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Hi I've just joined and would like to hear from experienced flyers about glider design and registration! I come from flying hangliders but after a nasty ankle injury I,m considering looking into getting a licence to fly gliders. I have some design concepts for a lightweight glider but have little idea about the difficulties and costs involved with casa and test documentation to allow me to fly a home made aircraft. And I was wondering if a powered glider required an ultralight license, there seems to be so many licences out there!

 

 

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Welcome to the forum DZ.

 

If you're looking for a very basic ultralight glider you'd do well to have a close look at the Sandlin Goat. Plans are available and cheap enough IIRC and their performance is surprisingly good for an open-air primary glider design. They're also well proven and cheap and simple enough for a first-timer to build.

 

As far as licencing is concerned ... you don't need a 'licence' for a glider (or an ultralight come to that), instead you need a pilot certificate (PC) issued by the authority that controls the kind of aircraft you're flying. If you've been flying hanggliders presumably you already have a PC issued by the HGFA.

 

Certainly you can build an amateur-built glider, or motorglider. You need to do a bit of reading to understand exactly what constitutes a glider and motorglider. Their design and operation is detailed in Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 95.4

 

A valuable first step would be contacting the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) and discussing your intentions with them. I've not had much to do with them in recent years but they always were a very helpful organisation in the past.

 

Just something to keep in mind - if your thoughts take you along the path that many have trodden previously, you may well begin to entertain thoughts about something along the lines of the Goat but adding a small motor to make it self-launching. If so, just keep in mind that doing so wouldn't make it a motorglider because it wouldn't meet the span-loading and performance requirements of CAO 95.4, so whilst it would appear that almost any aircraft without a motor qualifies as a glider, adding a small motor doesn't make it a motor-glider.

 

Even so, you could still add that motor and fly the aircraft but it would be a different category of aircraft from those controlled by the GFA. It would be an ultralight and would fit into the CAO 95.10 category which is controlled by Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) and you would need an RAAus PC to fly it. Similarly, if you made a powered two-seater it would also be registered by RAAus and flown with the same RAAus PC but it would be a CAO 95.55 sub-para 1.2 (e) aircraft.

 

 

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Thanks for the reply , I,ll look into all the information you provided! all the subsections, clauses etc no doubt seems all logical to you, but I find some of it a bit difficult to comprehend, I'm probably going to have to get advise on the wing loading determination,s in regards to aircraft category's! Thanks again

 

 

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There is no licence required to fly a powered glider that is registered in the VH category. You must be a member of the Gliding Federation of Australia and an affiliated gliding club. You train as a glider pilot, either in a pure glider or a powered glider. When you reach an appropriate skill level, you will be authorised to fly solo. After that, there is a progression from basic solo to initial cross-country, passenger carrying, advanced shows-country, instructor ratings etc. There is a Glider Pilot Certificate available that allows your qualifications to be recognised in other countries.

 

www.gfa.org.au

 

www.ddsc.org.au

 

Not many clubs have powered gliders available. The best way is probably to train up in a pure glider then seek a powered glider rating later.

 

There are three basic styles of powered glider.

 

The fixed engine type with the engine in the nose. These look like a little aeroplane with long wings. The prop feathers for gliding flight. These glide From about 25-1 to 35-1 or so, depending on the individual type. These are better at powered cross country flight and are often called touring motor gliders.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_HK36_Super_Dimona

 

The retractable engine type where the engine is mounted on a pylon and retracts into the fuselage behind the wing. These look just like any other pure glider when the engine is retracted. These can have glide angles up in the 60-1 area. These are best when flown cross country as a glider.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleicher_ASH_25

 

The sustainer type. These have a small retractable engine that is not powerful enough to take off, but will climb at about 150 fpm in flight. These are meant to get you home at the end of the day when the thermals have stopped.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAK-17

 

You can also train for authority to perform various levels of maintenance from daily inspection right through to annual inspection and minor to major repairs.

 

In the early days most gliders were home built, but not so many in the last 50 years or so. There are not many modern designs out there. Certainly, to achieve high performance, the wing skins need to be made from composite materials in a mould to get laminar airflow over as much of the surface as possible.

 

Garry Morgan is doing some interesting work at the moment. http://www.morganaeroworks.com.au/

 

Hope I haven't bored you to tears. 072_teacher.gif.7912536ad0b89695f6408008328df571.gif

 

Robert

 

 

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Even so, you could still add that motor and fly the aircraft but it would be a different category of aircraft from those controlled by the GFA. It would be an ultralight and would fit into the CAO 95.10 category which is controlled by Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) and you would need an RAAus PC to fly it. Similarly, if you made a powered two-seater it would also be registered by RAAus and flown with the same RAAus PC but it would be a CAO 95.55 sub-para 1.2 (e) aircraft.

If registered as an ultralight, the OP wouldn't be able to fly it as a glider by turning the engine off (unless he is a CFI).

 

Cheers

 

John

 

 

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Go to the CASA website and read CAR21. You can design and build a home built aircraft but doing it properly is a big deal unless you get a kit. A Xenos isn't a bad suggestion. Just register it RAAus. Nobody will know you turned the engine off if you are a long way from an airfield. Just start it for landing. The GFA isn't interested in homebuilding. There is at least one Xenos on the RAAus register.

 

If you want to put up with gliding clubs and the GFA I'd visit one and see if you can stomach it. Many can't. As far as I'm concerned the locations and internal politics of most gliding clubs give them the ambience of a Soviet era collective farm crossed with a decaying hippie colony.

 

The above is why gliding is in decline world wide and the world is awash in quite nice composite gliders going for not a lot of money. I wouldn't pay more than $10000 to $12000 for an airworthy Standard Cirrus or Libelle with trailer , instruments and radio.

 

It depends on what kind of gliding you want to do. Self launch is a great idea. After 49 years in gliding I've come to the conclusion the sport will never amount to much until all gliders are self launching.

 

 

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Wow! They are still selling HP kits.

Yep, but very different to the HP-18/HP-15 of the past. New people and new techniques.

 

It is a shame that gliding and home building have diverged. Not having to buy an engine decreases the cost and the firewall forward takes a lot of time.

 

 

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Yep, but very different to the HP-18/HP-15 of the past. New people and new techniques.It is a shame that gliding and home building have diverged. Not having to buy an engine decreases the cost and the firewall forward takes a lot of time.

Yes, if gliders were still made of wood or metal there might be more of it.

 

However used gliders are so cheap and of comparable performance to anything you might build that buying a flying older glider and re-furbishing it makes far more sense.

 

 

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the RAA is going the way the GFA has gone. You can't do any training in a homebuilt at all, eventually the RAA will ban BFRs in homebuilts.

FT, is that right? AFAIK if you build a VH Experimental and can find an instructor who will fly in it, you can learn to fly in it and do BFRs in it yourself.

 

 

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There is no licence required to fly a powered glider that is registered in the VH category. You must be a member of the Gliding Federation of Australia and an affiliated gliding club. You train as a glider pilot, either in a pure glider or a powered glider. When you reach an appropriate skill level, you will be authorised to fly solo. After that, there is a progression from basic solo to initial cross-country, passenger carrying, advanced shows-country, instructor ratings etc. There is a Glider Pilot Certificate available that allows your qualifications to be recognised in other countries. www.gfa.org.au

 

www.ddsc.org.au

 

Not many clubs have powered gliders available. The best way is probably to train up in a pure glider then seek a powered glider rating later.

 

There are three basic styles of powered glider.

 

The fixed engine type with the engine in the nose. These look like a little aeroplane with long wings. The prop feathers for gliding flight. These glide From about 25-1 to 35-1 or so, depending on the individual type. These are better at powered cross country flight and are often called touring motor gliders.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_HK36_Super_Dimona

 

The retractable engine type where the engine is mounted on a pylon and retracts into the fuselage behind the wing. These look just like any other pure glider when the engine is retracted. These can have glide angles up in the 60-1 area. These are best when flown cross country as a glider.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleicher_ASH_25

 

The sustainer type. These have a small retractable engine that is not powerful enough to take off, but will climb at about 150 fpm in flight. These are meant to get you home at the end of the day when the thermals have stopped.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAK-17

 

You can also train for authority to perform various levels of maintenance from daily inspection right through to annual inspection and minor to major repairs.

 

In the early days most gliders were home built, but not so many in the last 50 years or so. There are not many modern designs out there. Certainly, to achieve high performance, the wing skins need to be made from composite materials in a mould to get laminar airflow over as much of the surface as possible.

 

Garry Morgan is doing some interesting work at the moment. http://www.morganaeroworks.com.au/

 

Hope I haven't bored you to tears. 072_teacher.gif.7912536ad0b89695f6408008328df571.gif

 

Robert

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There is no licence required to fly a powered glider that is registered in the VH category. You must be a member of the Gliding Federation of Australia and an affiliated gliding club. You train as a glider pilot, either in a pure glider or a powered glider. When you reach an appropriate skill level, you will be authorised to fly solo. After that, there is a progression from basic solo to initial cross-country, passenger carrying, advanced shows-country, instructor ratings etc. There is a Glider Pilot Certificate available that allows your qualifications to be recognised in other countries. www.gfa.org.au

 

www.ddsc.org.au

 

Not many clubs have powered gliders available. The best way is probably to train up in a pure glider then seek a powered glider rating later.

 

There are three basic styles of powered glider.

 

The fixed engine type with the engine in the nose. These look like a little aeroplane with long wings. The prop feathers for gliding flight. These glide From about 25-1 to 35-1 or so, depending on the individual type. These are better at powered cross country flight and are often called touring motor gliders.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_HK36_Super_Dimona

 

The retractable engine type where the engine is mounted on a pylon and retracts into the fuselage behind the wing. These look just like any other pure glider when the engine is retracted. These can have glide angles up in the 60-1 area. These are best when flown cross country as a glider.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleicher_ASH_25

 

The sustainer type. These have a small retractable engine that is not powerful enough to take off, but will climb at about 150 fpm in flight. These are meant to get you home at the end of the day when the thermals have stopped.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAK-17

 

You can also train for authority to perform various levels of maintenance from daily inspection right through to annual inspection and minor to major repairs.

 

In the early days most gliders were home built, but not so many in the last 50 years or so. There are not many modern designs out there. Certainly, to achieve high performance, the wing skins need to be made from composite materials in a mould to get laminar airflow over as much of the surface as possible.

 

Garry Morgan is doing some interesting work at the moment. http://www.morganaeroworks.com.au/

 

Hope I haven't bored you to tears. 072_teacher.gif.7912536ad0b89695f6408008328df571.gif

 

Robert

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Thanks Rastus all the information you provided is very useful thanks for taking the time to reply. I was under the impression I would need a separate glider license than my HG license. I just need to find the closest club to Wollongong! Much appreciated!

 

 

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Go to the CASA website and read CAR21. You can design and build a home built aircraft but doing it properly is a big deal unless you get a kit. A Xenos isn't a bad suggestion. Just register it RAAus. Nobody will know you turned the engine off if you are a long way from an airfield. Just start it for landing. The GFA isn't interested in homebuilding. There is at least one Xenos on the RAAus register.If you want to put up with gliding clubs and the GFA I'd visit one and see if you can stomach it. Many can't. As far as I'm concerned the locations and internal politics of most gliding clubs give them the ambience of a Soviet era collective farm crossed with a decaying hippie colony.

 

The above is why gliding is in decline world wide and the world is awash in quite nice composite gliders going for not a lot of money. I wouldn't pay more than $10000 to $12000 for an airworthy Standard Cirrus or Libelle with trailer , instruments and radio.

 

It depends on what kind of gliding you want to do. Self launch is a great idea. After 49 years in gliding I've come to the conclusion the sport will never amount to much until all gliders are self launching.

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Thanks Mike glad for the heads up on the club scene ha! I flew hangliders in Switzerland for 5 years and miss travelling for 3 km in the van then standing at 2000m to launch. I saw some self launch non motorised cockpit gliders over there unfortunately geographically we don't have the location,s close to where I live to head that way! Thanks for the information.

 

 

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the RAA is going the way the GFA has gone. You can't do any training in a homebuilt at all, eventually the RAA will ban BFRs in homebuilts.

Yea I mean I don't have any information on other countries rules but there seems to be a lot of red tape in regards to building / flying aircraft in Australia!

 

 

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If you have a fixed motor not retractable, you can reg. it RAA if its not,rego is with GFA and a lot of paper work. It comes down on what performance you want and what you want to do with it. With any home built the more you do your self the cheaper it is .

 

 

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