Dec 11th

'it's a little airyplane'

By monty stone

i frequently trailer my trike, and often, inquisitive earthlings ask 'what is it'?  well, trike don,t cut it. their little kiddie has a trike, and it don't fly!  using fed-speak 'flex-wing' only makes it seem dangerous! so, i usually tell 'em 'it's a little airyplane', which seems to satisfy the average proleteriat, but one little snot-nosed pre-adolescent asked 'who flyes it for you? obviously his part-formed logic-center (centre to my anglo buds)  couldn't equate how a pot-belly, bald, funny-talking octogenerian could possibly master this fearsome array of tubes and wires, when i admitted " i do" he walked away muttering 'lying old coot! another time when i was busy 'fettling' my trike a feminine  voice behind me said  "it's bigger than i expected". well! it's been a LONG time, if ever, that i,ve heard similar words! the voice belonged to a little old lady out walking her dog, which had not stuffed its snout into my crotch, nor had 'it' tried to hump my leg, so i didn't know she was there. she lived locally and said she enjoyed watching me fly my 'little airyplane' and that it 'looked like fun'. i agreed, it was fun 'flying my little airyplane'.. ps. for the non-anglophiles 'fettling' refers to tightening the swathes of baleing wire seemingly applied to those parts most likely to fall off, also wrapping another layer of duct-tape to any weather ravedged tape already applied to cover something we would rather not see any more, etc.  pps. some years ago  we 'trike drivers' had a lively discussion as to what it is that we fly. hardly anyone suggested 'flex-wing', but that's what we're stuck with. so be it.  but i still like to think i fly 'a little airyplane' it's more fun that way.  ppps i remember when SEX was fun and FLYING was dangerous! but, now.....                       monty

Dec 7th

Any Trike Pilots that also fly PPGs Powered Paragliders

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi,

Is there any pilots on this forum that also fly PPGs? I have been thinking about exploring PPG flying in 2015.

I have done some research on it, my biggest fear like most new pilots would be the wing collapsing. Personally, I think this can be a great form of aviation. My inspiration to explore this field came from reading the book, "Running into the sky by Chris Wolf".

If there is anyone who was/is a PPG  pilot then I would like to hear your story and experiences and recommendations.

Regards,

Rizzy

Dec 5th

New Trike World Records

By Craig Valentine
FAI has announced three new trike world records:
. Speed over a closed course, 40 km:
    Flown with 2 persons, Gordon Douglass pilot, UK
   P&M QuikR,  Rotax 912, 106.11 MPH

. Speed over a straight course:
    Flown with 2 persons, Gordon Douglass pilot,  UK
   P&M QuikR,  Rotax 912, 106.78 MPH

.Distance  in a straight line without landing:
    Flown with 2 persons,  Olena Ostahova pilot, Ukraine
   Aeros 2, Rotax 912, 438.17 miles

 All three of these report a Rotax 912, and I don't know if in fact they were 912s's. It's easy to pull the bar in on a QuikR to 120 MPH but it's difficult to keep it pulled in and maintain that speed.  I would think it would be easy to fly a QuikR over a 110 MPH for an hour or more but very difficult with any wind at all over a closed circuit. Any wind hurts rather than helps you in a circuit. And as far as the two up 438 mile distance...I don't know about two up but one up it would be easy to more than double that mileage with an additional gas tank. There are lots of records out there to be had. It's difficult jumping through the FAI's hoops to properly certify these attempts, however.

IMHO the ultimate World Trike Record is an American Transcontinental Speed Record. I've flown coast to coast five times but never trying to set a record. I thought I was going to be the first person to set a San Diego to Jacksonville speed record and it can be done in well under 24 hours. Alas, it will not be me, probably someone younger.

Congrats to Gordon and Olena but why are the Euros getting all the Glory?
Dec 3rd

Cloudbase Foundation Donations

By John Olson
In the spirit of the Holidays I'd like to announce that from today until New Year 2015, all the proceeds from the paperback versions of my three thrilling novels that are purchased at Amazon.com will be donated to the Cloudbase Foundation. I think you'll agree they are very pretty. As you might imagine, there is plenty of flying in my books too, and they smell great.
Tales From The Wild Blue Yonder *RECIPES FOR DISASTER*
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982070322
Tales From The Wild Blue Yonder *LIVING DANGEROUSLY* 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982070306
Tales From The Wild Blue Yonder *TAKING MEXICO FLYING*
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982070349
Here is what some readers have to say about them;
http://talesfromthewildblueyonder.blogspot.com/?m=1
Thrillogy2.jpg 
 
Nov 4th

Season's discount on Apollo Delta Jet II - Order by Dec 15, 2014

By Abid Farooqui
Hi All:
There is a significant discount of $3500 being offered for first quarter 2015 deliveries for orders placed by Dec 15, 2014. That's like getting an upgrade to 100 HP and a radio installed for free.
Please check http://www.deltajet2.com
for specs and configurator. The discount will be on the prices gotten there.
Happy and safe flying. 
Oct 12th

Books or movies on trike flying

By Rizwan Bukhari
Hi all,

I just got done with my final Securities exam, so now I have a lot of free time to read.

I would like to know if there is any book or videos that you can recommend, related to flying and flying adventures, they don't necessarily have to be about trike flying but any kind of flying related interesting book or video that you enjoyed or it inspired you.

I would appreciate your recommendations.

Regards,

Rizzy
Oct 11th

Sport Pilot WSC in quick order!

By Doug Boyle
image.jpgJackye Reynolds bought a BB trike on eBay a couple of months ago and decided it was time to get her Pilot's Certificate.  Having logged many hang gliding and ultralight flights over the decades, she began C-152 training a few years ago and soloed but never finished.

 We hooked up two weeks ago in a role reversal, she having been my Hang 3 instructor 40 years ago, and decided to live, eat, and breathe the training required to "get ur dun".  Three back-to-back days of L&V winds had her soloing the Airborne 912 and almost ready to take her Written Test.  Once passed she called Examiner Jonny Thompson and arranged a Checkride in Currituck, NC for the next day.

 A cold front was threatening to interfere with the plans, but we went to the airport anyway just to see what developed on the backside of the NC mountains.  We took off when we learned the front went stationary over the mountains and enjoyed 20 knot tailwinds the whole way.

Jonny Thompson was there to meet us upon landing and suggested Jackye get started on the Oral right away.  By the end of the day the winds laid down and they started the Flight Test.  She passed with flying colors and we left the next morning for home.  Within 60 hours of passing her Written and a week of flying, Jackye Reynolds earned the Sport Pilot rating that had eluded her for years for one reason or another.  She truly set the goal and hunkered down and "got ur done!"  Congratulations Jackye for a job well done!
Oct 7th

10 most FAQ for trike pilots getting started

By Paul Hamilton
With at least 1000 basic questions asked and answered here this year 2014  is the questions and answers. Any input from any one will be considered for this intro to trike flying.

The most common asked questions on buying a trike.

How much do they cost?

For a NEW two place Light sport Aircraft anywhere between $40,000 for basic no options to $110,000 for the top of the line fully loaded. Fully loaded adds options such as a radio/com system, ballistic safety parachute system, more powerful/reliable engine, transponder, enclosed body, hydraulic disk brakes, lights, upgraded tires, etc… Most of these options have lower and higher cost alternatives all add to the large price variation.

Used two place trikes that are flyable and considered safe can range from $10,000 to $90,000 all depending on age, condition and options.

Single place new ultralight trikes can range in price from $12,000 to $25,000 dollars with used from $5,000 to $20,000.

Are trikes safe?

They are as safe as you make them. It is like asking are cars safe. Yes cars and trikes are safe but it is the operators that create the danger. With a properly maintained trike, proper training and good decision making for flying, trikes are as safe as driving a car. Almost all accidents are a result of pilot error in some form or fashion.

How fast do they go?

Depending on the size of the wing, the weight and the size of the engine, you can cruise at speeds ranging from 25 MPH to 100 MPH.

How long can you stay up and how far can you go?

Depending on the size of the fuel tank and the type of engine you can stay up for 5 hours and fly as far as 400 miles on one tank of gas.

Where can you take off and land?

With the proper aircraft and pilot certification, any where an airplane can including large and small airports. Additionally, you can land on dirt roads, fields and in reasonably small areas.  If equipped for outback operation you can land in reasonably rough terrain and with floats you can take off and land with on water.

Do you need a pilot’s license?

For a two place you need an FAA Sport pilot license minimum but for a single place ultralight no license is required.

How long does it take and how much does it cost to get a pilot’s license?

Minimum 20 hours training for a license but it usually takes about 35 hours to become proficient as a pilot. Cost is from $4000 to $10000 to get a sport pilots license, about half the cost of a private pilot airplane license. This cost can vary greatly depending on how fast you pick it up, how much you study on your own, and how frequently you take lessons. The best training schedule is to fly every other day. If you come for an accelerated course, and you study ahead of time you can get through the course in about 2 weeks.

What is the best plan to learn to fly?

It is hard to find a full time trike instructor near you therefore you may have to travel. If this is the case, I suggest that you fly with an instructor for about a week until you are ready to solo, than you are educated enough to buy your own trike, than you solo in your own trike.

How do I get started?

Simply get the training materials to start studying on your own or simply go take your first flight lesson.

Where do I find trike instructors near me?

The best place is the listing at http://trikepilot.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-locator/

Oct 1st

Changing wings on your carriage

By Abid Farooqui
There is a lot of talk, questions, comments about replacing wings on existing trikes with new wings. Sometimes from other suppliers than original trike manufacturer.

Well, depending on certain factors this could be a great safe experience or it could be a real pain in the neck or a complete safety disaster.

Let us look at the areas involved to make this happen properly.
1) Legality (US only discussion)
2) Function and Fitment 
3) Safety and Support

1) LEGALITY (US Only): Legally speaking if you own a S-LSA trike, you cannot change a thing without manufacturer's consent in writing prior to making the change. Consult your POH and you manufacturer to get a list of approved recommended wings for your trike and purchase them through your manufacturer only or you could find yourself to be illegal fined by FAA on ramp checks or during incident investigations up to $10,000.00 per infraction (an occurance of infraction would be each time you flew the trike with an unapproved wing). You could also lose your license and get your machine impounded. 

So on a S-LSA trike, stick with your manufacturer only. You don't have any choice in the matter. It also keeps your trike's re-sale value higher. 

Keep logs of all changes and maintenance to the wing. The leading edge tubes are flexing and they are Aluminum and there is a limit of cycles that they can take before they should be retired. Look at your maintenance manual.   Sail should be checked with a Bettsometer or using recommended method and tool by your manufacturer.

 2) FUNCTION AND FITMENT:
One of the joys of flying trikes is that you can change the wing and get two completely different aircraft. Most manufacturers offer multiple wings that are all tested to fit and function properly on their carriage geometries for this purpose. If there is a reason or argument to buy another wing, you are becoming a test pilot unless the wing maker can tell you that the wing has been tested and fitted to a certain carriage. Tread carefully. Not all wings will fit all trike carriage geometries. This can get to the point of being unsafe. If you are an experienced trike pilot used to flying multiple wings, this may be ok for you. If not then this is not something you should be attempting without help. Sticking with manufacturer's approved wings may be a better idea in this case. The things to consider here are
a) Control frame geometry
b) Flying wires positioning the control bar in appropriate trim/neutral position
c) Drag profile of the wing versus carriage
d) Hang block (this is generally not a part of a wing and is purchased separately or made separately)

Some wings just have different control frames and they may just not be right for your carriage. This may place control bar too far ahead or too far into your stomach at what should be neutral bar position speed. The control bar may sit way too high or way too low. Control frame may not clear the front of the trike because its too short etc. etc. Changes to control frame make a lot of difference and other things would have to change. Possibly not worth it for a one off.

Flying wires position the control bar at an appropriate spot for the expected speed range in the proper tested CG range of the wing. CG range of the wing is crucial for stability. CG of the carriage not so much. You should not go away from the recommended CG range of the wing in order to position your control bar at the right spot. Changing flying wires however, also changes dihedral of the wing which can change handling. So again may not be worth it for a one-off.

Hangblock that mates the carriage to the wing is a crucial safety item. This is where you are hanging from and also putting all your control inputs on. It needs to fit and function properly. Many items slight customizations are expected. Hangblocks are generally not a part of the wing and are expected to be purchased or made separately.

3) SAFETY AND SUPPORT
When you are going away from your manufacturer approved wings to another wing maker, its important to know if they will work to support your installation and provide you continued airworthiness support. After all, in my mind the only critical sub-assembly in the whole trike is the wing. You can land with a broken wheel, bent axle or many other things on the carriage and you will probably walk away cursing. You cannot land with a broken wing. Trike carriages in production today are almost always more than strong enough. Its the wing and power loading that will determine your safety and your ability to get out of dodgy situations. 
Look to see if the wing maker keeps records of critical lot numbers of the tubing or sail lots used in the wing. Keep to see if he releases safety directives for his wing models. Take a look at some of his safety directives or safety alerts. Safety is not just achieved from the actual metal and machine. IOts a whole approach and system around the machine that develops a safety protocol and continued airworthiness system.

In conclusion, going away from approved wings is a task undertaken with care. Your experience and knowledge and willingness of the wing maker to support you may determine how it will go. Its easier to get novice to intermediate performance wings to fit on most machines within reason without issue. Higher performance wings have lower drag profile and their carriages are purpose built and matched to allow high performance while being safe as a system. There are no short cuts to this. You put a high performance wing on a mediocre trike without proper testing and I can guarantee you, you are loosing some safety. Low speed draggy things hide a lot of faults that show up at higher speeds. Be careful.
Sep 30th

New Delta Jet 2 Performs!

By Todd Halver

We have had many inquiries on the performance of the NEW Delta Jet 2 with the Cheval 12.4M wing.  I thought I would give some real life results from a recent flight.

This DJ2 is equipped with a Rotax 912ULS 100hp and the tundra tire option and has a useful load of 540 lbs. This flight was one up with me at 240lbs, full fuel (14 gallons), density altitude 1,700, temperature 24, dew point 20.  Keep in mind that Delta Jet 2 has a proper static port to report airspeed that is much more accurate than some set-ups.  This DJ2 is equipped with the new Sterna three blade composite propeller.

  • Take off with trim in full slow position delivered 1150 fpm climb at 63 mph turning 5325 rpm
  • With the DJ2 trimmed for full fast and turning 5640 rpms my level cruise speed was 102 mph
  • At full fast trim and bar pulled into my gut speed topped 112 mph at 5700 rpm
  • When set at full slow cruise I was able to settle in at 65-67 mph
  • Trimmed for medium cruise speed delivered 82 mph at 4650 rpm
  • Powering up to 5,000 rpm put my cruise at 89 mph

The Cheval 12.4 is a light in roll and great tracking wing.  We use lexan winglets and in testing I found I gained 3 mph speed with the winglets than without and improved turning performance.   The wing is stable and delivers a very slow stall speed.  In fact, power off stalls in level flight yield no buffeting and the nose just leans over into a gentle descent.  The full stall position would actually be at a point beyond the compression strut.

Having trained in an Airborne XT, flown and owned both a Tanarg and a Revo for a number of years, I have to say the DJ2 has exceeded my expectations both in performance and true value.