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New Ultralight and LSA Trainer design PAIR

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What is your interest/input in such a project?

  • I think that this is a pipe dream, and you're wasting your time.

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  • I think that this is a pipe dream, and you're wasting your time.

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    25

Rienk

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Would a pod and boom really be that much cheaper than a standard full on fuselage? What sort of difference in construction time/simplicity are we looking at?
BTW, pod and boom allows for a lot less wetted area, and usually simpler fabrication - neither of which are real important to this 103UL (except for crosswind). They are actually less efficient for weight/strength distribution.
 

Rienk

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INSPIRATION !

Here are some photos of an aircraft I own, called the "Suitcase Airplane", designated X14-d. It folds up into three fairly small packages, and actually flew many times, though it had a very unreliable engine, so most landings ended up power off.
It was featured in several magazines (Popular Science Jan'93, Experimenter, early 93?) and had several blurbs in Sport Aviation before that.

The ultimate "light" aircraft, with incredible high lift, slow flight devices (we even got inquiries from "military" types, presumably interested in troup rescue). Someday, I hope to develop a more realistic model of this aircraft - possibly with many of the parts injection molded.

Enjoy, and be inspired!
 

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Autodidact

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BTW, pod and boom allows for a lot less wetted area, and usually simpler fabrication - neither of which are real important to this 103UL (except for crosswind). They are actually less efficient for weight/strength distribution.
Simpler fabrication is one of the main points here, isn't it?
 

Autodidact

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hi, I'm new to the forum but how about wood and foam construction like the skypup uses. The whole airframe on this bird can be built for around $2000 minus engine. The dow blue foam can be purchased from lowes. The design easily meets part 103 specs usually coming in anywhere from 200 to around 240 pounds on the high side

The 2 axis control system might be a turn off for some but its very effective, just throwing some ideas out there. theres a pretty active discussion on the design here. Skypup-club : Skypup-club
The Skypup is one of my favorite designs, but I just can't seem to get over my aversion to non-encapsulated foam. It may be a baseless fear, but I just keep remembering all of those beer coolers and how durable they weren't (of course, you're not supposed to drink beer and fly ultralites - I mean, ultralights).
 

Monty

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HERDING CATS :grin:

(But I'm willing to do it, even if many drop out, since I intend to see this project through to completion)
YUP :tired:

I have been thinking about this a bit. What if what we are after is not really there? What if aviation is like horse back riding? It's just expensive, dangerous, and requires a lot of training, dedication, and discipline and therefore will NEVER appeal to the majority of the public?

Even if you could remove the expensive from this equation, I'm not so sure the other things would not still be show stoppers. I can't really come up with a way to get rid of the training, dedication, and discipline parts, and I'm not sure I can do much with the dangerous part. In the era of helicopter parents....I'm not seeing it.

Just sayin.....

Other than that forget the engine and just do [video=youtube;-noBy7oHCG0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-noBy7oHCG0[/video] :ban:

Monty
 
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Rienk

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Simpler fabrication is one of the main points here, isn't it?
Not really... for production purposes, it's okay to not be "simply" fabricated - meaning it may need jig fixtures and/or more man hours to build. This of course assumes that we are using inexpensive labor.

To put it another way, the main goal is not to have the most "simple" plane, but the least expensive to manufacture (assuming safety and performance).
 

Rienk

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YUP :tired:

I have been thinking about this a bit. What if what we are after is not really there? What if aviation is like horse back riding? It's just expensive, dangerous, and requires a lot of training, dedication, and discipline and therefore will NEVER appeal to the majority of the public?

Even if you could remove the expensive from this equation, I'm not so sure the other things would not still be show stoppers. I can't really come up with a way to get rid of the training, dedication, and discipline parts, and I'm not sure I can do much with the dangerous part. In the era of helicopter parents....I'm not seeing it.

Just sayin.....

Other than that forget the engine and just do this :ban:

Monty
These are valid concerns.
But frankly, the danger is often the very thing about motorsports that appeals to people - and it is that type of "adventurous" (not stupid) people that we are really marketing to.
What is the annual sales of motorcycles? Dirt bikes or Harleys, or both?
I believe it's in the hundreds of thousands per year. Capturing one percent of that amount would still mean the potential of thousands of aircraft per year.
In my opinion, the barrier is not the training, dedication and discipline - that is actually part of the fun of any motorsport. As Jordan brought up, what makes these other sports FUN is either competition or comradery! And for the most part, that is what has been missing in aviation.
That is why this proposal is not just for an aircraft, but for an entire Sport!

BTW, I'm casual friends with the owner of that Goat, and we email occasionally about that and other designs. It actually goes to show that offering something for 'free' doesn't mean that it will become popular.
Instead, my marketing plan would include something like giving away at least ten aircraft to high profile people - especially those that fly... think Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, as well as country musicians, race car drivers, pro athletes, etc.
 

Monty

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These are valid concerns.
But frankly, the danger is often the very thing about motorsports that appeals to people - and it is that type of "adventurous" (not stupid) people that we are really marketing to.
What is the annual sales of motorcycles? Dirt bikes or Harleys, or both?
I believe it's in the hundreds of thousands per year. Capturing one percent of that amount would still mean the potential of thousands of aircraft per year.
In my opinion, the barrier is not the training, dedication and discipline - that is actually part of the fun of any motorsport. As Jordan brought up, what makes these other sports FUN is either competition or comradery! And for the most part, that is what has been missing in aviation.
That is why this proposal is not just for an aircraft, but for an entire Sport!

BTW, I'm casual friends with the owner of that Goat, and we email occasionally about that and other designs. It actually goes to show that offering something for 'free' doesn't mean that it will become popular.
Instead, my marketing plan would include something like giving away at least ten aircraft to high profile people - especially those that fly... think Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, as well as country musicians, race car drivers, pro athletes, etc.
Oh, I agree completely, I'm just playing devils advocate. Cruiser bikes and crotch rockets tend to be about hey look at me, see how cool I am. We can pretty much write off that segment. We don't get seen that much. One of the biggest problems is we are "separated" from the public for their "safety". So the contact they have with aviation is being felt up at the airport and complaining about the noise. That is one thing the red bull air racing has done a great deal to improve.

On the goat thing...I was just funnin'. Only works in very specific places at very specific times.

I did do some thinking about the motor glider aspect. For me personally I really enjoyed the friendships and fun around the gliderport. It was really good pilot training as well. You self certify for medical fitness. You don't have a lot of the silly rules handicapping the design like you do with part 103. If you went with a strut braced low drag design where most of the strength was in the tubing, similar to your suitcase plane, and then put a nice sleek molded plastic fairing around the pilot, I'd be interested. There is a single main wheel, a single brake, low drag etc. Use one of the smaller briggs V twin engines and it could be really affordable. Direct drive...no redrive to fool with. The low drag light wing loading makes that work.

Have you ever seen the Windrose?

The biggest problem is getting the tow pilot, the weather, and everybody's schedule at the same place at the same time. Plus tow planes ain't cheap. But you already have an infrastructure to work with. Have you talked to the ssa? I imagine they would do anything to get more people into the sport.

There is already a sport aspect and competition with the badge flights. You could have a standard class just like the JR dragsters, and go karts.

Monty
 
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Rienk

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Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
I also communicate with a few other designers and engineers.
I'm looking for a design that Jim Marske proposes for a beginner aircraft (flying wing glider).

Attached is a design that Orion has on his website, that I think would be a fantastic style for an ultralight.

The rest of the photos (bad quality, copied from a PDF) are similar to what I envisioned for a twin boom pusher.


Song
is new all composite Part103 ultralight airplane designed by Marek Ivanov and Airsport company engineers Effective aerodynamic concept and state
of art composite construction combined with reliable 4 stroke engine gives Song extraordinary performances and flight characteristics. Song was designed for economic cross-country flying and fun soaring.

Weights and dimensions
Wing span 11,4 m
Length 5,9 m
Wing area 10,5 m2
Empty weight 113 kg
with rescue rocket system 119 kg
Max take off weight 220 kg
Performances
Stall speed 45 km/h
Never exceeding speed 140 km/h
Cruise speed 88 km/h
Rate of climb
Bailey 3V180 1,5 m/s
Bailey 4V200 2m/s
Take off distance 150 m
Landing distance 80m
Song advantages
☺ all composite carbon fiber construction
☺ reliable 4 stroke engine
☺ 3 wheel undercarriage
☺ suspended main wheels
☺ stearable nose wheel
☺ airbrakes
☺ wheel brakes
☺ flaps
☺ enclosed cockpit
☺ 20l integral fuel tanks
☺ Rescue rocket systém(option)
I
☺ excelent visibility
☺ perfect soaring capabilities
☺ low fuel consuption (3-4l/hour)
☺ easy acces to cockpit
 

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Rienk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
1,366
Location
Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Oh, I agree completely, I'm just playing devils advocate. Cruiser bikes and crotch rockets tend to be about hey look at me, see how cool I am. We can pretty much write off that segment. We don't get seen that much. One of the biggest problems is we are "separated" from the public for their "safety". So the contact they have with aviation is being felt up at the airport and complaining about the noise. That is one thing the red bull air racing has done a great deal to improve.

I did do some thinking about the motor glider aspect. For me personally I really enjoyed the friendships and fun around the gliderport. It was really good pilot training as well. You self certify for medical fitness. You don't have a lot of the silly rules handicapping the design like you do with part 103. If you went with a strut braced low drag design where most of the strength was in the tubing, similar to your suitcase plane, and then put a nice sleek molded plastic fairing around the pilot, I'd be interested. There is a single main wheel, a single brake, low drag etc. Use one of the smaller briggs V twin engines and it could be really affordable. Direct drive...no redrive to fool with. The low drag light wing loading makes that work.

Have you ever seen the Windrose?

The biggest problem is getting the tow pilot, the weather, and everybody's schedule at the same place at the same time. Plus tow planes ain't cheap. But you already have an infrastructure to work with. Have you talked to the ssa? I imagine they would do anything to get more people into the sport.

There is already a sport aspect and competition with the badge flights. You could have a standard class just like the JR dragsters, and go karts.

Monty
I'm not sure I agree about the cruiser guys - the whole mentality is to be able to "say" they own one; the only people who really see them on it are the people they tour with. SO, we need to get groups of these people to change their weekend get-togethers to be centered around where they can fly together!

Likewise many of the crotch rocket riders. Granted, a lot of the younger ones do it in the hope of attracting girls, but again, a lot of them do it to race, do tricks, and ride mountain roads real fast.
Another group that could show off their skills (legally) in three dimensions instead.

Both of the groups could be prime candidates for the planes we're talking about - but it all depends on marketing, and critical mass (tipping point).

Motor gliders with retractable props like the Sonata (a mini Stemme) are ideal to me, and that is a design I have on the back burner.

But going for badges is a great idea, though doing it for distance doesn't make sense in an ultralight (we don't want fuel starvation). Instead, it needs to be comparison of skill as Jordan mentioned. It can even be timed competitions, just like the Red Bull races!
 

Autodidact

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Not really... for production purposes, it's okay to not be "simply" fabricated - meaning it may need jig fixtures and/or more man hours to build. This of course assumes that we are using inexpensive labor.

To put it another way, the main goal is not to have the most "simple" plane, but the least expensive to manufacture (assuming safety and performance).
But, even if you're using inexpensive labor, wouldn't it still be cheaper if they spent less time building it?

What if it were so well designed that most of it was made in automated machinery (CNC gantry, etc....) and you only had a handful of parts to assemble, you could manufacture less expensively here in America because most of the labor would be automated and what human labor you did use would be offset by not having to ship it over from wherever. You wouldn't have to pay management to set up and run a factory in a foreign country. You're not going to have the volume ( thousands and thousands) to make foreign production work unless you purposely make the design more complicated than it needs to be. Like the new Cessna which is only a slightly restyled 150 with bad handling (unless they fixed it, of course) and the exact same construction method.
 
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Inverted Vantage

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I think motorgliders or gliders in general would be too non-mainstream. Describing gliding to someone doesn't exactly convey "exciting".

"Ok, we're going to put you in this plane with no engine..."

"Well that's stupid, I want to control where I'm going."

"Fine, we'll give you a little engine"

"Awesome, so I can go power around the sky and do loops and stuff?"

"Uh, no, you're really only supposed to use it sometimes"

"Uh...like when doing aerobatics?"

"No, just to take off and stuff."

"Um...alright. So uh, what do I do in the glider? Try and dodge through mountains and stuff?"

"No, it's much more fun than that"

"Oh boy, do tell!"

"Well, you have to try and fly as long as possible by flying in circles."

"Uh..."

"Or you can try flying the most efficient route from point A to B!"

"Um...."

"Exciting, right? Or, get this, you can try doing soaring competitions, where dozens of gliders float about in complete silence, surrounded by men who are typically 40+ years old cheering you on!"

"I think I'm going to go hop on my motorcycle and pelt down a track while a dozen hot girls ogle and scream my name. Thanks though, sounds like uhh....lots of fun"
 

Autodidact

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You could build an entire pod and boom fuselage structure from firewall to tailpost from no more than 12 CNC machined components that could be bolted together in 30 minutes. I'll be happy to draw it up if you like.
 

Monty

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I think motorgliders or gliders in general would be too non-mainstream. Describing gliding to someone doesn't exactly convey "exciting".

"Ok, we're going to put you in this plane with no engine..."

"Well that's stupid, I want to control where I'm going."

"Fine, we'll give you a little engine"

"Awesome, so I can go power around the sky and do loops and stuff?"

"Uh, no, you're really only supposed to use it sometimes"

"Uh...like when doing aerobatics?"

"No, just to take off and stuff."

"Um...alright. So uh, what do I do in the glider? Try and dodge through mountains and stuff?"

"No, it's much more fun than that"

"Oh boy, do tell!"

"Well, you have to try and fly as long as possible by flying in circles."

"Uh..."

"Or you can try flying the most efficient route from point A to B!"

"Um...."

"Exciting, right? Or, get this, you can try doing soaring competitions, where dozens of gliders float about in complete silence, surrounded by men who are typically 40+ years old cheering you on!"

"I think I'm going to go hop on my motorcycle and pelt down a track while a dozen hot girls ogle and scream my name. Thanks though, sounds like uhh....lots of fun"
Thank you for making my previous points.

I was thinking more along the lines of a powered competition. You can do aerobatics in a sail plane...it's actually a lot of fun, and I don't care how fast you ride your motorcycle....That first spin, or loop will get your attention, even that 100 foot rope break thing. I was thinking more along the lines that the infrastructure was there for training and such....but the people in it may be too stodgy to want to have a bunch of annoying whippersnappers buzzing around in all those darn motorgliders :ponder:.

I've raced cars, and ridden motorcycles....I'd rather fly. but I do agree with most of what you say. I'm just not sure aviation is going to catch on with the masses...ever. And come to think of it....not a whole lot of hot babes hanging out around the glider port....:cry:

Monty
 

Rienk

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But, even if you're using inexpensive labor, wouldn't it still be cheaper if they spent less time building it?

What if it were so well designed that most of it was made in automated machinery (CNC gantry, etc....) and you only had a handful of parts to assemble, you could manufacture less expensively here in America because most of the labor would be automated and what human labor you did use would be offset by not having to ship it over from wherever. You wouldn't have to pay management to set up and run a factory in a foreign country. You're not going to have the volume ( thousands and thousands) to make foreign production work unless you purposely make the design more complicated than it needs to be. Like the new Cessna which is only a slightly restyled 150 with bad handling (unless they fixed it, of course) and the exact same construction method.
Yes, reducing labor hours is good no matter the hourly cost - point taken. However, setting up overseas is not that difficult - especially if you are already set up to do so.
We make things in Mexico and China, and plan to do so with some of our aviation projects anyway - so adding the UL is not a problem. From Mexico a truck can be at our airport in six hours (including border crossing) and a container can get to California from China for $3500 - and I bet you could get ten ULs in a container.

We obviously don't want to make the design more complicated than necessary, but there is no way that we can make anything cheap enough in the US... direct labor is only one aspect - G&A, insurance, facilities - it all adds up.
 

Rienk

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You could build an entire pod and boom fuselage structure from firewall to tailpost from no more than 12 CNC machined components that could be bolted together in 30 minutes. I'll be happy to draw it up if you like.
I'd love to see it!
But do you realize what machine time costs?
In small volumes, CNC work can save some costs, but not enough... for a good aviation example, look at the Jabiru engine.
 

Rienk

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Thank you for making my previous points.

I was thinking more along the lines of a powered competition. You can do aerobatics in a sail plane...it's actually a lot of fun, and I don't care how fast you ride your motorcycle....That first spin, or loop will get your attention, even that 100 foot rope break thing. I was thinking more along the lines that the infrastructure was there for training and such....but the people in it may be too stodgy to want to have a bunch of annoying whippersnappers buzzing around in all those darn motorgliders :ponder:.

I've raced cars, and ridden motorcycles....I'd rather fly. but I do agree with most of what you say. I'm just not sure aviation is going to catch on with the masses...ever. And come to think of it....not a whole lot of hot babes hanging out around the glider port....:cry:

Monty
You both seem to be missing the forest for the trees!
Jordan, I'm not talking about building a motorglider for the main purpose of turning off the engine, though that would be a great option.
I'm talking about the possibility of having different training and manufacturing requirements, that may allow us to not have to worry about 103 regs.

But even with 103, the reality is that the requirements limit top speed, so it's not as if we can't use better aerodynamics and reliable power to do other things - like climb and maneuver!

And Monty, reaching the "masses" is a relative term... if we could increase the number of pilots by Ten fold - wouldn't that be a success?

And frankly, the hot babes don't really care about the particular vehicle, they are there for the guys! There is no reason that we can't make this a self fulfilling prophecy with the right aircraft, the right price, the right marketing, and som dumb luck. Yeah, it's a long road... but what the hey - it's worth a shot.

Even if we don't make it happen, maybe someone else can build on our failure to achieve success!
 

Autodidact

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I'd love to see it!
But do you realize what machine time costs?
In small volumes, CNC work can save some costs, but not enough... for a good aviation example, look at the Jabiru engine.
Well I've got myself into a fine mess this time.
 
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