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About SilverWing

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  1. Thank you to everyone for your responses. In the main, mostly confirm my own thoughts and those of plastic sheet suppliers.
  2. The screen in the photo is a brand new polycarbonate sheet (with less than 5 hours flying time), installed as a replacement for the original screen. The factory used to fit polycarbonate as standard, but now also fits PET screens, which are more pliable but are a little more prone to scratching. The owner says that no fuel or other chemicals were spilt or used on the windscreen.
  3. I recently noticed this damage to a polycarbonate windscreen. Definitely not stones - the screen remains smooth to the touch inside and out. Questions: (a) anyone any ideas as to what's causing this? (b) Is it dangerous - ie might the windscreen break in flight? © How to prevent in future? All helpful comments gratefully received!
  4. Foxbat Australia Pty Ltd are authorised Matco suppliers in Australia and we hold stocks of certain items used in Foxbat aircraft. However, many common items are available through Aircraft Spruce and all items via Matco themselves.
  5. In our experience, the 912iS is definitely more economical over a steady long-range cruise. But not much different to the 912ULS in shorter (eg under 60-90 minutes) flights, and certainly not for circuits and bumps
  6. Hi APenNameAndThatA To help you out - the Aeroprakt factory no longer offers fuel injection as an option. If you don't like the manually operated hot air system for the carburettor engine (which, by the way, allows the engine to develop full power through using cooler air from outside the cowling), some Foxbats have been fitted (admittedly quite a while ago) with UK Rotax dealer-supplied 'hot coolant'-fed rings round the carby throats. I believe these can be fitted with a valve to open or, in summer, close the coolant flow through the rings. Because the rings move the carby inlets towards the firewall, you have to fit pancake filters instead of the standard cone filters. The main potential drawback of the coolant rings is the number of extra hose connections to check before you fly. A second one is that the carbys can get quite hot in OATs above 25 celsius and may under some circumstances vaporise fuel in the inlets. You definitely do not need a bigger oil radiator or larger coolant bottle as the Foxbat engine installation is designed if anything to run a bit cool. We fit oil thermostats as standard on all Foxbat and Vixxen aircraft supplied in Australia. Finally, there is no vacuum pump option for the aircraft. The electrical system is designed for digital 'glass' as needed and can cope with double Dynon SkyViews, transponder, radio, strobes, landing light, UHF radio, mustering siren etc etc. Don't hesitate to give me a call if you need to discuss any of this.
  7. Oh dear Neil - no, the incident was caused by incorrect operation of the fuel pump. You can drive down the road at 100 km/h and slam the car into reverse. By your reckoning, the result would be the vehicle manufacturer's responsibility, not the driver's. Inconvenient as you may find the truth - a fuel return line is not mandatory on 912 engines - right up front, the Rotax installation manual makes it clear that it should only be used as 'a general guide' and that the airframe manufacturer has the final say. I know you think GA certified aircraft are irrelevant but many of them do not have a fuel return line. RA and LSA aircraft are certified to a lower standard than most GA types. PS - the more expletives you use, the more hysterical you sound
  8. When something potentially life-threatening happens, it's very scary, particularly in an aeroplane. Soon enough, those who experienced the event start looking for causes and those around them understandably want to support them. However, occasionally, comments can get blown into huge issues - sometimes based on a misunderstanding or an unintentional error. First of all, the Foxbat did not have a 'fuel pump fire'. The solid-state Facet fuel pump fitted to the aircraft depends on a good fuel flow through it for cooling - hence the instruction to use the pump only for start up or in the event of a failure in the main pump. At other times, specifically during engine idle, it is possible there is not enough fuel flowing to cool the pump adequately - particularly in engines like the Rotax 912, which have a very low fuel flow at idle. Nevertheless, I understand it was common practice in this aircraft to leave the back-up electrical pump switched on while in the circuit/pattern. Second, the pump was fused and switched - the power to the switch (and thence the pump) clearly came via the blade-fuse box on the lower instrument panel. The pump in the incident aircraft did not experience any kind of electrical failure. It overheated because there wasn't enough fuel cooling it and as a result the heat started to melt and scorch the internal insulation. Perhaps through a misunderstanding, the pump was switched on at the top of a long (low fuel flow) descent or had been left on after starting. Either way the cooling effect of the fuel flow on an engine-idle descent was reduced. Because there was no electrical failure, power continued to the pump, which continued to overheat. The fact that the pump continued to run while overheating caused the operator to think there was no fuse - which in fact there was. In spite of the severe scorching on the pump, there was no fire. The pump cooled and the smoke stopped when the pilot switched the pump off. Third, only three carburettor Rotax engine Aeroprakt aircraft in the world have ever been fitted with electric fuel pumps - all in Australia and all at the absolute insistence of the buyers, with considerable reluctance by the factory. In fact, Aeroprakt, in line with their earlier misgivings, will now only fit electric fuel pumps to fuel-injected Rotax engined aircraft. Of the three carburettor aircraft, the first suffered the fuel pump incident referred to. The second owner has, from the start, observed the 'use only at start up' and has experienced no problems. The third aircraft was optionally fitted at the owners' expense with a non-solid-state Pierburg electric fuel pump configured as for the injection engine, with dual return lines to each tank to alleviate excess fuel pressure, as required by Rotax. I have considerable sympathy with those who experience serious incidents in aircraft. I have experienced some myself. However, the understandable wish to apportion some sort of blame - occasionally revved up by others with their own agendas - should not allow the facts to be ignored.
  9. The first page of the current Rotax 912 series engine installation manual: "This Installation Manual for ROTAX® aircraft engines should only be used as a general guide for the installation of ROTAX® engines into airframes. It does not represent an instruction for the installation of a ROTAX® aircraft engine in a specific type of airframe or airplane. BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co KG does not assume any warranty or liability in this context. This Installation Manual shall in no event be used without fully complying with the specific instructions and/or requirements of the manufacturer of an airframe or airplane (“Manufacturer”). For verification and/or release of the engine installation, the respective Manufacturer must be contacted. Any modifications or adaptations to the airframe or airplane shall be carried out and/or be verified and released by the Manufacturer only." Rotax write their manuals to cover every possible installation type, not for a specific aircraft. Many GA aircraft (including one of my own) do not have fuel return lines. Aeroprakt aircraft are not dropping out of the sky because there is no fuel return line.
  10. I think that a few facts have become chinese whispers here. When the owners picked up the aircraft, there was one small crack about 5mm long from a rivet in the bottom right corner of the windshield - which I photographed at the time. The windscreen failure was nowhere near and completely unrelated to this crack. No-one ever requested a warranty replacement windscreen. I offered cover the cost if the owners wanted to replace it locally. I am unaware of any contact from the owners advising me they had or would replace the screen. PS - I was only made aware of other windscreen cracks after the incident.
  11. First, I have great empathy with the pilots and passengers who experience door, canopy and windscreen failures - I have experienced a bubble canopy coming open in flight myself; it was not a pleasant experience. In comparison, losing a piece of windshield must have been extremely frightening. Thankfully, such experiences are extremely rare. A few facts about the above references to the Foxbat may be helpful. 1. There have been no reported cases of 'vapour lock' in the 1000+ worldwide fleet of Foxbats - except for one aircraft in SE Queensland. This is because the wing tanks provide a continual fuel pressure of at least 0.5 bar to the pump, precluding the possibility of vapour lock. Almost certainly the cause for the reported engine misfiring in SE Queensland was carburettor ice: long descent from altitude, high humidity, no engine warming, misfire disappears as the aircraft descends into and remains in warmer air. 2. Apart from one documented birdstrike in SE Queensland, there have been two reported windscreen failures in Foxbats worldwide - one in Kazakhstan and one in SE Queensland. That's a rate of 0.002%. The Foxbat windshield is 2mm polycarbonate sheet, UV-proofed and scratch resistant, manufactured by Veralite in Belgium; it is the same as other polycarbonate sheet manufactured under trade names like Lexan, The product is used because it has excellent weather resistance and remains flexible even after prolonged UV exposure. Both incident aircraft were known to have had substantial cracks in the windscreens before the incidents, particularly along the front edge by the firewall. Cracks can be induced for a variety of reasons - they are most common in flying school aircraft, which have very high landing numbers per hours flown and more than their fair share of heavy landings. The Foxbat maintenance manual clearly covers what to do if cracks appear in the windscreen, including replacement in some circumstances. Personally, if I found a windscreen crack in any aircraft longer than an inch/25mm or multiple small cracks, I'd replace the screen rather than stop drill the cracks.
  12. The side door access to the baggage compartment is only available on the A22LS 'Kelpie' - a special version of the A22LS Foxbat developed for farmers. Luggage compartment is also fully metal and has a 30 kgs weight limit.
  13. So far I've delivered five A32 Vixxens in Australia - all of them flew straight without any rudder trim when thoroughly flight tested before delivery. One owner subsequently reported a tendency to yaw to one side if he removed his feet from the pedals for a while, but nothing about spiral dives or wing drops. I suppose most aircraft will deviate from straight & level if you let go of the controls... Although there is no need for a rudder trim tab on the A32 (assuming it is set up properly), there is an optional kit to self-centre the rudder pedals if you have a need to remove your feet from the pedals. This kit has been supplied to the owner of the aircraft which apparently exhibited the yaw problems and I am now ordering the fitment as standard for Australian delivered A32 aircraft. However, it is not recommended that pilots remove their feet or hands from the controls of any aircraft for more than a few seconds unless a 3-axis autopilot is fitted.
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