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I hope everyone is doing great. I got the bug and now I need to pick some brains about an ultralight I just bought. If any of you know a lot about the older ultralights it would be great to talk to you.

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That is the issue. I bought an ultralight after seeing one picture of the engine and no pictures of the airframe. I only paid $300 so I figured, how could I go wrong. I think I got a great deal but I went to pick my purchase up and found that I couldn't tell you without more info what motor or airframe they are. The airframe has a folding wing, not like a paraglider but a wing that fold for storage and transport. The airframe has other features that were fairly distinctive such as larger bicycle type tires @ about 12" and a seat that just floats with only the front of the seat an the back top of the seat attached. The other distinctive feature is there are a ton of fine cables that run from the wing assembly and the supports for the wings that are spaced out under the fabric on the wings that creates the shape a wing needs to create lift. The final feature that convinced me that it is an Ascender is the unique panel the is attached the front of the airframe. Anyway, I have researched as much as I can with the limited info, and this is just a guess, but I believe the airframe is a Pterodactyl Ascender and if I am correct about that then I believe the engine that was used at least for a while with the airframe was a Cuyuna 340 D or the 430 D and I say that because the engine I have is a direct drive if I understand the meaning properly. I would appreciate any and all information that anyone could help me with as I am a newbe but am very interested in learning as fast as possible and so I can get into the air as safe as possible. To be honest with you I'm not sure that the set-up I have, even in new condition, would be for me as it seems very complicated to assemble a probably to fly. I would much prefer a Weedhopper, Quicksilver Mx, or even a or an Aerolite 103 but due to being disabled and having a limited income I have to work with what I can afford. Ultimately, I would like to build an Affordaplane but that is in the future. Like I said I would appreciate any and all information about my new addiction and I thank you all in advance for your input and help.

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Welcome Wrongway61. Trying to get airborne safely for $300 is not something that too many people would recommend.

I suggest you find a local ultralight group, and make some new friends there - sounds to me like you're gonna need them. :thumb up:

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If you would prefer a Quicksilver MX you do have me a bit concerned, but if may just be the myriad wires that are part of the rigging on your bird. Not much of that stuff around in active service as far as I know so you might be a bit more on your own than you might have been 2 years ago. You will need to refer to really early airframe techniques and to be able to resolve loads and stresses in all major components. where you can't get strength figures TEST similar or some of the actual that you can replace of the materials and with wood be careful of shakes and grain dry rot etc and be generous in your allowance for variation. Factor. Maybe some older "Popular Mechanics" magazines may have some info or look at Lilienthals gliders and such. You may be attracted to this kind of stuff, and that's fair enough. Good luck Nev

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I believe the airframe is a Pterodactyl Ascender and if I am correct about that then I believe the engine that was used at least for a while with the airframe was a Cuyuna 340 D or the 430 D and I say that because the engine I have is a direct drive if I understand the meaning properly.

 

If the propeller is bolted to the crankshaft (direct drive) then it is most likely to be A Pterodactyl Ptraveler, the Ascender ll was the next model with reduction

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If you would prefer a Quicksilver MX you do have me a bit concerned, but if may just be the myriad wires that are part of the rigging on your bird. Not much of that stuff around in active service as far as I know so you might be a bit more on your own than you might have been 2 years ago. You will need to refer to really early airframe techniques and to be able to resolve loads and stresses in all major components. where you can't get strength figures TEST similar or some of the actual that you can replace of the materials and with wood be careful of shakes and grain dry rot etc and be generous in your allowance for variation. Factor. Maybe some older "Popular Mechanics" magazines may have some info or look at Lilienthals gliders and such. You may be attracted to this kind of stuff, and that's fair enough. Good luck Nev

Thank you and I have already started digging into the data that is available but there isn't much that I can find so far. As far a the Quicksilver Mx is concerned it seems that it might have a similar set of guide wires so maybe not. The more I see the Pterodactyl the more I can see the advantage to having the tail in the front, so to speak. Thank you again and I think in all honesty I would really prefer to build from the ground up with plans of course. Either way I am jumping into the deep end. Thanx again. Dean

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Welcome Wrongway61. Trying to get airborne safely for $300 is not something that too many people would recommend.

I suggest you find a local ultralight group, and make some new friends there - sounds to me like you're gonna need them. :thumb up:

I might have given the wrong impression. The only reason I bought the engine and airframe for $300 was to have something to start with. I may never fly it but if I do it is because I was able to learn an intense amount of information and slowly rebuild it to a flyable condition. If I don't get it to that point it is because someone just had to have the Pterodactyl frame and engine and had a decent engine to trade me. I know not likely but a guy can dream. I don't have a ton of money to throw at this situation so I have to be as shrewd as possible and only time will tell if this was a waste of $300 or ???. If I do every get it to the point were it is flyable my guess is that it would be worth the initial money plus some of the time invested. It will all depend on the learning curve. I appreciate all of the comments and concern and thank you for this help and the help I'm sure you all will be in the future. Dean

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I just read an article about the genius of the Pterodactyls design. It had something to do with the tail being in the front. I don't know enough about the mechanics of the tail in the front but it seams to me that up and down would be a rather sudden event unless the control was smooth and forgiving. I'm new to this but it seems that is asking a lot from any older design.

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Welcome Wrongway61. It would be easier to answer your question if you posted some images of what you've got.

Sometime this weekend I will get it out and open it up and snap several pics.

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The "pitch manager" out the front seems to be buying into some problems you don't need. Have a look at a Bleriot XI. or some of the Parasol designs.. Nev

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