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Sandlin Goat or Similar

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Direct C51

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Aug 26, 2014
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Bakersfield, CA
I have been seriously considering a cheap, easy to build, self launching, ultralight glider for awhile now. Every time I search for what I want to build, I always tend to come back to the Sandlin Goat. My requirements are as follows.

- Part 103 legal.

- 3 axis stick and rudder control.

- Easily transported, trucktop is certainly preferred, but a small cheap trailer would be ok.

- Easy construction techniques. My Sonex will remain my main project in my garage at home, this will be a secondary project I build in my free time at work. I will have my hangar to work in, but only simple tools, no welding and preferably no jigs. I could fabricate the more intricate parts in my workshop at home, but the bulk of assembly should be easily completed with just a few small, transportable tools.

- I would prefer not to build with wood. It's simply not my medium of choice.

- I am hoping to self launch on hillside slopes. I really want to get in to gliding and soaring, but the tow rates and glider rental at the local soaring club are higher than a powered rental. It just isn't feasible at this time so I am hoping to have some relatively free fun.

- Cost to build around $2,000 - $4,000.

The Goat seems to fit my needs pretty well. I understand Sandlin released the drawings with very little testing, and to serve as a copy of what he built, not necessarily plans to build your own. The drawings do seem to be complete enough to use as plans however. Does anyone have any further information on the design? Are there any glaring design flaws? I would be most interested in meeting anyone who has built a Goat, if they are located within a reasonable drive from Bakersfield, CA.

-Nate
 
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Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

The Goat seems to fit my needs pretty well. I understand Sandlin released the drawings with very little testing, and to serve as a copy of what he built, not necessarily plans to build your own. The drawings do seem to be complete enough to use as plans however. Does anyone have any further information on the design? Are there any glaring design flaws? I would be most interested in meeting anyone who has built a Goat, if they are located within a reasonable drive from Bakersfield, CA.

-Nate
Is San Diego too far? You can find three or four Sandlin GOAT and BUG aircraft, the designer, the test pilot(s), and the other members of the Sandlin Air-Chair gang down there.

Try to find Floyd Fronius, he is the de facto ambassador and most experienced pilot of that type aircraft. I'm sorry that this had not been posted a few days ago, I saw Floyd on Saturday and could have gotten a phone number. In the era of Google and Youtube it should not be that hard to find him... really nice guy and has always been glad to discuss the aircraft with interested people.

The design is well proven over hundreds and hundreds of flight hours. Although the engineering has not been officially "certified" by any entity, many people in the know are very very confident that the engineering behind this design is sound.

I believe that if you build it to the drawings and info that are in circulation from the ORIGINAL people involved, you will find the GOAT will be a very safe, enjoyable aircraft and undoubtedly the best bang for the least bucks imaginable.

It is almost universally accepted as a safe and "properly designed" aircraft among the air-chair, soaring, and homebuilding ocmmunities.
 
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jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

I also would look into the Rainbow Aviation's EMG 6. They are in Corning, Northern CA. It sounds as though you may want a foot launch capability which the EMG does not have and the cost may be more. However, I think you will find the design is a refined "Goat" with very complete plans and parts availability that will more than make up for the differential. If the foot launch is required, it may be accomplished with limited modifications. A comparison of empty weight and portability would be in order.

I would like to see the comparison results.
 

Direct C51

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Aug 26, 2014
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Bakersfield, CA
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Although the EMG seems to be a pretty neat motorglider, I am really looking for something much cheaper to build, which is why I am looking for a glider without a motor.

VB - I am very sorry to have missed the ESA gathering in Tehachapi this weekend. I'm sure I could have benefited from it greatly.
 

addicted2climbing

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Glendale, CA
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

They don't answer phones or e-mails from my personal experience.
I have to agree with VB. I emailed them via their contact page form as well as an email to another email address. Neither were returned. I ended up calling them and spoke to the lady there who was very nice and gave me another email to contact her direct. A few days later I emailed her to the email she gave me and nothing. Its sad because they really have gone above and beyond with all the documentation on their design, but they definitely fall short on prospective customer contact. I have decided to pass on the design as i feel the EMG-6 is more of a sport plane than a motorglider as it has nearly the same wing area as the goat but at twice the weight before pilots. Its still a super cool design, but I think they tried to hit too many design criteria and having it 2 place does not make sense and adds a fair amount of weight to a wingspan with not enough area to thermal power off even with one pilot. With some serious strong lift I am sure it will thermal, but for the average day its likely gonna be a sled ride.
 

Victor Bravo

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Actually I have to back-pedal, I looked through my e-mails and I did find a response from them. My error.
 
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Victor Bravo

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Oh heck, now I've done it...

I had called and e-mailed them, then got no reply for a while, and then later yet I did get a reply from Carol saying that they were indeed going to come up with a technical answer and put that answer on their blog... and I am not aware one way or another whether that information went on the blog or not. So even though I did get a response technically, I still do not have any specific answer to the original inquiry about the technical specs of the extrusion.

Really annoying thing about blogs versus a traditional website... the blogs can be really cumbersome and confusing for you to try and find something specific, and it becomes a huge time-suck, behaving like "vaporware" where you go round and round trying to find something useful but never reach it.

Call me an old-school dinosaur, but your website should put information within a couple of clicks, following a path that is logical to the visitor, not the web designer.
 

Topaz

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Oh heck, now I've done it...

I had called and e-mailed them, then got no reply for a while, and then later yet I did get a reply from Carol saying that they were indeed going to come up with a technical answer and put that answer on their blog... and I am not aware one way or another whether that information went on the blog or not. So even though I did get a response technically, I still do not have any specific answer to the original inquiry about the technical specs of the extrusion.

Really annoying thing about blogs versus a traditional website... the blogs can be really cumbersome and confusing for you to try and find something specific, and it becomes a huge time-suck, behaving like "vaporware" where you go round and round trying to find something useful but never reach it.

Call me an old-school dinosaur, but your website should put information within a couple of clicks, following a path that is logical to the visitor, not the web designer.
"Yeah, you should use a canned blog platform to build your company's website, instead of the custom site I could build for you."

Said no web designer, ever.

Business owners love to go cheap, often to their own detriment. Using a blog instead of a proper website is a prime example.
 

Direct C51

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Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
129
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Bakersfield, CA
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Mods, please change the thread title to "Rainbow Aviation EMG-6", I'll start a new one for the Goat.

I'm kidding of course. The EMG however, is not even close to being in the realm of what I'm looking for. It's too heavy and much too costly. The "ultralight" version without motor is 200lbs. They say it can be built for $10k without motor.

I'm really looking for a true cheap, easy to build glider. And am most interested in any information on the Goat, and anyone who has any experience with them.
 

Topaz

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Noted. Guys, please stay on topic on this one. Anyone got any first-hand experience with the GOAT?

Best of my (third-hand? fourth?) knowledge, the GOAT is thought of fairly highly in the community. It's a shame you didn't make it out to the ESA Western Workshop. As VB mentioned, there were more than one guys there who own one, including the guy in this video:

 
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cavelamb

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Nov 26, 2010
Messages
310
Location
earth
Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

I have been seriously considering a cheap, easy to build, self launching, ultralight glider for awhile now. Every time I search for what I want to build, I always tend to come back to the Sandlin Goat. My requirements are as follows.

- Part 103 legal.

- 3 axis stick and rudder control.

- Easily transported, trucktop is certainly preferred, but a small cheap trailer would be ok.

- Easy construction techniques. My Sonex will remain my main project in my garage at home, this will be a secondary project I build in my free time at work. I will have my hangar to work in, but only simple tools, no welding and preferably no jigs. I could fabricate the more intricate parts in my workshop at home, but the bulk of assembly should be easily completed with just a few small, transportable tools.

- I would prefer not to build with wood. It's simply not my medium of choice.

- I am hoping to self launch on hillside slopes. I really want to get in to gliding and soaring, but the tow rates and glider rental at the local soaring club are higher than a powered rental. It just isn't feasible at this time so I am hoping to have some relatively free fun.

- Cost to build around $2,000 - $4,000.

The Goat seems to fit my needs pretty well. I understand Sandlin released the drawings with very little testing, and to serve as a copy of what he built, not necessarily plans to build your own. The drawings do seem to be complete enough to use as plans however. Does anyone have any further information on the design? Are there any glaring design flaws? I would be most interested in meeting anyone who has built a Goat, if they are located within a reasonable drive from Bakersfield, CA.

-Nate

I've studied the downloaded plans carefully. I could easily build from them.

As to any glaring faults?
I really didn't see anything that caused me concern.
Some details are actually fairly clever.

It has adequate tail volume and looks like good control authority.
Without having flown one I can't describe control responses, but I would
expect the controls to be very light and maybe have a positive gradient.

I would not be worried about flying it in a reasonable manner.

Oh, I have Floyd's phone number - but it's from 30 years ago... :)

There are places where I would probably do things differently.
Not because of structural or aerodynamic concerns, but to simplify construction
and perhaps ground handling (ruggedness).

For instance some things look unnecessarily complex to me.

The control horns and wires have too many parts. (IMHO!)
He shows a straight control horn with a tang bolted on - that brings the cable attach point
in line with the control surface hinge line. Why not just angle the control horn and use an
AN115 shackle through the thimble in the end of the control cable to attach cable and horn?

The Texas Parasol wing has bent aluminum sheet compression struts between the tube spars.
The ends are cut to fit snug against the spar tubes and have tabs that extend around the spar.
The tabs are pop riveted in place.

Sandling uses a foam core (shaped ends) and fiberglass tape wrapped around the whole thing
to hold it together. And some 1/16" diameter graphite rods in places as stiffeners.

While that avoids rivet holes in the spar tubes I don't think small holes in the non-stressed areas
of the tube reduce the tube bending strength. The Goat uses a 2" OD x .035 wall front spar.
We've done that with much heavier airplanes! (to the consternation of a lot of experts)

With the Aluminum compression ribs (brake bent .017" 6061T6) wouldn't need stiffeners.
Just make the tabs long enough to wrap around to the neutral axis of the tubes.
The Goat spars are 45" front to rear surfaces so there is plenty of metal from a 48" wide sheet.
Top and bottom tabs could use one single rivet (and hole) right on the center line.

So it goes...

He has his ways, I have mine...
 
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Direct C51

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Thanks Topaz, I was just joking around. But in all seriousness, if a mod could fix my typo in the thread title to "Sandlin" instead of Sandling" that would help for searching and archiving. I was very disappointed that I had to miss the ESA gathering last weekend. I am on a day hitch and tried desperately to find another pilot to cover a shift for me, but no one wants to work Labor Day weekend. I'm sure I missed a great event and the opportunity to meet some of you guys. Please let me know if there are any future gatherings in the SoCal area that you guys will be attending. I would love to meet up.

I'll see if I can look up Floyd Fronius or any of the other Goat guys in San Diego. It is a bit of a drive, but maybe I can work out a visit while I'm there for the Miramar airshow. I have heard about one being built in Mojave with a longer wing, does anyone know anything about it or the builder?

The only other glider that I have found to meet my general criteria is the Super Floater, but I believe those were mostly sold as assembled aircraft. The Goat seems to be the perfect little glider, cheap, easy to build, easy to store and transport. It seems odd to me that so few have been built, but I suppose with ultralights it is hard to get an accurate number of flying examples.

Cavelamb, thank you for the input. I agree with you on the control horns. I will have to look at the plans in more detail, but I had the same idea on initial review.
 

Topaz

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Thanks Topaz, I was just joking around. But in all seriousness, if a mod could fix my typo in the thread title to "Sandlin" instead of Sandling" that would help for searching and archiving.
Done and done.

I was very disappointed that I had to miss the ESA gathering last weekend. I am on a day hitch and tried desperately to find another pilot to cover a shift for me, but no one wants to work Labor Day weekend. I'm sure I missed a great event and the opportunity to meet some of you guys. Please let me know if there are any future gatherings in the SoCal area that you guys will be attending. I would love to meet up.
No worries. Life always comes first. The ESA workshop is an annual event, and this was my first time there. Definitely worth the trip. The west-coast members of the HBA tend to get together at the various events at Flabob airport near Riverside, California. We've done that a few times. I expect more of these meet-ups, so keep an eye out for announcements, especially in the "Upcoming Events and Trip Logs" section. If you know of an event in the southern half of the state, by all means post it. Likely some of us will try to be there.

The only other glider that I have found to meet my general criteria is the Super Floater, but I believe those were mostly sold as assembled aircraft.
Plans exist for the SuperFloater. If I recall correctly, their distribution isn't "authorized", but they're out there if look hard enough.

The Goat seems to be the perfect little glider, cheap, easy to build, easy to store and transport. It seems odd to me that so few have been built, but I suppose with ultralights it is hard to get an accurate number of flying examples.
The "airchair" niche has always been a bit on the fringe - soaring is, in general, and ultralight soaring even more so - and the guys doing it tend to be a close-knit bunch that really don't make a big deal of it on the Internet. YouTube is one of your best friends for locating them, IMHO. Search "GOAT" and "airchair".
 

Hot Wings

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Re: Sandling Goat or Similar

Plans exist for the SuperFloater. If I recall correctly, their distribution isn't "authorized", but they're out there if look hard enough.
Yes, the plans are out there and between them and internet pictures, IMHO, it would be an easier build than the Goat if you had access to an 8 foot brake. I've done some basic reverse engineering on the SF design and would be comfortable in it on a calm day for strictly positive 'G' flight. A few simple modifications, again IMHO, would significantly increase it's durability. A folding wing modification that would allow it to remain a true part 103 might also be possible.

I have the desire to try - just don't have the time. ::depressed
 

Direct C51

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Bakersfield, CA
After looking through the Goat plans more carefully, I certainly prefer the look and less drag of the Goat 1 with struts over the Goat 4 with kingpost and wire bracing. I'm sure the Goat 4 is lighter, but I'm not sure it would be enough to offset the drag and have any appreciable benefits. It seems there have been a lot of updates to the nose and tail of the Goat over the versions. I'm thinking the updated Goat 4 nose and tail on a Goat 1 wing would be the most updated strut version. It seems Sandlin chose to continue updating the wire braced version due to a lighter wing panel for loading on his truck, and never updated the original strut braced wing version. Adding the Goat 4 nose and tail seems a natural progression for a possible Goat 5.

Does anyone have any further information and comments regarding the Goat 1 vs Goat 4?
 

bmcj

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Fresno, California
At that slow speed, parasite and form drag are minimal, so I doubt the wires and kingpost have much impact.
 
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