What is an affordable ultralight?

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quick582

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I'm not sure why the 4 strke is a requirement, but that aside, an MX Quicksilver is around $4000.00 for a nice one, and a GT 400 is around $10,000.00. Both are huge bang for the buck, especially the GT 400.
 

cluttonfred

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I think you’d better have that understanding with the controller before trying that at most fields. I have only done engine-outs at quiet, uncontrolled fields and that rarely.
 

jedi

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I think you’d better have that understanding with the controller before trying that at most fields. I have only done engine-outs at quiet, uncontrolled fields and that rarely.
No argument there!

Post #40 ...... landing priority if there is a good understanding between pilot and controller.

Since the engine may be needed to taxi clear of the runway it is probably best to start on short final but I hate doing that, takes away the sweet feel of it. Kind of like starting the engine on a sailboat just so you can get into the dock.

It can be hard to know what the controller is thinking when the motor glider calls 7 miles out at 3,000 feet unless you have had that discussion while on the ground prior to flight. Perhaps it is just best to call "Experimental" if no priority is required and see what the reaction is when and if he (the controller) notices the prop is not turning.
 
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Victor Bravo

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It can be hard to know what the controller is thinking when the motor glider calls 7 miles out at 3,000 --- see what the reaction is when and if he (the controller) notices the prop is not turning.
Try making a low save over the center of a sleepy municipal airport in a sailplane contest, where the guy in the tower has no !(#*%$ idea what's happening, becuse an un-powered airplane is just sitting there in a tight circle at <500 feet, not climbing and not crashing either!

"Glider 26541 are you declaring an emergency?"
"Negative."
"Sir are you having engine trouble?"
"No Sir, there's no engine in the aircraft."
- long pause -
"Glider 26541, what are your intentions?"
"Establish positive rate of climb, and depart the traffic pattern."
- long pause -
"Approved as requested..."

(True story, circa 1985, Goodyear Municipal Airport, AZ during the Region 10 Soaring championship contest out of Estrella Sailport. I did manage to climb out of Goodyear a few minutes later and get back to Estrella, but I lost half an hour because of getting low)
 

BBerson

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It's also tricky at an uncontrolled field. If you arrive dead stick but call "motorglider" entering for landing they don't give way. If you call "glider" they tend to freak out and ask what to do. Sometimes I want to just slip in unannounced.
I guess that's why they built Estrella Sailport.
 
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Affordable?
Try what Miguel Schennin of MS aviones in Argentina has done due to materials constraints in an economically depressed country. The design called the Facil loosely resembles a Rans S6 in profile.
1025 welded tube, Luminum agricultural pipe spars, styrofoam ribs, greenhouse plastic covering. Fiat, Renault or similar 4 cyl engine.
Couple dozen flying already.
 

jedi

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...........
(True story, circa 1985, Goodyear Municipal Airport, AZ during the Region 10 Soaring championship contest out of Estrella Sailport. I did manage to climb out of Goodyear a few minutes later and get back to Estrella, but I lost half an hour because of getting low)
I love it but that would be a completely different story today. Times have changed!

That reminds me of the other big advantage of a Motorglider over Light Sport Airplane. No requirement for ADSB.

Now I expect VB and I would agree that ADSB would still be a good idea for airplane like operations in the LA Basin and other selected areas. But for someone like our PSSA members ridge soaring in the mountains within 200 feet of the terrain for 99% of their operations it does not make sense. They need to take off and land slightly within the ADSB required 30 mile vale and not having ADSB required can take $3,000 off the cost of an EMG-6 type of motor glider.
 
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JamesF

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I think that the problem is the availability of a 4 stroke 40 hp (+or-) engine at a price of around $5000. Given that, all the other problems are not insurmountable. The bad news is, given the size of the market, It isn’t possible to build such an engine and enjoy the economies of scale.
i recall reading about a UK engine designed with the prop being driven by the camshaft. The camshaft was gear driven from the crankshaft and was geared down around 2 to 1. I cant recall the designers name. He was a auto racer and died before the the design came to fruition. I don’t know anything about engine design.
one of you guys who do ought to pick up that idea and rub with it!
james
 

TFF

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Since Continental built an engine called the Tiera that used the cam gear as a reduction, the overwhelming conclusion was, don’t. The props inertia would throttle the engine because it would retard or advance the cam timing. Continental has tried to erase the engine from memory like Lycoming trying to erase the O-320H2AD.
 

cluttonfred

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We’ve been through this low-cost question before and the conclusion is usually that a modest single-seat LSA/microlight that can use a basic VW or industrial V-twin conversion is cheaper or at least no more expensive than a Part 103/SSDR type. That said, Mike Sandlin’s Bloop is a perfect example of a more recent low cost Part 103 type.

 

bmcj

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Groundbreaking would be to find an affordable UL, then get six people to buy three of them. That way, you cut the cost in half, share the maintenance chores, and can usually get at least two or three that want to fly out as part of a group flight on any given weekend. If one goes down for maintenance, two more are still up and running, so you don’t really suffer any down time.

As far as cheap, I believe some of the Airdrome Aeroplanes are supposed to be affordable.
 

BJC

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It's also tricky at an uncontrolled field. If you arrive dead stick but call "motorglider" entering for landing they don't give way. If you call "glider" they tend to freak out and ask what to do. Sometimes I want to just slip in unannounced.
I guess that's why they built Estrella Sailport.
So if you announce that you are a glider, and I announce an emergency because my engine isn’t running, who has the right-of-way?


BJC
 

Dana

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I think that the problem is the availability of a 4 stroke 40 hp (+or-) engine at a price of around $5000. Given that, all the other problems are not insurmountable. The bad news is, given the size of the market, It isn’t possible to build such an engine and enjoy the economies of scale.
Hummel half VWs are in that HP and price range.
 

BBerson

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So if you announce that you are a glider, and I announce an emergency because my engine isn’t running, who has the right-of-way?


BJC
I am sure you know the rules in 91.113. Generally the lower aircraft or one most in "distress" gets right of way.
I am always prepared to land on the taxiway if needed.
 
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I think that if a person really wants to fly an altralite they can fin a way, the legal eagle is still one of the lowest prices ultralite to build and even if you have to buy everything already made it is still under $10,000, if you look at price of snowmobiles, quads, boats cars or trucks ultralite flying is still a very reasonable sport and low cost flying. I now have two experimental aircraft and ultralite buy just scrounging up parts and going to airshows. If you really want to fly you will figure a way just be safe in how you do it.
 

jedi

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I am sure you know the rules in 91.113. Generally the lower aircraft or one most in "distress" gets right of way.
I am always prepared to land on the taxiway if needed.
BJC ref post # 54 I expect you know the answer and it is not 91.113. As soon as you declare an emergency regardless of whether broadcast or not you have the right of way if needed.

Lets get back on topic. The North Wing ATF is an example of an affordable Ultralight depending on who you are. But $30,000 for a high performance soaring Ultralight trike is a bit much for many even if it does have a good 4 cycle engine. I can offer a slightly used one (less than 10 hours) for under $20,0000. Does anyone think that is affordable? How many will offer $10,000?
I expect at $10,000 it would disappear overnight but how many would give that? What is the size of the market.

If I offered similar performance in a three axis multi engine motorglider could I sell 10 a month for 10 years at $15,000 each? Vote yes or no.

I will try to put the poll link here shortly. No luck with Log in to your account

Could I sell 10 per month mult (four cycle) engine three axis control soaring Ultralights for 10 years at $15,000 USD ready to fly? 1,200 total units. Estimated minimum sink 3.5 ft / sec. L/D 10:1 at 35 mph. Fits in a 8.5 x 20 foot trailer. YES NO

What revised price point would you like in order to meet this sales goal?

I gave up, have to get back to work.

§91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.
(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.
 
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Dana

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The North WIng ATF is $15.4K. M-Squared doesn't list a price on their website for their Breese XL (Quicksilver clone), but it would probably be around the same price... they're offering a new one sans engine and prop for $10K. The problem is that companies have a hard time selling new ultralights for that kind of money when there are so many flyable used ones out there under $5K.
 
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