First timer thinking about a RW16

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by pomjuice, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. Jul 17, 2012 #1

    pomjuice

    pomjuice

    pomjuice

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    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about diving into a project for my senior year in college. I have experience flying standard aircraft and am almost ready to take my PPL checkride.
    This September I go back to college. I'm a Mechanical Engineering major in upstate NY. I'd like to work on my first homebuilt airplane. I'd like it to be an ultralight with a nice open cockpit. If it's a bit overweight, I can certify it, no problem.
    Really it's more on budget. I'll have maybe $4k total for my budget.
    I really like the looks of the Ragwing Aerial rw16, but can't find many that have built it. Or much support for the design.
    I'd like my ultralight to be relatively simple. I'd like to be able to finish it in 6 months with a partner.
    I'm all for wood, and I have some composite experience. Aluminum is good too, but it seems to be the more expensive route. Wood and fabric planes are always a classic.

    Any advice on the RW16, or any other cheap wood and fabric ultralights? I've checked out the affordaplane, but it's all mixed reviews. I read there are more crashed than flying?
    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Jul 19, 2012 #2

    Sir Joab

    Sir Joab

    Sir Joab

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    4K is a really tight budget. I'm finishing an ultralight and it's about $2500, but I know a lot of people for scrounging parts. Also big savings was making my own '1/2 VW' engine from one I got for $100 and did all the work myself. (My own aircraft design too, otherwise I'd recommend it... I'll see if it flies first. :ponder: )

    Since you're an engineering student and have some flying experience maybe design your own? From what I can tell, there's a lack of a good cheap ultralight design these days. Just throwin' it out there.
     
  3. Jul 19, 2012 #3

    pomjuice

    pomjuice

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    I definitely want to, but I just want to get some experience building one before I start my own design...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  4. Jul 19, 2012 #4

    StarJar

    StarJar

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    I haven't built the Aerial, but I helped a friend build a "Ragwing Parasol", and I have plans for a Stork. I like Roger's designs, and you can save money by using Douglas Fir on the wings and tails. The alum. fuselage on the aerial shouldn't be too expensive either. Roger likes to go with Kawasaki engines, which can be picked up from J-Bird pretty cheap. Covering shouldn't cost a lot, since you don't cover the fuselage. The wing and tail feathers are basically the same on all Roger's designs, so you can find groups that discuss those, probably.
    I'm like you, I really like the Aerial, but couldn't find any completions on-line. I'm pretty sure it's a good simple and safe design, if built carefully. A $100 table saw does a good job on the wood pieces. I think $4000 might be possible, or pretty close. You can get a free catalog from J-bird engines, to see what the engine, redrive, and prop would cost you. They always have a bunch of used, good running engines, rebuilt engines, and new engines. Good luck!
     
  5. Jul 19, 2012 #5

    pomjuice

    pomjuice

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    Thanks! I've actually been considering the RW6 Parasol, as I've seen a couple completions online. I was thinking perhaps of fabric covering instead of wood on the fuselage though, to reduce weight... that might interfere with balance and flight characteristics however.

    Could you give me some insight into the Parasol you helped construct? How was it overall?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  6. Jul 20, 2012 #6

    StarJar

    StarJar

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    It's more like a big model airplane than anything out there. The ribs take some time, as you make each one in a jig. They are 1/4'" square sticks, but they are cheap, light, and strong. The fuselage is just a bunch of 5/8" square members glued and gusseted. The tail members are also. It's really just like an old school model airplane. The control stick mechanisms are really simple, and strong. You make the control horns out of angle aluminum, you can cut them with a fine toothed blade, or big abrasive disc on the same table saw as the wood. We used a glue that you mix with water, and it was cheap, but plenty strong. I forget the name of the glue, but it is a brown powder. The landing gear is super simple and clever. Just 3 alum. tubes on each side. The wing uses two spars, just 3/4" square wood sparcaps, glued onto a single plywood web, and then steel straps are cut and drilled to hold the spars to the center cabanes, and the lift struts.

    Roger Mann only put plywood on the fuselage where needed for strength in the front areas. The rear is dacron only, no plywood, except gussets.

    The whole plane takes some work, but nothing overly difficult. Mostly just cutting wood, alum., and steel, and gluing or bolting them in place. Then installing the engine, and covering the plane with dacron, shrinking it with an iron, and painting it. A two car garage is nice, especially when you start putting all the parts onto the fuselage.

    Hope that helps paint the picture. Anything else? let me know.

    By the way i was noticing in my J-Bird catalog, that you could get the engine, redrive, and prop, for around $1,500, if you go with some used, but good running parts.
     
  7. Jul 20, 2012 #7

    pomjuice

    pomjuice

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    How's it fly though?
     
  8. Jul 20, 2012 #8

    StarJar

    StarJar

    StarJar

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    Well, actually, my friend suddenly had to move to Hawaii, so he stored the plane when it was about 90% finished, and then sold it about a year later. It should have flown nice, with the Clark-Y airfoil, and standard layout.
     

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