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The lack of portability ( hi hangar costs ) killed ULs imop

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Gregory Perkins

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In all the urban area concentrations of the population, a year of hangar costs began to exceed the market value of most ultralights and folding wings allowing storage in portable hangars (trailers) could have solved the problem but not enough UL mfgrs stepped up to provide the solution. That I think is what really opened the door to Trikes.
 

TFF

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I think there is a whole bunch of additive reasons, one I think is novelty.

When Pt103 first was legal, a lot of the crowd would be base jumpers today. I think there was a special lure of being dangerous. Danger has moved on. Kind of like the most interesting man in the world commercials. I have a friend that loves to hash 70s tales, multi ratings, scuba, photo dark room, travel, dating. If I knew it wouldn’t blow his ego, I would be cracking those jokes.

I think some is just pining for the old days of adventure.

I think the little UL airport here tuned into a semi private RC field because of insurance. That was well over ten years ago. There were two hangars and about two dozen ULs in there. The last flying UL not at Oshkosh was 8-10 years ago, a Weedhopper. I helped a friend build a Legal Eagle, but he sold it right before cover. Only thing it needed that he did not have was a prop. He got rid of airplane stuff except his RV.
 

Turd Ferguson

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1982-3 there were ~20,000 ultralights in the US and ~60 ultralight manufacturers. ABC News program 20/20 does an expose called "Ultralights: Flying or Dying" shows graphic video of occupant being ejected from a Pterodactyl Ascender followed by a wing folding up and the industry was decimated.
It was a good time to get a deal on a used ultralight. Or an ultralight company.
 

Protech Racing

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My Puch pitbike/ moped has a hitch.
I'm still knocking the dominoes down to get enough space in the garage to build the wing spars and test them .
 

PagoBay

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Dan Johnson says Part 103 sales are exceeding previous years.
"Every producer I know of a Part 103 aircraft is backed up with orders."
First few minutes of this video...
 

PagoBay

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Dan Johnson updates list of Part 103 Aircraft. If you know any additions please advise Dan.
 

rc-rotorhead

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Harker Heights, TX/USA
I wouldn't disagree. But hangar space is dear for aircraft in general in my area. A friend of mine is building in his basement and doesn't have a clue where he will be able to find hangar space as he nears completion. My father offered to sell me his Peitenpol that is ready to cover and install the engine, but I have nowhere to complete it and then hangar it. I would like to finally start my own UL project, but the wife keeps reminding me about the space issue too.
 

Gregory Perkins

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May 25, 2019
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Atlanta
This is why an airplane needs easily foldable wings that will allow you to store in a trailer
that you can tow back and forth to the airport like a small boat to the lake.
That is what I mean by "portable" airplane. In many cases the hangar storage fees for
a year or two exceed the value of the airplane in many instances. There have been many brilliant wing fold techniques developed but they rarely caught on to become popular.
Kolb may have been the best large scale mfgr. to offer folding wings. In order to be most
effective the wings have to be "compound" foldable, meaning the wings fold flat against
the fuselage like a birds wings.
 

Victor Bravo

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This is why an airplane needs easily foldable wings that will allow you to store in a trailer
that you can tow back and forth to the airport like a small boat to the lake.
That is what I mean by "portable" airplane. In many cases the hangar storage fees for
a year or two exceed the value of the airplane in many instances. There have been many brilliant wing fold techniques developed but they rarely caught on to become popular.
Kolb may have been the best large scale mfgr. to offer folding wings. In order to be most
effective the wings have to be "compound" foldable, meaning the wings fold flat against
the fuselage like a birds wings.
^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^

As I have written many times, the Kolb system works very well. There is room for improvement, but the basic system works pretty well for a light sport airplane.

Off-Topic -The Kolb system would not work safely for a fast airplane (Tailwind), but for slow 50-90 MPH airplanes it is pretty darn good. For faster airplanes, only a small handful of changes would be needed IMHO. You'd want to give up using the rear wing attach fitting as your U-joint and go back to straight structural attach pins and tabs. You'd want to de-couple the stabilizer main spar folding joint and the elevator control horn (which are coupled on the Kolb), and go to a L'Hotelier control fitting like sailplanes used (before automatic hookup tails in sailplanes). You could use an automatic hookup with matching "cups and balls" at the wing root for flaps and ailerons, with a small weight penalty. Or you could use L'Hotelier fittings like the majority of composite gliders did 20 years ago.
 
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Dana

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One of the issues with trailering is the size of the trailer required. A plane weighs less than a boat but is a lot bigger. The trailer for my Kolb ultralight was, IIRC over 25' long and weighed 2500#... I had to buy a bigger truck to tow it.
 

dino

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Build a gyro plane. Easy to rig. Fits anywhere.
 

BJC

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Build a gyro plane. Easy to rig. Fits anywhere.
We had a Citabria, a Pitts, a one-of-a-kind mid wing, and a gyrocopter in one standard Tee hangar. All three airplanes could get out without moving anything else. The GC, in the back, needed to move one airplane to get out.


BJC
 

Speedboat100

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Nov 8, 2018
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Europe
In all the urban area concentrations of the population, a year of hangar costs began to exceed the market value of most ultralights and folding wings allowing storage in portable hangars (trailers) could have solved the problem but not enough UL mfgrs stepped up to provide the solution. That I think is what really opened the door to Trikes.

My design approaches this problem as it had detachable elevator and wings...all can be carried on the ski rack of a car...sedan type.
 

ElectricFlyer

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Dec 16, 2015
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72
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Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
I to did not want hanger fees, even if I could afford them and I cant. I got into PPG, hanger fees being one of the reasons. I ended up not liking the launching difficulties off PPG. Went out for a test flight of a Flexwing Trike -- loved it. Traded my PPG kit for a Trike. Still training and ready to do my Solo's come spring. I built a custom low slung trailer - everything fits in the garage, wing being 23ft long.
From the pilots I know - most go up for an hour or two on a good evening once or twice a week during the UL flying season of their area. A Trike fits the bill for that flying as long as you dont mind 45kph cruise speed is for something like my Trike and wing combo. There are faster ones out there of course, check out the Evolution Rev X.
Cheers

IMG_20200722_164717_9.jpg

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ElectricFlyer

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Dec 16, 2015
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Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Like that minimal trailer.
I pretty much had it together and when trying the trike on it I did not like it. I was narrower and I had to like the control bar over the trailer wheels and the trike wheels had to roll over the axle mounts like a big speed bump. Getting the trike on was not too bad but trying to push the trike wheels over those axle mounts was a pain. Tore the whole thing apart and made it wider. When I get tot he field I dont want the biggest challenge unloading.
Now control bar and wheels roll in easy.
Trailer Rear.jpg

Cheers
 
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