Flying wing as cheap and simple option for basic fun flying.

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Highflight

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I flew my hang glider at Dog Mountain WA in 70's and 80's and Steve Grossruck was a regular there flying his Kasperwing as a hang glider. It had about the same performance as hang gliders of that era. Then he put wheels and a motor on it and slipped over into the dark side.
The Kasperwing hang glider in the video "Dog Mountain the Early Days" is being flown by Jeff Johnson. Jeff's glider is a Co-Op Kasperwing that had a larger wingspan than either the Fledgling or the Cascade Ultralights Kasperwing U/L. There were possibly a dozen Co-Op Kasperwing kits produced, several were modified to become U/Ls when their owners realized it was less expensive to feed a 250cc 2-cycle than a V-8 powered 4x4 hang glider transporter.
 

jedi

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The Kasperwing hang glider in the video "Dog Mountain the Early Days" is being flown by Jeff Johnson. Jeff's glider is a Co-Op Kasperwing that had a larger wingspan than either the Fledgling or the Cascade Ultralights Kasperwing U/L. There were possibly a dozen Co-Op Kasperwing kits produced, several were modified to become U/Ls when their owners realized it was less expensive to feed a 250cc 2-cycle than a V-8 powered 4x4 hang glider transporter.
Highfligh,

Do you know span or spar length of Fledge, Co Op Kasperwing, and Cascade Ultralight.

Any comments on handling comparisons between the three.
 

Highflight

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I owned two of the kits which I never built; I sold them to other hang glider pilots, one was used as replacement parts, the other was converted to a U/L. I think the overall span was at least 6 perhaps 8 ft wider than the production Kasperwing U/L. They had measurably better performance in ridge lift and thermals than the shorter span wings. The wingtip control surfaces where effective for turns and as drag devices when both were deployed. All single surface Fledge A Model derivative did not have the desirable L/D or speed of the later double surface models produced by Manta. I don't know of any Co-Op Kasperwings in existence today.
 

Victor Bravo

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So let's finally, after 130 pages and 2500+ posts in this thread, define what is cheap and simple.

Unless anyone else wants to provide a definition, I will. Feel free to argue this and provide your reasons. But until then...

As ruler of the univere and all things therein, and with particular attention to the fact that I am a horrifying cheapskate who tries to never finance an airplane or a car, I issue a sacred religious fatwa that a total all-in cost for the "cheap and simple flying wing" should be under US $10,000. If you can do it for five grand, more power to you. But above ten grand is getting into something that most people would finance, or their family would make them miserable over.

The first "Simple" means that it has to be able to use common workshop tools for the majority of it, and only a handful of parts that you'd need to go borrow a piece of machinery for. Whether "common shop tools" means tin snips and files and drills (for the sheet metal version)... or a 12 inch bandsaw and a benchtop disc/belt sander and a miter box (for the wood version)... or a cheap chop saw for aluminum tube and a little bench shear (for the tube and gusset version)... or brushes and rollers and a hotwire saw (for the composite version)... doesn't matter. Yes you might need to use the big press brake at an air conditioining shop for the big sheet metal bends and leading edge skin radius, but a C-note and a six-pack after hours to get those 4 or 8 bends done after hours is still acceptable. Having to buy a gigantic $15K press brake to make up dozens and dozens of bends is no longer simple or cheap.

The second "Simple" is that it can't take 1000-2000 hours to build it. There are already plenty of interesting "major project" airplanes that you can build. A friend of mine is on his 30th year of a Falco, and I believe most of the RV builders report a few years or more. So 300-500 hours is the maximum in my opinion for this particular design exercise.

The third "Simple" is that it has to use off the shelf components for the power train. It doesn't matter if it is electric or IC, it just needs to be stuff you can buy now.
 

cluttonfred

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Mike Whittaker’s MW9 meets those criteria right now, as would an updated version of the Fauvel AV.60 or AV.61. What’s needed is a new or updated design using modern methods and materials and an inexpensive off the shelf engine: VW, V-twin, or paramotor two-stroke. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of a plank so something like the Fauvel fuselage and engine with a plank wing, perhaps in blind-riveted aluminum tube and gusset for the fuselage, flat-wrapped canopy like a Cassut, and aluminum or wood wing, all covered in Oratex.

1665215458879.png
 

jedi

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So let's finally, after 130 pages and 2500+ posts in this thread, define what is cheap and simple.

Unless anyone else wants to provide a definition, I will. Feel free to argue this and provide your reasons. But until then...

As ruler of the univere and all things therein, and with particular attention to the fact that I am a horrifying cheapskate who tries to never finance an airplane or a car, I issue a sacred religious fatwa that a total all-in cost for the "cheap and simple flying wing" should be under US $10,000. If you can do it for five grand, more power to you. But above ten grand is getting into something that most people would finance, or their family would make them miserable over.

The first "Simple" means that it has to be able to use common workshop tools for the majority of it, and only a handful of parts that you'd need to go borrow a piece of machinery for. Whether "common shop tools" means tin snips and files and drills (for the sheet metal version)... or a 12 inch bandsaw and a benchtop disc/belt sander and a miter box (for the wood version)... or a cheap chop saw for aluminum tube and a little bench shear (for the tube and gusset version)... or brushes and rollers and a hotwire saw (for the composite version)... doesn't matter. Yes you might need to use the big press brake at an air conditioining shop for the big sheet metal bends and leading edge skin radius, but a C-note and a six-pack after hours to get those 4 or 8 bends done after hours is still acceptable. Having to buy a gigantic $15K press brake to make up dozens and dozens of bends is no longer simple or cheap.

The second "Simple" is that it can't take 1000-2000 hours to build it. There are already plenty of interesting "major project" airplanes that you can build. A friend of mine is on his 30th year of a Falco, and I believe most of the RV builders report a few years or more. So 300-500 hours is the maximum in my opinion for this particular design exercise.

The third "Simple" is that it has to use off the shelf components for the power train. It doesn't matter if it is electric or IC, it just needs to be stuff you can buy now.

“define what is cheap and simple.”

Or?

How bout just go to Walmart and plunk down a few months pay. Like back when you could purchase an Ercoupe from Sears for $2,500 and get a genuine US government certificate to fly it in a realistic 20 hours of student flying.

And, you could fly at night or into a tower controlled airfield without a special endorsement and a Flight Review every two years.

Do I need to mention that for $5 a month you could keep it at a 1.200 foot grass strip within 5 miles of home.

I think that defined cheap and simple in 1948. That was then and now is a computer with a good video game.
 
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jedi

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Anybody remember this from June 13, 2020 Light Stuff Thread.

View attachment 97938

The tail has recently been eliminated to convert to a flying wing.

I have seen video of model tests. The wing is designed to fold for storage and transport. Construction is very simple and straight forward with some hinge details still to be designed.

Model tests are continuing and encouraging. Model plans can be published if there is a demonstrated interest.

This hang glider is IMHO within the definition of a “Flying wing as cheap and simple option for basic fun flying.”

 
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cluttonfred

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“define what is cheap and simple.”

Or?

How bout just go to Walmart and plunk down a few months pay. Like back when you could purchase an Ercoupe from Sears for $2,500 and get a genuine US government certificate to fly it in a realistic 20 hours of student flying.

And, you could fly at night or into a tower controlled airfield without a special endorsement and a Flight Review every two years.

Do I need to mention that for $5 a month you could keep it at a 1.200 foot grass strip within 5 miles of home.

I think that defined cheap and simple in 1948. That was then and now is a computer with a good video game.

I used to think that way as well but the numbers don’t add up. The Ercoupe that sold for $3,000 in 1945 would cost almost $50,000 today accounting for inflation. Keep in mind that was in an immediate post-war economy with tooling amortized through government contracts and in a depressed marked with a glut of surplus light aircraft driving the price down.
 
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It doesn't matter if it is electric or IC, it just needs to be stuff you can buy now.
AGREE with the rest of the post, but this part - I think - is a little over constraining.

We don't have any Off The Shelf power-trains that can simply be bolted on FWF or FWA. RVs, Sonex and Cub clones probably being the exceptions?
In keeping with the cheap and simple the power system has to be part of the overall package deal. That means either a kit or detailed instructions on how to convert common OTS parts with the same simple tools that are expected to be in most any home builders tool box. IMHO for a design that depends on other than an established and proven FWF or FWA power train if all the designer provides is the classic air-frame plans - then they have done an incomplete job.

A simple lathe cut or a small bit of welding can still be out sourced for the proverbial 6 pack, or case if it take more than a half hour, with proper tools.
Examples:
In my case (Pelican clone) any builder will have to have the drive shaft balanced. This isn't something even I could do in my old shop, but it is a pretty easy service to find. Part numbers/source for the rest of the bits should be included. Assembly/modification instructions shoule also be well detailed. This means essentially creating a full service manual. More work for the designer but likely required for good builder success rate.

For electric, either offer a package deal or supply part numbers (or at least specs) for the motor, BMS, controller along with detailed wiring diagram. We should expect a bit more of a learning curve with electric. The average 'motor head' has a pretty good basic understanding of all things IC, but how many know the difference between a sensor and sensor-less controller for a BLDC motor? If builders aren't willing to trade some 'easy' by learnin' then we may never find the solution?

Of course the builder is free to "roll their own'. If they think they can build a Green solar powered Stirling engine....................Just don't complain when it is no longer cheap and easy.
 

Riggerrob

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Mike Whittaker’s MW9 meets those criteria right now, as would an updated version of the Fauvel AV.60 or AV.61. What’s needed is a new or updated design using modern methods and materials and an inexpensive off the shelf engine: VW, V-twin, or paramotor two-stroke. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of a plank so something like the Fauvel fuselage and engine with a plank wing, perhaps in blind-riveted aluminum tube and gusset for the fuselage, flat-wrapped canopy like a Cassut, and aluminum or wood wing, all covered in Oratex.

View attachment 130604
You just described a VerHees Delta I ... except that your price restriction is a bit off.
A recent issue of KITPLANES magazine featured VerHees Delta 2 along with news that Bart VerHees is not interested in selling sheet metal kits, but would cheerfully cooperate with a CNC shop to bring Delta 2 kits to market.
 

Riggerrob

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AGREE with the rest of the post, but this part - I think - is a little over constraining.

We don't have any Off The Shelf power-trains that can simply be bolted on FWF or FWA. RVs, Sonex and Cub clones probably being the exceptions?
In keeping with the cheap and simple the power system has to be part of the overall package deal. That means either a kit or detailed instructions on how to convert common OTS parts with the same simple tools that are expected to be in most any home builders tool box. IMHO for a design that depends on other than an established and proven FWF or FWA power train if all the designer provides is the classic air-frame plans - then they have done an incomplete job.

A simple lathe cut or a small bit of welding can still be out sourced for the proverbial 6 pack, or case if it take more than a half hour, with proper tools.
Examples:
In my case (Pelican clone) any builder will have to have the drive shaft balanced. This isn't something even I could do in my old shop, but it is a pretty easy service to find. Part numbers/source for the rest of the bits should be included. Assembly/modification instructions shoule also be well detailed. This means essentially creating a full service manual. More work for the designer but likely required for good builder success rate.

For electric, either offer a package deal or supply part numbers (or at least specs) for the motor, BMS, controller along with detailed wiring diagram. We should expect a bit more of a learning curve with electric. The average 'motor head' has a pretty good basic understanding of all things IC, but how many know the difference between a sensor and sensor-less controller for a BLDC motor? If builders aren't willing to trade some 'easy' by learnin' then we may never find the solution?

Of course the builder is free to "roll their own'. If they think they can build a Green solar powered Stirling engine....................Just don't complain when it is no longer cheap and easy.
May I suggest that many modern computer geeks are more comfortable with wiring than internal combustion engines?
Any conversion of a motorcycle or lawn-mower engine needs to be a simple, bolt-on kit.
 

Victor Bravo

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What I actually meant was that the power source has to be non-vaporware/non-renderware, using stuff that is available. It cannot be the magic battery that will probably be here tomorrow, or the Otto/Stirling/Diesel/3-Stroke hybrid free-piston engine that someone says they saw a prototype running for ten seconds on a youtube video.

It CAN be a V-twin with an Ace redrive or a home-brew belt reduction, it CAN be an electric with current battery tech, it CAN be a Yamaha Phazer with a gearbox, or a Rotax 503, or a Polini Thor, or a tightly wound up rubber band. It can even be compressed air or CO2 powered like the old Gasparin model airplane motors... becuse that technology is proven to be do-able right now.

So if your 'cheap and simple' flying wing can be put together with an airframe and a 'lectric motor and speed conrtol from a Zero motorcycle and a battery from a repo-man auction Prius... for under ten grand... That's fair game for this exercise.
 

jedi

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What I actually meant was that the power source has to be non-vaporware/non-renderware, using stuff that is available. It cannot be the magic battery that will probably be here tomorrow, or the Otto/Stirling/Diesel/3-Stroke hybrid free-piston engine that someone says they saw a prototype running for ten seconds on a youtube video.

It CAN be a V-twin with an Ace redrive or a home-brew belt reduction, it CAN be an electric with current battery tech, it CAN be a Yamaha Phazer with a gearbox, or a Rotax 503, or a Polini Thor, or a tightly wound up rubber band. It can even be compressed air or CO2 powered like the old Gasparin model airplane motors... becuse that technology is proven to be do-able right now.

So if your 'cheap and simple' flying wing can be put together with an airframe and a 'lectric motor and speed conrtol from a Zero motorcycle and a battery from a repo-man auction Prius... for under ten grand... That's fair game for this exercise.

The real question here is does it need a motor at all. If cheep and simple is the number one driving force then the obvious answer is no motor. The glider is always going to win the cheep - simple contest for initial cost.

The next question is does it meet the mission and market requirements? I think that is the bigger question. For example, there are more paragliders sold than powered paragliders; but there are more airplanes sold than gliders.

VB, you are a good one to ask, you are a glider pilot but you own an airplane. Why? Where does that lead us.

I could ask myself the same questions. The answer would be it needs to be a low (relative) performance motor glider that makes a reasonable performance airplane.

But, it could start life as a glider and grow into a motor glider when the additional cost was justified.

What do you say to that?
 

jedi

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What I actually meant was that the power source has to be non-vaporware/non-renderware, using stuff that is available. It cannot be the magic battery that will probably be here tomorrow, or the Otto/Stirling/Diesel/3-Stroke hybrid free-piston engine that someone says they saw a prototype running for ten seconds on a youtube video.

It CAN be a V-twin with an Ace redrive or a home-brew belt reduction, it CAN be an electric with current battery tech, it CAN be a Yamaha Phazer with a gearbox, or a Rotax 503, or a Polini Thor, or a tightly wound up rubber band. It can even be compressed air or CO2 powered like the old Gasparin model airplane motors... becuse that technology is proven to be do-able right now.

So if your 'cheap and simple' flying wing can be put together with an airframe and a 'lectric motor and speed conrtol from a Zero motorcycle and a battery from a repo-man auction Prius... for under ten grand... That's fair game for this exercise.

The real question here is does it need a motor at all. If cheep and simple is the number one driving force then the obvious answer is no motor. The glider is always going to win the cheep - simple contest for initial cost.

The next question is does it meet the mission and market requirements? I think that is the bigger question. For example, there are more paragliders sold than powered paragliders; but there are more airplanes sold than gliders.

VB, you are a good one to ask, you are a glider pilot but you own an airplane. Why? Where does that lead us.

I could ask myself the same questions. The answer would be it needs to be a low (relative) performance motor glider that makes a reasonable airplane.

How would you respond to that?

I could give two examples of that. The Easy Riser and the Fledgling-Pteradactial-Cascade Ultralight.

Both started as gliders and morphed into airplanes. It is curious that both were also flying wings.

Note that each has flying powered examples in current use but none are currently flown as gliders. Also note that neither is current production although at one time both were commercially produced and sold well.

Either one could be easily built as a home built but there appears to be no demand or desire for plans.

Please explain. How do you make sense of these facts.

I will give my answers if there is any interest expressed.
 
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