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shafs64

thruster steep climb

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Yes it could be potentially fatal, but the descent rate of the Thruster I used to own was not enough to be a major problem unless you were in very rugged country.

 

 

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the Thruster I used to own.

 

 

Yen! I wouldn`t have picked you as a thruster owner-pilot!... Amazing how many recreational pilots got their wings in the Thruster and the Drifter!...Quite a few of both aircraft are still around.

 

Thruster, Drifter = Affordable recreational aviation = More fun.

 

Frank.

 

 

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Thruster, Drifter = Affordable recreational aviation = More fun.

I agree with you, the question is why have these aircraft died out so much, and what could be done to bring affordable flying to more people?

 

It's not the increase in plastic fantastics - those people are entitled to engage in that part of the sport, and it doesn't appear to be restrictive regulations.

 

 

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the question is why have these aircraft died out so much, and what could be done to bring affordable flying to more people?

turbo,I wish I could give you a short quick answer but I can`t so I`ll start a new thread on the subject.

 

 

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When Thrusters were being used more for training there were quite a few incidents of them hitting the ground hard enough to bend them if the student wasn't quick enough to really lower the nose on practised engine failure on take off.

 

 

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Keenaviator, that may be correct but it would also apply to any aircraft, 'hitting the ground hard enough.'

 

Isn`t it the instructor who is supposed to stop the student from hitting the ground hard enough to bend the aircraft and not the fault of the aircraft or student?

 

Frank.

 

 

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On 17/01/2014 at 10:20 AM, turboplanner said:

I agree with you, the question is why have these aircraft died out so much, and what could be done to bring affordable flying to more people?

 

It's not the increase in plastic fantastics - those people are entitled to engage in that part of the sport, and it doesn't appear to be restrictive regulations.

 

 

Came upon this old thread while searching for somthing else. It is a good question turbo and I agree with your analysis , anyway I am going to put the Thruster on static display at airventure Parkes 2019 if they will have me, maybe the start of a revival 😂  

Edited by Thruster88
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Ok I will respond. I often consider a Thruster type aircraft as a second aircraft. I have limited experience of flying Drifters about 30 years ago, some gliding experience, 200+ hours RAA and fifty years GA. I could easily afford to put a Thruster in my hangar. It would be fun, rather than the useful but pedestrian PA-28 that I fly on most Saturdays. What don’t I do it?

 

i am distrustful of two stroke aero engines, don’t know much about them but know they can stop suddenly. I am overweight and might struggle to find an ultralight that I fitted into. I am not confident about doing my own maintenance, although I have restored cars and motorbikes and rebuilt two stroke and four stroke engines. Perhaps the main factor is that I don’t know anyone who flies ultralights, have never seen them in the air other than at Oshkosh. We have sixty aircraft on our field but I have never seen a two stroke there in ten years. So I would like to be persuaded, but am unlikely to meet a like minded person or group.

 

This is offered as an explanation of why there is not more uptake.

Peter

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7 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

 Perhaps the main factor is that I don’t know anyone who flies ultralights, have never seen them in the air other than at Oshkosh. We have sixty aircraft on our field but I have never seen a two stroke there in ten years. So I would like to be persuaded, but am unlikely to meet a like minded person or group.

 

This is offered as an explanation of why there is not more uptake.

Peter

I think you hit the nail on the head, while i still very much enjoy my Thruster it is not as much fun as the good old days when we flew in a group and would end the day with around the barbie with a few beers listening to

 

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I sold the Thruster because I had started as a GA flyer, years before and wanted to get back to something more like GA. I built the Corby starlet while I was flying the Thruster and thoroughly enjoyed it, but the call of the low wing and a bit of speed was too much for me.

I used to land the thruster on the beach often and did the same with the Corby, but I have never put the RV down anywhere near salt water.

I miss the Thruster for only one thing. I did introduce a lot of people to flying in it.

As far as engine reliability the 603 Rotax was never a problem.

I suppose the real reason we have dropped the rag and tube types is that we want to go faster and look more like GA.

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Anybody remember Rod Birrels demo in a Thruster? Saw him do 10 consecutive loops low over an airfield as part of his "Sales demonstration" 

Edited by Glenn1
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 It would be difficult to do consecutive loops in such a plane without losing  a bit of altitude on each loop. Relatively low power and relatively high drag are the obvious reasons.

   That zoom climb was safe because the extra speed initially gets you to a height  from where the plane could be safely controlled engine out.

  IF you lift the plane off the ground as soon as you can and climb at minimum speed there's a height below which you are going to do yourself damage as you won't be able to get enough speed up to flare satisfactorily and in trying to get that speed up you will establish a high ROD. That ensures usually some damage to your back or worse. This is ALL about the "low inertia" problem so called that one used to hear so much about . It is an issue exactly as it is with helicopters and their ability to autorotate safely from a minimum height/forward speed envelope. Nev

Edited by facthunter
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Why aren't these popular?

Too much time, effort and money (up front and ongoing) for what you get.

Mainly, limited performance, weights and durability......

Ownership costs, hangarage, maintenance.

 

Pay double or tripple for a plastic fantastic and get 10 times more capability at very similar ownership costs and with a 4 stroke better fuel efficiency and reliability.

You still need to maintain a pilots cert and bfr for both.....

Edited by Downunder

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 I guess it's about what rocks your boat. and the group around you. It IS an aeroplane. I flew one when the first 2 seaters came out in about 1986 and it flew quite well two up some others I've tried are not so agile as the sails degrade and engine /Prop combo's might not be optimum. I prefer the Drifter to fly but I've only flown the 582 SB. People used to take them quite long distances. . Hangarage is essential and that's a large cost. . when you CAN  spend 200K on some Euro types there's a lot of change and a lot of difference. I'd build a Bleriot XI in the right circumstances but I'd fly practically anything when it's available. nev

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I wanted to fly from a very young age & went up in a tiger moth when I was about 8. Then came model aircraft, motorbikes and women then hang gliding took off in the 70s & I was hooked. Built my first with disastrous results but flew to the 90s upgrading 8 times. In the early 80s I flew a weight shift Quicksilver but I was not impressed as it was noisy & slow. Then as disposable income improved I got my PPL & flew GA till I retired & by then there were numerous kits available. I like the ability to go places, comfort, speed, handling, reliability, strength. I flew a Bantam, Xair, Thruster & a couple of other rag & tube aircraft but they are just not my thing & I suspect that with all the choice available now the majority of budding pilots have similar feelings.

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 My Citabria 7ECA was something I enjoyed. 90 Knots and makes Melb Adelaide  if the headwinds are light enough. Aerobatic and not expensive to run. Plenty of Character and comfortable.. Nev

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I suppose that I inhabit the bottom rung just about here. I learnt in a Pteradactyl that I assembled in the lounge room having got the fundamentals in gliding. Moved to a Tyro, then bought a Volksplane in which I accumulated 550 hrs over 11 years. Now I have a Thruster. I found that flying x-country in the VP became quite boring and doubt that doubling the speed would improve things. Just enjoy "slipping Earth's surly bonds" once or twice per fortnight and the Thruster does that for me. I have re-built the 582 that I fly behind and, knowing that any engine can be a time bomb, I fly accordingly. Maintaining and bonding with your engine (as with your wife) is a recipe for contentment.

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 If you just want to get to some place  and back on a schedule, fly airlines. If you want to make a journey more individual or epic, walk or ride an old motorbike or a pushbike, fly a basic open aeroplane or balloon or anything that has what YOU do, the prime part of it. It's not the speed or EASE of the trip unless that's what YOU specifically aimed for.  Nev

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How about!.

Cheap to build, Cheap to run & flies like a real aeroplane.

Can be made as a Learner (tricycle-nose-wheel), Then convert it tail-dragger to get the extra speed, & range, (61 mpg).

AND a great looker !.

I saw the report in the EAA March 2009 sport pilot mag.

 

spacesailor

Hummel.jpg
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On 05/09/2019 at 6:43 PM, Glenn1 said:

Anybody remember Rod Birrels demo in a Thruster? Saw him do 10 consecutive loops low over an airfield as part of his "Sales demonstration" 

Nope! but I do remember Lee Wakeland doing what I considered a perfect loop, in Pat McGrath`s Thruster, at 500` over my property, back in the eighties! I was flying my home built and Lee was just off my right wing!

Franco.

 

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Just thought i would write a short story about my love for Thrusters and experience from 34 years of continuous operation of the type. As a wide eyed but very shy 22yo I was in the fortunate position to buy a new T84 single seat Thruster with a rotax 377, the best thing around at the time and a total rocket compared to the scout i started in. Flew the single for five years with one engine failure due to carbon fouled spark plug (single ignition), no broken metal. 1990 got my current T500, it had been demonstrated at Oshkosh 88. Loved the two seats and took lots of people up. 1992 the Rotax 582 came out and I had to have one, the faultless Rotax 503 DCSI was sold. Time flew by with many adventures, Holbrook flyin, Louth races, Gunnedah to finally get a licence. Before long 300hrs was up and the 582 got a rebuild, new crank bearings and piston rings. About this time I was feeling the need for speed and got a PPL, not long after saw a cheap Beech musketeer for sale close by. The musketeer is not fast, it takes 3 hrs to do what an RV can do in 2 but it is spacious, and strong, dependable like a true friend. I enjoyed flying the two very different aircraft and still do. Soon enough the 582 had done 600 faultless hours, time for the second rebuild but this time I decided to fly on and buy a new engine when required. At just on 1000hrs and 23 years the old greyhead 582 told me the time had come. It was retired still making rated power. 😥 The new blue head 582  complete withe radiators and B gearbox cost about $7.5k in 2015,  Cheap flying. I guess i like 2 strokes. The thing I most like about the Thruster now is that it flies slow, can turn on a dime, feels real and connected to me. A 30 min flight burns 9 litres.   

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the only thing I didn't like about my 503 powered Thruster, was when I was battling a headwind and the GPS time to destination was getting longer. It was one hell of  a headwind. and I was ready to turn round until I as 15 miles from my destination on a 60 mile trip.

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 Don't worry, I did that once in a Tiger Moth  with  a whole 78 knots of airspeed , at my disposal. I wasn't actually going backwards though but gave up trying to go from West Maitland to Stockton into a wicked south easter, after I'd only gotten to Beresford in nearly an hour and I'd gone down to a pretty low level. I doubt people would even get a Tiger out of the hanger if the wind was over 25 Kts these days.  All part of the fun and learning experience. Nev

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