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Guest babs1aus

Well discretely tucked away in our mag is the fact that the powers to


be are going for a MTOW 720 kgs. Wow you are all excited. Just sit back


for a minute and think of the longterm benefits or disasters for our


sport. Ive got no doudt Casa would probably be happy to unload a heap


of its bottom end aging planes some well maintained and others well.


Along with these that are not really fit to fly( health age etc attitude. )


Hey hows this for a scenario a recently issued pilot certificate now


owns say a RV 4, Thorpe. Or Ive got basic instruments I thought I could


get home. Dont know what you all think on the surface its a exciting


proposition but do we really need it. I have this sinking feeling If


people think it is over governed on the bottom end of GA there is


reasons for it and as an assocition well probably end up having to be


just as buerecratic and methodical in our approach. As exciting as it


seems and everybody agaw about speed I find it staggering that there


are aircraft on the register that do 150 knots.


We are ultralight pilots arnt we.



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Guest carlsnilsson

Well, actually no. We are "Recreational" pilots now, first and


foremost. Some of us may be Ultralight pilots in the original sense of


the word, but not many now. We should give a little thought to what


"recreational" actually means. For one, I don't think weight limits are


all that relevant. I only wish my aircraft (Skyfox) had


been built a little stronger to a higher certified weight than 450 kg.


My thinking is that the weight limit as such ought to be dropped


altogether - well, put at 5700 kg to which a PPL applies. It's the use


the aircraft is put to that is the important thing, not how much it


weighs. When the name change went through (to "recreational")


it was much more than a name change - it heralded a new era. How well


we are prepared for this new era is a different question, but so far so







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Guest TOSGcentral

Babs1aus wrote:


"We are ultralight pilots arnt we."


No we are not! As we are repeatedly reminded we are now Recreational Aviation pilots!


It was pointed out that Ultralights is a dirty word that casts fear and


despondency on the population in general and insurance companies in


particular. To this was added the concept that really nobody wanted


ultralights, they were a stepping stone to better forms of aviation and


just an evolutionary process that it is better to now forget about.


What is now even more exciting is the move to the long established


Board Policy of what was actually 750 kg but has come out at 720kg.


This will ensure that we get every rust bucket going that is currently


laying around rotting and is unsalable under GA controls!


We will bring those machines into an environment that has only the most


rudimentary of airworthiness systems, NO airworthiness training


channels, and a management that studiously ignores any requirement for


such other than making encouraging noises now and then.


Exciting times indeed - too exciting for me!





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I think the weight is a furfy (sp?) in this and that it is the usage, as said before, which is aimed at 'Recreation'.


However, as Tony said, the training of people for flying and


maintenance, and the maintenance schedules are a problem. The


'Recreational Aviation' group, in this sense is not much different to


the Old Car and Bike movements, the complexity of the equipment is


increasing rapidly, but the members capability is not increasing in


line with it.


So, based on this, I would like to see a basic flight license, for say


the 'standard' ultralight, with extra endorsements to handle more


complex/faster/etc types. This would at least ensure that the skills to


handle these aircraft are there. This is a bit like the taildragger


endorsement for tricicle undercart pilots. Also, perhaps some more


education sessions should be available for pilots maintaing their own


aircraft, rather like the SAAA, ie you built it/you maintain it, you


bought it/you get educated to maintain it.


This may leave the simple end of RAAus aircraft as is, but for the


faster/heavier/more complex would start to add some extra training to


ensure pilots understand the risks and how to mitigate them.





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Guest micgrace

I would agree with Tony, there is an urgent need to do something about maintenence training and make it enforceable somewhat.


Drawback is, creates another layer of beaurecuracy which, is NOT what recreational flying is about.


The question is? How do we go about it, without ending up defacto GA??




I could think of, is maintence training to be part of the pilot


certificate i.e. some skills. Engine, airframe, minor repairs. Of


course it's not really possible to teach everything (takes years to learn in this area) at least sufficient to keep the majority out of trouble.




this lack arose from, the origins of ultralights, self confessed


tinkerers, farmers and the like, who already had a high degree of


mechanical aptitude, to the situation today, where the majority of the


population (not us ultralighters, of course) only know how to kick the tyres and light the fires.




a copy the ultralight log book should be sent in with the renewal to


determine if any trends are emerging with the particular aircraft.


Maybe could even be done online using a program to detect anomalies.


such as crosscheck oil grade against engine type and warn the person


automatically when they enter it.


Just a few thoughts. Micgrace



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I think the inclusion of a category of around 700 kgs is a good move and I see no need to doom and gloom.


It won't stop those that wish to fly in lighter categories.


Surely a poorly designed or badly maintained aircraft is just that, no matter what the weight category.



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Guest Fred Bear

Exactly captain, there's nothing stopping a current UL from being a


crappy old rust-bucket. They still need to be maintainted. Believe me,


they do actually exist out there. I know of a UL held together with


masking tape, I swear!


Did anyone notice the bit that slipped in there too about them paving


the way for UL pilots to fly into controlled airspace with appropriate





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Guest micgrace

I tend to think there will be a problem in the move to higher weight.


The fact is current systems are NOT set up for the more complex types available at this weight.


Woe betide the movement the first time a 720kg crashes into a building.


The fact remains, all we can use are a maximum of 2 seats say total mass (humans, calorie challenged) 200kg plus 150 (lightweight design)- 250kg (heavyweight)(empty) for the craft plus fuel, say 6 hours worth, say 70kg. (say100hp 15l/hr)that would leave some 24kg for luggage.


All up weight some 540kg, which is surprisingly close to the current MTOW




course, empty weight changes after this. Say 200hp, extra 50kg for


engine, extra 50kg for airframe, extra 70kg for fuel without providing


any real benefit except possibly higher cruise?? design depending. This


winds up somewhere around 700kg Maybe this is the intention.


But some in the current category already (in my opinion) already have good range and cruise.


It's just my opinion of course.





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Guest carlsnilsson

Clem Brown wrote "...I know of a UL held together with masking tape, I swear! "


That's just not true - I always use gaffer tape!".






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Clem Brown wrote "...I know of a UL held together with masking tape, I swear! " That's just not true - I always use gaffer tape!".




- good one Carl!
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Guest babs1aus

It seems there are a wide variety of opinions about 720kg and ultimately they all seem to lean towards more training (which is never a bad thing)


and however seem to all indicate a much greater paperwork requirement


good or bad these are all extra costs and costs are what really erode


our freedom to aviate. Im sorry if I have set a cat among pigeons Im


just really curious if it is the greater sub 544 kg communities


aspiration to head this way or weather there is minority of lobyist


pushing for this while the rest of us find out after the fact. I may


not be the most diligent reader of the magazine however maybe I should


read more than the incident reports AD notices and classifieds. Yes I


did notice the little paragraph about gaining access to controlled


airspace. Yes we are recreational pilots it was only a name change not


a restructure of our training or the redesign of our aircraft or a re


education and examination of us individually. Who we are has remained


unchanged so have the rules governing us. Please forgive me for any


spelling errors.



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Guest Fred Bear

Ok, well here's another question...


Does anyone remember what happened when the weight limit was lifted to 544 kilos?


I can't recall the exact figure of what it was increased from.... was it 450? Tony?


If so, what affect did that have on the UL populous? Did aircraft crash


into buildings fully loaded with fuel and pax; did it open the door for


a number of ex GA rustbuckets? (Gazelle?- mtow of 520)... etc, etc, etc.


What will 720'ish let in... an RV6 is about 750kg's... a 152 must be


close... Piper Pacer perhaps, or a Piper Colt, some of which are


already on the register. There's an argument to suggest that this


wouldn't be a bad thing; heavier and more solid safer? aircraft, but


still with 2 people onboard.


Just a thought.



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Guest micgrace

Heavier = more safer?


I don't think so. Design weight is a direct consequence of engine horsepower, flight loading, fuel load, static wing load (direct relation to Vso), occupant weight and so on. Please see my earlier posts.




in initial design work is safety related to weight. After these


components are thrashed out, then it is time to design for safety (structure/stability). Which, if clever, may keep the weight at a minimum.




the best way to design for safety, is to provide the pilot/passenger


with a "safety cell" and have stall speeds and overall mass low enough


that not a lot of energy is available to be dissapated on a crash.




is an excellent and easily understood article by Chris Heintz Design


College on these very things. Try typing in Aircraft Design Made Easy.


All I can say, all aircraft design is a compromise of many conflicting parts.


One less well known compromise concerns aerilons. Longer = faster roll, versus wing shorter =faster roll


This is also complicated by stability issues which is further complicated by design stall speed. Shorter (less area = less induced drag =higher stall speed = higher cruise = less roll stability. (the last one is not so funny)




course, you can somewhat compensate for these problems by changing


dihedral/angle incidence etc but the overall tenency will remain.


Just some thoughts Micgrace



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That's why it's nice to allow someone else to worry about the theory


and compromises, and buy a proven kit or aircraft that you know will


fly well and/or meet your criteria.


And if someone want to have an all-up weight of 700 kgs or so, why not?


Likewise if someone wants to fly lightwight and out in the wind.


More power to them all, I say.


But getting back to the original post, I can see why the RAA would want


to control up to say 720 kgs or so. It would not do the "movement" any


favours if another group were to be self-administering that weight and


both groups were fighting over the existing Recreational/Ultralight


aircraft on that are so obviously on that boundary?





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Guest micgrace

Somehow, I think there is an ulterior motive by someone who has a


need to register or sell something in this weight catergory, which, in


my opinion is not needed.





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Guest Fred Bear

Something that has almost been overlooked on this forum regarding


weights and 720 kg's is STALL speed.... there is little or no point


increasing the allowable weight without increasing stall speed for the


category as these are often proportional.


An easy example that everyone knows are Jabiru's.


J200 - 544 kilo's, stall 45 knots.


J230 LSA - 600 kilo's, stall approx 45 knots - only because of the longer wing.


The J230 can have in GA an all up weight of 700 kg's MTOW, however the


stall speed will be up to 47-48 knots, so there's no point allowing the


higher weight for this particular aircraft.


There are many other aircraft out there with stalls of 45 or greater in the 700 kilo range.


Food for thought - as it really may not bring in all that many new types.


On a side note, an RV6 is around 750 kilos, so perhaps at 720 an RV6


might fit in if you ditched the Lycoming for a Jab 8 Clyinder or


something. RV4's should fit in; that would be a nice recreational




For the record, weight versus safety... I would rather crash a C172,


Cirrus, Piper or perhaps Cessna Caravan into a pine forest with an


engine failure, rather than be sitting up the front of a Drifter,


Aerochute or in a Corby starlet with practically no protection


whatsoever, especially in a rollover. Weight and certification does


often result in safety.



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Guest micgrace

One point to note, It's possible to "fiddle" the stall speed


requirement on such types by reducing MTOW. i.e. payload/fuel load.


Since the jab/etc are real close, not much is req. to comply (I'd


imagine the stall speed in landing configuration will still be 45


Knots. However this is different from the USA sport plane which


specifies 45knots without auxillary devices.)


I note


rollover protection in low wing types such as the Corby is rather poor.


It is very much better in high wing tractor types (but not all are created equal)




interesting that aircraft manufacturers do not sell their aircraft on


safety, but on low stall/high cruise. Maybe at some date this could


possibly change? as happened in the car industry.


Some thoughts, Micgrace



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Guest ozzie

in reply to Clem's remarks about sitting way out front... Ron Wheeler


said to me when we were watching a hovey wing ding zipp around the


circut with the pilot out front, that it reminded him of his early


boxing days when he went in 'leading with his chin'. seemed to make


some sense at the time. ozzzie



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Yes it would be safer to crash into trees in a Caravan than a


drifter, but I'd still want to be sitting in the BACK seat of the


caravan!, you'd be better off in a Lighthwing.Back


in the 70's, the ultralighters over in WA had a good idea and started


calling themselves the 'Super-light' Aviation Association (sic) where the idea was to build ever faster machines while staying somewhere near 95:10!When I first came across ultralights in the late 70's (in WA), the deal seemed to be 'If you want to fly, you have to build it yourself'.This seemed a good way of separating the 'Untalented rich', from the dedicated 'Want to learn and create' types.This was the EAA's basis of the 'Experimental' catagory; learn, design, create and fly.I


guess people are still learning something when they buy their 3 week


quick build RV-?a, and pay someone else to build it, I'm just not sure what they are learning?As


for 720 kgs, I guess if we're forced to stay under 45kt stall, that


should go some way towards maintaining the low inertia concept we


started with, maybe it should go back to 40kts?I learnt to


fly in gliders, the upper end of which can have VNE's of over 160kts,


yet still have stalling speeds below 40kts, it just requires 'educated'





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You are right about Sailplane performance, but bear in mind that the


type of performance that you are quoting and your "educated design",


with all of the latest sailplane efficiencies, comes at a cost that is


far more than the most expensive Ultralight .... comparing new for new.


Regards Geoff



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Guest micgrace

There isa crucial difference in design between gliders/powered aircraft (re stall, VNE) a dramatically different aspect ratio between the two. which results in completely different characteristics.




read and weep about the low stall high VNE in gliders. I must say,


whenever I commit powered flight, and see a gliderI get a twinge of


regret I didn't keep gliding. Especially when you get whacked with the


fuel bill!





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Guest babs1aus

Sorry i dont agree with the theory crashing in bigger is better. It


defies somewhat the laws of Physics. Greater mass same speed = greater


inertia more energy to disapate, less energy over a equivalent area the


greater your chance of survival. Perhaps we should look at some


pictures of a airvan accident scene or read the outcome of the airframe


failure of the Thorpe last year south of Tawoomba to be reminded when


something goes wrong in High Inertia aircraft it is not often pretty.


Inertia is not really colated to stall speed it is related more to mass


speed. Another point is there are plenty of GA aircraft that can be


snuck in >720 that are four seater aircraft with stall speeds one or


2 knots below 45 in landing configuration. Jodel Ambassador Im prety


sure the Tri pacer and Pacers would get on. along with a mirriad of


modern kits and a few models of the 2+1 Auster. I am finding myself


wondering why we are after bigger mtows since we already have safe


planes and designs more capable than the 172 or is it a case of the


grass is greener. I guess also that If we were to move to the greater


weight catergory an Avid style Id would also become mandatory aswell as


the asic.



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My thoughts are that the 720kg limit will bring the majority of aircraft eligible, which are mostly (recent model)


factory designs into an area where they will be legal two person


aircraft. Most of these aircraft , for example J series Jabiru, if


registereed with CASA have a MTOWof 700kg, so will be hopefully little


or no modifications to have a legal two person RAA registered aircraft.


At present a look around the local airfield indicates that the average


pilot weight is 85 kg with many well over that. this means that most


RAA aircraft are very close to, or over, MTOW with full fuel and pilot


only. The new weight limit will allow these type of aircraft to be used


to their full potential. At my local airfield the majority of pilots


that I speak to are not interested in the more traditional (drifter etc )


style of aircraft but have become involved because of the availablity


of the fast , newer aircraft that can provide a similar or better


performance (especially with the 720kg MTOW) than the conventional GA aircraft.


if there is any requirements for further training for these aircraft


then yahoo. Its about time. Any additional paperwork such as


maintenance releases everey flight would also be very welcome as is any


change that is going to improve the safety of our sport. The costs of


these change are minimal and will more likely be mainly procedural. In


any case people who complain about their freedoms?? being curtialed


because of the small costs of additional safety requirements are


probably better off playing lawn bowls. it will be safer for everyone


that way.



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Guest carlsnilsson

Turtle wrote: " At present a look around the local airfield indicates


that the average pilot weight is 85 kg with many well over that. this


means that most RAA aircraft are very close to, or over, MTOW with full


fuel and pilot only. The new weight limit will allow these type of


aircraft to be used to their full potential. "


I don't think that's so. It's been pointed out many times: aircraft are


certified to specific MTOW limits. My Fox is still 450 kg. It will


remain so, so nobody will pay $1M to have it re-certified to a higher


MTOW. Raising the RA-Aus limit to, say, 720 kg will simply mean that


new aircraft can be certified to that higher limit, or that aircraft


presently certified above 544 kg but not over 720 kg can be registered







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