Farfles Electric Ultralight.

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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Dec 04 2017 9:26pm

All the reports I've heard on the stuff is positive. The only bad, those skilled in conventional aircraft coverings have to keep in mind it's different in a lot of ways. Not more difficult, just different then working with ceconite etc. Some don't like the partial see through of it, the air frame may be somewhat visible against a strong light, big deal, it's the lightest way to go, the no painting is a bonus. Great choice!

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by adapt2entropy » Dec 10 2017 12:21am

Nice project Jackson. I've had 2 flights this fall on my powered hang glider with the zero drive train, but now it's too much like winter on this side of the 49th, and that gives me time to improve my data display and recording. Are you using the analogger to go with the CA? watch out, it's not rated for over 100v, and I proved that!
I only got 20 minutes flight time, used 50 Ah from 2 packs. This trike has wide tires and is more of a cruiser, seems to want 10kW to maintain level flight. My first e-trike was on a soaring wing (slower) and seemed to maintain with 7kW. I haven't played with prop settings yet. Nice reduction unit you built, I was able to get one from Thundergull.
Can't help but say, you look crunched in there in that narrow fuselage, so less drag, but then it's given away with the big tires .. if I had 4 batteries I won't care either! bubble doors could be an option some day down the road (that doesn't sound like airplane talk)
My last ice plane had pre-sewn dacron covering, and people called it the transparent plane if I flew overhead on a bright day. It was a crowd pleaser, but being an ultralight you don't get many positive remarks from the conventional pilots.
regards

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Dec 10 2017 10:16pm

As a former hang glider and ultralight pilot, though now a fixed wing "conventional" pilot for the last 28 years or so (though experimental/homebuilt category) I HATE to hear some spam can Cessna pilot denigrate flex wings of any type, and I always call them out on it! They may not know my past flying history,.....The real good fixed pilots, with lots of experience, DON'T bad mouth other pilots of any ilk, it's the guys trying to build themselves up. Yeah, Farfles, you have two strikes "against" you : it's an ultralight and it's electric! I can hear the jokes now "what are you going to do when the battery runs out?" The same thing sort of happens in the hoisting business, I operate a 30 ton crane, and SOME guys running a 100 ton or bigger laugh when I call myself a crane operator, the same type of dip stick who would look down on an ultralight as not a real aircraft! If it gets you high enough to kill you, you are for sure a real pilot! Back to your construction thread, rant over.

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Jan 01 2018 5:49pm

Making more progress!

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jonescg   1 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by jonescg » Jan 01 2018 9:19pm

I'm going to an event tonight where the company will be unveiling Australia's first electric aeroplane for commercial use - the Pipistrel.
I'll take heaps of photos :)

PS Love watching this build unfold :)

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Jan 01 2018 9:22pm

Pipistrel makes some phenomenal airplanes! Hopefully they did an OK electric system. Thanks for taking lots of pics!!!
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jonescg   1 GW

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Brief interlude of Farfles Electric Ultralight thread.

Post by jonescg » Jan 02 2018 7:54am

Beautiful little aeroplane!

350 volt (96s) battery - 4 x 5 kWh units in parallel (air cooled).
20180102_183621.jpg
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EMRAX motor, liquid cooled.
Pipistrel's own inverter, also liquid cooled.
1 hour flight time with about 30 mins in reserve.
350 kg total mass.
Rocket propelled drogue 'chute for poopoo time.
20180102_181756.jpg
20180102_181756.jpg (210.48 KiB) Viewed 2936 times
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20180102_174119.jpg (170.06 KiB) Viewed 2936 times
20180102_174057.jpg
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Video of it spinning up here:
Last edited by jonescg on Jan 02 2018 7:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 02 2018 9:55am

A very nice low drag airframe, sexy looking too. "If it looks right, it probably flies right."

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fechter   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by fechter » Jan 02 2018 2:54pm

Just park it facing into the wind and use the prop as a wind generator.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

helno   100 mW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by helno » Jan 02 2018 6:16pm

Pipistrel makes a nice plane.

They are selling them up here in Canada already.

Unfortunately the LSA rules specifically say that an LSA must have a single reciprocating engine. Someone was a bit shortsighted when they wrote that rule.

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 03 2018 9:06am

Ha, it looks weird to see no kick back when they shut the thing down, it just smoothly winds down like a turbine. Just one of my bush tires has as much drag as that entire air frame, but them again I land places (and take off again) that thing could only land once! Still, that is a really cool plane.....

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Jan 19 2018 2:11am

Making more progress. The flaperons are done, the flaperon hinges are done, the control cables are hooked up, the pitot tube is plumbed and the cap strips are done but not yet on. All it needs now is the correct tailwheel spring rivets, some more AN hardware to replace some temporary hardware store bolts, brake mounts, brake plumbing and the brake pedals. Then covering and its ready to fly.

Image20180117_130042 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20180117_130131 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20180117_125957 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

More pics:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmcG4C1h
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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 20 2018 11:00am

Oh man, the excitement builds! That thing just looks right, nice and conventional in general layout that is. Your biggest thing is the usual, getting to know how a taildragger handles. If you haven't already, get some tail dragger time, NOT flying it but ground handling/taxiing it. One great example of how they handle as compared to tricycle gear, is take a standard grocery cart and push it down the aisle and jump on. With the small pivot wheels in front and the fixed behind, it will continue to track more or less straight. Then take that same cart, (already loaded with can goods from the previous test) but turn it around, then push it as fast as you can and jump on (you'd be jumping on the front). The difference is directional stability will be obvious (CLEAN UP IN AISLE 6), books have been written about the art of flying (they fly the same, taxiing is the trick) a TD. I just say all this as it would be a shame to see your project grounded by a plain old garden variety ground loop. The thing should land slow enough, so that the first time you have a cross wind to deal with, cheat. I do all the time, angle across the runway, no need to nail the while line down the center, hell land on a taxiway if you have to, not bending it is more important then busting a rule, especially at a small out of the way strip. Conventional pilots may frown at this, but they won't be in your shop with you helping to repair it, so screw them, other then obviously not endangering others, do what you need to keep it in one piece.

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Jan 20 2018 1:01pm

I have started flight training in a C172 (that i might have the opportunity to purchase), but recently got to ride backseat in someones PA-18 and practice weaving on the taxiway. I corellated it to driving a forklift quickly, it works better backwards :) , its just too bad that the thing needs to take off forwards!

I am going to be re-designing the rudder pedals on this plane after that experience, as right now they are way too fragile and hard to manipulate for the abuse I will be putting on them. Also getting brakes set up on the main gear will help a ton with ground handling, as the piper at slow speeds just kind of went where it wanted unless you gave it some brake pressure. Its been an exciting learning process.

James was able to make several landings in his belite in under 100 feet, so that gives a pretty wide range of landing angles on a 120ft wide runway :).
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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jan 21 2018 12:26am

James was able to make several landings in his belite in under 100 feet, so that gives a pretty wide range of landing angles on a 120ft wide runway :).

That's exactly what I'm talking about!

That 172 time will be pretty worthless other then for building time, The Cub better, but a J-3, Aeronca, or T-Craft would be better yet, the lighter the better. I like the fork lift analogy.

GeriatricGeoffrey   1 mW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by GeriatricGeoffrey » Jan 28 2018 10:05pm

Exciting developments! Now if only I knew how to fly...

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by fratedriver » Jan 29 2018 10:28pm

Current, professional pilot here. Been following Farfles progress. Get some flight experience if you don't have any. My recommendation would be to start out in a tail wheel ultralight, or better yet, something like a kitfox or already flying belite. Flying a tail wheel airplane is a set of skills that is rapidly vanishing in the industry. It requires a set of skills that take time to acquire in order to operate the aircraft safely. Some local EAA chapters offer rides in all different types of experimental aircraft. Maybe someone local has a tail wheel. Ground looping a freshly minted aircraft is not something you want to be part of.

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Feb 28 2018 9:09am

Getting some more work done on the belite, but introducing a new twist to things, a new house!

Awesome as the new place is, moving an airplane is a tricky thing, and hangar rash is real. Careful as i was I still managed to ding the leading edge of the horizontal stab, and put a massive scratch right in the middle of the windsheild lexan :cry: . Fits in the trailer with about 3 inches to spare left to right! Glad the pitot tube is collapsible!

Image20180216_160102 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr
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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by craneplaneguy » Mar 01 2018 10:30am

That scratch in the lexan is all part of it, as is any trailer rash. Just the price you pay for getting airborne! Still a pisser, been there/done that.

I moved 12 years ago in the middle of my last build (of my current RANS S-7S), for the first time in 28 years, onto 40 acres of raw ground. I packed up the half built plane, and hung it from a neighbors barn ceiling with all the misc. stuffed inside. Then I quickly built my hangar/shop combo, and lived in the hangar while finishing the plane upstairs in the shop. THEN I built the house, after I again had a flying aircraft. While building the house, I lived with the airplane, in the hangar, real cozy! 2 years after I moved I had a new home, shop, hangar, and airplane. Plus I was working almost fulltime on my day job craning. It was a very busy two years! When some people find I have my own plane and airstrip, they think I'm a rich guy, far from it, I sacrificed a lot of other crap to get what I have plus a hell of alot of work, so I COULD have my plane. Aviation has motivated me for a lot of years to work harder and smarter, to pay for aviating, but after many decades of doing so, I have realized flying has MORE then paid for itself. Just yesterday I flew over a big commercial building site and took some pictures for the gen contr. as he used me for the crane work, guess what crane service he'll use next time? I can't afford to quite flying now, it pays me back in many ways. Not exactly pertinent to your project, but my point is, keep at it, if building your own plane (of any kind) was easy, everyone would be doing it, few do, you will be in a very exclusive club! And not because you're rich!.

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Mar 01 2018 3:37pm

craneplaneguy wrote:
Mar 01 2018 10:30am
That scratch in the lexan is all part of it, as is any trailer rash. Just the price you pay for getting airborne! Still a pisser, been there/done that.

I moved 12 years ago in the middle of my last build (of my current RANS S-7S), for the first time in 28 years, onto 40 acres of raw ground. I packed up the half built plane, and hung it from a neighbors barn ceiling with all the misc. stuffed inside. Then I quickly built my hangar/shop combo, and lived in the hangar while finishing the plane upstairs in the shop. THEN I built the house, after I again had a flying aircraft. While building the house, I lived with the airplane, in the hangar, real cozy! 2 years after I moved I had a new home, shop, hangar, and airplane. Plus I was working almost fulltime on my day job craning. It was a very busy two years! When some people find I have my own plane and airstrip, they think I'm a rich guy, far from it, I sacrificed a lot of other crap to get what I have plus a hell of alot of work, so I COULD have my plane. Aviation has motivated me for a lot of years to work harder and smarter, to pay for aviating, but after many decades of doing so, I have realized flying has MORE then paid for itself. Just yesterday I flew over a big commercial building site and took some pictures for the gen contr. as he used me for the crane work, guess what crane service he'll use next time? I can't afford to quite flying now, it pays me back in many ways. Not exactly pertinent to your project, but my point is, keep at it, if building your own plane (of any kind) was easy, everyone would be doing it, few do, you will be in a very exclusive club! And not because you're rich!.
Bahahaha, badass man! That's an inspirational story! The new place has a bit more space, so covering should be a ton easier here. I am stoked for it!
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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Hillhater » Mar 05 2018 1:22am

Are you planning on trying this STOL comp..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Jwde4EAVw

details of Lil Cub..
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fechter   100 GW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by fechter » Mar 05 2018 10:21am

Dang, with a little wind, that thing could take off and land going backwards.
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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » Mar 05 2018 3:46pm

Hillhater wrote:
Mar 05 2018 1:22am
Are you planning on trying this STOL comp..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Jwde4EAVw

details of Lil Cub..

STOL is all about wing loading and horsepower, the Belite should be really really good at this.

The cub has a 173 sq ft wing area and weighs 1400lbs with pilot according to the video, giving a 8.1 lb/sq ft wing loading with 180hp on tap.

The belite has a 112 sq ft wing area and weighs 510 lbs with pilot, giving it a 4.55 lb/sq ft wing loading with 48hp on tap.

I think the belite will need more motor to be competitive, but thats easy. Just swapping in a size 6 sevcon adds 3 pounds for a 30% HP increase. I am excited to get this thing in the air, because even if its a quarter of what the lil cub can do, it will be awesome. Takeoffs in sub 80ft should be possible.
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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by Farfle » May 20 2018 4:53pm

Oratex is pretty dang nice. Adhering it to large surfaces is tricky to do without wrinkles, and temperature of things is tricky. but its coming together really really well.


The fabric is pre-painted with glue:
Image20180510_140328 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

So is the wing, two layers of adhesive is applied to both:
Image20180509_231542 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

My Pa helping out, It goes four times faster having twice the hands:
Image20180510_161539 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Bottom half pre-final tension:
Image20180514_231555 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

All done!
Image20180514_232523 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr

Image20180514_232549 by Jackson Edwards, on Flickr
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Re: Farfles Electric Ultralight.

Post by liveforphysics » May 20 2018 5:37pm

Beautiful job covering the wings my friend. So excited to see it fly and hopefully fly it myself someday, but you should definitely enjoy it all you want first. Im about 50/50 on stuffing the planes you've let me fly.
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