View Full Version : Pimp my ride

16-09-11, 18:38 PM
Over the spring and early summer I pimped my ride thanks to Paul McMahon and Steve Newlands for their help. We were able to find an old unloved broken XL trike complete with engine which proved to be a treasure. From this we put an electric start onto my machine, battery and battery compartment, new wiring and power which now powers my radio and the installation of a GPS. Upgraded my fuel tank from a 24 litre metal tank to a 47 litre plastic tank. The final upgrade was a new set of Bat Spats from Robin Howie. It is a work in progress as I have a few other bits and pieces to finish off, such as connecting up the EGT senders and installing a coolant overflow bottle, but she is looking better every few months. Hard to believe it's the same tired, unloved little flex I rescued from rotting away in a Hanger just over a year ago.

I am loving this little machine. Best thing I ever did. Can't wait to get back up in ELV again soon.


16-09-11, 19:33 PM
Nice trike Damien. Really smart instrument panel. I too have a pair of Robin Howie Bat Spats on my Q - very fetching they are too! I firmly believe they are a big help with yaw stability as well as looking great.

16-09-11, 19:49 PM
Did you put the Rotax 462 on this trike and was it a 447 in the past? as that prop looks to close to the keel tube and an XL with 462 has 2 mods, longer pylon and reinforcing in base tube, I would have that pylon checked out before flight as it don’t look right, the trike looks good, nice and clean.


16-09-11, 21:16 PM
Yes I know, I thought so too at first, but it is well clear and outside the limit, we measured the monopole correctly. The trike has always had a Rotax 462, however the monopole was replaced previously, but was taken from an old trike with a 462 also. I got my inspector to check it out against the service bulletin. All was ok. Thanks Brian, well spotted. Also note that I made an error by putting the wing back together with the keel tube inside the sail, looked right at the time to me, it's been rectified since. Believe it or not it slowed me down by 6 mph. Nothing like learning about Flexwings by renovating an old clapped out model.

Thanks Lorraine for your comments.


16-09-11, 21:41 PM
I made an error by putting the wing back together with the keel tube inside the sail, looked right at the time to me, it's been rectified since. Believe it or not it slowed me down by 6 mph.

Funny you should say that, we had a guy back in the early 90s rebuilt his XL and ask me if i would check fly it for him as it was flying slow and would only turn to the left. i had a good look at it with 6 other people, i flew an XL myself at that time and it all looked ok. i took off and it turned left to the point i only had up and down controls, so i decided to go up as the turn would have put me in the next field. i got it up to 2000 feet and managed two turns to the right at what was well below stall speed. now i knew i could land it but doing a circuit was not part of the landing, got it down by doing base leg about 40 feet short of the runway on the downwind and turning about 160 degrees from downwind to land ok. some other pilot came along and said the keel tube is fitted wrong.

Terry Viner
17-09-11, 20:06 PM
I see that your VNE on the trike is 67mph, doesnt it seem as though your standing still compared to your Skyranger.


martin sanderson
17-09-11, 20:51 PM
looks good ,,, its great fun restoring old planes ,, bringing them back to life

i have almost finished doing a blade i bought it was all in bits rusted up covered in cow s'''''t and no engine ,, but as you can see from my small pic its looking quite good
will hopefully put lots of photos on from first bought to the finish

18-09-11, 10:32 AM
I'd love to see some pics Martin of your rebuild. It is well worth rebuilding an old machine and bringing them back to life.

Hi Terry, to be honest I far prefer flying the XL to flying the Skyranger. I have decided to sell my Skyranger again in the spring when the new flying season starts. 2 aircraft are one too many, I've fallen in love with weightshift flying and I have decided to just fly weightshift for a few years and build up my hours and experience. The Skyranger is a wonderful airplane, but I don't get to fly a quarter the hours I used to before my little boy arrived. The XL is slow and flies at half the speed as my Skyranger, but I am doing the same touring in the XL, it takes me twice as long to get anywhere, but that's twice the time in the air. A couple of months ago I toured all over Ireland in a weekend logging 18 hours in the XL, it was a fantastic adventure.