Skylite Ultralight - RaceAir

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Little Scrapper, Dec 16, 2017.

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  1. May 20, 2018 #141

    addicted2climbing

    addicted2climbing

    addicted2climbing

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    One issue on the skylite is with the tubular spars that is where the wing attachments are. On the airbike the main wing attachment is a few inches inboard the leading edge making allowing the folding mechanism to be in front. On the skylite the folding mechanism would have to be located aft of the wing connection and that may be tougher to accomplish. Likely not impossible but a bit tougher for sure.
     
  2. May 30, 2019 #142

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    Marc. Any more work being done on this design? I'm sure you've been busy, just curious.

    We need people building these.
     
  3. May 30, 2019 #143

    addicted2climbing

    addicted2climbing

    addicted2climbing

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    Hell
    Hello Little scrapper,

    I will do a quick update with pics on the other thread tonight. Suffice it to say, I have had to shelve the build a few months due to some work obligations and I took a very promising consulting gig and if it pans out it will be the capitol I need to at least get these going kit wise. I should be able to get back on the build in July. For now will upload pics of the rib jig complete.
     
  4. Jul 17, 2019 at 7:44 PM #144

    dapug

    dapug

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    I read this entire thread. Fascinating.

    @Raceair what is the difference between your Zipster and the Lil Bitts? I read on this forum that Zipster met Part 103, but lil Bitts apparently does not. Is that because they are not the same design, or is it because lil Bitts was modified out of Part 103 compliance for other goals?

    @addicted2climbing I have several thoughts for you to consider from a business perspective and as a potential customer/builder.

    As a builder...
    I recently set out to build a Legal Eagle. It meets almost all my criteria, however, here is what was missing.

    1) Folding or quick-remove wings. The reason this is critical for UL buyers in particular (let alone other pilots) is the massive shortage in hangar space. I can buy a trailer or use my garage for storage, but I can't buy or rent a hangar - this is a big deal today, maybe not so much back in the 80's/90's. But NOTE: folding is nice, but isn't super critical IMHO, if quick-removal is an option (not 3 hour removal like the Legal Eagle... yeesh). With or without a 2nd helper is not a deal breaker. Weight is a deal breaker, so I would optimize towards the lightest weight and safest failsafe design possible, to trailer or garage the thing.

    2) Enclosed cabin. This is a must, especially for those that live in cold areas. Look at the Belite UltraCub or ProCub - the thing looks awesome, like a real plane, and not a "traditional" UL. This may seem silly, but my wife will not approve of me flying an open design like a trike, etc. Purely a perception thing - safety in what looks like a real plane vs a toy. Seriously. Legal Eagle isn't passing this test, and Skylite.. well, no.

    3) Wood alternative. Legal Eagle wings are wood. This may be an issue if you live in places where wood will simply not last. I grew up in the Seattle area, everything will mold and be destroyed if not super careful, and even then, it's a gamble. We've had trailers, boats, all kinds of wood things ruined. And in other regions, maybe it's a pest thing. And worse... when you fly the plane in humid places, and then desert, and then humid again... wood is going to swell and shrink. It's one thing to have a piano get screwed up for that reason, but quite another issue in a plane!

    4) Engine limitations. Weight is of course an issue. The engine I prefer is a 4 stroke 40HP or so, like a 1/2 VW or Verner 3v. Polini Thor 250 is the only 2 stroke I would consider. Part of the problem is when you don't live at 0 MSL, or even 1000 MSL. I'm at 5000 MSL, air density is thin... really need power to fly safely at high altitudes. Hand/prop start is a big NO as well. No, no, no. Bad things happen - hands lost, runaway planes, etc. So this is an issue too, even for the Legal Eagle and their suggested 1/2 VW.

    In summary here, I may have just suggested a completely different design than Skylite is. It would be fair to say "geez dude, just go buy a Belite UltraCub". Perhaps, but here is why that doesn't work for me.

    1) Belite sold the UltraCub/ProCub to Badland Aircraft, and they are charging a massive premium on kits that are still in question as to whether they exist (nice site, but no proven product)

    2) Belite started a new Chipper SS, but then the factory caught fire (literally last month) and the future is uncertain (no kits to be had)

    3) I actually like the idea of plans-built with sub-kits for the difficult things. This could be a new angle on home-built. Legal Eagle was all about making it possible to build without machining/tools and via simple DIY garage build process and materials/construction. But this doesn't result in the lightest possible construction, and of course, not the quickest. Everyone has trouble making Part 103 weight, from all the research I've done, even "legal" eagle. So IMO, a better option is, use modern, lighter weight build construction, AND to provide sub-kits/components that are machined, or difficult to construct at home. All this... maintaining the same plane design, airfoil, flight characteristics, etc.

    For the record, speaking of Belite, after selling the rights to UltraCub, have come out with the Chipper, and I've been fascinated by the Chipper construction - using honeycomb for all sorts of things, from ribs, to literally the cabin and fuse structure. Quite innovative, very light!

    Bottom line:
    I want something that flies like a Cub, kinda maybe looks like a cub (with enclosed cabin, etc), and is responsive and sable, and light enough to actually meet Part 103 with the slightly beefier engines like Verner 3V. Skylite almost meets that criteria, as does Legal Eagle, but please do not take my observations and opinions as a reason to go derail or re-design the thing. I'll just continue my search, or break down and design my own. But yeah... it would be pretty darn cool if there were sufficient mods that could accommodate what I enumerated here, both in design and construction of the Skylite!

    My favorite quote from this thread is this post, wherein Ed says it "flies like a Cub" and "truly stable in all axis". Nice work, Ed, you should be proud! And IMO, why design my own if someone else has already nailed it? Much wiser IMO to modify an existing known-good base design.


    As a business/marketing expert...
    You need a partner, and/or a financier. Sure you need marketing, but you need a product first (so I kinda have a difference of opinion vs @Little Scrapper ). At the very least, a business plan, then product, then marketing. A partner that can handle the business and marketing side of things might be a good option whilst you focus on engineering, design, and product development.

    Here is what you do NOT want to do: take money for pre-orders, relying on that money to fund the kit for that order. This is how people go to jail (not kidding, Ed and you are probably fully aware of Hart Aero fiasco). Nope, you need capital. You need someone willing to invest in getting kits/subkits fully ready to sell at the time of order.

    And lastly, as you already know, plans don't sell anymore. So kitting this is really the only venture. Best of luck, and I wish you well!
     
    flyinut likes this.

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