The K8J project

Discussion in 'Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology' started by Arfang, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. Jan 10, 2019 #21

    Arfang

    Arfang

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    Sad news for the K8J:

    My test flight alerted the EASA, which consequently contacted the french aviation authorithy about it. They have decided to revoke the K8J permit to fly. The reason stated is that a jet engine is not allowed on an ultralight.

    However, the french regulations don't mention the type of engine, only the number and power are limited. That's what I'm going to explain to them.
    They didn't give any other reason to terminate my permit to fly, they simply stated that this type is not allowed.

    I don't know how it will turn out or even if I have a chance to fly again. But I know that I became a jet pilot for a couple of minutes and put the EASA on alert, and that's a win in my book. Apparently, the K8J was made out of Rearden Metal.

    I want to thank the HBA community on more time for helping me achieve my goal.
     
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  2. Jan 10, 2019 #22

    Topaz

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    Sorry to hear about your regulatory difficulties! Hopefully some kind of compromise can be reached.
     
  3. Jan 10, 2019 #23

    jedi

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    Good accomplishment. Do not give up easily. It really is not a jet engine, it just has a ducted fan fixed pitch propeller followed by an anti ice system and a windmill to conserve energy and keep the green community happy.

    If that does not work send it across the border to a more friendly country. I would point out that France is the father of aviation and your project is intended to advance the (French or Swiss?) national image and is/was successful in that respect. Does the EASA require that you defect?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  4. Jan 10, 2019 #24

    Vigilant1

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    Very sorry to hear about this setback, and I hope you can work out a clear path to fly again legally.

    Unsolicited and probably un-needed input:
    Having dealt with large bureaucracies myself, the only words of advice I have is to try to make your intended result the >easiest< thing for those with the power to do. I've gone so far as to write the actual letters (with all needed justification attached) with their signature block already at the bottom, they just needed to print it on their letterhead and be done. I've found that if I make an enemy along the way or in any way question their expertise or authority, things get much harder than they need to be. I keep it as friendly and non-personal as possible, but (tactfully) make sure they know that I won't go away quietly, that I will be a constant presence in their lives until the system accommodates my request.
     
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  5. Jan 10, 2019 #25

    cluttonfred

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  6. Jan 11, 2019 #26

    Arfang

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    Thank you all.

    Any advice is welcome!

    Good point, maybe that's what the EASA thought. But the airframe was written-off and it is no longer a certified airplane. These jet Cri-Cris are registered as E-AB, mine is registered as an UL, different rules for each category. Since you linked the minijet website, I shall too:

    http://minijets.org/fr/0-100/kingtech-k310g/as-k8j/

    French UL regulations are already very ''friendly'', a better place to fly would be hard to find.

    The answer came back this morning and the stated reason is that even if the power of the airframe-engine system can be determined (P=F.v), it is the power of the engine alone that counts. I asked if I could at least keep flying the airplane until the temporary permit to fly expires in september 2019. If that's not possible then I'll probably convert the K8J into a K8TP.
     
  7. Jan 15, 2019 #27

    jedi

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    The engine as installed on the airframe does not produce any power since it does not move. Power equals force times distance as a function of time. The distance the engine moves relative to the airframe is zero. Therefore the power of the engine alone (not associated with a moving airframe) is zero. It is "the power of the engine alone that counts".

    Jet engines produce thrust not power. If the engine does not produce shaft power the power output is zero until you put it on a moving airframe. It appears the authorities chose not to recognize that the airframe is moving.
     
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  8. Jan 15, 2019 #28

    ypsilon

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    This sounds a lot like changing the rules during the game. If they write up the rules they should make sure that one is on the save side when abiding to them. I've had similar situations here in Austria, and in Germany as well, when they made up rules that had enough room for interpretation that different authorities arrived at different conclusions.

    What exactly is the problem with the jet-engine? I didn't find anything conclusive in the EASA regulations. In the relevant regulation Annex II of 216/2008 (EASA Basic regulation) it says (amongst many other not relevant things that:

    fall under national regulation.

    I am not a lawyer, but I haven't found any definition of "land plane" in the EASA regulations, that would rule out jet engines.
     
  9. Jan 15, 2019 #29

    Arfang

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    You're absolutely right.

    We could also measure the power output by torque times angular speed of the shaft, but it makes no practical sense. On a lighter note, I could register my airplane as a glider, since the power output of 'the engine alone' is zero.

    There is no issues with the EASA, they simply wanted to make sure that the airframe is not certified and does not have manufacturer identification marks/serial number anymore. It's purely a french issue involving the DSAC.

    I totally agree that it's like changing the rules during the game. I even pointed to them that they issued a permit to fly for the K8J. And that I invested time and money in that project after receiving their approval.

    The DSAC didn't answered. The simply told me to see if I can register it as a self-launching glider if a category allowing jets will be created in a distant future. As I mentionned earlier, if a solution involving a jet isn't found I'll switch to a turboprop.
     
  10. Jan 15, 2019 #30

    ypsilon

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    I think this a classical case of "official liability". IOW they should cover your expenses then, at least.
     
  11. Jan 16, 2019 #31

    Chris Young

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    Make sure first with DGAC that you wouldn't have the same problem with the turboprop.

    As far as I know they only consider piston engines and turbine engines, so turboprops and jets fall in the same (latter) category.
     
  12. Jan 16, 2019 #32

    cluttonfred

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    I know it's not as cool as a jet, but any one of several small, light, two-stroke, paramotor engines ought to be able to put out more thrust than your 32 kgf/70 lb turbine, probably improving take-off and climb at the expense of top speed and power-off glide. If you want to stay in the microlight category, then the Vittorazi Atom 80, Cors-air Black Bee, Simonini Colibri, Radne Raket 120, etc. should all be viable options.
     
  13. Jan 16, 2019 #33

    Arfang

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    I sent them an email regarding the turboprop option. The answer just came back, I'm not restricted from installing a turboprop instead. I'll double check with them just in case.

    They also answered why a jet isn't allowed: 'It was not in the mind of the lawmaker when he created these regulations'. First, it was the engine type, then the power output and now this.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a look at these engines if neither the jet or turboprop are viable options. But, as you said, jets are cool, what am I going to brag about if I can't say that I have my own private jet?
     
  14. Jan 17, 2019 #34

    jedi

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    A simple wind mill and prop in the intake or exhaust should do the trick. May need a stater to straighten the flow if the windmill is too aggressive.

    Kind of like the extra automobile tires added to the cement trucks to make them legal. You may not have those in France.
     
  15. Jan 18, 2019 #35

    ypsilon

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    Arfang,

    I would not let them get away with it so easily. You built a pretty machine, spent time, effort, and money on it, and even told the "authorities" specifically what you were planning to do. The France, I know abides by the rule of law, which means that the law is what it says. Not what somebody thinks somebody else had in mind (or in your case: didn't have in mind) when the law was written. That's simply not how it should work. Evrything else leads to a bureaucratic dictatorship on the long run. Seriously.
     
  16. Jan 18, 2019 #36

    cluttonfred

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    I agree that you ought to appeal the decision to the DGAC, calmly and polotoely laying out in a letter the steps that got you to this point and reviewing why you believe that your project does meet microlight (ULM) requirements. As I remember, there is nothing in the French regulations that precludes a jet engine, it just specifies max power in kW. If you can find a manufacturer or government source giving the equivalent power of jet engines in general, or better yet your specific engine, in kW, include that and make the case. As long as your plane meets the weight and minimum speed requirements, it’s worth a shot.
     
  17. Jan 18, 2019 #37

    BBerson

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    I think in the U.S. A jet glider requires some pilot training/endorsement.
     
  18. Jan 20, 2019 #38

    Arfang

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    I did that, and everytime I tried to prove that the engine meets UL regulations they changed the subject. This could go on forever, I'll give it another try (see below) and after that I'll swap the engine.

    Also, there are some potentially good news: When I contacted the french UL federation to inform them of my first flight, they answered that there is already a jet-UL in France. I was able to get the name of the owner. I'll keep you informed.

    Even for a Part 103 jet glider?
     
  19. Jan 20, 2019 #39

    BBerson

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    A Part 103 jet ultralight pilot does not need any endorsement. But a K8 does not qualify under Part 103 because of weight.
     
  20. Jan 20, 2019 #40

    blane.c

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    Look at Jbiplanes Wankel
     

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