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Changing horses..

If it has to be a ULM, I guess I would look closer to these:

Aufwind GmbH
EKPB, Germany

Damn it, there are so many nice ones, it may be too difficult to choose and I’ll end up with 2! Would need to hide the 2nd one for the missus though.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Dimme wrote:

If I had the money (~100 000 EUR) I would get a Blackwing.

VNE 400 km/h (216 kts)
CRUISE SPEED 75% 278 km/h (150 kts)
STALL SPEED 65 km/h (35 kts)
FUEL CONSUMPTION 14 l/h (range 10h)
TAKEOFF DISTANCE 150 m (15 m obstacle)
LANDING DINSTANCE 300 m (15 m obstacle)
CLIMB RATE 7.6 m/s (1500 ft/min)
CABIN WIDTH 1.21 m (47.5")
MAX TOW 450 – 472.5 kg
EMPTY WEIGHT 297.5 kg (incl. BRS)
WINGSPAN / AREA 8.4 m / 9.4 m2

This isn’t all that impressive really, considering all carbon etc, and the price tag. When John Monnet designed the Sonex in 2000 or thereabout, almost 20 years ago, he designed it to fit the European microlight specs. It’s an aircraft made entirely of 6061 aluminium and pulled rivets. It has removable wings, and is an aircraft everyone builds themselves in their home/garages. The specs with a Jabiru 3300 (also microlight “certifiable”) is: (you can also use Rotax, ULPower, VW or any other engine that you are able to fit in there )

  • VNE 171 kts
  • CRUISE SPEED 75% 148 kts
  • STALL SPEED 35 kts
  • CLIMB RATE 1000 – 1400 ft/m
  • MAX TOW 450 (or whatever the rules say), max 522 suggested by the factory
  • EMPTY WEIGHT 281 kg ( + 12 for BRS)
  • WINGSPAN / AREA 6.7 m / 9.1 m2

My own Onex with 80 HP VW (same basic design, single seater with foldable wings, cannot be “certified” as microlight, but still):

  • VNE 188 kts
  • CRUISE SPEED 75% 135kts
  • STALL SPEED 39 kts
  • CLIMB RATE 700-900 ft/m
  • MAX TOW none suggested, but max 431 for aerobatic flying (+ COG limits).
  • EMPTY WEIGHT 271 kg
  • WINGSPAN / AREA 6.1 m / 7.8 (or 5.7 m / 7.3 m2)
  • ULTIMATE LOADFACTOR +9 / -6 G (has been tested to 11G)

With a bit more power (some are flying with Jabiru 3300, UL260 and UL350), my cruise speed will be 150 kts+. Endurance at that speed wouldn’t be much to talk about, but the Onex isn’t designed as a cruiser in any case, it’s a single seat aerobatic aircraft.

I mean, considering all the “R&D”, CFD, FEM, CAD/CAM [insert any engineering sounding acronym of your liking] – and fancy materials allegedly used on those top priced microlights, the performance doesn’t quite live up to the hype and price tag. You can build an aircraft yourself at home using “low tech” 6061 and pulled rivets that performs like the best of them. The only difference really, is that you would attract a different kind of women The really funny thing is, that when 600 kg limit becomes a reality, as it will in most of Europe in a couple of years, then one or several reincarnations of the Super Cub will (re)enter the market with a vengeance. Common sense has a tendency to win in the end, as it has done in the LSA market in the US.

Another thing worth considering is the laminar airfoil used on the “top fuel” microlights. I haven’t really investigated it with the WT9, but with the Atec I have specifically tried it. A clean airplane (dry, no water droplets) will stall at approximately 28 knots indicated. Stall isn’t the correct word perhaps, as the airplane doesn’t really stall (no wing flick etc), but still, it won’t fly slower. Then get the wing wet, even with the tiniest droplets, hardly visible, and the indicated “stall” speed rises to 50+ knots. The reason I tested it was an unexplainable hard landing in rain, when it seemingly just “fell down” from 2-3 feet at around 50 knots. What will this do with the top cruise speed? One can only speculate, but it will not improve it, that’s for sure.

I am all for microlights, but what you pay for isn’t necessarily what you think you get. The market is full of seemingly identical aircraft, that in reality are very different beasts. If you can afford a Black WIng, then by all means, get one (looks cool, fancy, carbon and glass, good performance and excellent comfort. Easy to fall in love with). Just don’t be fooled into believing that you get some high tech wonder designed by rocket scientist. You can build yourself equal performance aircraft by the simplest means in your own garage.

The elephant is the circulation

@mh: from what we have been told here, Mrs. Aart is not likely to approve of the Zlin thingy, nice as it may look to me. Besides I think @Aart is really looking for something more speedy – even the FK9 he considers is only a typical trainer with the typical 80 kts cruise. He has shown himself ready and prepared to downgrade but anything slower than 120 kts must look like threading water to him.

Myself was beginning to suggest an autogyro, but again these nice machines might fail to raise confidence with some; however much progress they have made in recent years.

Also: the above scepsis about laminar wing profiles corresponds neatly with my more general

those high-performance designs push engineering to the limits of both the rules and the limits imposed by physics

Didn’t Rutan’s canard pusher and its derivatives suffer from similar limitations? i.e. being CAVOK-only birds?

Last Edited by at 19 Nov 13:15
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Rain increasing stall speed of a laminar wing…. very good joke.

I know that the Scheibe Falke motor gliders do not fly well in rain. The aerodynamic characteristics of the wings change significantly.

Rain increasing stall speed of a laminar wing…. very good joke.

That’s a completely useless post.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Shorrick_Mk2 wrote:

Rain increasing stall speed of a laminar wing…. very good joke.

Some foils do if fact have some very strange characteristics, for example some un-stall at a very different angle of attack than what they stall at.

However the question is would you find those foils used in a certified aircraft, and I think the answer is not very likely because it would not get past the certification regime. When however you start to consider any foil in an uncertified aircraft you need to consider the possibility of some “unexpected” characteristics. Hopefully the designer either through design, or luck creates something that has flight characteristics that most would consider safe, but it’s certainly possible to create something that’s “unusual”.

Last Edited by Ted at 19 Nov 16:36
United Kingdom

I don‘t know if LSA is suitable for you. If so it might be worth taking a look at the Sonaca 200 (European version of the Sling).
They flew around the world with one so Menorca should feasable

Last Edited by Sir_Percy at 19 Nov 16:37

Rutan canard aircraft and derivatives typically display the same characteristics with tiny amounts of moisture, with the effect varying between designs depending on wing loading etc. Since the effect is mainly on the canard wing section there is also an associated pitch trim change, mitigated by canard design tweaks introduced along the way for some aircraft. They are not CAVU only planes.

My father built a Dragonfly in the early 1980s, essentially a Quickie Q2 with a lower wing loading. He could detect the slightest moisture in the air by the nose down pitch trim change, but it was manageable and didn’t get worse with more moisture. The Dragonfly was a dramatically efficient aircraft, and the rain sensitivity of the canard was part of the price paid for efficiency.

A lot of insects on that type of wing have the same effect as rain, which is I suppose why (certified) sailplane pilots are so careful to remove insects from the wing leading edges before flight.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 19 Nov 17:33
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