The Ranger, an easily built high wing LSA runabout

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addicted2climbing

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Fritz, by any chance did you ask Solidworks whether the sheet metal tailcone was lighter or heavier than the aluminum tube tailboom? I'd be curious whether one was heavier. I can imagine the round boom is a little less wetted area and therefore a little less drag, but that might come at the penalty of a few pounds' worth of metal. I'm pretty sure the round boom will need a slightly larger fin/rudder to achieve the same tail volume as the slab sided one.

Fritz and/or Marc, I do have a humble request. What would the sheet metal version of the Ranger look like if (instead of the Skylite wing or the Columbus Explorer wing) you grafted a 12% smaller version of the Zenith CH-701 wing onto it? The advantages of the Zenith style wing are very much in line with the intent and mission of the Ranger... easily built, parts easily cut on a router, laser, or waterjet, ability to be left unpainted, and very much a "rough and tumble" wing for a knock-about airplane.

(I'm not talking about the 701's wing slats, leave those out for the purposes of this discussion)

Everything in aviation is a compromise, and of course this idea is too: The Zenith style wing would probably throw the airplane out of any real possibility of meeting Part 103. But that's OK for my personal use, and it may well be OK for many other people's personal use.There aren't many airplanes that can meet Part 103 and are also a "rough and tumble" airplane in the real world. Being able to fly in gusty conditions, off-airport landings on rough ground and pot-holed dirt roads, and living outside in the elements are all part of what I believe the Ranger was all about. (Fritz may disagree and it was his creation).

In the end, the Zenith style wing on the Ranger represents one option out of several different viable options... wood, metal, Part 103, E-AB, round boom versus slab fuselage, etc. etc.

If not obvious already, the direction this is going for me is a sheet metal pop rivet Ranger, with either the round boom or the slab sides, using a Zenith style wing (lightened up a little, but still robust), and either a 993cc V-twin or the Pegasus DP-1 / O-100 for power. Granted this will be outside of Part 103, but for my use and many other people's use that's OK (I need the N number to operate out of my home airport anyway).
VB,

I like the look of the boom as well on the Ranger but the slab sides of the metal version are growing on me and since this will be a low and slow airplane, flaps can be omitted to save weight/complexity and the slab side would come in handy in a slip. As for a wing design,p perhaps something along the lines of a hummel bird in construction but strut braced would do. Yet the tubular spar wing is easy so more of a metal skinned Rans/Kitfox type wing. I have the Bearhawk LSA plans and the wing already drawn in Solidworks but its quite complex but likely a scaled down simplified version could work as well. Maybe tonight I will open the Bearhawk LSA wing and scale it and see how it looks on the fuselage. I plan to design around the O-100 and the Briggs.
 

Victor Bravo

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Saini Flyer: The original Zenair factory fold method is pretty clunky, leaving the struts on the wing and having the folded wing high above the fuselage with the struts sticking out the sides. The current Zenair system is better, they finally admit that you shoul remove the struts :) . My version could use the Dean Wilson (Avid / Kitfox) method of rotating the entire wing/strut assembly rearward while still "hinged" to the fuselage at the lower strut and rear spar bolts. This is by far the most convenient, but this would require extra work on a narrow "profile" fuselage like what we are talking about. I would likely lean toward the idea of just using a small loop of rope at the mid-point of the wing root rib, attached to the top of the fuselage, and then rotate the leading edge down and fold back like the Kolb. This will be the easiest to use, all things considered, but it requires you to remove the struts. So that points you toward designing the wing like the newer Zenair "Cruzer" which uses a single strut instead of two struts.

Topaz: I have to agree with Fritz on this one, becauise I've owned several airplanes (Taylorcraft) that used sling seats and they worked just fine. What makes it work best is what you'd rightly call a semi-sling, one that has a third rigid bar or tube across the bottom rear of the sling, which is tied or strapped or lashed down and rearward to the aircraft frame. In this case on this Ranger design, I think a sling is entirely inappropriate because you have 50-60% of a perfectly good rigid seat built into the airframe already. All this aircraft needs is a quickie flat-sided triangular "bucket" riveted or glued down to the main airframe with a couple of gussets to keep it from rocking.

Addicted2climbing: One interesting question is whether the extra weight and parts count of flaps is more or less than the extra weight and parts count of the slab fuselage. The reason for this question is that if you do have flaps (full span flaperons) they can be disconnected and lowered down 90 degrees, which reduces the fore-aft distance between the rear spar fitting and the (new) rear edge of the wing, which would allow the wings to fold rearward like an Avid with the struts still attached. With the Ranger being a low and slow airplane, the Junkers style flaperons are shown to provide good low speed control at high alpha. They work well enough that Fieseler used them, all the Zenair STOL airplanes use them, and all the dozens of Avid Flyer copy/clones/derivatives use them. The Zenith wing already has been designed and engineered around these Junkers flaperons of course. So one good question to see if this is viable is... just how far is the chordwise distance between the 701 rear spar attach fitting and the top surface of the (folded 90 degree downward) flaperon? Doubling this distance will give you the minimum width of the fuselage for a Ranger to use these wings. And the heavier non-Part 103 wing structure of the 701 becomes more appropriate for heavier 4-stroke engines like the big block Briggs and the O-100.

So what all of this ranting means is that IMHO there is a need for a light weight wooden version of the Ranger that can meet Part 103 using a light engine, and there is also a need for a sheet metal version of the "same" airplane for larger engines and larger pilots.

Erkki67: Thanks and congratulations for starting to bring this great discussion from ideas and pixels into actual reality!
 

saini flyer

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Found the pics online.... :emb::emb:
fwo1.jpg
Saini Flyer: The original Zenair factory fold method is pretty clunky, leaving the struts on the wing and having the folded wing high above the fuselage with the struts sticking out the sides. The current Zenair system is better, they finally admit that you shoul remove the struts :) .
 

addicted2climbing

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Found the pics online.... :emb::emb:
View attachment 78646
I have a ton of respect for Zenith, Chris, Sebastian and their aircraft but if that were my plane and that is how the wings folded I might need to rethink that... Luckily Sebastian is a great guy so I can let this one slide. :)

In the imortal words of Buford T. Justice:
There is no way, NO way that you came from my loins. The first thing I'm gonna do when I get home is punch your momma in the mouth.
 

Pops

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6’6” by 254lbs and shoe size 11,5 :gig:
Two grandsons 6'5" x 250-- 260 lbs shoe size 14/15. Their mom fed them good. :)
Normal size for my mothers brothers, 17 children in the family( 3 sets of twins). 10 boys and 7 girls.
 

Victor Bravo

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Erkki DON'T give up!!! The Ranger can be slightly enlarged to fit you. It may only require a taller fuselage, or moving the pedals forward a little. DO NOT give up!

Calling Las Cruces, long distance from Switzerland.....
 

FritzW

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VB, due to my size I’m obligated to build a moke-up to see if I fit, I’ve done this already with a awakening result. Conclusion, I was too tall.
Are you talking about the Ranger cockpit? The way that's phrased makes it sound like your talking about a previous mock up (I don't think this is Erkki's first mock up. ...not to mention your Ranger mock up was still just uncut material a few hours ago.:gig:

I'd hate to redo the Ranger without being sure.
 

addicted2climbing

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6’6” by 254lbs and shoe size 11,5 :gig:
I am 6'4" 230lbs so not far behind you. Size 11.5 feet with that height? Hmmm

When I overlaid the skylite fuslage on the Ranger the cockpit area n the Ranger looks a bit tight. Either that or the Skylite has more room than I imagined. It seems the seat could be pushed back a bit for you easily and youd likely still sit under the CG
 

Pops

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I would like to see a big man version. My 2 grandsons is the reason I designed the JMR to fit a large pilot. If I was to build a Ranger, I would want to build for a large pilot. When I get to old to fly they can take over having the fun.
 

Kenai.pilot

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Pops..I get what ya are saying.... but when I think of too old to fly

I think of a movie called second hand lion.

The heroes of that movie apparently flew west...after tying to fly their old biplane inverted through a barn at age(90s?) LOL!
 

Pops

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Pops..I get what ya are saying.... but when I think of too old to fly

I think of a movie called second hand lion.

The heroes of that movie apparently flew west...after tying to fly their old biplane inverted through a barn at age(90s?) LOL!
Heck that is not old. My father got cut off in his prime of life at 92. :)
 

Victor Bravo

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I thought that Fritz had laid out the Ranger as a lumberjack-sized airplane from the start, because he's not exactly a horse racing jockey himself ???

Erkki67, sit in front of a piece of cardboard in the seated flying position, with rulers or meter sticks taped in place vertically and horizontally. Have someone take good photos of it. (I seem to recall photos like this somewhere in another HBA thread already)

Send the photos to Fritz, and have him verify that the airplane cockpit does or does not need to be enlarged.

This is by far the least obstacle in the whole process IMHO.
 
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