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  1. #1
    Co-Pilot Halibut's Avatar
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    Crossing the Channel in a Thruster

    Would I be able to do it? With my wife and a raft?
    If you're hanging on to a rising balloon, you're presented with a difficult decision - let go before it's too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?


  2. #2
    Trainee Pilot Diyan's Avatar
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    I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to as long as it's mechanically sound. Thrusters are quite capable machines even as tourers.


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    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    The aircraft is certainly capable and it's been done fairly routinely. I've seen a photo of a UK based TST flying past the Eiffel tower even.
    But you'd be quite restricted for luggage, and probably wouldn't be able to take a life raft.
    So then there is the question of your appetite for risk (and your passenger's). Do you want to do it without a raft? How would you get on if you had to ditch?
    Personally I'm not going to fly out of easy gliding range of land in any single piston engined aircraft. But there are many more intrepid aviators than me who do - Roger M being one of them.
    Martin
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    Co-Pilot Peter Twissell's Avatar
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    Based on 8:1 glide ratio, 8,600ft altitude will get you 13 miles of glide.
    G-BZNP Still not dead, but resting following engine failure.


  6. #5
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Twissell View Post
    Based on 8:1 glide ratio, 8,600ft altitude will get you 13 miles of glide.
    Yes indeed. And for crossing the Channel I'd want to factor in
    - arriving at land at least 1000' above the ground (cliff tops?) to have a reasonable chance of finding a good spot to land
    - the effect of wind
    - a good margin for error

    As a matter of interest I read recently that when Bleriot made his successful crossing his engine had never previously run continuously for long enough to make the trip. That really was a gamble!
    Martin
    BMAA 5370


  7. #6
    Co-Pilot Halibut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Watson View Post
    The aircraft is certainly capable and it's been done fairly routinely. I've seen a photo of a UK based TST flying past the Eiffel tower even.
    But you'd be quite restricted for luggage, and probably wouldn't be able to take a life raft.
    So then there is the question of your appetite for risk (and your passenger's). Do you want to do it without a raft? How would you get on if you had to ditch?
    Personally I'm not going to fly out of easy gliding range of land in any single piston engined aircraft. But there are many more intrepid aviators than me who do - Roger M being one of them.
    So, basically, and tell me if Iím getting this wrong, as I so often do, youíre saying I can only do it safely with an inflatable wife?

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  9. #7
    Co-Pilot BobH's Avatar
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    I remember someone telling me that they accompanied Brian Milton across the Channel one time. The person I spoke to said he was in a Quantum and up at about 6,000 ft, and still pooing himself, meanwhile Mr Milton was flying along in his Quantum so low he almost created his own bow wave!
    XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well


  10. #8
    Co-Pilot Peter Twissell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibut View Post
    So, basically, and tell me if I’m getting this wrong, as I so often do, you’re saying I can only do it safely with an inflatable wife?
    Depends on the weight of your wife - and I'm not going to be the one to ask.
    A 2 person life raft need not weigh much, this one is 7kg: https://www.oceansafety.com/product-...aft#dimensions
    I'm not sure where you'd put it in the Thruster cabin. Maybe on top of the fuel tank (assuming a flatback type) - but if you need it, you need to be able to get to it quickly.
    Last edited by Peter Twissell; 02-10-19 at 11:58 AM. Reason: spelling
    G-BZNP Still not dead, but resting following engine failure.


  11. #9
    Co-Pilot Halibut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Watson View Post
    The aircraft is certainly capable and it's been done fairly routinely. I've seen a photo of a UK based TST flying past the Eiffel tower even.
    But you'd be quite restricted for luggage, and probably wouldn't be able to take a life raft.
    So then there is the question of your appetite for risk (and your passenger's). Do you want to do it without a raft? How would you get on if you had to ditch?
    Personally I'm not going to fly out of easy gliding range of land in any single piston engined aircraft. But there are many more intrepid aviators than me who do - Roger M being one of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Twissell View Post
    Depends on the weight of your wife - and I'm not going to be the one to ask.
    A 2 person life raft need not weigh much, this one is 7kg: https://www.oceansafety.com/product-...aft#dimensions
    I'm not sure where you'd put it in the Thruster cabin. Maybe on top of the fuel tank (assuming a flatback type) - but if you need it, you need to be able to get to it quickly.
    So, with a full tank of fuel, what total weight can you have in the cockpit?


  12. #10
    Co-Pilot Peter Twissell's Avatar
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    Assuming a Thruster 450 Jab at 267kg ZFW with 50 litres of fuel at 40Kg, you can have 143kg in the cockpit.
    G-BZNP Still not dead, but resting following engine failure.


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