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Thread: Ssdr raven

  1. #41
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    Raven wings were made by 4 different lofts over the years - the original Southdown, Raven International, Hornet and Medway. ( I once witnessed a whole bunch of beautifully manufactured, brand new wings destroyed with Stanley knife and angle grinder under the eyes of a lawyer when Medway and Hornet fell out over manufacturing rights...)

    As far as I know, all flew pretty consistently, and I've not seen or experienced wild divergences (in characteristics - not actual divergence!). Having said that, anyone who knows Raven wings will know they live on the edge of neutrality in both pitch and roll. So one day you can rig and feel very mild divergence (let the bar go and it might wander lazily into your chest), and the next time you rig, it's quite stable.

    I've experimented with both glassfibre wing tips and sealing up the top side rigging wire exit points on the wing and learned you just don't want to go there!

    The only strangeness between wings is on the Hornet, who's control frame is rigged further forwards for the side-by-side trike they made. The front and rear flying wires were altered to do this, but not the side wires. Because of the geometry, this results in the side wires increasing in tension. This has two effects: when you trap your fingers in the top of the control frame whilst rigging, it hurts even more than with the standard rig, and it gives the wing slightly more anhedral. So it's even lighter in roll than the standard. This makes flying in turbulence a dream - I wish my Chaser were half as nice.

    Difference between the Raven and Raven X was the trike, I think - not the wing. In fact, just checked my TADS list and there is no 'Raven' without an 'X'. Also I can't say I've noticed any difference between a Southdown Raven or the Hybred one.

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  3. #42
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Arielarts View Post
    Raven wings were made by 4 different lofts over the years - the original Southdown, Raven International, Hornet and Medway. ( I once witnessed a whole bunch of beautifully manufactured, brand new wings destroyed with Stanley knife and angle grinder under the eyes of a lawyer when Medway and Hornet fell out over manufacturing rights...)

    As far as I know, all flew pretty consistently, and I've not seen or experienced wild divergences (in characteristics - not actual divergence!). Having said that, anyone who knows Raven wings will know they live on the edge of neutrality in both pitch and roll. So one day you can rig and feel very mild divergence (let the bar go and it might wander lazily into your chest), and the next time you rig, it's quite stable.

    I've experimented with both glassfibre wing tips and sealing up the top side rigging wire exit points on the wing and learned you just don't want to go there!

    The only strangeness between wings is on the Hornet, who's control frame is rigged further forwards for the side-by-side trike they made. The front and rear flying wires were altered to do this, but not the side wires. Because of the geometry, this results in the side wires increasing in tension. This has two effects: when you trap your fingers in the top of the control frame whilst rigging, it hurts even more than with the standard rig, and it gives the wing slightly more anhedral. So it's even lighter in roll than the standard. This makes flying in turbulence a dream - I wish my Chaser were half as nice.

    Difference between the Raven and Raven X was the trike, I think - not the wing. In fact, just checked my TADS list and there is no 'Raven' without an 'X'. Also I can't say I've noticed any difference between a Southdown Raven or the Hybred one.

    Arielarts,

    Thank you very much for your detailed reply to Job_CF's post. I found it very interesting to read of the history of these amazing wings. As to the trikes. The one I've got is a Hybred trike with an inverted 503 on the back, and fitted with the later pod, the one they used on the 912 version of the plane. I happen to know this because the actual pod fitted to mine came from a written off 912. I've just finished replacing the original stainless steel front forks with a set of P+M front forks that have suspension and a rudimentary front brake. It wasn't too hard to do because the dimensions are pretty much identical, but I wanted the suspension and brake as I'm used to having them on my P+M aircraft (Q and XL).

    Although I'm certainly no expert on the differences between the Raven X and the Hybred, nevertheless a couple of things stand out. Like the fact that the Raven X trike had a single monopole pylon whereas the Hybred has two pylons mounted side by side. The Raven X had a teardrop fuel tank mounted above the engine whereas the Hybred has a thing shaped like a squared off beer keg instead. I'm sure there are also less obvious differences, but those are the two that caught my eye when comparing them.

    It would have been good if Medway had mounted the engines the right way up as there would have been room to fit a large single tank like the P+M trikes, but with the huge underseat tank it still has a very useful range, despite the thirst of the 503. If I can't sell my Hybred Raven when I've finished rebuilding it, I might try to replace the 503 with an upright 462. This engine is not only more powerful than the 503, but it is also much more economical, and is the engine I've got on both my P+M trikes.


  4. #43
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    Obviously, I was talking about flying characteristics, not trike mechanical ones, when commenting that there was little difference between Southdown and Hybred...
    I think the dual monopole was either a response to the single monopole failure of a Sprint (which was subsequently found to be the result of a failed whipstall and subsequent tumble/tuck), or to avoid stocking large diameter tubing - probably the latter. If you're hoping to keep it dual seat and permitted, you are in for a tough time getting an upright 462 install approved. It would need a new engine mount and I can envisage major bureaucratic issues getting that approved. Nothing wrong with an inverted installation and it pushes the C of G lower, which is always a good thing. I understand your wish to get a large underseat tank though.

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  6. #44
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    Raven

    Quote Originally Posted by Arielarts View Post
    Obviously, I was talking about flying characteristics, not trike mechanical ones, when commenting that there was little difference between Southdown and Hybred...
    I think the dual monopole was either a response to the single monopole failure of a Sprint (which was subsequently found to be the result of a failed whipstall and subsequent tumble/tuck), or to avoid stocking large diameter tubing - probably the latter. If you're hoping to keep it dual seat and permitted, you are in for a tough time getting an upright 462 install approved. It would need a new engine mount and I can envisage major bureaucratic issues getting that approved. Nothing wrong with an inverted installation and it pushes the C of G lower, which is always a good thing. I understand your wish to get a large underseat tank though.

    Arielarts,

    Thank you for your prompt post. Regarding the switch from single pylon to dual pylon on the Raven trikes, a friend of mine, who also owns a Hybred Raven had the frightening experience of finding one of his pylons cracked almost all the way round one year when he inspected it. I believe the other one was also cracked, although not so badly. What made it particularly frightening was that the cracks were on the part of the pylons that's hidden by the engine mounting, so it was only by good fortune that he decided to strip his trike down one year for a complete inspection, otherwise he may not have found the problem until it was too late. He told me later that the Hybred dual pylons are not sleeved like the single pylons of my P+M trikes, so if the outer is cracked, there's no inner sleeve to help take the strain.

    Regarding any mods I may choose to do to the Raven, perhaps I should explain that all 4 of my microlights are SSDR. Three of them are trikes, a Q, an XL, and the Raven. The Q and XL both have upright 462's fitted and 47ltr plastic tanks. The Raven has an inverted 503, and I have an underseat tank for it, but as I've had the trike in bits while I changed the forks, I haven't yet flown with it.

    My fourth microlight is a Minimax, powered by a 447 with CDi ignition.

    Due to me hurting my shoulders last year when I flew the FlyUK tour in a hybrid flexwing, consisting of the Raven wing with my XL 462 trike under it, I've decided to switch to 3 axis. To that end I've been receiving differences training in a Thruster. It's been a very good experience, and I now look forward to continuing my flying in a warmer, and less physically exhausting environment, but while I've still got my trikes, I want to make sure they're as good as I can get them. That's why I've toyed with the idea of removing the inverted 503 engine on the Hybred trike, and replacing it with a spare 462 engine I happen to have. However, as Dompech found out, 462's don't take to inverted fitment very well, so if I do go ahead with the conversion I would want to fit it upright instead. However, as I'm seriously running out of time and energy I may just choose to get the Raven back together, and sell all of the trikes in order to concentrate on just flying the 'max.

    So that you can see what the hybrid plane looks like here's a picture of the flex as I flew it, complete with lots of luggage, and the foam piece I had to put on the seat in order to raise me, and therefore lower the A frame base tube position. The photo was taken at East Fortune.

    East Fortune 2016 small.jpg

    Best regards,
    Attached Images Attached Images


  7. #45
    Captain Bob T's Avatar
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    I owned both a Raven X and a 44XLR. They both had inverted engines, a 447 and then a 503. They both had two fuel tanks the one above the engine and one below the seat, with a change over lever just behind the passengers right shoulder. The X was my first trike having learned on a Quantum, but was much nicer to fly than the Quantum.
    Wonderful machines to fly as far as the wing goes, but that tank change over lever caused some problems. I was flying to the continent when we dropped into what was RAF Manston only to find the the engine stopped on finals. I had to change the tanks over and restart to taxi off the runway.
    I used to have a pair of RAF issue trainers with the heel worn away where I used to shove it against the nose wheel as I had no brakes. Must have been 20 years ago now.


  8. #46
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    Not sure why Dom thinks the 462 is not good inverted, though I admit, I've never seen one. The installation instructions cater for inverted with special arrangements re coolant bleeding. Your Raven hybrid (not Hybred) looks gorgeous and I'm surprised you are having to go to the dark side when it's so light in comparison to the competition.
    Yes, I've also found cracks in a Hybred 'duopole' during inspection. And it's a right faff dropping the engine with its stiffeners to check.


  9. #47
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    I'd be well tempted to modify the Peggy trike to a shortened monopole - paying due regard to prop clearances. (And 4" is a bit tight - you'd be surprised how much the whole airframe distorts and rear flying wires go slack when one wheel hits a rabbit hole!) An Ivoprop is worse as you need to give lots of room in front of it as it's really flexible.
    I realise modifying the monopole precludes swapping the XL or Q wings though.


  10. #48
    Co-Pilot Job_CF's Avatar
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    It was a long time ago, I could be wrong, but speaking from memory, Raven had Fuji Robin EC-44-PM engines.
    May be it is this engine that differentiates Raven from Raven X


  11. #49
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    Yeah. You could be right. Just couldn't find a TADS for it.


  12. #50
    Co-Pilot Job_CF's Avatar
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    I will be talking to Roy in a week or two, will ask.
    He lives near Oshkosh. Has a string of patents under his belt.
    Now working on an innovative hovercraft project.
    One of the talented people that the microlight industry and the sport lost, thanks to the Section 'S' bureaucracy.


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