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

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BJC

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$5000 Ultralights need more space than a boat and a '66 Corvette. So the cost ratio of storage is greater.
Arlington had about 160 ultralights in cheap open front hangars. Even those low cost hangars are mostly abandoned now.
The last time that I was there, it looked like someone could take over the ultralight hangar area, fix it up a little (at least some of them) and have not good, but reasonanle, hangars for ultralights.


BJC
 

BBerson

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Sure if you live there. I meant someone with a $5000 dollar ultralight buying a $60,000 hangar at the local airport solely for the ultralight and paying an additional $2000 a year in property tax and lease rent.
Bob Jones paid $6000 for the trailer/hanger and no more rent or tax.
 

Dan Thomas

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Someone needs to create an ultralight version of the Lacey M-10, a design from the 1960s. Only two were ever built. The wing is a cantilevered structure , mounted on a central pivot, held to the fuselage by four bolts. Remove the bolts, jack the wing a bit and rotate it 90°, drop it down and put the bolts back in. Quick and secure. It had an overhead control stick to simplify the aileron controls. Towed on its own gear.

1609719107448.png

Lacey M-10 - Wikipedia

In the early '70s when I was learning to fly, the plans were $10, I think, and the information packet was ten cents. Those were the days...
 

Robin Austin

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BB as you and most glider people know, the "elite" gliders have trailers that are so good, and work so well, that one person can go from road to runway in less than a half hour, and the form-fitted trailer protects and pampers the delicate laminar sailplanes better than a huge hangar would.

99.9% of all the ultralight and airplane trailers in the world are nowhere near that good. What passes as a "normal" E-AB or UL trailer here in the USA is worthless scrapyard junk compared to what the Europeans have for their gliders. Any effort towards portability and ease of utility for UL's or E-AB's in the future will have to include that level of thought, design, etc. in order for it to deliver the benefit of folding wings or whatever.

The one well known video (from somewhere back east where the guy takes his Firefly out of the trailer and has no trouble rigging it himself in ten minutes) is the only thing anywhere in the same ballpark as the European stuff. And that's only possible because of the U-joint built in to the Kolb structure.
Hi folks.
I have included a link here to another thread that has pics of my aircraft that is trailered on a regular basis. Time to unload from trailer is typically less than 5 minutes and time to rig is also typically less than 5 minutes including preflight inspection. So, 8 to 10 min in total, 1 person only. Preflight is minimal as much of that is done previous day at home. Aircraft has approx 150 flights so far over 3 years, no hangar.
Just thought I’d post this as there don’t appear to be too many trailered aircrafts to inspire anyone thinking about doing so.

Regards
Robin
 
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Rockiedog2

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But markets are very localized. I'm trying to get a toe hold on a very high end airpark in AZ by buying a hangar. I thought I could offset the fairly steep purchase price by renting it out with an equally steep monthly rent. Nope. Hangar rent in the area is cheap enough that it hardly makes sense for me financially. For the paltry $200 per month, I might as well just keep it empty.

Another data point - I have lived on the same airpark in So Cal for 20 years and one can still buy a plot for about the same price today as I paid in 1997. Paved runway, zero chance of encroachment in my lifetime, good flying weather, and right in the heart of the biggest aerospace manufacturing and test industrial areas in the entire US - yet most of the lots remain undeveloped.

Point is, there are plenty of opportunities to own a hangar and an airplane and fly if it is important enough to you. I based my career and place to live on availability to an airpark. The need to live with my airplane was literally priority #1 over everything else. My life was "engineered" around airpark living, and I have had many opportunities as a result. On the other hand, if flying is "just a hobby", and you are waiting for opportunities to drop from the sky and align perfectly with your interests, then yeah, it's going to look like GA is in a decline.

The solution, as always, is to just "make it happen".
Right. Looked for my place for 7 years and it finally showed up. Listed at 4 pm had it bought at 9 am the next day. Been here ever since. That was in 92.
Had to work at it but that was the most satisfying part. The purchase was anticlimatic.
 

Robin Austin

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Hi folks.
I have included a link here to another thread that has pics of my aircraft that is trailered on a regular basis. Time to unload from trailer is typically less than 5 minutes and time to rig is also typically less than 5 minutes including preflight inspection. So, 8 to 10 min in total. Preflight is minimal as much of that is done previous day at home. Aircraft has approx 150 flights so far over 3 years, no hangar.
Just thought I’d post this as there don’t appear to be too many trailered aircrafts to inspire anyone thinking about doing so.

Regards
Robin
Couple of images of this folding wing, trailered aircraft. For more info go to the above link.
 

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Bille Floyd

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...
Time to unload from trailer is typically less than 5 minutes and time to rig is also typically less than 5 minutes including preflight inspection. So, 8 to 10 min in total,
...
DANG !!
Your set-Up , or time from trailer to strapping on that awesome sports-car ; it's
Less time than it takes me to setup my Hang glider !! That is Impressive !!!

Bille
 

Protech Racing

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I'm surprised noone has mentioned the Flying Flea approach to both roadability and ease/speed of rigging for flight. Watch this video: From start to finish (ie getting the plane off the trailer to having it ready to fly: 22 seconds - by one man...

(508) HM 293 Flying Flea (Pou du ciel) in action - YouTube
The tandem wing/canard is the safest aerodynamically at these speeds by far and that Is why I researched them and built one . Perfect landings, no departure stall, no final approach and fall stall.

Most Fleas are too dense to make the 103 parameters. Mine was 3.5 #s per sq. Jacks was 4.0
My 130 sq ft tandem wing flew at33mph when new , stalled at around 30. The stock 293 is faster than that.

To be 103 compliant , the front wing will have to grow to 110 sq and fold. Sounds easy but folding at 8 ft makes the tips set on each other , if the wings are over 20ft span. So more chord is needed.

I built Gretchen with ladders and could not get the math/stress to work hinging the 3in thic ladders.
My current monoplane build will fold the wings straight back and meet the 103 pretty close, if my weights work out . The next plane will be a tandem wing with folding wings as long as my wing building method works out as it should .
The 2x5 spar will allow hinging and still make the stress values IMHO. The stock 293 hinges may not if the tips are inverted and loaded to 200#.
 

PagoBay

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FROM LATEST KITPLANES WEEKLY
Unfortunate oversight. However, clearly Badland Aircraft confirms Dan Johnson's comment (POST #9 in this thread) indicating FAR103 manufacturers are far from having been "killed". For those that don't know, Chris Deuel picked up the Kitfox Lite design and has done a fine job.

Finally, a new company building a Part 103 ultralight chimed in. Badland Aircraft owner Chris Deuel wrote to say, “We’ve been in business for three years building Part 103-compliant ultralights and I feel like we’re smashing the competition…well I felt like it, anyways. If I were actually ‘killing it’ like I thought, I would’ve been in the 2021 homebuilt line-up.” Truth is, we didn’t have Badland on our radar—for that we can, partially, blame the COVID-related lack of airshows—but we’ve offered Chris an opportunity to submit the details and we’ll put them on our site, and in the next buyer’s guide.
 

ElectricFlyer

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Re-discovered a couple of vids about a very specialized trike trailer for an Air Creations Racer trike (without struts). Really, thought about copying his design at one point..
Trike loading
Bit of flying and loading the trike at the end.
Thats a nice trailer for Topless wings
I like how he added locks/supports for the struts and the rear wing support. Though I have struts on my wing I will review my trailer design in the spring to maybe add rear wing support
 

ElectricFlyer

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Thats a nice trailer for Topless wings
I like how he added locks/supports for the struts and the rear wing support. Though I have struts on my wing I will review my trailer design in the spring to maybe add rear wing support
This is what I came up with for extra rear wing support that I could add.
If anyone wants me to do up some drawings for them, my rates are very reasonable.🤣
1610300857951.png
 
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BTCrenshaw

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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.
I agree that hanger fees are a problem. I really like the Merlin Lite, but without folding wings I'm looking at the purchase of a Badland F5 Fujitsu. Both very viable Part 103 ultralights. The ability to hanger at home makes a big difference.
 

Burgher

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I did the fold wing mad after building MoJo Ryder my Airbike Ser#29. When I called Mr Ison.....Wayne he was not thrilled about my plan to use a 1/2 VW as it's powerplant! He told me I'd have W/B issues ect. When I was done my center of lift was "optimal" and as We discussed it He discovered I was an A&P, He said "why didn't you tell me that !!" So he was advising me perhaps assuming I was another dude in the cellar trying to reinvent the wheel w/out any appreciation of the potential dangers of "exceeding the envelope!!" I want to be clear I'm no rocket scientist but due to my aversion to 2 strokes I decided on the Airbike BECAUSE it had been designed by a "real aircraft designer!" It would have 4 stroke power or no power at all.......
So after that He asked me to send him some pics and stuff, which I did, I am pretty sure I had the first Airbike in the Universe flying a 1/2 VW!
So after I discovered the Military Standard 2&4 cylinder variants I got 1 of each, BULLETPROOF design but heavy. I did not think the 2 cylinder could produce enough power so for about $100 I put all new cylinders and bearings on a 4 cylinder I got from Fort Hood thru Gov auction and had essentially a ZERO time 4 cylinder baby Continental engine. Off came the 1/2 and after a bunch of tweaks I had it on MoJo! When I called Wayne he had a fit!! After We talked it through He calmed down and I discovered how he decided on VNE! Wayne told me at 100 mph I would "shred" the plexiglass windscreen, LOL!! We all know the Knucklehead that sued T.E.A.M. suffered spatial disorientation because he was too stupid to abort the flight like his other 2 buddiesAND he entered the water at a near vertical angle..........but the wings were intact at least at the root as I recall.
So Wayne was cool with the 4 cylinder from an engineering perspective and I must say I had absolute confidence in the Mil STD engine, the forged crank rang like a fine musical instrument, I believe it was designed to run @3600 for 2000 hrs. as I recall? With my prop I maxed out at 3200 rpm's and it was the smoothest engine I ever saw.
The only problem with the 4 cylinder was the weight.............and climbout was significantly reduced. She climbs at 700-800 FPM behind the 1/2 not so much with the 4!
So life got in the way but I am focused on getting her back in the sky in 2021 currently have engine apart for inspection with at least 200-250 hours on it and I discovered a bird made a nest in the port wing so I gotta make sure there's no bird crap indie anywhere plus I have a landing gear mod along with a few other changes I'd like to make whilst She's apart for her first "C" check!
I will try and attach pics of the folding wing mod AFTER the Airframe was built. Please bear w/me I'm not any good at this posting stuff.
 

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BTCrenshaw

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I agree that hanger fees are a problem. I really like the Merlin Lite, but without folding wings I'm looking at the purchase of a Badland F5 Fujitsu. Both very viable Part 103 ultralights. The ability to hanger at home makes a big difference.
Same with this one - great buy even if the wings need new fabric. The wings are detachable, and from what I've read it's not difficult, but they aren't folding - so how long does it take to remove/install them and how fast would this get old?

1995 J3 KITTEN ULTRILIGHT • $5,500 • AVAILABLE • 40 hp mosler new wings needs around month work to fly new wood prop all there no logs 3 axis control call only cash only comes with manuals n plans fall injury forces sale • Contact Lyle Overhulser , Owner - located Van Horn, TX United States • Telephone: 4322840983 • 4322831160 • Fax: 4322837942 • Posted January 20, 2021
 
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