It's taken seven years for us to attend the Friday night glider build and free-flight soaring competition at the Mojave Experimental Fly-In, but this was finally our year, and it was good, low key fun. We didn't build anything last Friday night, but enjoyed catching up with friends, ate a little pizza and watched the youngsters--and some old guys--have some fun playing with balsa wood. Continue reading "Indoor Aviating at Mojave"
Yup - that's a lot of ribs for one wing, isn't it? Finally, after a long delay building a new shop, we got back to work on our Xenos Motorglider project. Sitting behind me as I took this picture was our RV-3, noteworthy because it has just about the same wingspan tip-to-tip as this single wing for the Xenos. Like I said - a lot of ribs! Continue reading "A Whole 'lotta Ribs!"
The Silent Electro2 is a self-launching single seat, 40:1 sailplane with an electric motor to get you into the air with little effort. Sold as a complete aircraft, well equipped for about $130K, it is available in quick-build kit form for about $12-15K less - that's with a trailer and complete instrument package. Continue reading "Why yes - it IS a kit!"
Meet Chad Sanders - Chad took an inexpensive (and ubiquitous) Schweitzer 1-26 sailplane and built a beautiful mount for a pair turbojets - and now he has a jet-powered, self-launching sailplane that can get him from the flatlands of the California Central Valley up to the hills where he can find lift to go soaring - and then back to his home base when he's had enough fun! Continue reading "More Soaring"
At the 2018 Soaring Society of America convention this week, I attended a session on "Safety Considerations for Soaring in Northern Nevada," which covered a lot of good ground on thunderstorms, wave, and the like - but also on the realities of "landing out" if you can't make an airport. Interestingly enough, the presenter had similar thoughts to mine, in that you can fairly easily find a place to land - but that doesn't mean that you'll have good communications for pick-up, and you might be waiting in the desert for awhile. So - survival equipment is important, as is some sort of satellite tracker. A very good point he made is that for us GA pilots, don't forget that there are "low altitude relay satellites," otherwise known as airliners, and most of those crews are monitoring 121.5. You can add a little excitement to their day by asking them to relay a call to someone who can come pick you up - so don't feel you're alone, so long as you've got a VHF radio! Continue reading "Soaring Tidbits"
I made a scratch-built, ultra-light glider over the past summer as an introduction to home-built aircraft. I completed my maiden flight testing this past weekend. This is a Goat 4 Glider utilizing Yando wing modifications for the high altitudes of Utah. This aircraft is classified as an ultra-light glider with the same FAA regulations as a hang glider or paraglider. The design and flying characteristics are similar to the primary gliders of the 1930s, see Cessna CG-2. This specific glider is a design from Mike Sandlin and Alan Beavis. CAD drawings are available for free with an available Yahoo group for support and suggestions. I will be flying my glider via vehicle towing on the salt flats of Utah and I hope to eventually be proficient enough to utilize the mountains as well for possible launch sites.
The glider is constructed from T6 Aircraft tubing and is 100 % garage constructed. Everything from the seat to the vinyl roundels is made from scratch. The glider is covered by light weight Dacron and painted with an inexpensive enamel. It only took 20 weeks to build, using my evenings and weekends. I am a private pilot and this is my attempt to satisfy the cravings of my flying bug without the high costs of powered flight.
Here is a youtube video to enjoy from this past weekend.
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