Farfles Electric Ultralight.

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X2flier   1 W

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by X2flier » Oct 03 2018 10:15am

craneplaneguy wrote:
Oct 02 2018 9:20pm
Please explain your avatar, that a Kasper Wing or a Fledge? I was a Manta hang glider dealer and a Pterodactyl ultralight dealer for years.....google the cover of the August 1983 National Geographic, that's my 'Dac on the frigging cover, my 15 minutes of fame, so far.
craneplaneguy,

That's a good claim to fame! Nice graphic on the crane. :mrgreen: My avatar is a Manta Fledling-IIB (designed, as you may know, by Klaus Hill). When the Fledgling-III came out (1979?), Klaus helped me install the Fledgling-III rudders on my daily glider at his shop. Flew that beauty for more than two decades, with one new sail and one new set of cables in that time. Klaus was a pure genius. He explained to me that by tilting the rudders outward, they became "invisible dihedral" for landing, which was not there unless needed. They were also effective as NASA winglets, when not in use for steering. Pulling both together made for dive brakes, good for small landing fields. Slamming both rudders open at the flare made a full-stop in mid-air, six inches high, and spot landings (classically onto a Frisbee) were a piece of cake. Still flyin', still grinnin'. 8)

As I get older, now I plan to rebuild that Fledgling-II as an electric hang glider, probably as an electric Mosquito-type power system. That is why I watch this topic with interest.
Cheers,
X2flier

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Oct 03 2018 5:51pm

I was buying Fledge 2B's from Manta, ( after they bought the marketing rights, I think Klaus was "just" a flying genius, not a business person maybe) I was their only dealer that was getting them unassembled, just the parts. If Klaus built the one in your avatar, the difference in the way he did the tips from Manta fooled my eye, and made me think Kasper. Manta did it a bit different, tip rudders look the same though. I was buying my cable by the 1000' ft roll and rigging them myself, and sold many in Idaho and Montana. Then, when Jack McCornack used the exact same planform to create the 'Dac, that was an easy transition for me to become a dealer for him, I ended up with 650 hrs of 'Dac time and a bit over 200 with the HG wing, and knowing the airframe inside and out. It is one of the all time best planforms out there, STILL ahead of its time.....and I totally agree it would be a perfect donor airframe to go electric with, it would be very cool to see it continue on in a third persona! Dick Cheny isn't making sails anymore though, last I heard, hope that was wrong. I remember see Klaus fly "The Hummer", that started the itch towards powered flight for me. "E'DAC," works for me!

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Oct 18 2018 4:58pm

Its done! The cowl is on, and the taxi test is complete! Need some brake adjustments, but other than that it was a fun and uneventful afternoon ad KBDN. Post test teardown and inspection results TBD.


Imagereceived_1402458506524024 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20181010_223229 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20181012_154436 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20181012_161907 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Oct 18 2018 11:06pm

Judging from the fairly minor throttle bumps, it appears to have plenty of thrust! Right zippy, in fact.

If you load it backwards on the trailer, and then leave the tailwheel on it while the mains are on the ground, it's easier to fold the wings out, you not pulling them uphill so much. When I built a custom trailer for my Kitfox 1, I made it so the wings were dead nuts level when half off the trailer. This also gave me a better angle of attack going down the road, more neutral. That's the way the Kitfox's Avid's and other folding wingers do it anyway. At least you don't have the additional complication of fuel in the wing tanks!

You probably know this... but be aware of pilot induced excursions in pitch, holding the stick with your fingertips, not a death grip, is a good sign. Test flying on a grass strip is preferable over asphalt if at all possible. You can land a little crossed up and get away with it, asphalt is pretty grippy. I've made first flights in 5 kitplanes plus numerous ultralights, and there is nothing like the thrill of realizing you have a real live flying machine! Good luck and be careful, finding a local pilot with lots of light taildragger time to do the first flight would not be a bad idea. But many, like me, do it ourselves.

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by svt/r&d » Oct 27 2018 5:35pm

Front landing gear seems to be over beefy ?

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Oct 27 2018 5:37pm

svt/r&d wrote:
Oct 27 2018 5:35pm
Front landing gear seems to be over beefy ?
The front gear legs are as-supplied in the kit, but the tires are tundra tires for landing on "unimproved" runways.
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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Oct 30 2018 10:51am

Making more progress! Fast taxi was a success, and first flight will be today! Headed out to the airfield now!

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fechter   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by fechter » Oct 30 2018 12:48pm

Great camera angle! So technically it flew for a second or so. So close...
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Oct 31 2018 3:04am

Woot woot! Still downloading and an official flight review to come, but it did the flying thing, and it did it really well.

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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by liveforphysics » Oct 31 2018 3:56am

So proud of you brother!!!
:bolt: :mrgreen: 8) :D
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fechter   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by fechter » Oct 31 2018 9:15am

It flies!

Congratulations. Seems to get airborne with a pretty short run.

Any idea what kind of flying time you'll get out of the battery?
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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X2flier   1 W

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by X2flier » Oct 31 2018 11:56am

Farfle,

'Way to GO! Lookin' GOOD!

One suggestion, for operating on unpaved areas: prop tape. This thick and cushiony clear tape will reduce damage to the prop from gravel and sticks, by a lot.

A local "dirt' strip here has a paved area, about twenty yards (meters) long at the start, so planes can be moving faster when they start traveling over dirt at take-off. Running up any speed before moving onto the dirt will also help to preserve the prop. Pilots local to that site can probably tell you more.

Best wishes.
Cheers,
X2flier

Grantmac   10 mW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Grantmac » Oct 31 2018 2:03pm

Any data logging in terms of Wh in the climb and pattern?

Definitely be very proactive with your centerline discipline. Don't let a wide, soft strip let you get complacent. You want that aircraft on center and travelling inline everytime.

-Grant

litespeed   100 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by litespeed » Oct 31 2018 5:27pm

Super cool. You know the old saying, “Take offs are optional, landings are mandatory!”

Congratulations!

Tom
I'm married so you know I'm no stranger to pain!

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CobraJet   1 W

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by CobraJet » Oct 31 2018 7:10pm

Right On! She looks like she handles very well, great job! I'll bet that feels good after all the building. I'd be surprised if I'd ever get to sleep tonight after that kind of a day. So, how long was your 1st flight? Any data logging, amps volts, watts?

BTW, the camera work was terrific. Could you share info on what was used to video this?

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Oct 31 2018 10:47pm

That looked frigging perfect! As did the area around the grass infield, a great place for a first flight. :bigthumb:

Not so sure about the prop tape, especially on a tractor. I've never used it anyway, even in pusher ultralights, and I'm nearly 100% off pavement, rocks and gravel bars no less. Many so short full power immediately is needed, with no gradual increase, so worse case scenarios. One year I landed 9 times on pavement, in 215 hours of flying, and the TT on my current prop (a Prince P Tip) is over 600 hrs, and no nicks. IF you choose to mess with it, be aware it may change the props performance, or not.... I never see anyone else who does a lot of off airport flying use it either. For sure not a big concern is my point, especially if it degrades the prop's performance. Where I have seen the stuff used is on the leading edges of the hor stab, that's where all the gravel etc. ends up, blown back by the prop blast.

Again, well done!

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Nov 01 2018 2:42am

Heya all! Tossing up an official flight report here for the zero powered Belite. It's a bit of a saga, so hold on.

After a day of slow taxi, a big teardown and inspection, a day of fast taxi and another inspection, finally yesterday 10-30-18 was the first flight at Madras airport from 16 in the grass.

Flight number one was straight down the runway, luckily madras (S33) has a 3k+ foot grass strip, so plenty of time to transition slowly from tail-up taxi to about 40mph and then let it transition into flight in a very smooth and controlled way, climb to about 30 feet, get it back on centerline and bring it back down for a wheel landing. Everything went flawlessly, and it was a piece of cake to keep it on centerline, although it needed a fair amount of stick forward pressure and stick left hold for level flight.

Flight two I removed the spring leveling the elevator, and adjusted the aileron heim joints to help center the stick a bit. Also adjusted the brakes to make them less easily triggered. Same flight down the runway and a greaser landing, It still needed some stick-left input for straight-and-level flight, but not bad.

Flight three's plan was to climb up into the pattern and then exit the downwind and climb above the pattern to determine what the thermal cutback behavior was, but after getting a few hundred feet up and in the downwind leg, I started catching some pretty serious thermal/turbulence action, and the stick was still heavily biased to the left. Fearing a lack-of left turn authority, and needing some knee-bumping stick travel I decided to stay in the pattern and bring it in for a landing. The landing was not good, i went for a three point, but while rounding out the approach pre-flare I had very little up elevator authority, and the landing was very firm. No bounce but at full elevator deflection it did not pitch-up quick enough and planted a little hard. No harm no foul, but the bumpy air and quickly increasing wind had us calling it for the day.



Day two, Gabe and I headed to Prineville airport (S39) as madras was windy and did some flights there taking off from rwy 33, and landing in the gravel bar to the left of rwy 33.

We adjusted the elevator control rod to buy us about 10 degrees more up elevator travel, and adjusted the strut heims to add some twist ti the wing and try and get the stick straightened out.


For flight one at prineville, The winds were very calm and I back-taxied down 33 to survey the gravel bar next to it for landing, then I took off on 15 and made right pattern out over the hill to the west of the airport. I left it firewalled while climbing out, and at the end of rwy 15 (3kft) I was at 480ft. Doing the math at a 55mph climbout says just under 800fpm climb rate from 3200ft to 3680ft. I continued to leave it firewalled as I circled up watching the temps climb. At about 4000ft it hit thermal cutback at 150C indicated and I watched the motor controller reduce power from ~360A to ~200A momentarily, then it recovered and stabilized at 280A a few seconds later where it climbed slower, but still around 2-300fpm climb in full thermal derating. I continued the climb to 4800 feet where I turned back and entered the left downwind for 33. I attempted another three point landing on the gravel bar, and it had more authority this go-round but not enough for a proper flare again, and it bounced pretty hard. It also still needed more right aileron trim, but not as badly.

Flight two, we adjusted the primary stick-to-bellcrank linkage to scoot the stick an inch or so to the right. I took off on the asphalt 33, and climbed into left closed pattern. The control stick was hands-free and centered, so making some progress there. On my landing I attempted another three point in the gravel carrying a bit more speed in the approach. It still did not have enough elevator to flare, and I had a good few bounces down the gravel (this plane bounces well!)

Flight three we made no adjustments, and were seeing some rain starting, so I quickly taxied out and did a more performance-takeoff with the brakes held and released at WOT, and it was off the ground in a four of five plane lengths. I ascended into left pattern for 33 again and brought it in for a flawless wheel landing in the gravel, with some beta thrown in at the end to get stopped faster. Electrics are pretty fun :)

We packed it up for the day, and called it. Gabe and Bob flew back down to SJC in Bob's awesome Lancair, and I stashed the cub at the shop.

There is a bit of a squawk list if things to sort out, but its flying and has transitioned from being terrifying and unknown to somewhat less terrifying and a LOT of fun.
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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by liveforphysics » Nov 01 2018 4:06am

So excited for your DIY airplane flying so well my friend!! You are so amazing Jackson!!!
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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by rojitor » Nov 01 2018 5:06am

:bigthumb: this project is so amazing. You have done an impressive job.

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by SlowCo » Nov 01 2018 9:24am

Great result!
Enjoy all future flights and always land safely 8)

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by billvon » Nov 01 2018 11:38am

craneplaneguy wrote:
Oct 31 2018 10:47pm
Many so short full power immediately is needed, with no gradual increase, so worse case scenarios.
One note here -

For short/soft field takeoffs, I've noticed that there's always a few second period where you are at full power and waiting on the engine. It takes a second or so to ramp to full power, then a quick listen/check the gauges to make sure it's running smoothly, and sometimes there's a tweak to the mixture if you are altitude, then you release brakes.

None of that is needed with an electric, so even that risk may be diminished.

(Let me add on to the other congratulations here. This has been one of the most interesting threads on this forum, watching the build from plans all the way through the test flight.)
--bill von

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Grantmac » Nov 01 2018 11:47am

Where are you within the design CofG envelope? Have you conducted any stall testing in your higher flights?

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Nov 01 2018 4:35pm

The CG range is 34.5" to 39.1" from datum, and my CG sheet shows the CG at 36.25" so it is for sure towards the front, but my measurements may not super accurate (amazon digital crane scale and a forklift picking up each corner until level).

I bet that the CG needs to move aft, as this behavior is textbook nose heavy.
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emotofreak   10 mW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by emotofreak » Nov 01 2018 8:15pm

Dumped all the raw vids to a playlist on my youtube channel. You may have to poke around for the interesting bits!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... u37-ovLt0o

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