Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by Aerowerx, May 24, 2018.
Gossamer Condor, 70 pounds. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacCready_Gossamer_Condor
The Birdman was one of the lightest, but it was actually too light to be safe. An excellent candidate for a re-design using stronger materials IMHO, but not a good candidate for building and flying as-is.
Not an ultralight aircraft. A powered paraglider.
I didn't read it, but when I Googled it one of the hits was an accident report. Something about the wing spar folding, IIRC.
I think it still comes with the plans, but if you buy a set of T-2 plans instead of bootleg, they come with a disk, mine was VHS, of transferred Super8 film on building the T-2, aerial shots of the T-2 including aerobatics, and a bunch of these other " mini" planes, that were new in the early 60's. I have never seen a copy uploaded to Youtube. Its pretty entertaining, if you don't hack on it not being modern. I did the loan thing and never got my copy back. There is not a ton of footage on these little planes, but they must have had get to meetings to show them off.
At 63 kg/139 lb empty, the Mignet-inspired, Belgian-designed Butterfly is certainly a contender for the lightest successful ultralight.
Doesn’t it still meet the Part 103 requirements?
(And if landing gear is the issue, there’s always roller skates.)
What about the Bede Wing para-glider?
He flew a prototype during the 1970s, but never sold any complete kits. It resembled a mid-1979s-vintage Ram-Air Jalbert Para-Foil but was filled with a lighter-than-air gas to simplify launching. It weighed less than nothing in launch configuration, gently wafting above the pilot. The pilot wore a parachute harness and hung from unusually long suspension lines (par for the course during the 1970s.) Since it had 5 cells and an aspect ratio of only 1.8 to 1, we could only expect a 1.8 to 1 glide ratio (lift over drag).
From a distance, the Bede Wing resembled the Strato-Star parachute that I bought in 1979. I jumped ex it a few hundred tim s before trading up to a larger parachute better suited to my weight. A master parachute digger tried to talk me into short-lining it.
I believe that from the FAA's regulatory perspective, the PPG's are seen as the same as the light trikes, which are the same as hang gliders, which are the same as paragliders, which are the same as a "legal" Legal Eagle, which is the same as an old early Quicksilver... they are all "Ultralight Vehicles", not aircraft, gliders, LSA's, etc. If there is a powerplant it needs to be less than 254 pounds, if there isn't a powerplant it needs to be less than 155 pounds.
Mmm, 8 wheels, think of the hp allowance!
According to my calculator 139 lb is heavier than the 100 lb of the Birdman.
Hence the word *successful* in my post....
A powered paraglider is an Ultralight Aircraft. It is not an Ultralight Airplane. Don't want to get into the Aircraft vs. Vehicle discussion but is that where your comment comes from?
Ultralight Vehicles are still aircraft by some FAA definitions.
FAA accident reports, when completed, refer to Ultralights as Unregistered Aircraft even when they were registered with an FAA authorized Ultralight Association.
Nobody has pointed to Hotwing's avatar yet. A 50% accident rate made that design semi-successful?
LOL, good point! By the way, 50% is “semi”.
The original weight shift Quicksilver hang glider with Mac 101 engine was under 100 pounds.
It did lack amenities like landing gear or parachutes.
I never got one out of ground effect, but at 200 lbs. I was overweight for the wing.
The Gemini system, a power add on for hang gliders ran about 100 pounds with an Eipper Flexi-3 glider. http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=27420
I almost always saw it fly with a hill launch, lots of running across the field was done trying for level ground take off. I only saw one successful flat land take off.
Claimed 50 lbs. Harness and engine weight. A Wills Wing Falcon 4 is claimed 45-54 lbs. ( depending on size )
Just under 100 pounds for minimal powered hang glider. Powered paraglider is less, under 90 lbs. Is practical. Add quad landing gear, more powerful engine, bigger wing, you easily get up to 250 pounds.
Trikes with trike specific wings can run under 200 pounds. Well under, for a hang glider wing & minimal trike. http://www.aeros.com.ua/structure/nanotrikes/AnT_en.php 48.5 kilogram claimed without wing.
I’m wondering how a footlauchable 3 axis ultralight could look a like today?
And I don’t mean the trikes and paragliders.
Any motorized version of a glider designed to launch from hang glider sites.
But I have to ask, Absent the need to use rare, often isolated, and sometimes hazardous to get to hang gliding sites, or, as happened, a Regulation requiring foot launch. Why do you WANT foot launch?
Fragile, limited, and possibly age crippled organic landing gear, & spines, are a great reason to use safer, cheaper to repair, wheels.
Many hang glider pilots choose to use small wheels on the control frame to reduce the sudden stop problem that changes a harmless stumble into a structural integrity wrecking slam.
But the answer is the Swift. A lower performance craft is certainly viable. For foot launch a flying wing has great advantages, ( there's a reason few hang gliders have big tails. I've flown tailed gliders, big pain in the butt feathers. ) and the practical aspect ratio limits ( much less than a sailplane ) of a swept wing line up nicely with the practical structural limits of construction.
Short form is powered foot launch aircraft are barely possible with current technology. And utility is marginal. But adding wheels unchains the design to An-225 Mriya capabilities.
Can't fit one of those in the hatchback, like a powered paraglider, though.
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