Quantcast

Anything still use foam/wood?

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I have been intrigued by some classic ultralights which plans either are no longer supported for or are not available in English which used polystyrene foam (such as blue Dow) as wing ribs and sometimes even fuselage panels. These are usually capped in 1/16th ply and covered in lightweight sail cloth.

These have a few things that while not ideal for me, I actually need. This material is forgiving to weather changes (live in an apartment with no garage, usually use the back porch as a work area. They can be easily disassembled for storage (like, in my guest bedroom). They are very cheap to build (I''m not rich, at all). They can be flown without a license (just found new CFI, but my last one lost his medical after I had completed 21 hours with him) from any of the 3 empty fields within walking distance from my house, and can be assembled with basic tools (already running out of room for more tools).

I haven't spent much time looking into ultralights because I really want a cross-country plane for me and the wife to travel in, but there's a lot working against me for a full size project right now. Looking for 3 axis control and simplicity alone the lines of Weedhopper/Woodhopper.

Let's hear some suggestions from the people who know more about Part 103 than myself. :cool:
 

TahoeTim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
109
Location
South Lake Tahoe. Ca.
Invest in your goal of carrying a passenger: Get your sport pilot ticket (you have 21 hours already). Then, do not build but save all your cash and buy a used plane or project. My 0.02
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
Invest in your goal of carrying a passenger: Get your sport pilot ticket (you have 21 hours already). Then, do not build but save all your cash and buy a used plane or project. My 0.02
If buying a plane were the cheapest part of owning one, I would go that route. A lot of the homebuilt appeal is the ability to do an overhaul for the cost of parts, use cheaper mogas, etc. Buying a certified would be great for me, until it comes time for a top end. Then I'll be grounded for a number of years.

Eventually I'll complete WOFT and have a lifestyle more conducive to flying, building, and owning a plane. But in the meantime, I just want to get back into the air. A moped is just as fun as a Harley even if it doesn't look as cool.
 

lake_harley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
970
I'm sure there are other designs that will be suggested but here's a few ultralights that come to mind. There are also some 2-place variations available from a couple of the designs below.

Sky Pup....If you want to use foam, it is one of the major components I understand.

MiniMAX and RagWing planes....wood construction. Plans are free for download on the MiniMAX and quite cheap for the RagWings, I believe. A little use of Google would get info on them quickly. If you're resourceful, you could probably build either rather cheaply since they can be built with Northern White Pine that might be available at some nearby lumber yards (mine had 1 X 6's), and could be re-sawn to the needed sizes.

Legal Eagle....since it's a welded, 4130 fuselage it might be a bit difficult with limited "shop" space. Wings are wood though, and quite similar to the MiniMAX and RagWings.

I'll bet other suggestions will come along shortly. Best wishes on finding something that fits your budget and situation.

Lynn
 

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
3,896
Location
Las Cruces, NM
It's hard not to get seduced by the simplicity of the Woodhopper (and the plans are downloadable and free). ...maybe beef it up a little for the more 'Rubenesque' among us, a box beam for the boom and spars, maybe a Gypsy UL style pod and ailerons.
 

jedi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
2,161
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
I have been intrigued by some classic ultralights which plans either are no longer supported for or are not available in English which used polystyrene foam (such as blue Dow) as wing ribs and sometimes even fuselage panels. These are usually capped in 1/16th ply and covered in lightweight sail cloth.

These have a few things that while not ideal for me, I actually need. This material is forgiving to weather changes (live in an apartment with no garage, usually use the back porch as a work area. They can be easily disassembled for storage (like, in my guest bedroom). They are very cheap to build (I''m not rich, at all). They can be flown without a license (just found new CFI, but my last one lost his medical after I had completed 21 hours with him) from any of the 3 empty fields within walking distance from my house, and can be assembled with basic tools (already running out of room for more tools).

I haven't spent much time looking into ultralights because I really want a cross-country plane for me and the wife to travel in, but there's a lot working against me for a full size project right now. Looking for 3 axis control and simplicity alone the lines of Weedhopper/Woodhopper.

Let's hear some suggestions from the people who know more about Part 103 than myself. :cool:
You have some severe limitations and lofty desires and I am sure you realize the reality of this. If you take the of non UL ownership as suggested in post 2 above go with an experimental and you maintenance issues will be greatly reduced as will the initial cost.

I doubt the wood hopper will make UL weight (depends on your engine choice) and the metal version would be an advantage for your situation.

If cost were not an issue I would suggest an Aerolight 103 factory built. CGS Hawk UL or EAB is also available again at a reasonable price. The Kasperwing UL may be available from Poland shortly. All would be good suggestions as is the Mini Max if you have time and place to build.

Which ever route you take tend towards quality. You do not have the ability to store junk or aircraft that do not (work) fill your requirements.
 

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
3,364
Location
Thunder Bay
How about a Flying Flea HM293? Plans are free online (see link elsewhere on HBA), it's almost entirely wood and all of the pieces are quite small until final assembly. I once measured out a large closet in an apartment I lived in and found I probably could have built a flea in there.
 
Top