Flaire Project Participation

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  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014 8:45 PM
    Message # 3147925

    I would like to participate in the Flaire project design / build activity.  Do you have regular meeting times or a schedule?  Thanks.



  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 9:48 AM
    Reply # 3148226 on 3147925

    Thank you for inquiring on how to help with the Flaire project, we certainly could use the help. As to is there a schedule. I have never had a "schedule," in my life, I wish I did. The nature of my business means I don't get that luxury when it comes to operations with the EAA. If I had one it would be much easier to accomplish the task of designing and building an airplane from scratch.
    Another thing to consider is that In many cases I don't really know what needs to be done either! Since I am the conceptual designer how I approached the process is we designed and built the major structure of the fuselage and then began the process of fabricating the control systems. For instance I just finished the rudder control system. I knew the basic concept but had to figure out the installation. Although it was much easier to do this with the fuselage finished I had to perform several, "do overs," before I got it right. Although it is a sweet installation it will be improved on on the next one.
    Now that they are done it would be easy for someone to simply build a set just like them, but it took me a while to get there. This process is something that needs to be engaged in, it is not like building from a kit or even a set of plans for that matter. I am happy to say that I have a pretty clear path in my mind to the completion of the rest of the systems in the fuselage so it is possible for me to now assign different tasks with a degree of certainty that they will work.
    Here is a short list of what could be done by someone,

    wing tip bows
    gas tank (composite)
    pitch trim
    instrument panel
    boot cowling
    the wing

    In regards to the wing, Steve Cechner is just about finished with making the tools that will make it easier to build the wing. He has been doing this for about one year now and has just about got it whipped, he is doing a great job. In case you are unaware we intend to make one wing and test it to destruction. This will give me piece of mind when it comes to the wing falling off in flight but almost as important it will give us practice with building one and offer the opportunity to improve on the actual set of wings for flight.
    So there is a lot that needs to be done but it requires somewhat of a self starter attitude on behalf of the participant. I cannot tell you when I will be out there, I wish I could but, I can tell you that I am out there every possible chance I can get. If I could quit my job and leave my family I would have plenty of time to devote to the project. Fortunately for me my family has no schedule when it comes to life so they have an effect on progress and my job, as much as I love it (can you imagine getting paid to fly a jet?) can keep me from working on a regular basis too. I will be out of town for the next 8 days.
    To sum it all up, yes please come help, there is lots to do, you can help get the Flaire flying sooner if you do. I can give some direction but much still needs to be figured out. A fair amount of initiative is necessary to make it happen along with a certain amount of stick to it attitude, skill is not required but rather learned. Craftsmanship is an attitude, not a skill. Mistakes are part of the process and you, just like me, will make them, so don't let that bother you. So come on out, start hanging around, get your feet wet and before you know it you will be contributing to the completion of a very worthwhile project. This goes for anybody that wants to help, anybody, heck we even need somebody to handle the blog site. You know how to get in touch with me, hope to see you out there.

  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:21 AM
    Reply # 3148284 on 3147925



    Thanks for the response.  This is a tremendous project at multiple levels.  Thank you for making me welcome.  I'll be around.



  • Saturday, November 15, 2014 12:20 PM
    Reply # 3151979 on 3147925

    I just got an email from Paul Mikels and he says he is going to build the floor boards and the wing tip bows. Since we have the rudder pedals in it you can see a pretty clear path to completing the floorboards, they should be pretty easy. I also have thought of a way to make the wing tip bows, they should be easy and cheap too.
    It took me three tries to get the rudder pedal right so I don’t be surprised if you have to do the same with the floorboards and the bows Pauly, that is the nature of the beast.

    The same goes fro the doors. Mate has been working on the doors and doing a great job. The thing is I think I have an even better idea on how to make them. I would not have been able to come up with it without the work he has already done. It gave me a great opportunity to study and improve. So we just may do them over too.

    Here is something that we can start to tackle now, seat belts. I expect we can adapt an automotive set of single strap inertial belts. Anybody want new want to tackle that?

    Before we do that we need to have a set of seats made so we can fit the belts and other various interior appointments. Andy is working with Jeff Jacobs to get this done but somebody could start working on the seatbelt thing now.

    I got a job for Lonnie Prince too if he would agree to handle it. Somebody will have to test fly this thing and it will be a very dangerous job no matter how you slice it. Spin testing and dive testing will present the most hazardous part of that program. We can develop a drogue chute for the spins but, dive testing is just plane (pun) old dangerous. Check this link out to see them do the test on the A380. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3-g9B6Fgjs Notice how somber they are as they prepare for the test and compare it to how they act after it is all over.  Dan Wiese doesn't know it yet but he will be a great help in this process when the time comes

    During these tests the pilot will of course have a parachute on. There are plenty of them around, I have one myself. What would be nice to have installed as well would be a BRS chute system as the primary safety system and then the pilot’s chute as a secondary system. This would reduce the hazard significantly. This would be a temporary installation and would be removed once the testing is over. I would rather, “rent” one than buy one. So what I am asking you to do Lonnie is over the course of the next several months put out your feelers and see if you can come up with something. Maybe you could find a used one or even better yet get a manufacturer to let us “rent,” one for the testing.

    And finally, I want to try to use this forum to do the bulk of the communication on this project. We are now at the point that we can be more definitive with task assignment. Encourage others that may want to help to join in on the conversation on this site. Lets all try to keep it current and active.  It can be an effective tool to achieve the goal of building and offering average folks an airplane to learn how to fly in.


  • Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:46 PM
    Reply # 3152327 on 3147925

    Billy Boy, I accept the challenge but .96 Mach may be an issue to achieve until the wings blow off then I really don't see a problem reaching that .96 Mach…I will need a Mach meter so I don’t exceed the speed of sound during flutter test.

    I will see what I can find for a Ballistic Chute donation, rent, purchase, trade a propeller for, or borrow..however it would be great safety factor as permanent equipment on the plane.

    M8, I found the easiest way to make a floor board is to use cardboard for the pattern. For the opening just cut large enough to clear obstructions then use tape on the cardboard template taping up to the obstruction to get closer to the required opening size. When you have the floorboard template then transfer to wood or substrate your using for the floorboard. If there are areas under the floor board that need mounting hole alignments or passageways for clables, wires, inspection covers, then transfer the cardboard template to a piece of Plexiglas so you can see thru the makeshift floorboard mark, drill and cut as needed. When completed transfer this to the final substrate. This will save waste, make the procedure less frustrating and most likely will produce a part that will fit first try.

  • Monday, November 17, 2014 10:03 AM
    Reply # 3152658 on 3147925

    Lonnie, thanks for pitching in.  I expect the Vne will be in the 110 to 130 KIAS range and of course the max take off weight will be the LSA limit of 1320 pounds.  You will need these numbers to figure the chute performance.

    I disagree that a permanent BRS installation would make for a safer operation, to the contrary.  I  know hundreds of pilots and have been flying for a long time.  Each one of these pilots I know have up to tens of thousands of hours flying time, some of it in combat.  I could fill a small room with people I have known in my life that have been killed in an airplane.  I follow the GA news and read about crashes all the time.  Of all my experience I can’t think of one time that I should have jumped and I only know a few who have and they were military pilots doing things private pilots couldn’t or shouldn’t do.

    Not that I am totally against a BRS.  I think they are great for aerobatic airplane and of course, flight testing.  The fact is airplanes that have a BRS in them crash all the time without deploying the chute and that is for the same reasons that other guys crash.  They fly into something like the ground, or another airplane, or they just plane (get it) make bad decisions, or they are just plane unlucky.  When you read about one of these, “saves,” it is usually written by someone representing the company that either makes the plane of the BRS.  In my opinion there are probably just one or two saves that are for real.

    Another way to look at it is if all of these tens of hundreds of thousands of people have been flying for decades without jumping, how is it that when a modern four seater comes along with a BRS in the past few years there all of the sudden is a number of folks pulling the handle, for whatever the reason?  Somebody check me on this but I am willing to bet there has never been a student pilot use one of these things.  A student pilot is somebody receiving dual instruction from a certified flight instructor, not a, “qualified,” instructor.  In my opinion the reason that so many ultra light crashes and BRS deployments have occurred over the years is because they were receiving lessons from a qualified instructor, there is a big difference.

    I think I know how to fly and there are two things that people get in their small unpressurized airplanes that do more harm than good.  The first is air-conditioning.  It weighs a ton and uses up too much of an already limited useful load.  It makes the take off run longer and the climb much weaker to get to air that is even cooler than what the air conditioner can put out, after only a few thousand feet of climbing no matter how hot it is outside.  This causes pilots to take off over gross weight all the time, not to mention the extra cost of maintenance

    The next is the BRS, it takes up weight too and gives the pilot a false sense of confidence to do things that he shouldn’t be doing anyway.  Check out the video of the Cirrus coming down on fire, gruesome for sure.  This was a result of a collision in the pattern at an uncontrolled airport.  The other airplane was a Cub pulling a glider.  Which airplane do you think was faster?  Which one hit who?  For my physics the Cirrus hit the Cub.  Maybe this fellow should have been spending more time looking out the window.  Turns out pulling the handle didn’t work out too well either. 

    No sir, I think a BRS is defiantly a bad idea for a number of practical reasons.  1. They cost weight.  2. They cost money.  3. They require additional maintenance   4.  They are dangerous to have around, ask and rescue worker.  5. They give a pilot a distorted sense of safety priorities.  This airplane will be operated almost exclusively for purposes of training.  In this environment the likelihood of having to jump will be very, (fire?) very limited.  In keeping with the concept of a minimal airplane there will be no permanent BRS installation.  I will concede to this however, it is a good selling point to someone who doesn’t know any better, like the wife of a guy that is trying to convince her to let him buy the airplane.  It is the effective use of a fear appeal to sell the airplane.  This goes along with something that I learned a long time ago and said best by a guy by the name of Chris Hedges in a speech recently. “People are not moved by fact or reason but, rather skillful manipulation of emotion.”  This fact is something our government and our big corporations use to their advantage for sure.
    However, it sure would be nice to have one when test diving an experimental airplane.
    Now..who can we get to get the seat belt project underway?

  • Monday, November 17, 2014 12:03 PM
    Reply # 3152797 on 3147925
    Deleted user

    Bill - when can we get together to discuss your new door ideas?

    Lonnie - did you get my call ref the plans I loaned you a few months back? If not, gimme a call pls 734-347-5705

    Thanks !


  • Monday, November 17, 2014 3:35 PM
    Reply # 3152958 on 3147925

    I'll take the seat belt project.  Who do I need to talk to about any assumptions / preliminary design that are on the table?  Thanks.



  • Monday, November 17, 2014 5:21 PM
    Reply # 3153044 on 3147925


    Regarding the seat belts, you probably should talk to Bill.

    It goes without saying that we are going to need shoulder harnesses as well.

    Mounting the shoulder harnesses may be more of an issue.  I remember the Minimax had wires that extended from the shoulder harnesses all the way to the tailwheel.  It was a little bit strange but there were not many good hard points to attach them too since it was made from sticks and glue.

    I am working on the seats with Jeff Jacobs.  So that is also a consideration.

    Tomorrow evening, Bill and I will be out there discussing the seats. 



  • Monday, November 17, 2014 8:50 PM
    Reply # 3153151 on 3147925




    I won't be able to make it tomorrow night.  Will you and / or Bill be around on Wednesday? 



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