Electric Belite!

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
How does the deck angle of your Belite compare to as-designed? It may be that your elevator has exactly enough authority as it's supposed to but because of longer gear legs/bigger tires your tail wheel doesn't reach the ground in the designed 'three point' attitude.

I have a taller tailwheel/spring to match the circumference if the bigger tires, I think it is more nose high, but it feels like it should have more.

A friend if mine has a set of scales I can use, so will be getting a more accurate CG measurement soon
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
6,764
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Not quite enough authority on the elevator to flare for a proper three-point landing.
Make a measurement of the deck angle or wing AoA at the point of stall. Obviously do this at 1000 or 1500 feet. Make some way to measure and record what angle the wing (or fuselage, instrument panel, whatever) is at when it stalls on 1G level flight, power off. Then compare itto the angle when the airplane is parked. Only that will tell you whether the landing gear is causing your three-point problem, or whether it is elevator travel, CG, or something else.

If you're an electronic gadget kind of guy, IMHO take the time and effort to put an AoA indicator in the airplane. Doesn't matter what type of indicator it is, a homebuilt vane type, or an iPhone app, or a pressure differential type. Having that capability will allow you to learn more about the airplane and how to fly it better.

The older bush pilots, especially up in your neck of the woods, will scream bloody murder, and tell you they have 50,000 hours of bush flying without an AoA, you don't need one, waste of money, snake oil, and they'll tell you the hairs on their a** are more sensitive than an AoA. Tell them to pound sand. AoA is a very useful tool to have whether you rely on it every flight or just for flight testing. It is the perfect tool for you to solve this particular mystery, as well as learn your airplane better and faster.

If you don't need it anymore after using it for a while, because the hairs on YOUR a** are now calibrated, then fine.
 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
If you're an electronic gadget kind of guy, IMHO take the time and effort to put an AoA indicator in the airplane. Doesn't matter what type of indicator it is, a homebuilt vane type, or an iPhone app, or a pressure differential type. Having that capability will allow you to learn more about the airplane and how to fly it .

I have a digital angle guide that I can squeeze clamp to the door pillar! However stall testing hasn't been done yet, need to get the radio interference problem sorted first. The contactor drive is noisy enough (single digit Khz Square-wave PWM into a coil with the resultant kickback/freewheel all bouncing around in the wiring)
 

proppastie

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
4,202
Location
NJ
Yes, stick was against the stop rearward.
The Carbon Dragon has 60 degree total movement of the elevator. 30 up 30 down.....

There probably is more to it than that .....size...moment etc. but maybe it helps.

Another more scary issue....not having done the stall, if you are too slow there will not be enough elevator. I crashed my MM1 because of that.
Please do not fall out of the sky.
 
Last edited:

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
I put the belite on the scales and according to the real digital corner scales I am barely past the allowable forward CG envelope. The CG envelope is 34.5" to 39.1" and I am at 34" even. Weighing with the digital crane scale had the CG at 36.5, so that's a pretty big discrepancy, and I am not happy with that.

So, doing the CG math I can move the rear pack backwards eight inches and bring the CG back into the allowable range. That plus adding the antennae (and rg58 run) on the tail should help get the CG back where it needs to be.

I also have the tail apart for the antennae install, so now is a good time to add a gap seal as well.
 

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
3,047
Location
Thunder Bay
that's a pretty big discrepancy
You had the airplane levelled in the same manner both times, right? Just last week we had one of our work planes re-weighed and as it was brought perfectly level per the maintenance manual (the scales were adapters on the jacks) the measured weight of the plane changed by over twenty pounds!

I doubt your method of measuring would have a difference in total weight based on the attitude of the plane, but that would mess with calculating CG. Just a thought, I know the source of the discrepancy would drive me nuts if it were my plane.
 

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
7,373
Location
North Carolina
I'm a big fan of doing things two different ways to find any errors. You've found one! I'd want to fix that discrepancy before moving the cg.
 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
I'm a big fan of doing things two different ways to find any errors. You've found one! I'd want to fix that discrepancy before moving the cg.
After re-weighing the airplane with a set of automotive corner scales, I got an identical result to the scales that the EAA had. So I moved the rear battery 8" rearwards, and replaced the elevator pushrod with a slightly less bent :para: and slightly thicker walled tube that was slightly longer. Now the elevator is limited to 35° up and down symmetrically.

It flew amazingly well, and had all the flare authority that I needed for three point landings. The EMI problem has also been solved with a really awesome performing antennae located as far away as possible from the noise generating electronics (dumb AM Aviation radios). It is a dipole with the elements made from copper foil tape. It uses a Pawsey stub and Rg58 coax up to my handheld. Better reception and broadcast that the KX155 in the 172.


2018-11-26_06-43-59 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr


IMG_20181124_120939 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

IMG_5967 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

IMG_6044 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr
 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
Heya all! Quick update on the Electric Belite.

The Flight report so far:

Three hours and 27 landings in. This last flight, the squawk list had nothing on it to start the flight, and no new entries to add at the end of the flight.

Now that the squawk list is clear, it is time to start filling out the Poh data. So there will be several flights coming up determining stall speed, best glide speed and also bringing in operation of the flaps and determining flap performance for short feild takeoffs and landings.
 

13brv3

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
70
Location
Tellico Plains, TN
I'm new around this forum, and I've been toying with the idea of an electric plane for some time. I had run across the Belite as well, and this thread gave me the best look at the construction I've seen so far, not to mention the fantastic electric conversion. I'll definitely be following along to see how the flight times work out for the electric conversion. Thanks so much for the great documentation, and I hope you have many safe hours of flying in 2019.

Cheers,
Rusty
 

PagoBay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
70
Location
US Territory of Guam
Belite factory was heavily damaged by fire a short few days back. Insurance adjuster headed to the site. Some photos are on the web. Most of the in progress kits and inventory were destroyed. Wish Mr. Wiebe and family a quick recovery. He had just shipped out several kits so there was a bright side amidst the calamity.
 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
Heya all! Back at it! I finally got the courage, time and energy all lined up to open up the wing after the snow damage it sustained last winter. Looks like things aren't as broken as I thought, and it looks like its it's going to be a pretty easy fix.



 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
It was inside while we had a big snowstorm, but about a week after the snow melted off the ground, I rolled it outside and at some point later in the day, ALL the snow decided to evacuate the roof and land on the wingtips while the wings were folded.
 

Farfle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
80
Location
Redmond, OR
Big news all, the belite is going to the dark side...

The Airframe is just not a good electric conversion candidate. Compared to Gabe's Gull, this takes almost 2x the power to cruise at the same speed.
As an electric plane that means really short range, in this case only about 50 mins of flight at a measly 55mph. Once you take away some margin because airplane things, that gets me an out-and-back range that's not really good for doing more than just flying the pattern.

So, I had been delaying fixing the snow damage from last year thinking about small tires, faired wing struts, wheel pants, converting the wing to in-wing ailerons etc... when an almost brand new Rotax 447 practically landed in my lap. So, one top end rebuild later, and its conversion to the dark side will be complete.

Damage pulled apart:

damage 2 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

damage by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Fixed!

fixed 2 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Fixed by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

On to the teardown. The electric system uninstalled fairly quickly, I forgot how much time I spent connectorizing the harness, and it sure made things easy. Only a few HV wires had to be cut as there were connectors on opposite ends of bulkheads that were not able pull through.

Belite teardown by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

dogbatts by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

slotax by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr


The Rotax is a good bit longer than the Electric drive was, and the cooling fan pulls from the back, so I can't stick it tight to the firewall. Ill probably have to make some changes to the cowl. Here is the engine mount design so far:


motor mount by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

motor mount ISO by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Motor mount one side by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr
 
2
Group Builder
Top