My new (to me) Le Pelican Ultralight

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oldcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
96
Location
Lizella, Ga
I just wanted to share this with everyone.
I am 55 yrs old and have always loved aircraft. My dream was to build and fly my own aircraft one day. At about the age of 30, I received my Pilots License and shortly after that I purchased a set of Ran Robinson's KR2 plans. Well life got in the way and I never got the chance to build the KR2. After a few deployments to the desert I came home a little messed up and was forced to medically retire. Knowing that I would never be able to pass a medical exam, I started thinking about an ultralight. I have drawn a few of my own designs up on CAD, along with a few from different plans that I had purchased or downloaded. I still was not able to take the plunge and start buying aluminum. Then I found a picture of the "Le Pelican". This little plane just sort of sat with me. I really like the way it looked AND I like the performance numbers. (just a simple slow flyer)
I posted on here a couple of months ago trying to get some information on this plane, and started chatting with Percy (pwood66889) as he was currently in possession of a Le Pelican. I was trying to get down to his place (as I am just 4hrs away) to get some measurements, so that I would be able to reproduce the plane. Percy said just bring a trailer and I could pick the plane up. He was going to give me the plane? For free? After a week of planning (and it still hadn't sunk in) I was driving down to Fl. to pick up my plane. My free plane. I met Percy at a local Mexican restaurant, and bought him lunch. ( the very least I could do) Then we proceeded to his place to pick up my plane.
All while driving home, I kept looking in the rear view mirror still not believing that I finally have an airplane. Now she is not perfect, but totally restorable. It won't be until next summer until I can start the restoration, but I am going to document everything, and transfer everything to CAD. ( just so I will have back up parts if needed)
So here it is. God blesses us all in His time. When I came home from Iraq and could no longer work. I lost everything. (home,vehicles, ect) And like Job, God has blessed me ten fold. I struggled at times with my faith, because of the pain and depression, but God saw me through it all. My faith in Him is stronger now that it has ever been, as well as my love for Him. God answer prayers. That I believe. Thank you Percy for my little plane, and thank you God for putting Percy in my path.
Rev. Ken Ragan
VFW Post 658 Chaplainlp1.jpg lp2.jpg
 

b7gwap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
257
Location
UT
That’s a pretty grand act, a man giving another his airplane. Good on ya Percy.

I’m also very glad to hear you’ll be capturing the design in CAD. If you need any help with that or just want to divvy up statements of work, this vet does free CAD work for Purple Hearts.

This is an important design that, like many part 103 planes, is unfortunately quite obscure due to its low build numbers and kit-not-plans design.

Good luck! And thanks for your service.

Austin
 

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
3,779
Location
Las Cruces, NM
Congratulations on your new arrival! And kudos to Percy (I met him when he flew his Ercoupe to Las Cruces for the National Ercoupe Owners fly in, he's a top notch guy).

You could start your build log by showing your CAD work while your waiting to start the actual restoration (that would be pretty cool).

And yep, God will work wonders in your life if you just don't get in His way ;)
 

pwood66889

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,532
Location
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
I have a folder of stuff on the LePelican, Ken, that I need to get your way. When you get time, please PM me your postal contact.
And yet, I feel blessed as well. Sounds like it now has the good home it deserves!
Percy
 

deskpilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
1,118
Location
Morphett Vale, South Australia. Just south of Adel
Padrey, like you, I was gifted my first plane and am still the process of restoring her to flying condition. "She" is a 1976 Thruster who hasn't flown for about 15 years due to deteriorated Dacron skins. A labour of love and experimentation as I'm converting her to a folding wing system and will be covering her with a resin impregnated silk which is stronger than Dacron and a **** sight cheaper. Her original Rotax 503 runs nicely if noisily so I'm going to make a new muffler for her. As for myself, I learnt to fly at age 64 and am currently 77. I, like you, need this project in my life to keep the brain functioning mentally and giving me some thing to aim for in what is a some what mundane life.


DSCF4662.JPG As stored for 13 years.

DSCF4668.JPG Not too shabby but a lot of unwanted holes and a deteriorated windscreen. The seat is also way to small for my 'on the big size' butt.

DSCF5505.JPG Looking sharper but a long way to go.

Good luck with your project Sir, Doug Mansfield. Australia.
 

BigBen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
60
Location
Sebring,FL
Padrey, like you, I was gifted my first plane and am still the process of restoring her to flying condition. "She" is a 1976 Thruster who hasn't flown for about 15 years due to deteriorated Dacron skins. A labour of love and experimentation as I'm converting her to a folding wing system and will be covering her with a resin impregnated silk which is stronger than Dacron and a **** sight cheaper. Her original Rotax 503 runs nicely if noisily so I'm going to make a new muffler for her. As for myself, I learnt to fly at age 64 and am currently 77. I, like you, need this project in my life to keep the brain functioning mentally and giving me some thing to aim for in what is a some what mundane life.


View attachment 88984 As stored for 13 years.

View attachment 88985 Not too shabby but a lot of unwanted holes and a deteriorated windscreen. The seat is also way to small for my 'on the big size' butt.

View attachment 88987 Looking sharper but a long way to go.

Good luck with your project Sir, Doug Mansfield. Australia.
 

deskpilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
1,118
Location
Morphett Vale, South Australia. Just south of Adel
Hi BB, just a little history first. I got the idea from a motoring site where 2 guys were building a Super Mini and needed to add flares to cover wider wheels. They used Lycra stretched over a light frame and long story short, it worked out wonderfully. I did the same, initially and ran into a few problems. holding the Lycra in place when stretched was a nigh-mare, and, Lycra isn't cheap.DSCF4929.JPG Unstretched and impregnated. Reverse side.

DSCF4930.JPG Face side

DSCF4931.JPG Bend test

DSCF5196 (Copy).JPG First trial on the skeg. Apart from the unevenness of resin application, it wasn't a bad trial. It's pretty obvious that no painting is required so I started looking for cheaper materials so turned to cheap faux silk from China, India etc. So many choices. I carried on with experiments using dress lining from am a local shop and found that cheap silk, real or faux seems to be just as good provided it is pulled taught. Some parts on my plane can be machined stitched into pockets and then, when slipped over it's frame portion, be pulled tight on the open side/end. Trial and error is your best friend, plus a large dish of patience.

DSCF5190 (Copy).JPG Original skin left. In order to get a more consistent lay-up, I've tried infilling the structure with foam on which to press while applying the resin.

Fin and Skeg foam infill.JPG sheet insulation foam from Bunnings Nice fit but heavy

DSCF5652.JPG Spray foam, inconsistent density and very rough finish.

Experiments still ongoing and choice of colour/pattern still undecided. Will need about 20 yards, @ AU$ about $50 plus resin, compared with approx $2500 for new Dacron.

Back to Oldcrow, sorry for hijacking your thread but this might be of use to you as well. Cheers guys, got to go as swmbo wants new curtains hung.
 

challenger_II

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
94
Location
Fisher County, Tx. USA
Doug, humor an idiot, please: when you state "resin", what material are you referring to?
I have covered model airplanes for years, using polyester dress lining, and nitrate/butyrate dope, but this notion of the resin has my curiosity in afterburner!

Thanks!

Everett
 

deskpilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
1,118
Location
Morphett Vale, South Australia. Just south of Adel
Hi Everett, my trials were done using normal fiber glass resin as bought from Bunnings but I'm looking at trying Total Boat as the mix proportion are much easier to control. It is critical to get mix and hardening times right else the second coat can separate from the first. I let the first coat harden for 4 hours then applied a second coat. It worked but don't see me as an expert.
 
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