Second HP-24 First Flight

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For those who have been following the HP-24 kit sailplane project, on Saturday 25 June we did the first flight of Doug Gray's w/n 24-03. The flight itself was unremarkable; the controls were effective and well harmonized and glider showed good stability throughout the tested regimes. The test flights are being done in 15-meter straight-tip configuration; winglets and 18m extensions will come soon.

Doug's is the second flying aircraft from the HP-24 project. Brad Hill's Tetra-15 is essentially the first HP-24; it's first flight was 28 January 2012. It has been flying for about three years and 600 hours.

Four more HP-24s are also under construction. One of those will be equipped with the LZ Design FES (Front Electric Sustainer) system that delivers 5000 feet of climb or 60 miles of level cruising. We are also considering our options for developing a retractable electric self-launch system.

13528722_10206704469829617_4436150193411499445_n.jpg

For more information about the HP-24 project:
www.hpaircraft.com/hp-24
https://www.facebook.com/HP-24-Sailplane-Project-200931354951/

Thanks, Bob K.
 

cluttonfred

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Congrats, Bob. I was lured into the sailplane homebuilding community when I attended the Flying Wing Symposium at the National Soaring Museum in Elmira, NY back in 1997(?). I got to meet and chat with some great names in aviation -- Karl Nickel, Jack Lambie, Al Bowers, Paul McCready, Rudy Opitz, Bruce Carmichael, Al Backstrom, Jim Marske -- several of whom have now sadly gone west. I had never even been in a glider except for an introductory hang gliding course around 1986 (and I still haven't) but I joined the SHA and started getting the newsletters just because there was a lot of exciting innovation in that community. Eventually, I let my membership lapse -- too many irons in the fire, needed to cut down -- but I still think that there is some amazing talent in that community. I wish you all the best with the HP24. Cheers, Matthew
 

Victor Bravo

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Congratulations Bob!

Some people may not see ALL of the significance of Bob's development program. Thanks to this monumental effort, the United States now has two viable manufacturers of high performance sailplanes, but now with one of these offering a sailplane suitable for amateur construction (and/or perhaps suitable for full or semi-factory construction in the future).

There now exists a real possibility of a true high performance homebuilt sailplane from America that delivers 90% of the flight performance of the leading European gliders, but at a cost far far lower than the big name European ships.

As for the relevance to homebuilt aircraft, imagine that (in addition to soaring, self-launch soaring, and self-retrieving) a derivative of this HP-24 allows a homebuilder to have an ultra-efficient "hyper-miler" aircraft that achieves 100 or 120 miles per gallon. If gasoline goes so far up in price that most people's RV-6 or Aeronca Champ is simply too expensive to fly, this type of aircraft would allow true cross-country flight at an affordable cost. If the Climate Changers manage to outlaw gasoline, or tax it out of sight, the electric version of this aircraft would allow realistic cross country flights that might not otherwise be possible with an electric "ultralight" style aircraft with less aerodynamic efficiency. In the event of an engine/motor/battery failure, this aircraft would be safer than many other types, with the capability of gliding to a safe landing area away from structures or people, and landing slowly enough to minimize the chance of injury.

Bob's achievement (and the achievements of the other modern US sailplane manufacturer to be fair) is big, and may turn out to be bigger than anyone ever thought.

Congratulations again, having seen this project from the start many years ago I am in AWE of the dedication, time, and energy you have put in.
 

Cozyflier

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Waukesha, WI.
Congratulations Bob, Doug,

Great to hear you have completed and launched another HP24. Your continued hard work and perseverance has payed off with another successful project.

Hope to see you at the EAA Oshkosh convention.

Regards,
Chris
 

ypsilon

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Congratulations! Great to hear that you are considering electrical propulsion. We're operating a Silent 2 Eletric (with the FES system) in our club, and I can report that it works very well in practice. Especially for low hour pilots the simplicity of the system is unbeatable.
 
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