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farri

What can be done???

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Perhaps i should have been wordier. Thats one way of interpreting what i said. Its not at all what i meant, but i can see how it can be interpreted that way. Anyway if it incites some thought thats ok.

 

Perhaps the first sentence of my third paragraph should be bolded. So you dont just focus on the other bit.

 

If you grew up in the area i did and where my parents still live you might understand better my point. I certainly dont have a silver spoon or come from a community that does.

 

But i have lived on both sides of the tracks and it i know whats on the bad side

 

I didnt mean to come across like that at all. But by the same token i know the rough side of the tracks first hand and unless you have lived it or worse still lived in amongst it you wont understand my point.

 

 

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We're all entitled to have a jaundiced view of course, but I don't think the fatality statistics would support your argument. And whilst you might have been horrified by some of the Thruster componentry I don't recall a single instance of a structural failure of them so I think we can presume that the designing engineer did his job just as well as any of those who worked on the types of aircraft you consider to be 'competent'.

Erhmm - Tony Hayes asked me to re-design a number of the critical fittings on the fuselage and also the lift-strut attachment fitting on the spar, on his Thruster; I know that there were fatalaties from the lift-strut attachment fitting. The originals were made from stainless steel, which is nice to look at and does not corrode, but compared to chrome-molybdenum it's not much better than cheese; and the fitting design was not good from a fatigue aspect. Newton Hodgekiss was involved in the design of the original 2-seat Thruster, but I doubt he had much to do with the increased-weight developments of it. Fatigue was not required to be considered in CAO 95.25, anyway. Tony supplied these replacement fittings as part of the TOSG service he provided. The original fittings looked very reminiscent of escapees from sailing dinghies.

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I think we've got past the price barrier and found some potential contenders that are affordable to people on a salary.

 

No sense cluttering up the thread with those who want something a little, better or much better.

 

If I'm given an automotive design project, I'm sell price which a workable number of customers can afford.

 

I can kick and dance and squeal that I can produce a better design or "if only we increased the price 20% it could travel around Australia without refuelling", but decades of experience tell me the customers will be indifferent and will not buy it.

 

Best to come back and ficus on what the task is to attract buyers to the entry cost category, and we have enough choices above to do that.

 

 

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The only thing missing in your description of the old days was that the participants were killing themselves at a rate of knots that required changes to occur because it was hard to hide that many bodies under a single rug without a mountain or hill name being assigned to the smelly rug........

Yes Andy, but as I mentioned before, statistically I'm confident that the crash/fatalities rate is now worse than prior to HORSCOTS.

 

 

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look at the mess of the LSA industry is in the US, in 10 years they have approved 130 designs, one a month. Current registrations less than 2500 over 10 years in a country of 300M.

 

Its kind of obvious that the market will never address the issue of affordability without a lot of people going broke

 

http://www.bydanjohnson.com/index.cfm?b=1&m=5&i=46

 

1835_1.jpg

 

 

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“Crinkle, crinkle, little spar –

 

Stressed beyond the yield-point far;

 

Up above the World so high,

 

Bits and pieces in the sky . . .”

 

Would the dreamers on this thread please look up CASR Part 21 subparts G and B, plus 21.186, and learn what is actually involved in bringing an aircraft to market?

 

The parts cost for a Drifter-type aircraft are only a small part of it. Firstly, there is the business of getting a Type certificate. That requires full drawing coverage of the aircraft to acceptable aeronautical standards, plus building a structural test specimen and a flight test srticle, and proving that they meet the structural and flight requirements. There are also a slather of other design requirements, dealing with things like fire resistance, crashworthiness, and a thousand other matters.

 

Once a manufacturer has done that, he can apply for a Production Certificate. To get that, he has to have the necessary tooling (and means of verifying that it is servicable), a means of purchasing the correct materials and keeping them segregated, so only the correct parts & materials get used, plus a quality assurance system. Once he has that, he can start to produce aircraft that are capable of being issued with a C of A. Only then are they saleable products.

 

This process involves a large, high-risk investment, both in time and cost. Part of that may be borrowed money.

 

So by the time the would-be manufacturer gets his product to market, he has a mountain of debt of one sort or another.

 

What is the incentive for him to build a product that has a very limited market, and sell it for peanuts? Come into the real world - nobody in his right mind is going to do that.

 

Bill Whitney gave a figure for the actual cost to manufacture a light aircraft - he quoted $5.50 for every dimension on a drawing. That was from his experience with the Boomerang. Do you people have any idea of how many dimensions there are on drawings to build a Drifter? AsI have previously stated, it has nine times the parts count of a Jabiru - and whilst a lot of those are standard parts, a lot of them have to be made.

 

The manufacturer has to pay off his initial investment, and then continue to stay in business so there will be spare parts for his product. Remember, the spares have also to be manufactured under his Production Certificate - or somebody else has to go through a similar process to get an after-market spare approved.

 

There is only one way around this, and that is DIY. So what you can do, is set up a shop in your backyard and get on with it. This whole thread is a piece of cargo-cult wishful thinking, and really a complete WOFTAM. The answer - such as it is - is literally in your own hands. Learn to use them. That's why you have opposable thumbs.

 

 

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There is only one way around this, and that is DIY. So what you can do, is set up a shop in your backyard and get on with it. This whole thread is a piece of cargo-cult wishful thinking, and really a complete WOFTAM. The answer - such as it is - is literally in your own hands. Learn to use them. That's why you have opposable thumbs.

One of the best paragraphs I've seen on this forum so far.

 

 

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“Crinkle, crinkle, little spar –Stressed beyond the yield-point far;

 

Up above the World so high,

 

Bits and pieces in the sky . . .”

 

Would the dreamers on this thread please look up CASR Part 21 subparts G and B, plus 21.186, and learn what is actually involved in bringing an aircraft to market?

 

The parts cost for a Drifter-type aircraft are only a small part of it. Firstly, there is the business of getting a Type certificate. That requires full drawing coverage of the aircraft to acceptable aeronautical standards, plus building a structural test specimen and a flight test srticle, and proving that they meet the structural and flight requirements. There are also a slather of other design requirements, dealing with things like fire resistance, crashworthiness, and a thousand other matters.

 

Once a manufacturer has done that, he can apply for a Production Certificate. To get that, he has to have the necessary tooling (and means of verifying that it is servicable), a means of purchasing the correct materials and keeping them segregated, so only the correct parts & materials get used, plus a quality assurance system. Once he has that, he can start to produce aircraft that are capable of being issued with a C of A. Only then are they saleable products.

 

This process involves a large, high-risk investment, both in time and cost. Part of that may be borrowed money.

 

So by the time the would-be manufacturer gets his product to market, he has a mountain of debt of one sort or another.

 

What is the incentive for him to build a product that has a very limited market, and sell it for peanuts? Come into the real world - nobody in his right mind is going to do that.

 

Bill Whitney gave a figure for the actual cost to manufacture a light aircraft - he quoted $5.50 for every dimension on a drawing. That was from his experience with the Boomerang. Do you people have any idea of how many dimensions there are on drawings to build a Drifter? AsI have previously stated, it has nine times the parts count of a Jabiru - and whilst a lot of those are standard parts, a lot of them have to be made.

 

The manufacturer has to pay off his initial investment, and then continue to stay in business so there will be spare parts for his product. Remember, the spares have also to be manufactured under his Production Certificate - or somebody else has to go through a similar process to get an after-market spare approved.

 

There is only one way around this, and that is DIY. So what you can do, is set up a shop in your backyard and get on with it. This whole thread is a piece of cargo-cult wishful thinking, and really a complete WOFTAM. The answer - such as it is - is literally in your own hands. Learn to use them. That's why you have opposable thumbs.

You're a harsh bugger with the truth David!

 

My opinion?.. Evolutions a bitch,,,,just ask the dinosaurs!

 

I love the drifters and such ,but they have really become the realm of the home builder, if the Dalby people wanted to get some money back, or even wayne fishers daughters, start selling plans and components, it's the only way any of the "real ' ultra lights will see the light of day.

 

As for budget flying, can't go past a guzzle/Skyfox , a lightwing or any of the rag n tube jiggers, for the price of a basic runabout you have your aircraft ,and as side note don't be scared of doing a trip in them , it may not be fast but your feel closer to our pioneers than any other time , and that is what our end of town should look like

 

Matty

 

 

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We're all entitled to have a jaundiced view of course, but I don't think the fatality statistics would support your argument.

Certainly some of the earliest ultralights weren't built to last, the vibration from single cylinder engines flogged out bolt holes and loosened rivets after a few hundred hours but in recreational aviation that was usually quite a significant number of years. And whilst you might have been horrified by some of the Thruster componentry I don't recall a single instance of a structural failure of them so I think we can presume that the designing engineer did his job just as well as any of those who worked on the types of aircraft you consider to be 'competent'.

 

In the lead-up to HORSCOTS there were certainly a lot of crashes but only a tiny proportion of them were due to structural failures, the vast majority were due to the people who were flying having a severe lack of knowledge of mechanical flight dynamics due to the lack of compulsory training to fly those types.

 

Whilst I'll happily admit that I haven't done the statistical analysis to support my statement, I'd nonetheless feel quite confident in saying that compulsory training and 'competent' aircraft haven't done a thing to improve the crash, injury and fatality statistics because whereas we once had incompetent pilots flying incompetent aircraft, at least they flew very slowly and therefore crashed slowly so the incident was survivable and the aircraft was often repaired and flown again. Instead we now have ageing and supposedly competent pilots flying aircraft that are in many cases far too 'competent' for them and the kinds of crashes that are so very frequent of late clearly indicate to me that the piloting skills are way behind the performance of the machine. The speed and low drag nature of these slick machines means that small piloting errors often result in crashes and a high proportion of the crashes are fatal.

 

I think we've gone way past 'recreational' flying and well into the territory of 'ego massaging' aviation with old blokes (as I am) getting their belated Walter Mitty moment because they can now afford the slippery ship they always dreamed of back in the days when they had half a chance of keeping up with it's performance level. And of course there is a good proportion of the current 'competent' fleet being used as workhorses on the land and daily transport for professionals, neither of which can be described as recreational use but at least they fly more hours and that currency probably results in a lower crash rate which helps to improve the statistics for weekend flyers.

 

Just my similarly jaundiced 2c worth [ATTACH=full]26953[/ATTACH]

Look at the early manufacturers - Bedson ("we don't need any airworthiness!") - fatal structural failure, own design. Winton - fatal structural failure, own design. Veenstra - fatal, maintenance failure, own maintenance, own design. The Thrusters have a mandatory AN on the wing to wing strut bracket, an AN on the fin spar; and the single-seat Thrusters (which do not meet 95:25) are known to develop cracks in a number of fittings. As for crashing slowly, I invite you to dive into the ground vertically at 40 knots.

 

Flying most aeroplanes, particularly landing and takeoff, comes down to energy management. Having flown Drifters, Thrusters, a Lightwing, and a Jabiru, the Lightwing and Jabiru were actually safer to land, as neither were prone to drop behind the drag curve and sink like a sack of spuds into a spine-crushing ground impact. This was the basis, which the CAA (CASA) team did not argue, for the HORSCOTTS decision. I was in the room at the time.

 

ps Steve Cohen did a competent job, both mechanically and aerodynamically, with the basic structural engineering, although one or two details are not lovely. Newton Hodgekiss (CAR 35 engineer) applied slightly more sophisticated techniques to lighten the structure for the two-seaters, arm-wrestling with David Belton (who wanted to keep them economically viable). The resultant compromise meets higher load factors and critical airspeeds than the wire-braced Drifter, but age and inadequate maintenance has shown up a few potential traps.

 

 

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It sounds rough, but these days unless you have a mate to lend you an aircraft and pay the petrol the days of prices like this are gone. Start adding the costs and you soon see why it costs so much. Even on a cheap plane with minimum maintMy costs ignoring depreciation except for engine replacement. Based on 200 hours pa.

 

Engine $13 hr

 

Maint & Parts at least $12 hr if nothing breaks down and every service is straight forward

 

Insurance $15 hr

 

Hanger $8 hr

 

Fuel $34 hr

 

Total minimum cost $82 hour

 

Sorry but people wanting aircraft at $50 - $80 per hour when they dont own the plane are dreaming. And even owners will find it tough to come in under $80 hour. Especially if they are honest about the true costs.

 

Some with hangers and no insurance might do better...

Nonono... get a couple of sailing dingy masts & sails, vandalise the kid's BMX bike, vandalise the Victa (lawnmower), carve a prop, and viola! The Skycraft Scout is born insane.gif.b56be3c4390e84bce5e5e6bf4f69a458.gif

 

 

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“Crinkle, crinkle, little spar –Stressed beyond the yield-point far;

 

Up above the World so high,

 

Bits and pieces in the sky . . .”

 

Would the dreamers on this thread please look up CASR Part 21 subparts G and B, plus 21.186, and learn what is actually involved in bringing an aircraft to market?

 

The parts cost for a Drifter-type aircraft are only a small part of it. Firstly, there is the business of getting a Type certificate. That requires full drawing coverage of the aircraft to acceptable aeronautical standards, plus building a structural test specimen and a flight test srticle, and proving that they meet the structural and flight requirements. There are also a slather of other design requirements, dealing with things like fire resistance, crashworthiness, and a thousand other matters.

 

Once a manufacturer has done that, he can apply for a Production Certificate. To get that, he has to have the necessary tooling (and means of verifying that it is servicable), a means of purchasing the correct materials and keeping them segregated, so only the correct parts & materials get used, plus a quality assurance system. Once he has that, he can start to produce aircraft that are capable of being issued with a C of A. Only then are they saleable products.

 

This process involves a large, high-risk investment, both in time and cost. Part of that may be borrowed money.

 

So by the time the would-be manufacturer gets his product to market, he has a mountain of debt of one sort or another.

 

What is the incentive for him to build a product that has a very limited market, and sell it for peanuts? Come into the real world - nobody in his right mind is going to do that.

 

Bill Whitney gave a figure for the actual cost to manufacture a light aircraft - he quoted $5.50 for every dimension on a drawing. That was from his experience with the Boomerang. Do you people have any idea of how many dimensions there are on drawings to build a Drifter? AsI have previously stated, it has nine times the parts count of a Jabiru - and whilst a lot of those are standard parts, a lot of them have to be made.

 

The manufacturer has to pay off his initial investment, and then continue to stay in business so there will be spare parts for his product. Remember, the spares have also to be manufactured under his Production Certificate - or somebody else has to go through a similar process to get an after-market spare approved.

 

There is only one way around this, and that is DIY. So what you can do, is set up a shop in your backyard and get on with it. This whole thread is a piece of cargo-cult wishful thinking, and really a complete WOFTAM. The answer - such as it is - is literally in your own hands. Learn to use them. That's why you have opposable thumbs.

Pish Tish - invest $1 million; sell 200,000 units at $10 profit each (by Net Present Value estimate), and you've recovered your dough. I'm sure there are at least 100,000 people already with $10,010 in their pocket for a Skycraft Scout Mk 1!

 

Oh blast, Victa don't make the engine anymore.

 

 

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Quite right Powerin, single seat flying will always be considerably less costly than a two seater because you can use small engines that are plentiful and cheap. Not only does the small engine cost so much less but the airframe can be much lighter since it doesn't have to carry so much weight and it doesn't have to resolve so much power. Even so, single seaters with tiny engines still become exponentially more expensive as you go faster because you need to use exotic materials and manufacturing methods to get the weight right down, and the airframe very smooth to reduce drag.

In my previous post I was concentrating on the two seater aspect since it would appear that most people want a two seater even if they often fly alone. It provides the chance to take spouse, friends and family for a flip and also to introduce others to flying. And most importantly, when flying alone the second seat provides space to carry extra fuel and baggage which makes the aircraft far more useful. So, as I see it, in answering the "What can be done" we need to be looking at what can be done to make a two seater less costly than they are at present, and to get reasonable comfort and performance for the least cost.

 

I've been through a lot of this exercise fairly recently with a thread called "Cheap Two Seater Anyone", so I've already discovered a lot of the cost drivers of two seaters when compared with single seaters, and I've also worked through all the various construction methods on another site, and ran polls to determine which kind of construction the majority of people would favour if all or part of the assembly was to be homebuilt from a kit.

 

Having run all the costings, both for materials and for CNC parts manufacture, for the biplane I devised as part of Cheap Two Seater, I was somewhat surprised at the end of the exercise to discover that the parts count was higher than most other methods and the amount of CNC machining made it an expensive kit proposition. The main advantages were that the materials were all commercial grade and the whole thing was pop-riveted and bolted together so almost anyone could assemble it easily enough from a box of supplied parts and sub-assemblies.

 

The Cheap Two Seater was also designed to reduce the costs and complications of ownership by being quick folding to a size that can be trailered or stored in a 20ft/6m shipping container to avoid hangarage costs. What I saw as the least complicated, lightest and strongest way to achieve that and also have side by side seating was to make it a biplane with a high mounted engine. Whilst folks were very generous in their comments it was clear that the whole concept didn't set anyone on fire with enthusiasm and I assume that the 'difference' of a biplane and high mounted engine were the major factors which lost people. After all the majority of people want the conventional layouts. Another factor, perhaps, was the limited performance offered by the configuration due to its high drag both from being biplane and also the frontal area due to being side by side seating.

 

From what was learned from that exercise, and the polls on the other site, there are some facets that are worth retaining for a different design which is also aimed at lower initial cost and lower ongoing costs of ownership -

 

There is a definite cost benefit in using commercial grade materials, albeit with a weight and associated performance penalty but at the speeds we are talking about those penalties can be kept fairly low. From the polls the gusseted/pop riveted aluminium tube, fabric covered was by far the most favoured homebuilder's method because just about anyone can do it accurately with only basic tools. So those two aspects of the Cheap Two Seater probably have to remain, then we have to address the performance and configuration issues while still retaining trailerability, two seats, smaller/cheaper engine (i.e. not a 100hp 4T) and an enclosed cabin.

 

There is a big weight/structure, and therefore cost, saving if the seating is tandem rather than side-by-side (SBS) so it's worth giving long and hard thought to just how important SBS seating really is. If you mainly fly alone but want to take a pax sometimes then taking advantage of the tandem cost reduction is a good way to go. There is also a really big advantage of tandem seating that is often neglected and that is that both people have excellent visibility out of both sides of the aircraft and that is also why tandem is favoured for any ground-related flying such as photography or station work. And when flying alone it's easier to turn an empty rear seat into a baggage compartment by removing the stick, than it is to turn the right seat into one.

 

Looking at the performance aspects you only have to compare the Thruster Gemini with the Drifter or the Piper Pacer with the Cub, the tandem arrangement with its much narrower fuselage and consequently much less severe pressure recovery aft fuselage curvature wins hands down. The Pacer flies slow, the Cub flies slow and relatively fast as well, the Genini and the Drifter compare with each other similarly.

 

A tandem monoplane is always going to be a fair bit harder and more time consuming to fold than the Cheap biplane unless very sophisticated and probably expensive methods are used, but it needn't be too bad. The important thing is that it should be able to be accomplished by one person without too much effort and in windy conditions if necessary.

 

If we are to accept a slower plane than we'd really prefer to have then we need to satisfy ourselves with some other aspect of that plane that is just as appealing as the speed would have been. Of the types that I've flown there's no doubt that I've had the most fun in aircraft that could go where others couldn't. They allowed me to get onto isolated beaches, to untouched fishing spots, onto mountain tops and deep into remote valleys. For any of that a helicopter is best but since we're talking 'more affordable' we really need to look at what can be done for STOL ability without unduly affecting the nice cruise speed of our narrow tandem machine.

 

There's a small plane that was recently brought to my attention that a fella in USA built using some of the parts of an early Piper Cub. After his rebuild and modifications it's still a (close) tandem two seater and it won the STOL championships at Valdez (Alaska) last year. Some of the competitors there had spent half a million on their plane modifications and much to their embarrassment Frank came along and blitzed them with a budget toy. It's the yellow 'Lil Cub' at 1:00 min in the video and in the pics below. It has some pretty clever aspects to the design but there's nothing difficult about it. And Frank Knapp, who built and owns it, reckons it's more fun than anything else he's ever flown. He doesn't ordinarily use it for competitions, it's his local explorer the rest of the time.

 

Sounds like an aluminium Denny Kitfox...

 

 

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http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

 

If your not into the WW1 scene his ultralight kits are pretty well priced, even with the cost of an engine you'd be flying for around $25-30k,

 

http://www.teammini-max.com/aircraft/

 

These guys were giving plans away for free recently,

 

http://www.liteflite.com.au/Default.aspx

 

I've been trying to get up north for awhile to do tug training with one of these, not sure of the cost ,but the utube vids show a very capable plane

 

The point is , there's plenty of these types around if pilots want them, the thing is ,not many want them so the numbers are low, there was a neat little single sweater at Natfly a couple of years back, great little aircraft, I wonder if they sold many kits?

 

Matty

 

 

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I don't think this thread was intended for the negative experts who can somehow prove that simple design isn't possible.

 

Fortunately in human history someone will come along and prove them wrong.

 

Prototypes are always horrifically expensive in hours and dollars, but if done professionally, the inverse applies to production models.

 

It seems the minute I suggested that there was enough new and used product on the market and the issue was promoting the class it sparked ab irrelevant design spit

 

 

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Simple design IS possible; the Jabiru airframe is a prime example. The Drifter LOOKS simple - but it ain't. What is much more difficult, is for a manufacturer to survive with a grass-roots aircraft product. Again, Jabiru is the case you should study; they've done better that anybody else at this, by miles. Recognise it for what it is.

 

 

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http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/index.html

If your not into the WW1 scene his ultralight kits are pretty well priced, even with the cost of an engine you'd be flying for around $25-30k,

 

http://www.teammini-max.com/aircraft/

 

These guys were giving plans away for free recently,

 

http://www.liteflite.com.au/Default.aspx

 

I've been trying to get up north for awhile to do tug training with one of these, not sure of the cost ,but the utube vids show a very capable plane

 

The point is , there's plenty of these types around if pilots want them, the thing is ,not many want them so the numbers are low, there was a neat little single sweater at Natfly a couple of years back, great little aircraft, I wonder if they sold many kits?

 

Matty

I don't think this thread was intended for the negative experts who can somehow prove that simple design isn't possible.Fortunately in human history someone will come along and prove them wrong.

 

Prototypes are always horrifically expensive in hours and dollars, but if done professionally, the inverse applies to production models.

 

It seems the minute I suggested that there was enough new and used product on the market and the issue was promoting the class it sparked ab irrelevant design spit

The cost of horribly expensive prototypes can be reduced by avoiding repeting known mistakes; this is what experts are for. Now, such an expert (I can think of one who did) can say, "if you do it like THIS and THIS it will work, no further discussion", which is pretty unhelpful to the innovative designer.

 

The body of law built on the english system, allows minimal safety standards for single seaters; self-risk is (grudgingly) considered a human right. As soon as the possibility of harming another person comes into play, the required safety standards - and so cost of everything - goes up hugely. You can still build a modernised Skycraft Scout for under $10k, and it flies, so stop ys whinging!

 

 

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Molt Taylor's Micro-Imp was built from epoxy (I think) saturated paper (probably akin to paper card or mounting-board, I've never seen it). A whole new dimension of cut-and-paste... The CriCri uses about 2 Solo can's worth of alloy and there'd be room for, probably a couple of hundred rivets in the whole airframe, and the little bastard is aerobatic and goes like stink for what it is. Walt Wittman's Butterfly is a remarkably competent wee beastie, the basic kit from Aircraft Spruiks is $2300 USD...and you can put a Continental in it if you want..

 

The old saw applies: you can have it soon, you can have it good, or you can have it cheap, but you can only have a maximum or two of those together.

 

 

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Bob, by the time the two seat Thruster came along Steve was pretty well out of the picture. First TST was known as the Gemini. Main players were Belton, Brian Fimmell When certifaction started Newton was involved from memory. I left just as certification was completed. The TST passed three times with the then dept moving the goalposts each time.

 

When it finally passed it was given the 19-0001 number by AUF. 0002 went to the Drifter .

 

0001 number was taken by Middo and placed on his drifter while the Thruster was being rebuilt. Should go back to show history as it was.

 

 

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Wont be long and we will be printing our own aircraft. Just got to wait till the printers are big enough.

 

 

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Bob, by the time the two seat Thruster came along Steve was pretty well out of the picture. First TST was known as the Gemini. Main players were Belton, Brian Fimmell When certifaction started Newton was involved from memory. I left just as certification was completed. The TST passed three times with the then dept moving the goalposts each time.When it finally passed it was given the 19-0001 number by AUF. 0002 went to the Drifter .

 

0001 number was taken by Middo and placed on his drifter while the Thruster was being rebuilt. Should go back to show history as it was.

Ok, ta. As I understand it, Steve's legacies - the use of 304 stainless steel lugs, of the correct form for failsafe and size for reparability; the use of 6061-T6, the short tail arm and big pendulum stability etc, lived on through the Gemini, UK TST, TST-L / T-300, TST-E / T-500...

 

By my records, the 532 installation was walked through by Neville as an addendum to the T-500 package. Can you shed any light on this? particularly documents? (I have taken over from Tony as the principal of TOSG, but don't have his encyclopaediac knowledge of the marque!)

 

 

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Isn't there a "blow up" aircraft. Air pressure holding the wings in shape or something?

Goodyear Inflatobird. One of the many efforts to make a glovebox pilot retrieval aircraft for the USAF...

 

 

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Ok, ta. As I understand it, Steve's legacies - the use of 304 stainless steel lugs, of the correct form for failsafe and size for reparability; the use of 6061-T6, the short tail arm and big pendulum stability etc, lived on through the Gemini, UK TST, TST-L / T-300, TST-E / T-500...By my records, the 532 installation was walked through by Neville as an addendum to the T-500 package. Can you shed any light on this? particularly documents? (I have taken over from Tony as the principal of TOSG, but don't have his encyclopaediac knowledge of the marque!)

I gave Tony all the information I had about the Thrusters. We spent around six months trying to fill the blanks.

 

All documentation that was at the factory was burnt by Belton when the company failed.

 

We also covered the pendulum instability as I was the first to experience it at the time I had put it down to my ham fisted flying from the right seat. I think Tony tracked it down to turbulence caused by the exhaust positioning compounded by the shortened tail. The shortened tail boom was brought about so the aircraft would fit into a 747 cargo pod.

 

Never liked the stainless strut fittings. All stainless originally came from Alex Prior at Path Aviation at Taren Point now long gone.

 

The Thruster was never meant to be certified when it was first designed. It was really a round peg bashed into the square certification hole. Made a few people sit up and notice when we pulled it off. Even more pleased we beat the drifter to it.

 

I'm not sure where Brian Fimmell is if he is still alive but he would be the one to track down. Steve will still not talk about the Thruster either will Belton. He is ferrying Dash 8s around the world.

 

 

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I gave Tony all the information I had about the Thrusters. We spent around six months trying to fill the blanks.All documentation that was at the factory was burnt by Belton when the company failed.

 

We also covered the pendulum instability as I was the first to experience it at the time I had put it down to my ham fisted flying from the right seat. I think Tony tracked it down to turbulence caused by the exhaust positioning compounded by the shortened tail. The shortened tail boom was brought about so the aircraft would fit into a 747 cargo pod.

 

Never liked the stainless strut fittings. All stainless originally came from Alex Prior at Path Aviation at Taren Point now long gone.

 

The Thruster was never meant to be certified when it was first designed. It was really a round peg bashed into the square certification hole. Made a few people sit up and notice when we pulled it off. Even more pleased we beat the drifter to it.

 

I'm not sure where Brian Fimmell is if he is still alive but he would be the one to track down. Steve will still not talk about the Thruster either will Belton. He is ferrying Dash 8s around the world.

Much becomes clear, particularly the state of Tony's records (which I hold); thank you! A pity Belton trashed the documents, though it brings into question what (business shenannigans?) he might have been hiding. Academic now.

 

Tony and I did discuss the pitch instability / pendulum behaviour, but it was not until just before his death that I figured out it was due to the wing wake touching the LE of the tailplane, at the roots. As the boom appeared to grow longer over the first 20 or so Geminis, and then the nose of the T-500 grew longer than the T-300, Tony's records indicate a range of boom lengths that were factory made, and therefore presumptively ok. A bit of extra shortening for shipping purposes also explains a lot.

 

TOSG went into hiding shotly after Tony died - my professional life went bizarre, and finances got thin - but it's re-appeared, as the CASA audit of RAAus appears to be threatening the status of Thrusters. I'm in the process of packaging the justification for retrofitting 582s without specific EOs at the moment. Tedious, and shows that CASA / RAAus still aren't up to speed with Australian law, sigh...

 

You can find the new TOSG website via the Thruster's forum here in Recreational Flying; the admin of the old website is giving great support re transferring all the previous data. Pnward and upwards!

 

 

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