FPV Freak Buys Lazair for electric conversion.

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Christian Moreton

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May 21, 2020
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Hi. I've been an aviation freak all my 44 years, live in Toronto. Digital artist, filmmaker etc.
So due to Covid related boredom, I randomly bought this Lazair with the eventual goal of
converting her to electric, set up light weight for turf takeoff and land with decent time aloft.
These planes have been flying electric for almost a decade so would not be breaking much new
ground, but the options out there for paramotor and agri-drone systems seem perfectly suited to
the Lazair. Currently looking at making 2xs Li-ion 24s packs out of 21700s.

In the mean time I have to return to my teenage years of fussing with carbs, a million pull-starts, engine rebuilds,
fuel lines etc. BC I want to experience the plane as it was originally intended for a time before modernizing.

Many Thanks.
 

bmcj

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Welcome to HBA Christian.

FPV... does that mean you are going to make it remotely pilotable?
 

BJC

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Welcome.

I encourage you to open a build thread for your project. Are you an experienced ultralight pilot?


BJC
 

Christian Moreton

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Welcome.

I encourage you to open a build thread for your project. Are you an experienced ultralight pilot?


BJC
When I actually start the conversion I will.
Not an experienced pilot yet, been an aviation enthusiast all my life and have flown many many rc planes. But I will likely get many hours in the Lazair as she has classically been run, with twin Rotax 185's.
 

Dana

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Get some flying lessons in a real plane, preferably a LSA, preferably a very light LSA, before you try to fly the Lazair. Your R/C experience will help-- a lot-- but it's not enough.
 

Christian Moreton

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Get some flying lessons in a real plane, preferably a LSA, preferably a very light LSA, before you try to fly the Lazair. Your R/C experience will help-- a lot-- but it's not enough.
Yes I am on several waiting lists to go through ultralight instruction, in a 2 seater quicksilver, and I have done instruction in Cesna airplanes before, and will practice doing VFR and VOR approaches in a cesna with instructor before attempting with Lazair. I will be doing tons of preparation, getting my requried instructor hours, and going solo in other ultralights before attempting to fly the Lazair. Hoping to by flying by July or August. With covid, instructors are not willing to work yet, so I am in a holding pattern, reading everything I can find.
 

proppastie

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Please report on the success of the motor....The Chinese have a habit of overstating their capabilities....I have seen at least 2 postings of other motors one about 6kv from a 20kv motor, another failed (burned up) rather quickly.
 

Christian Moreton

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Please report on the success of the motor....The Chinese have a habit of overstating their capabilities....I have seen at least 2 postings of other motors one about 6kv from a 20kv motor, another failed (burned up) rather quickly.
Interesting. This makes me want to introduce a phase of bench testing motors to test how much amperage = how much static thrust. To make sure the motors are totally matched and working as tech specs advertise.
 

Christian Moreton

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Get some flying lessons in a real plane, preferably a LSA, preferably a very light LSA, before you try to fly the Lazair. Your R/C experience will help-- a lot-- but it's not enough.
I am looking at my RC experience more as experience with electric motor systems. But all my flying has been remote and so my body is not at all ready for g forces, stalls etc. I am pretty agile on my skateboard, even in a ramp/vert situation, so I know I have good balance and orientation, but will need several flights (10-20 hours) with an instructor doing stalls and many landings before I can even contemplate going solo. I'm in Canada and there is much training in permitting for ultralight required.
 

proppastie

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This makes me want to introduce a phase of bench testing motors to test how much amperage = how much static thrust.
That is a lot of money if it is smoke and mirrors.....We have experienced posters here .....write them....I see a lot of "had to rewind the motor" which to me is garbage.....The only successes I have seen are the Zero motor cycle conversions, but I have not been looking too hard because it looks like for my weight and hp limitations they are too heavy .....and somewhat expensive
 

Christian Moreton

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Ya I'm thinking of mainly using agricultural drone and paraglider motors (10kw) that are about half the power of what people are trying to use for light sport electric. By now there are enough heavy lift drones out there that they are made on an assembly line by the dozen. I would not accept any problems. The test bench phase of onboarding Chinese made kit starts with unboxing the product from it's shipping packaging on video, wiring it up to a test bench with load and power, run up to speed while watching amperage and heat all on video. If motors don't work as advertised, I have/post the video of issues publicly and get sercvice/results. Been through this several times in FPV. But IMP manufacturing in China now is very capable and I expect decent results. I think the debate is still out as to weather hand winding or automated winding is better. But at the end of the day, one should not get into electric flight if they are horrified at the prospect of re-winding a motor. It's the equivalent of a gas engine rebuild.
 

proppastie

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FPV. But IMP manufacturing in China
FPV??? IMP???? China leads the world in manufacturing now (means they do the most of it)..... finding the best and or one that will stand behind their products take returns refund money, might be another matter. If you find that motor company please post... It is easy to make a pretty advertisement as a digital expert you would know. Remember many magazines or now web sites get their income from many of the producs they just happen to be writing articles about....I doubt you will see anything bad in those articles. Sort of like EAA never had a bad word about a homebuilt aircraft.
 

Victor Bravo

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As someone who started with model airplanes and transitioned into full-size airplanes, let me say that the modeling experience is incredibly important. It gives you many different "instinct" capabilities in an airplane and an understanding of how air flows around things. I cannot count the number of times that my R/C experience (and free flight, and control line) have made me capable of flying better, or gave me the skills/instinct to not make a fatal mistake. Or to get me out of a situation that should have been fatal.

BUT, just like models give you certain skills you would not get elsewhere, having your butt in the airplane and feeling the air flow around you gives you the other half of the instinct and skill set that you could never get with models, flight sim, books, classroom training, youtube videos, etc.

So please trust all of us laughable curmudgeonly old folk when we insist that you get direct hands-on flight instruction in a two seat "real ultralight", like a Quicksilver, or Challenger, etc. Our much-beloved Cessna 150 is not the correct trainer for a Lazair.

Unless you're a dot com billionaire with cash to burn, don't spend one dime on getting instruction in VOR navigation. Spend that money on basic airmanship training and practice in an aircraft with a wing loading of LESS than 5 pounds per square foot.
 

proppastie

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one should not get into electric flight if they are horrified at the prospect of re-winding a motor
Well I have a lot to learn about electric....but I would think there would be significant differences between a 6kv and 20 kv motor bearing wise , and size of windings......and if I hooked it up out of the box and turned up the controller to 20kv and it melted or shorted out I certainly would not be very happy after spending $800.
 

Christian Moreton

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So please trust all of us laughable curmudgeonly old folk when we insist that you get direct hands-on flight instruction in a two seat "real ultralight", like a Quicksilver, or Challenger
I'm not sure where you guys are getting the idea that I plan on jumping in this plane without any flight instruction. I never said anything like that or gave that impression. I really can't wait for my instruction to begin but everything is on hold.
So I'm just going over every inch of her.
 

Christian Moreton

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Well I have a lot to learn about electric....but I would think there would be significant differences between a 6kv and 20 kv motor bearing wise , and size of windings......and if I hooked it up out of the box and turned up the controller to 20kv and it melted or shorted out I certainly would not be very happy after spending $800.
Yes that would all be very stupid of you to do and would end very unhappily, I'll also try not to shoot my foot off next time I hold a gun.
 
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