Sea Plane/Glider/Thing Project Help

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GliderBoy

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Jan 13, 2015
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Hey Everyone, My friends and I are making a glider that looks a lot like a FIB, we are new to building aircrafts, and would like advice on were to get parts on a budget, and lift to weight ratios. Thank’s for any help!
 

bmcj

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Welcome to HBA GliderBoy! (I suppose if it's also a seaplane, your name could have been GliderBuoy :gig:)

Your question is very broad and vague, so is difficult to answer. If you could be a little more specific in your needs, we might be able to help.
 

GliderBoy

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Jan 13, 2015
Messages
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Location
TX,USA
We are trying to learn where to buy parts for very cheap.We are also wondering how powerful the engine would have to be to get it airborne with one or Two people.
Thank You
 

FritzW

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Jan 30, 2011
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Las Cruces, NM
I had to google FIB glider. Are you building something like a trike wing on a small boat?
 

GliderBoy

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If you’ve ever seen a FIB Plane than you should be aware that they normally use a hang glider as wings, but do you know how their steered without hydraulics?
 

bmcj

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We are trying to learn where to buy parts for very cheap.We are also wondering how powerful the engine would have to be to get it airborne with one or Two people.
Thank You
I can't help much with the where to buy parts, but others might know more. What kind of parts are you looking for?

As far as engine goes, it really depends on the design of the craft. If you plan to fly it out of ground effect, you really need to embark on a serious desing effort, which requires design knowledge in multiple aviation fields and extensive detailed analysis of the struture and aerodynamics to know if it is safe. Not trying to be negative, but there is a lot involved that cannot be imparted in this (forum) context. Try reading through some of this forum's Aerodynamics/Design section (Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology) to get even a brief glimpse of what is involved.

If you want something that stays low over the water, go for it, but fly no higher or faster than your are willing to fall from and hit the water, and make sure the engine isn't where it (or the prop) will hit you during a sudden stop.

ADDENDUM: After seeing the rest of your post and your desire to make a "hang-glider-like" flying boat, I will say that that is probably easier. Start by looking at some of the powered trikes and see how much weight they can handle. I assume the mounting (to the boat) will be similar, though water takeoff's may dictate something different. Controls are not hydraulic... they are accomplished by pivoting the wing at the center of gravity and them changing the angle of the wing (relative to the boat) by moving the hanging control bar (just like the hanggliders do).
 

bmcj

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Thanks, I’ll look into that forum.
If you are referring to my link, that is just a subsection of this forum. Having seen your comment about the hang glider wings, I'm not sure if it will help (much) since it mostly deals with conventional aircraft structures.

By the way... a good place to look for planes and the like is www.barnstormers.com
 

GliderBoy

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Jan 13, 2015
Messages
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Location
TX,USA
I am looking for good engine, not sure what horsepower is required, and good material for the “sails”.
 

GliderBoy

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Location
TX,USA
Could there be any way control an artificial center of gravity using the dashboard/control panel/throttle?
 

bmcj

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Could there be any way control an artificial center of gravity using the dashboard/control panel/throttle?
First, let me say that flying boats and flex wing trikes are not my area of knowledge, so I probably can't give you too much useful information. I am not sure what you mean by "dashboard" control, but it is possible to run control cables to a central point (control stick or "dashboard" so that they move your angle the same way a control bar would, but that is added weight and complexity that is really not needed. If you are talking about separate control surfaces that force the wing to pitch or roll, I can tell you that flex wings do not respond well to this; we had a member here that was killed trying to do that. It's best to go with the conventional weight shift control bar if you have a flexwing like is shown in your picture.
 

Dana

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OK, how about some basics:

A FIB is basically what's usually referred as a "weightshift trike", but with a semirigid inflatable boat instead of a wheeled trike landing gear. The wing looks like a hang glider wing, but is considerably larger and heavier/stronger. Control is via a control bar rigidly attached to the wing, which is in turn attached to the lower frame/boat/engine with a pivoting universal joint. Shifting the weight of the frame/boat/engine/pilot is how the aircraft is controlled, just like a hang glider (except in the case of a hang glider, the pilot in a harness is the only weight being shifted)... no hydraulics involved.

Sewing a hang glider sail is not a project for an amateur. The shapes are extremely critical, as is the sewing quality, and there are no plans available. Some people have built trikes by starting with a tandem hang glider (made for two people) reinforced to carry one person plus the extra weight of the engine, wheels, and associated frame.

30HP (the engine you linked to) would not be barely sufficient for a one person wheeled trike. It would not be enough for a 2 seater, and certainly not enough for the extra weight of the boat hull. You're looking at more like 50-65HP. Figure at least $2500 for a well used engine like a Rotax 503 or 582.

If it has two seats, it has to be a registered aircraft, and you need a pilot certificate to fly it. Even if it's a single seat ultralight, you still need instruction to fly it, although no pilot certificate is required. Your first step, before you even consider building, is to contact a flight school, maybe take an introductory flight, and get a better idea of what it's all about. I see there are some in Texas:

Trike Pilots - Microlight and LSA Trike Flying Information

or google "weightshift instruction in texas"

Dana
 

GliderBoy

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Jan 13, 2015
Messages
17
Location
TX,USA
We are wondering if a car engine from a salvage yard would work to power it. Would it affect stability and performance
 
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