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If aeronautical engineers are assessing the base design and incremental changes, and there is a test program with a qualified test pilot, what could possibly go wrong?

 

 

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For interest, the mass balance system has already been designed for the Lightning. This was a requirement for the German authorities and this modification is standard for Lightning kits shipped to Germany.

 

 

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I thought the Lightning was a copy / spin off from a esqual vm1 and they went on from there changing it . The designer of the esqual got killed flight testing one off them which set the company back years until a new own took them on and totally changed how they where built to carbon fibre . I,m not sure of the tare weight of the Lightning but the first of the 912 esqual where 340 kg and the new model have down to 285kg a rocket with 16 to 18 per hour fuel burn at 130knots . That is cheap to run all around then a RV or GA and with the light tare weight doesn,t become so much of a death trap if the engine stops .I,m not sure why you would need to do 200 knots ? isn,t 200 kms fast enough for recreational flying . If you are going to have a low wing aircraft the slowest stall speed aircraft is so much safer .

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Our Lightning just got back from the paint shop.  It will be reassembled, the control runs will be installed and the interior will go in.  It’ll the be taken apart again and shipped to Adelaide to await the installation of the instrument panel and firewall forward.

 

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DB2C3AF7-C562-4991-B6F1-C33D7A6B5A4C.thumb.png.4fc8f21d59370e10496474a221a6c6c6.png

 

 

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Just wondering - what do you estimate your fly away (including registration but not insurance) cost is going to be ???

Kit cost US$36,000

 

Builder assist (2 weeks) US$8,000

 

Paint at factory US$11,000

 

Interior (carpets, side panel covering, seats) US$3,500

 

So total before shipping = US$58,500 = AU$81,000

 

then add (estimated)

 

Packing, Insurance and Shipping $12,000

 

GST on import $9,000

 

Instruments $20,000

 

VH rego - bugger all

 

Hull Insurance - will we even be able to get it?

 

200hp Turbine engine - Company provided 

 

so total cost around $122k plus engine.

 

Gulp!!  I’m glad this is a company expense!  This aircraft will be the test airframe for both our 200hp and 120hp Turbines and will also be our company demonstrator in Australia so we want it to be a high quality aircraft.

 

 

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Wow! If it all comes together you will have one hell of a big bang for the buck ,even though you did leave out a CS prop which will add a big chunk.

 

My guess, with conventional engine and CS prop will be north of $200,000,  no idea what a turbine will set you back.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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Wow! If it all comes together you will have one hell of a big bang for the buck ,even though you did leave out a CS prop which will add a big chunk.

My guess, with conventional engine and CS prop will be north of $200,000,  no idea what a turbine will set you back.

 

Good luck!

Yes, I forgot the $11,000 Airmaster constant speed prop...

 

Its our own engine so that’s not an issue for us.  The 200hp Turbine will retail for around $70k so someone else doing what we are doing would have around $200k in it, less for us as our engine is at cost.

 

That said, a good used Lightning can be picked up for $70k so our Lightning will be very expensive compared to say the Jab3300 Lightning’s available on the market now.  But it will serve our purposes in being the test and demo airframe for our engines.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest langted

Dave-

 

I haven't been on the forum for awhile, but I'm glad to see you finally got the bird home.   I did about 6 days of factory assist on my own lightning in October.   Since then I've done a little work on it, but I've largely been sorting other things out. That includes some infrastructure on the local airport workshop I'm renting.   Being an amateur mechanic, I had a lot of tools, including compressor.   But, airplanes are different and I found I needed a few tools....   resin....  fiberglass cloth.... bit parts and stuff not included in the kit.   Now that I'm finally getting traction on the project, it has gotten prematurely cold for the last 2 months (Winter in US) and my shop heat is not great.   Sigh.....  

 

After the build assist, I was able to bring it home on a large rented landscaping trailer, so fortunately I didn't have your HUGE shipping bill or import tax (but I do have 6% sales tax.).   Also, although not as cool or fast as your turbine, I opted for the Titan 340 with fixed pitch prop which is cheaper.    I'm planning to use a Prince propeller -- they are light weight, seem to have good performance, good reported factory support, they are reasonably priced, and I ride my bicycle past the factory every few days in the summer (Maybe I'll just strap it on back of my bike!)   My plan is to get everything fitted including instruments, then take it back to Shelbyville for paint, reassembly, and test flights.   Then fly it back home.   Schedule ???  Who can say at this point.    Hoping for next Fall.   (I know - naive).   

 

Do keep us posted on your project -- much more interesting than mine.  

 

Ted

 

 

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Hi Ted,

 

It’s good to hear of your progress.  The 340 with Prince prop should be good.  We ran a Prince P-tip on our Lightning Bug and it was an excellent prop.  Lonnie Prince makes a good product.

 

Our Lightning is still in Shelbyville getting the interior installed.  Hopefully, it will be packed up and shipped later this month but I suspect that Christmas will get in the way and it might end up being shipped during January.

 

We are certainly looking forward to getting it into our workshop here to finish the panel, firewall forward and fiddle bits.  All we need now is our engine ?

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

As luck would have it, our Lightning was delivered to our workshop in Adelaide a few weeks ago.  It has been unpacked and we shall shortly begin to assemble all the components that were removed for painting and were shipped loose, i.e. gear leg fairings, wheel spats etc.

 

Once assembled, we will generate the to-do list.  Obvious tasks left for us are to design and install the panel and complete the firewall forward development and finishing the installation of the engine, system and cowling.

 

Here are some photos of it in our workshop so you can see how it has turned out so far:

 

758F7D28-2DDF-4D66-8BFF-7BE1948E37B2.thumb.jpeg.165a55f1a4f840241ab991394efbe8ae.jpeg AC78CEE1-A5DD-4983-A4F3-50FF50CB771F.thumb.jpeg.dfc962f2b507a23c832d9a1ec4c62b74.jpeg 66FA5B71-ED40-471A-8C73-F2CBFAF16108.thumb.jpeg.2e9234207d4c48a0d6ec636ad3f21883.jpeg 0F8A8844-724C-4471-A3F0-AD2678699E8B.thumb.jpeg.eaa9e8f85b5254365bc2806388699dd0.jpeg

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Dave--

 

My Titan 340 powered lightning is about ready to fly.   Wondering about your progress?

 

In the meantime, it looks like my access to this site was terminated, maybe I didn't log on for too long.  Anyhow, signed back up with same name.

 

Ted

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I recently looked at a couple of Experimental Aircraft Channel Youtube videos on the Lightning and Jabiru engines and would love to see some videos or photos of your builds and flights. There is a Jab 3300 powered Lightning at Palmers Island near Yamba & the builder has done a superb job and spared no expense. His cruises easily at 130 knots.

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kgwilson --

 

Hopefully, I'll be getting my airworthiness inspection on June 16th or 17th (yes, this year).   I'll be sure to send some photos after that.   I'm guessing Nick of Arion might also put some on Arion's facebook page, since he typically does so.   

 

I went with the Titan 340 over the Jab mostly for a little more top end (expected cruise at around 165knts).  That said, I was sorely tempted to go with a Jab and a constant speed prop, which would have been a very sweet combination indeed.   

 

My ligthning is pretty typical for the XS types except it has an epoxy (vs vinyl ester) fuselage, BRS chute,  gear shortened by 2", and I eliminated the post that goes from between the seats up to the control panel.   I think after mine, they might have started using epoxy resin again--earlier models were also epoxy so it wasn't breaking new ground.   I got the legs shortened by 2" because I thought the standard XS gear was a little "spindly" and it was also a big step to get in (you might have noticed the steel XS legs are a LOT longer than the aluminum "classic" legs used with the Jabiru engines.   The classic legs are nicely proportioned).   Nick was comfortable with shortening them 2" at the time I started in 2018, but now some are another 2" shorter than mine, which looks even better.   As for the BRS option, I could probably do with or without it, but its one of those things that sounded good at the time and the wife likes the idea.   Center post elimination -- It was a bigger effort than you might guess, but I will like not having that post in middle!  It is easier to get access under the panel and it has easier ingress/egress, along with the illusion of more leg room.   

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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2021 at 2:05 PM, langted said:

Hi Dave--

 

My Titan 340 powered lightning is about ready to fly.   Wondering about your progress?

 

In the meantime, it looks like my access to this site was terminated, maybe I didn't log on for too long.  Anyhow, signed back up with same name.

 

Ted

Hi Ted,

 

Our Lightning is sitting patiently in our workshop, waiting for us to complete the development of our turboprop engine so that it can be installed.  We are delaying the installation of a panel until we have settled on what avionics package to use with our engine.

 

I shall be looking forward to seeing your aircraft in it’s finished state and in particular, to get your feedback on its flying qualities and performance when fitted with the -340.

 

I wish you and your test pilot all the best for the maiden flights.

 

Dave

 

 

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A1685001-CBD5-4EAE-956E-4ECA24C9E1DB.jpeg

Edited by TurbAero
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Dave:  I Love your interior!  I'm not surprised that the engine isn't ready yet.   It always takes 3 times longer than your worst nightmare (especially near the tail end of a project) and that's not even counting COVID!   But what a sweet demo plane it'll be when its ready!   

 

Mine is waiting for the guy to put the upholstery in.  When will happen, I'm not sure even the Great Almighty knows!   But at least it can fly without it.  Wiring is about 95% and my panels are in place and have been fired up.   I have two Dynon 10" screens and a Garmin 650 -- that uses up about all the available real estate.   If I had it to do over, from a panel perspective, I think I would have gone with a 10" and a 7" screen to give a few more options for other stuff.  

 

I am planning on Driving back to Shelbyville on June 15, and hoping for an airworthiness inspection on June 16 or 17.    Ill report back once its flying.

 

Ted 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Ted,

 

We had our interior done by Nick’s interior guy.  It took a loooong time to get done and required a fair bit of pestering to get done.  But once in the aircraft, we were very happy with the results.

 

We have been thinking of a 10” and 7” for our panel.  We would like all the bells and whistles so autopilot etc.  We have not yet settled on Garmin or Dynon but are leaning towards the G3X suite.

 

If you get any video from the first flight, please post it on Nick’s Facebook page if you are on Facebook.  If you can put it here as well, I’m sure there will be many viewers here that would like to see it.

 

I wish you all the best for next week and for a smooth first flight.

 

Dave

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