Badland Aircraft

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addicted2climbing

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
997
Location
Glendale, CA
July 2016 (ish) word came out that James Wiebe (Belite) was selling the tooling and jigs for his Ultralight "254" model. 1 week late and I took a trip to Kansas with an empty flat bed and a friend. By the end of August we had calculations ready and a metal order for our first plane in. We built it to fit the jigs and tooling exactly as possible. It ended up a little heavy, about 271 lbs and looking back I determined it was due to excessive corrosion protection, super shiny paint (lots of it), and unnecessary lighting (buyers request). It was also a tad bit aft heavy and we had to add weight up front to help. Overall it flew really well and the Texan buyer couldn’t be happier.

The second plane is the Blue and Silver UL pictured on this page and on our (sucky) website. This one was way more fun to build mostly because of the experience from building #1. The tail still felt a bit heavy when you picked it up but the CGs ended up right where they belonged and even with the 28HP Compact Radial MZ34 it flew like a champ. That plane weighed 251 lbs with the engine cowling. Kudos to my cousin Justin for being the test pilot. #2 was sold to another guy in Texas earlier this year. We had a ton of fun with it before delivery and will miss that one. His plans were to put a half VW and report back. Still waiting on that.

Right after #2 sold I was injured at work and had a some time to work on a business model, learn how to build crappy websites, get all my Solidworks CAD parts designed, source CNC shops, and think... and I did A LOT of thinking! I started very simple because this design is already tried and true and it works. Since I've been an offroad racer and fabricator and my cousins have raced dirt bikes for pretty much ever I started with the landing gear and suspension design. I want to be able to plop our crafts down in any rough terrain (Badland), stop on a dime with ease and confidence, spin around and take off in less than 100ft and the landing gear is obviously a big part of that procedure. On top of the landing gear I'm making a handful of little mods that make getting in and out easier, more comfortable control ergonomics, and almost most importantly; a kit manual that a monkey can follow. I want to bring back to life the entry level aircraft that the Ultralight was intended to be. Price point, simplicity, and good looks are my goals. I may be biased, but I think we have the best looking UL on the market, period.

So, now the buzz with our engine concept. Justin has volunteered to take the reins in the engine department and I've been asked to not indulge too much until we can prove some stuff on the bench and in the air. But if you look at our history and where we come from you can piece together where we come up with a 50+HP, single cylinder, fuel injected, 450cc, 4 stroke engine that is light weight and extremely reliable. I've already said too much, so no more on that. Let's just let Justin, Solidworks, and fuel injection do their thing. Deal?

Give me a call or shoot a text anytime. I love hanger talk.
Best of luck with this.. The more UL's are reintroduced and or new designs are proven the better. Sure you can buy an old UL for 5K nowadays, but I think there will always be a market for low cost kit aircraft as for many (myself included) building is just as fun if not more and its such a welcome break from the day to day office job. Gives me something to look forward to.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Las Vegas, NV USA
A visit to the facility...found online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebyxo5fpcw8

Thanks for link WBNH! I worry sometimes that people will be turned off due to our size. All we can do is make things happen, show off our capabilities, and be who we are. No shame in being small.

I believe that a few of the major key factors to being successful are: "answer the phone and call people back" (keep a strong line of communication), "Do what you say you're going to do", and one I stole from Elon Musk "keep a compelling and meaningful goal in reach."
 

saini flyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
447
Location
Dallas, TX
What is this F-5 Fujita engine that is on your website?
"Recommended Powerplant: 1 cyl, 4 stroke, liquid cooled, 59HP Badland 450R (opt turbo avail $2300)".... please elaborate on the specs!!

I had a minute this morning to "calm" the website down a little. Apparently it was "making people dizzy". LOL:gig:
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,728
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
VB, you and your skillset cross my mind very often but the potential price tag usually blurs my intention to follow through.
You forgot about the tailwheel-pilots-only discount coupon that was under your keyboard.

I'd be glad to take one small specific problem or issue you have (size of the company, garage factory, or some aircraft/performance detail that your competition does better than you) and craft a solution for it that explains away the problem, or as I call it "write around the problem". No charge, just like the first snort from a dope dealer :)

If you feel that my solution is genuinely valuable and solved your problem, it's yours to use, and then we can talk other work (obviously not on this public forum).
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Las Vegas, NV USA
What is this F-5 Fujita engine that is on your website?
"Recommended Powerplant: 1 cyl, 4 stroke, liquid cooled, 59HP Badland 450R (opt turbo avail $2300)".... please elaborate on the specs!!
Hello Saini Flyer,

Sorry for the beyond late reply, that one snuck in there on me.

For now the F-5 Fujita itself and engine is a concept that we plan to bring to fruition next year. Until we have more solid research, development, and testing done on the engine I'm keeping things under "wraps" for the time being. Getting ready for Oshkosh doesn't tend to free up much time. ;) The specs themselves should reveal a little in relation to what type of engines are out there in different markets. Be patient, I know our community won't be disappointed with what our intentions ;) Imagine being able to choose a performance tune from your phone right before your run-up!!
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,249
Location
Fresno, California
Look into the Simonini paramotor engines as well, they make engines that are more or less competitive with Polini.
No personal experience, but I’ve seen customer videos on the Simonini that tout it as a strong, smooth running engine that starts on the first pull out of the shipping box.
 
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