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Looking for a Drifter


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Hi There!


This is my first post... and I'm looking for some advice! I've just started flying again after a 19 year break... and it's exciting... the bug is biting hard and I'm very much looking forward to the world of ultralights. After looking at specs and photo's and imagining what each type offers, I find I'mbeing drawntowards a Drifter. It would need to be certified as I'd like some flexibility to use it wherever possible.


So here's where I'd like some advice. I'd like to do cross countries, but speed is not an issue, it's taking in the flying and the world around me that will be important. From what I've read, the drifter seems to be that type of aircraft.


So what would be your recommendations for someone without any taildragger experience,.... and does anyone know of a certified aircraft for sale?


Look forward to some feedback. (I've startedflying at The Oaks in Sydney and currently flying a Jabiru just to get back in the air again)


It's great to be back in the air again!


Wayne Hack





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Guest micgrace

Hi Wayne


I'd stick to what you are doing with the Jabiru to get the base certificate unless someone actually does training in a Drifter at the Oaks (I do not know) If they do, swap to it and you'll get your taildragger experience and certificate all at the same time instead of doing a taildragger conversion later.


A Drifter is fairly benign as taildraggers go but you still need your wits about you as they will bite but a quick and heavy bootful will pull theminto line.


I did the usual tailup takeoff and forgot about the crosswind component a rather rapid depature from a straight line occurred a quick bootful brought the a/c into line an took off normally. The ideal way is actually have some back pressure to keep the wheel on the ground till the rudder is effective. But some instructors insist on tail up which I don't agree with Anyway the particular strip (Boonah) has claimed heaps due to the crosswind combined with slope.


Virtually all Drifters, earlier type are certified 95.25 (wire braced) and the later, 95.55 (most strut braced) and both types are elegible for training. Then there's the new Wayne Fisher variant with R912.


Micgrace :)



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The aircraft you want will be based on what you want to do with it.


For fun flying around the padock with the occasional epic, you can't beat a Drifter. Smooth conditions early morning or late afternoon and the drifter goes on like a glove.


Should you want to travel distances regularly something speedier would be great.


I still like the 95.25 503 wire braced drifters. The early ones are a lot lighter than the 582 or strut braced machines and fly much better. I instructedfrom the factory when the first 582 was released and it is chalk and cheese. The 582 can climb much better, but it does not feel as nice.


Wayne Fisher has a nice line in 19 reg drifters that are also light and fly well, but these are experimental only.(I think this is still the case)


Anyway I love drifter flying but it is hard to take the family so I got a GA ticket as well so we can travel together. But nothing better than a bash around the padock in the Drifter.



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Hi There Again,


Micgrace and Freddy......Thanks for your feedback! This is the sort ofthing I am looking for. Every piece of information is like a piece in a jigsaw and will come together to give me a good overall picture before I commit to a type.


For someone who has been out of the flying scene for a long time (but never lost the passion) the planning is as exciting as the flying itself (well perhaps not quite,but it fuels the dream which will give me the ability to confidently move forward and make the best decisions to turn that dream into reality). Just getting up in the air again in a Jabiru is fantastic.


Freddy... I started in GA ages ago ... no ultralights around then and had a lot of fun in the 70's and 80's. Then of course it was time to buy a house and raise a family so flying was put on the backburner. It's great that you have gone down the GA path and can share it with your family.


So thank you both again for your feedback.


.... and if anyone else is able to give me a few more pieces for the jigsaw, I would really appreciate it.


I guess my aim is to mainly do short flights locally but perhaps the odd epic... and that poses another question. With the extremes of weather we seem to be getting, how hardy is a drifter if left out in the open? How best could you protect it when away from home at some remote location and sitting out a storm?


Anyway... l'm looking forward to some more feedback. Everything and anything will be appreciated.


Ian thanks for this forum. It is terrific and provides an opportunity for like minded communication we couldn't even dream of years ago.




Wayne Hack



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Ian thanks for this forum. It is terrific and provides an opportunity for like minded communication we couldn't even dream of years ago.Regards


Wayne Hack

- thanks for the compliment, it is my pleasure to provide what I think is a valuable resource for all
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Guest Juliette Lima

Hi Wayne,


Clearly you are a man of taste.....Drifters are delightful to fly ,safe (if you are) ,easy to land, and if savouring the visual delights from aloft is one of your stated objectives, then there is none better....from the front seat that is.


Local flights, say a couple of hours, or occasional epics, also great.... Fuel management (local servos.) being the main consideration....Some flights have been written up in the RAaus magazine from Lismore to Southern Tasmania and return.


Getting from point A to point B in the shortest possible time....No... however that can be an advantage to a few of us.


Rear passanger comfort in cold weather is only a1.5 out of 5 ...not good, although there are some tricks to make sitting out in the wind a little more acceptable. In summer it is a different story...very nice.


Drifters cannot be left outside for any length of time, in fact best not at all...UV damage to the skins !...however if your question relates to overnight stopovers ,then no problems....Fitted engine and cockpit covers are obtainable in a light but strong material that folds to almost nothing....Tied down properly, the Drifter is no more of a problem than any other aircraft.


Hope that helps a little.





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