunk of lead in the nose to balance it.
The nice thing about starting with a Kolb is the folding wings/tails. Start with a Ultrastar?
Any of the Kolb fleet would probably work well - having the strong top-of-frame tube is the key to mounting the trailer hitch type ball joint.
76E76891-7539-4801-B1F5-2BBA29928293.jpeg76E76891-7539-4801-B1F5-2BBA29928293.jpeg3A870530-3D4A-4775-888D-49294DC65FA1.jpegA0114512-2388-4189-91B5-076E870ACD1F.jpeg8304AFD6-7E68-4ACD-A971-AD63D7A60B0F.jpeg
 

DBN

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Indianapolis, IN
And here is our American GEM video - high speed taxi, hopping, grass skimming, and then with a glider pilot - as the file size for the video is too large - PLEASE peek at our American GEM page on FaceBook. (Still have to learn how to use this forum system)
 

karmarepair

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And here is our American GEM video - high speed taxi, hopping, grass skimming, and then with a glider pilot - as the file size for the video is too large - PLEASE peek at our American GEM page on FaceBook. (Still have to learn how to use this forum system)
Hoppin on the runway with a quad tow.
Not sure this will work for everybody, but link to the Facebook video of the progression
 

DBN

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What is the white painted fitting the hitch ball is bearing on?
Part Number 1808010 Goose Neck Coupler Head - This is then built into a 2X8 8"square with a hole in the middle for the "dome" and a piece of 3" heavy Wall PVC that is carved to fit the upper tube of the KOLB. (I need to make a drawing of this!) 1" wide soft steel straps are shaped to fit the installation - going from the top of the wood then over the upper tube and back to the wood. 1/2" -20 bolts clamp the whole assembly together.
 

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karmarepair

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Part Number 1808010 Goose Neck Coupler Head - This is then built into a 2X8 8"square with a hole in the middle for the "dome" and a piece of 3" heavy Wall PVC that is carved to fit the upper tube of the KOLB. (I need to make a drawing of this!) 1" wide soft steel straps are shaped to fit the installation - going from the top of the wood then over the upper tube and back to the wood. 1/2" -20 bolts clamp the whole assembly together.
Thanks! This Buyers coupling head looks a little handier to adapt than the competing Bulldog units, which lack the "sandwich" design for the retainer, and thus lack handy holes. It's also substantially cheaper https://www.amazon.com/Buyers-Products-1808010-Gooseneck-Coupler/dp/B01CIO6BD0 Ignore the description on Amazon, it's for a different Buyers product.

Do you ballast the cockpit for lighter pilots to get the Plane On A Pole to balance with wee pilots?
 
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DBN

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Indianapolis, IN
Thanks! This Buyers coupling head looks a little handier to adapt than the competing Bulldog units, which lack the "sandwich" design for the retainer, and thus lack handy holes. It's also substantially cheaper Amazon.com: Buyers Products 1808010 Gooseneck Coupler : Automotive Ignore the description on Amazon, it's for a different Buyers product.

Do you ballast the cockpit for lighter pilots to get the Plane On A Pole to balance with wee pilots?
Sorry for the delayed response. We have the American GEM balanced with about a 120 pound teenager. There area actually weights attached to the tail wheel unit to do this! Then we have a 10 pound "saddle bag" that slides along the boom to final adjust for heavier pilots. Can be seen in some photos.
 
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