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  1. #51
    Wannabe Pilot William's Avatar
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    Fairly simple explanation I think. In Spain, microlights are not regarded as "proper aircraft" they are simply amusements for messing around in. So it is thought that for this sort of thing 1000 feet and local flying is perfectly adequate and doesn't get in the way of serious aviation.


  2. #52
    Co-Pilot Wexfordair's Avatar
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    I got a much needed 20 mins flight this evening just before dark in the quantum and i can't understand why everyone is not flying a flexwing. The only reason i can think is that they are way to expensive. Anyone with 50k to buy a new one is going to go 3-axis?? If a 912 flex was between 20 and 25 new would they sell? If i remember correctly a quik was around 20k 15 years ago when I started flying and were selling by the dozen


  3. #53
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wexfordair View Post
    If a 912 flex was between 20 and 25 new would they sell? If i remember correctly a quik was around 20k 15 years ago when I started flying and were selling by the dozen
    The engine component of a flexwing if it's a 912 is simply too much of the overall cost for affordable aircraft.

    If you took an old Quantum or Blade to P&M before their demise they'd turn the engine and instruments into a Quik or GT450 for about 22k.

    Despite other engines existing, there was a huge reluctance to investigate them, as the Rotax support is unrivalled, compared with the other options. If you can get 500 hours from a $3,000 snowmobile four stroke engine with a 90hp output from 1,000cc surely it must be worth a punt?

    It's also probably not worth seeking approval for a cheap two seater - you'd never get the money back after you'd been through approval as a new manufacturer and for the aircraft.

    It's worth looking at the newest version of budget aviation in Europe - the two seater powered parachute/parartrike.

    These are available for about 16k, trike about 11.5k, wing about 4.5k. There are loads of manufacturers, and a wide range of engines. However, in 37 years of Section S, only 4 models have ever been certified in the UK. Most of the European manufacturers have more than 4 models in their range. Not financially viable...

    Flexwings are now firmly in SSDR and sub 70kg territory. It's probably best for them to be there, as it's the one place that for now, gold plated regulation will not strangle them to death.

    If you have the ability to produce aircraft within the current UK factory approval system, you'd produce 100k 3 axis aircraft not 30k flexwings. You need a good revenue stream to keep your approval.

    That's just the cruel economics of things, and how low costs and gold plated regulation aren't going to exist in the same place.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  4. #54
    Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randombloke View Post
    ...........It's also probably not worth seeking approval for a cheap two seater - you'd never get the money back after you'd been through approval as a new manufacturer and for the aircraft..........

    ...........Flexwings are now firmly in SSDR and sub 70kg territory. It's probably best for them to be there, as it's the one place that for now, gold plated regulation will not strangle them to death.........

    ...........If you have the ability to produce aircraft within the current UK factory approval system, you'd produce 100k 3 axis aircraft not 30k flexwings. You need a good revenue stream to keep your approval.......
    So Section-S, the CAA's heavy handed regulation and the people resisting change are the real culprits.

    Well played chaps ....
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.


    The great thing about twin engined aircraft is, if one engine fails, the other engine always has just enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  5. #55
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    "The engine component of a flexwing if it's a 912 is simply too much of the overall cost for affordable aircraft."

    Steve U sums it up very well. In essence, the Rotax 912 has killed microlighting.
    Martin
    BMAA 5370
    Fixed wing instruction, examinations and revalidations in Norfolk.


  6. #56
    Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    But the 912 is not the only engine available.
    503's and 582's are perfectly capable of powering a 2-seater weight-shift !
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.


    The great thing about twin engined aircraft is, if one engine fails, the other engine always has just enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  7. #57
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentreau View Post
    But the 912 is not the only engine available.
    503's and 582's are perfectly capable of powering a 2-seater weight-shift !
    Of course they are, but that's not the point. New pilots almost always buy the same aircraft as they learned on - and the 912 is "more reliable than a two stroke, I'd never fly with a two stroke". Bosh of course, but that is the perception and that's what drives the market for new aircraft.
    Martin
    BMAA 5370
    Fixed wing instruction, examinations and revalidations in Norfolk.


  8. #58
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Limited knowledge but 400 hours on a 582 and she has never missed a beat. Just done a full overhaul after 700 hours total with the assistance of my qualified (not obligatory here in France) mechanic friend/instructor, the barrels still have there cross hatching, crank, two pistons and water pump changed. My instructor stated "he'd never seen a high hours engine in such good condition previously" had I done as I should and decoked the engine at regular intervals he recons I would not have had to change the pistons, one was a "little sad". Why, maybe because I use a good quality oil https://www.dllub.com/175-2-temps-aero I always warm up my engine to 50C before I leave the parking area in the belief that all engines require warming all component parts before belting it down the runway. Statements such as "I never fly with a two stroke" from an instructor only serves to generate the previously mentioned "perception" and create more mistrust in a technology that has served very well in the past, today and probably into the future for those not fortunate enough to be able to afford a latest all singing and dancing four stroke, which seems, in spite of it's huge price tag, still has more than its fair share of problems if reports are to be believed.
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  9. #59
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Now I've wrote that, the bugger is gunna go and let me down ... isn't it ???
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  10. #60
    Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetlag View Post
    ........Statements such as "I never fly with a two stroke" from an instructor only serves to generate the previously mentioned "perception" and create more mistrust in a technology that has served very well in the past, .......
    The problem is that the instructor ommits an important detail.
    "I never fly with a 2-stroke. Because it's not economical for the high hours that my machine flies"
    A logical statement for a school flyng hundreds of hours per year.

    Quote Originally Posted by jetlag View Post
    Now I've wrote that, the bugger is gunna go and let me down ... isn't it ???
    Always with the negative waves, Moriarty !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyh-JpWdGmQ
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.


    The great thing about twin engined aircraft is, if one engine fails, the other engine always has just enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


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