Unlimited Aluminum Aeorbatic Aircraft

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Vector

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Is there any experimental aerobatic aircraft in the unlimited category. I know there is the Shukoi in the certified parlance but how about experimental. Why don't we see much of this around?

Thanks
 

BJC

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The current best is the MX, a USA experimental made of carbon. Also at the top is the Edge, also a USA experimental, with a steel tube fuselage and carbon wing.


BJC
 

Dana

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Probably because aluminum has no fatigue limit, meaning that it will eventually crack with repeated stress cycles. With steel, OTOH, if the stress is kept below the fatigue limit (considerably lower than the yield strength) it will last essentially forever.

Dana
 

BJC

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The Zlin 50, from 40 years ago, was the last serious attempt that I recall at an aluminium unlimited airplane. It was bigger and heavier than other airplanes of that era, and is bigger, has more drag, lower g limits, lower HP and poorer airfoil selection than today's top aircraft.


BJC
 

Turd Ferguson

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Art Scholl's Super Chipmunk was capable of an unlimited sequence. Since there were several Chipmunks modified to "Super Chipmunk" status, I guess they could also do the same.
 

BJC

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Art Scholl's Super Chipmunk was capable of an unlimited sequence. Since there were several Chipmunks modified to "Super Chipmunk" status, I guess they could also do the same.
That was a great airshow airplane, and Art was a very good show pilot. Pardon my bias, but Bevo was the best.


BJC
 

Topaz

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That was a great airshow airplane, and Art was a very good show pilot. Pardon my bias, but Bevo was the best.
I had the pleasure of seeing Art Scholl do his airshow routine in the Super Chipmonk a couple of times. Man could really put on a show. For an airshow routine, I'd place him second only to Bob Hoover. Both of those guys could fly.

"See Bob Hoover loop his Twin Commander, which is a regular, unmodified example of this piston-twin business aircraft."

"Now see Bob Hoover loop his Twin Commander with one engine off."

"Now see Bob Hoover loop his Twin Commander with both engines off."

:speechles
 
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Vector

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Thanks for the response. A friend and I were having a conversation and he thought the difficulty in construction made it intimidating for would be aerobatic pilots looking to venture. He said he believed if there were more aluminum plans, the field would be more inviting. I couldn't counter his thought process because I really couldn't think of any plans built aluminum aircraft that could achieve unlimited aerobatics.
 
S

Sasho

Vector, I share yours and your friend's sentiments. Aerobatics would certainly be more attractive to new pilots if there were more affordable options to build. I've been exploring this topic with two of my projects. Not really intended for unlimited, but still hopefully better performers than the available metal designs.
M540-ALDO | flicons EN
M320-II/ACRO | flicons EN
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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I don't see an intimidating cost factor in having a welded tube fuselage frame if that makes the plane last longer without the whole tail jettisoning when it's tired of being taken to 8-9g.

The cost wouldn't be that bad with a simple, sturdy frame and the confidence factor probably worth every penny
 
S

Sasho

Time spent building or acquiring skills is expensive. We don't see sheet metal tails being jettisoned more often than welded tube or composite even though the majority of tails that see 8-9g every day is sheet metal... They just do not compete in unlimited.
 
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Toobuilder

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"Unlimited" aerobatics and "affordable" are mutually exclusive terms. However, if one is looking for a strong, very capable machine on a budget, one only has to look at an older Pitts project. It is not uncommon to find a complete airframe for less than the cost of the flying wires. If you want turn key, you can buy a very nice Pitts for less than $20k. That's the price of a used SUV.

Anyone who thinks the cost of the machine is a barrier to entry level flying just isn't looking very hard (or has unrealistic expectations).
 

TFF

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If you need a monoplane and homebuilt, one of the Laser family or One Design; that is where you need to go to be "budget." You will not beat a Pitts for value. And if you are wiping everyone out in a Pitts in Advanced, someone will loan you Yak or Extra to see what you can do. No one does unlimited cheap; the amount of fuel needed to practice and the ability to fly such a long sequence well, and a plane that can fly it means very few can really compete anyway.
 
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Sasho

Again a bit off the "unlimited" part of the topic, I think more people would consider aerobatics if the airplane they build anyway is capable and if they could fly with an instructor on board.
 
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TFF

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Most pilots I know think 2 Gs is aerobatics. The ones who want to, do. How good of aerobatics is the question. A Citabria is going to be hard to beat for getting your feet wet. In Europe, you do have a different set of problems compared to the US. Build an RV4 if it needs to be aluminum. That wheel has already been invented and vetted.
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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Also I imagine the FWF package for a plane that will run true unlimited is going to cost a big portion of the ircraft's budget.

If we aren't worried about unlimited aero right, then a ton of great options open up, but an RV-8 is not an Extra 300. I'm thinking it's an important distinction to make depending on the actual mission.

But that the aircraft cost is a small portion of the costs related to practicing the aero at all is worth noting.
 

autoreply

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"Unlimited" aerobatics and "affordable" are mutually exclusive terms. However, if one is looking for a strong, very capable machine on a budget, one only has to look at an older Pitts project. It is not uncommon to find a complete airframe for less than the cost of the flying wires. If you want turn key, you can buy a very nice Pitts for less than $20k. That's the price of a used SUV.

Anyone who thinks the cost of the machine is a barrier to entry level flying just isn't looking very hard (or has unrealistic expectations).
That they are in the current market is clear.

But does it have to be that way?

If we take the Extra 300, that's about 1500 lbs empty and 2000 while flying a demo. Needs 300 hp and a variable pitch prop and obviously the aero, controls and structure for aerobatics.

If we assume* one can build a 10G aerobatic ship that is like a scaled-down extra, 400 lbs empty, 700 lbs with demo fuel and a pilot and a stock Rotax with a variable pitch prop, would there be any drawbacks compared to the Extra?

*To avoid a discussion about the feasibility of those numbers. I think they're achievable, but not everybody will.
 
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