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DATA Mine......ULs

Posted By:
Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
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#1 Posted: 10/20/2009 12:48:11

 

Here is an important question:

As of fall 2009 – Who is commercially building US legal ULs. And what are the costs. Define cost as projected/actual/Fire wall forward/ firewall back/  etc. 

I know the Backyard Flyer is but have a 12 month wait list.  I guess Gene is hoping that some of his customers will go away. 

Belite is but is not anywhere near production yet.   

 



Dan Grunloh
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#2 Posted: 10/21/2009 14:19:20

Hello Jim. I think you are being too hard on Gene.  His is a small 1-2 man operation involving highly skilled fabrication technique.  It probably takes a couple months to build each plane.  I doubt if he wants his customers to go away, he just can't keep up and can't justify the training and investment into  higher capacity production. People do this for the love of it.

Next,.. not to be picky but firewall forward versus back depends on pusher versus tractor? 
goggles

From your question I suspect you are asking about fixed wing only.  There are numerous trikes and PPC's that qualify, so I will start the ball rolling with the first few obvious fixed wing choices.  All are well proven, established designs.

Kolb Firefly 

CGS Hawk Ultra

 ThunderGull 2000 

Prices depend very much on options but these machines come in around $15-20K range.

 

 



Dan Grunloh
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#3 Posted: 10/21/2009 14:24:08

Sorry  
sad   it appears I need more practice with this interface as my links didn't come through.  Here they are for you to cut and paste into your web browser.

Kolb Firefly

http://www.kolbsport.com/

CGS HAWK Ultra

http://www.cgsaviation.com/hawkultra.htm

ThunderGull 2000

http://www.dcccorporation.com/2000.html

 



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#4 Posted: 10/22/2009 21:58:30

Thanks Dan for your input. 

I am not intending on being hard on anyone. And I apologize for any prickle.   I listened to the radio interview showcasing Gene and Valley Engineering and noted his desire to have every plane be built be one at a time.  My comment is that the world is a fickle place and we have a “want it now” mentality.  How long will people wait for a recreational plane?  In this economy if people are handing you money then you do whatever it takes to complete the sale.  If you have a 12 month wait list  - you are in manufacturing wether you want to or not.  Kansas has a lot of talent available right now.

So, I checked out the listed manufactories.  Only CGS seems as though they are open and direst at what engine and equipment will fall in to 103.  The ThunderGull indicates it's a certified UL (what ever that is) but does not provide an engine or suggestions for it. So it's back to the builder again for compliance.  Klob is direct.  It is 103 with the heavy 447 but clearly at the limit.  So no goodies. 

I would love to see a "103 package" offered by the kiters.  If you use the items in this kit/or equipment list  then you will end up with a compliant aircraft.  Relieves some of the anxiety on the builders part that the plane will be legal vs. the unknown or 20#+ over.  More likely to put down money. 

As we know may of the kiters have said their planes were UL legal but in reality were over considerably.   

 

 



Roger Poyner
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
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#5 Posted: 10/28/2009 11:33:18

Here is another link of a company that will be up and running soon.  http://starflightaircraft.com   These planes were built in the 80s and quite a few are still around.  The new owner is gearing up for production now and will have both a 103 legal and experimental planes for sale.  One of the biggest hurdles faced now for a legal 103 plane is the engine.  Most light weight singles are no longer in production such as the 277 rotax that powered a lot of early planes.  Maybe new developments will begin to produce light weight engines in the 30 to 40 hp range to fill this need.   There is also a yahoo group site listed at Starflight that provides a lot of info on these planes.   Roger

 

 



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#6 Posted: 10/29/2009 02:44:32

Actually engines do exist but without the familiar Rotax logo.   Compact Radial Engines in BC Canada  makes 2 engines that will work with part 103, Hirth has 2 and Verner Engines has 2 as well.   Verner is a 4-cycle engine.  Rotax has had market share for a long time but is/was a much heavier engine.  I am surprised at Rotax continuing to keep iron sleeves in the wake of many cold seizures.



Alice Cornwell
65
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29
#7 Posted: 10/29/2009 12:47:57
Jim Heffelfinger wrote:

 

Actually engines do exist but without the familiar Rotax logo.  

 

And don't forget there's a whole new generation of engines starting to come through that don't even need gasoline.   I think electric power has enormous potential for the ultralight world, almost tailor-made for it (weight, power, endurance, reliability, affordability, it's all there.

Thinking about what's out there right now, think you can add the e-spyder to your list http://www.flyespyder.com/



Jim Heffelfinger
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#8 Posted: 10/29/2009 12:55:17

I agree there.    We will see some major changes to aviation in the next 10 years. 

2 areas for challenge.  controllers - able to carry the current with low losses.   Regulations allowing the battery weights



Mark Stull
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#9 Posted: 10/29/2009 17:53:34

Jim,

Doug at Hart Aero builds inexpensive U/Ls for sale.  For sleeker, more efficient U/Ls,  talk to Mark at Earthstar, and look at the ZJ-Viera.

Right, finding a suitable U/L engine is challenging.  The single cylinder engines tend to vibrate too much and are generally less reliable because you have to run them so hard.  But most of the twins are too heavy to make the weight limit, depending on the airframe.

J-Bird sells Kawasaki snowmobile engine conversions in 440 and 340 cc, that are lighter than the similar Rotax 447 and 377.  They partially fill the gap between singles and heavier twins, and have just moderate vibration.  I can't recommend the Hirths.  Most people have had bad luck with them, including me.  The MZ201 is a good engine, but vibrates a lot because of its unusually large 626 cc displacement.

I've been flying legal U/Ls (of my own design) for years, and tried several different engines.  Vibration is a pretty big deal.  Even rubber mounted, engine vibration tries to tear up your exhaust system, and eventually the airframe.  The larger (than 250 cc) displacement singles all vibrate a lot.

And the more you strip an engine down, the more they'll vibrate... for example, if you use a lighter reduction drive, and/or eliminate the electric starter.

The amount of thrust you can get from an engine depends on how much reduction you use to turn a larger diameter prop.  You can get excellent thrust out of the Rotax 277 with a 3.0 reduction, for example.



William Czygan
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#10 Posted: 12/13/2009 23:44:20

Jim,

  Don't forget that there are 103 legal PPC's, PPG's and WSC aircraft and balloons too.

 

Bill



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#11 Posted: 12/14/2009 13:07:36

Bill,   I didn't forget the other 103 family members.  I should have been more specific.  No offence meant. 

Fixed wing powered airframes have had the most difficult time making class. 

The rest of the family operates out of areas of near zero FAA scrutiny.   



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
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#12 Posted: 12/14/2009 13:12:19

I am on Belite's list..

FLY AWAY FOR $24,995!

 

If you've been reading these emails, you'll notice that the price has been going down $1,000 every week. How low will we go?  Stay tuned...

 

 

Is James trying to find the fair market price? 



Carl Moushegian
2
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0
#13 Posted: 12/20/2009 10:09:37

    Jim;

    There is a 4-stroke engine called the Solo 35 or Solo 40. ( hp )

It is a V-twin ,OHV , 650cc engine that weighs 30kg. with redrive and electric start

Fuel burn is less than 1.5 gph.  I dont know anything more about the engine other than

whats posted at their web site. It looks like a generac / Vanguard commercial type engine

with a good power to weight ratio.

                                                     Carl



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
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#14 Posted: 12/20/2009 19:33:41

Carl,  could you offer a URL to this engine.   I find it hard to believe that a 625cc 4 cycle with redrive and starter weighs 66#.

Especially since this weighs WAY more - http://www.culverprops.com/big-twin.php

Jim

 

 



Carl Moushegian
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0
#15 Posted: 12/20/2009 20:32:51

Jim;

  This engine can be found at    www.soloflightltd.com    or by simply

typing Solo 35 engine. It's a British engine and at  650cc , It weighs less than a 447 Rotax

and has a fuel burn for serious cross country ( 1.3 gph ). Total weight with everything is 66 pounds.

      Jim , I'm just the messenger. I know nothing more than the web site details.

However ,if its specs are correct,It would be a nice engine .

                                                        thanks,  Carl