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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Great Ultralight day (pics)

For $50 bucks you can experience an Ultralight ride. My wife and I went today, and are now hooked. I think a UL is in our future (once funds allow). The field is just west of Yorkville, IL. on route 71. The day was awesome. The instructor was very knowledgeable, and we felt safe the entire time. If anyone is looking for some adventurous fun, Contact Larry at

http://www.chicagoquicksilver.com/

Tell him Jerry & Heather recommended him, maybe We can get a discount on our lessons.





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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 11:37 PM
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Cool! Those things look like a blast!

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 12:04 AM
 
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Does look like fun, although, I think you'd open up a whole ca nof worms. Like riding a little scooter one time.... next thing you know you have a Goldwing in the garage.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 12:57 AM
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Those are easy to build and aren't too expensive (about $15,000). You can build them in about 1000 hours realistically if you are mechanically inclined. Some mfgs claim 300 hrs but dont belive that. If you are serious about it look into the challenger as it is has been out many years and is probably the highest regarded ultralight out there.
My high school education was building an experimental RV6a with my dad (who liked to let me do all the work besides engine/instruments). About 4000 hrs of my time. I would say 500 of that was learning how to paint to stupid thing as I had all kinds of problems and had to strip the paint on some parts. Later I found that the paint company went out of business after 30 yrs of supplying aircraft paint and they messed up the chemicals in their last batches which I was just lucky enough to get. A mirror shine from sanding down to 1500 grit sand paper ended up cracking all over after a year and almost made me cry.
This was a much more complex plane than an ultralight but still fairly simple compared to most. It goes 200mph yet stalls at less than 60mph. It is the most popular homebuilt in the world.
It certainly is another fun hobby. Ultralights are just like motorcycles. A great sense of freedom just being open and exposed to the wind. It is such a cool feeling lifting off the ground at 30 mph.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:59 AM
freaking newbies, man there slow, ha ha ha
 
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Wow only $50. For how long? Very cool, for that price I wanna do it.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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time

The ride was about 45 minutes long. Just call ahead the day of your flight to make sure conditions are right.

We are looking at the Quicksilver Gt400. A novice at the field put his together in 40+ hours. Supposedly one of the best UL's in the air. J
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:07 PM
 
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What is the little black box right in front of you.....monitor for instruments?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:19 PM
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Re: time

Quote:
Originally posted by Motobeagle
The ride was about 45 minutes long. Just call ahead the day of your flight to make sure conditions are right.

We are looking at the Quicksilver Gt400. A novice at the field put his together in 40+ hours. Supposedly one of the best UL's in the air. J
Not really one of the best. See all those struts and supports sticking out everywhere. That means big time drag. If you lose your engine in an ultralight you'd expect to be able to glide a long distance but that is not true in many. Some of them lose altitude faster than the 10:1 (means 10ft forward for 1 ft drop) ratio of many private planes like a Cessna 172. You'll also notice not so much difference from about 60% power to full. I know if I built an ultralight I would want a more efficient design. To each his own though. Look at the gear on those too. No suspension of anykind. You hit hard and you are gonna break your back. The side by side seating is also big on drag. Some like it for being next to a passenger but you'll wish you could look straight down on both sides. It makes it more fun to fly.
On a second look at your original pic it looks like the white one in the background is a challenger. Did you look at this one and see the difference? It looks like a single seat but you can build a tandem as well. A much cleaner and more efficient bird with better handling characteristics and a wider band of performance. Like the difference between riding a harley and a sport bike.

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Last edited by DirtRider; 08-24-2003 at 01:27 PM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:27 PM
freaking newbies, man there slow, ha ha ha
 
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Could you just stick a giant parachute on one of those things if you ever have any major engine failure and it didn't wanna float smoothly?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by crazeinc
Could you just stick a giant parachute on one of those things if you ever have any major engine failure and it didn't wanna float smoothly?
They are very expensive but they are available for most private planes now. They have saved lives. The problem is they still afix to either the tail of the aircraft or the spar on the wing. If that is the structural part that fails in flight then it doesn't do you much good. The main customers are companies that use them in testing experimental planes. Most others can't afford them.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 01:41 PM
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Re: time

Quote:
Originally posted by Motobeagle
The ride was about 45 minutes long. Just call ahead the day of your flight to make sure conditions are right.

We are looking at the Quicksilver Gt400. A novice at the field put his together in 40+ hours. Supposedly one of the best UL's in the air. J
As I said before whatever time they give you multiply by 3 for most manufacturers. Don't get me wrong...the kits have improved much in the last decade and are about 2 to 3 times faster to build now but there is still a lot to bolt together. You don't have to worry about much riveting on these but there are still lots of bolts to torque. You also have to run all the engine plumbing and instrumentation. I am not sure what quicksilver does for wing fabric but that is considerable time as well for many. They you have a learning curve as all of it is new. I know guys building the same plane as my family did that work on it considerably and are only nearing completion after 10 years.
I just didn't want you to think you could have a week vacation and fly it by the end of your vacation time. People that think like that end up throwing in the towel when they see after a week that they are nowhere near completion.
Are you a pilot yet or are you going through classes now?

Slowroll on this site is another pilot and you can get some more opinions from him if you like.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2003, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info

Dirt rider, Thanks for the info. I am planning on taking regular flight lessons. I can't come to terms with the UL theory that in 10 easy lessons I'll be soloing. I would rather be a licensed pilot.

Couple questions.

1) Once I'm a pilot, will a UL count for flight hours?
2) Can I bring people up with me? In a UL without a license the rule is that I have to be a UL instructor before I can fly passengers. 100 hours in type first.
3) whats the going rate to become a pilot? With everything. Ground instruction, flight time, to solo?

Thanks again. Jerry

PS the UL We are thinking about is the GT400. Here is the spec page. It says, "no fabrication" "construction with all standard common tools."

http://www.quicksilveraircraft.com/gt400.htm
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 12:12 AM
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Re: Thanks for the info

Quote:
Originally posted by Motobeagle
Dirt rider, Thanks for the info. I am planning on taking regular flight lessons. I can't come to terms with the UL theory that in 10 easy lessons I'll be soloing. I would rather be a licensed pilot.

Couple questions.

1) Once I'm a pilot, will a UL count for flight hours?
2) Can I bring people up with me? In a UL without a license the rule is that I have to be a UL instructor before I can fly passengers. 100 hours in type first.
3) whats the going rate to become a pilot? With everything. Ground instruction, flight time, to solo?

Thanks again. Jerry

PS the UL We are thinking about is the GT400. Here is the spec page. It says, "no fabrication" "construction with all standard common tools."

http://www.quicksilveraircraft.com/gt400.htm
I am no expert in ultralights as I haven't really looked into them too much. Therefore, I suggest that you do a lot of research on web boards and mfg web sites. Ask people how realistic the mfg ratings are as I can tell you for sure there are many aircraft mfgs that rate the performance at least 25% better than builders achieve. Some are honest and some are a complete joke. Ask people who built all types of ultralights what they suggest for you and what they think of your decision. Sometimes you'll gain more valuable info from people who didn't build the plane you are looking at because they have their reasons for not doing so. People who build homebuilts are generally thorough researchers who love to talk about their plane so ask lots of questions and go see and get a ride in as many as you can. Pay close attention to the safety history of these planes and make sure whatever you buy has been on the market for I would say at least 3 years. You don't want to be a test pilot too.
Ultralights fall under special classifications. If you are under a certain weight and solo you can actually fly without any rating (unless stuff has changed in the last couple years). I never recommend this though as those are structurally weak and underpowered to meet weight requirements. Once you are a certified pilot you can go right into flying ultralights although I highly recommend you do not. Find someone with the exact bird you are building and get some flight time with them. My father got 10 hrs in an RV6 before flying our RV6a. I believe UL hours do count as flight hours. Once you have the license you can take passengers. The requirement for experimentals is 40 hrs solo first. The going rate for a pilots license varies greatly depending mostly on the student and how quickly they pick it up. You can count on prices being about $125 an hour for a 172 or a warrior with an instructor. Between classroom and flight you are looking at around 65 hours I think it is. It is nearly $5K once your all done I think but I am not a pilot myself (just fly with my father).
Don't skimp on the hours of in flight instruction as that is crutial time for you to learn and have an instructor to fix any mistakes. My dad learned to fly at 18 and got his license at only 11hrs total instruction time (way back when that was legal). Shortly after, he ended up stalling a brand new cherokee on takeoff and crashed. He told me he thought things were kinda weird as he was higher off the ground when he stopped than he should have been. Then he looked out the right window and everything looked good. Looked out the left window and there was a tree sticking right through the wing a foot away from the cockpit. He was so high up because he landed on a tree!
Just remember an airplane is about the most unforgiving thing to screw up on. I have personally known people who have died in their homebuilt planes. All sorts of things can go wrong and I shit you not when I say the torque on 1 bolt can make the difference between life and death. There are about 20 critical bolts in the plane I built that attach control suraces, bellcranks, pushrods, etc and if 1 even came loose that is it. About 54 bolts hold the wing to the fuselage alone!
Attached is the pic of the plane my dad and I finished in 1997. You can view the mfg site if you want at www.vansaircraft.com.

Let us know what you decide to do. It is an exiting hobby.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 08:12 AM
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Sweet paint job on your kitplane...my dad is also a pilot and has been building a KR2 (not sure if he wants to finish it or sell the completed parts and get a glassaire instead.

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 09:42 AM
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Looks like a good time to me. I'm commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. I've been flying since 1973 and teaching since 1982. I'm certified to teach in both single and multi-engine airplanes. I'm also certified to teach instrument flight in both single and multi engine airplanes (CFII-SMEL). I now own an aerobatic biplane called a Pitts S2A that I use for competition sometimes. It's a 200hp biplane with all inverted systems a constant speed prop and fuel injection. It's certified to +6 and -3 g's. The aircraft was actually tested to +10 -10 g's. It has a smoke system for airshows and it's painted bright red. If you'd ever like to come out and see it, I'd be happy to meet you at the airport in Kankakee some weekend.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 10:40 AM
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SloRoll,

Since you are a CFI you can answer his questions better than me. What does it cost the average student to get his pilots license? How many hours of classroom and how many in the air? Was I about right with prices for a plane and instructor being about $125 per hour? Is there a place you recommend going through around here over others?
I am curious for myself too because I am not a licensed pilot but may want to get my license.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DirtRider
SloRoll,

Since you are a CFI you can answer his questions better than me. What does it cost the average student to get his pilots license? How many hours of classroom and how many in the air? Was I about right with prices for a plane and instructor being about $125 per hour? Is there a place you recommend going through around here over others?
I am curious for myself too because I am not a licensed pilot but may want to get my license.
Cost = Approx. 125 hr. for a Cessna 172 ($100 plane + $25 instructor) C-152's are cheaper if you can find them. Note: You're only charged for the plane when it's running.

Hours = Minimum 40 (20 w/ instr, 20 solo) Very few ever do it in the min time. Most run around 65ish. A lot of factors are involved such as skill, weather, scheduling. etc,etc. Plan on about 30 minutes to an hour of classroom before each lesson.(Classroom is less than flight instr.)

You'll need to take a 3rd class flight physical which consists of visiting a aviation medical examiner(doctor). Basically it consists of, can you see with or without glasses, can you hear, understand english, breath, any bad habits(drugs), mental illness, heart conditions, DUI's(charged or convicted), BP, cough(guys only) , bend over and spread em' .

Also, a written test must be passed, an oral exam with the flight examiner passed and an actual flight exam passed.

I know people at New Lenox Flight School. I used to teach there. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Dupage

Thanks guys. I'm near Dupage, and the American Flyers have a school there. I'm going to stop by and ask some questions today. I'll find out rates. Jerry
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2003, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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HOLY CRAP!!!

American Flyers said it would be about 10-12K to get from start to solo. I am thinking that 10-12 $85 lessons in a UL isn't looking so bad afterall. Guess I better pay extra attention.

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2003, 12:04 AM
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Re: HOLY CRAP!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Motobeagle
American Flyers said it would be about 10-12K to get from start to solo. I am thinking that 10-12 $85 lessons in a UL isn't looking so bad afterall. Guess I better pay extra attention.

That was just for basic and not IFR or any other checkouts right? That is crazy!
We used to have many planes based there years ago and Flyers had a good program and used lots of Cessna 172s.
Before you decide to abandon your private pilot certification I suggest you try a couple other places. Try Schaumburg airport and the one sloroll mentioned. Smaller airports sometimes have better deals and I know Schaumburgs planes are in good condition.
You just can't learn enough in 10-12 sessions to really be ready to fly safely. Yes, you may be able to takeoff and land with a big bounce but what about being trained to handle emergency situations. What if the engine quits (rotax engines are good but not that good - 250tbo compared to 2000tbo on lycoming)...what if wind picks up (and you can't make head way) or there is a crosswind on landing(big big deal in ULs). You can't be ready to handle this with just a few UL lessons as you aren't even ready with your pilots license. I wouldn't want to see you take short cuts and have it cost you. I don't know how much you even know about planes. The classroom stuff like how the controls work, how to get out of a stall, navigation, instrumentation, pre-flight checks, emergency landing, and endless other things are crutial to know. Without this knowledge and practical experience you could find yourself having big problems real quick if something happens. Thinking you can learn all the classroom stuff and how to handle these situations in the air in a few lessons is just not wise in my book. Some people are so eager to get more people flying and to sell planes and make money that they quickly forget there are lives at stake. Sorry if I am ruining the experience for you but my goal would be to help you enjoy it with as little chance of mishap as possible.

SloRoll,

10-12K is way too much for a pilots license right? I though you could get it for like $5,000 but I haven't looked into it for a couple years. The flight part shouldn't be more than $4,000 tops and the classroom isn't that much right?
Also, give the guy your thoughts on whether UL lessons is enough to be an adequate and well prepared pilot. Maybe I am too cautious but I don't think there is such a thing with airplanes. Maybe it is just because of the few guys I have known that have died in them.

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Last edited by DirtRider; 08-26-2003 at 12:32 AM.
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2003, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BanditCPA
Sweet paint job on your kitplane...my dad is also a pilot and has been building a KR2 (not sure if he wants to finish it or sell the completed parts and get a glassaire instead.
Well you know what us metal builders say about those..."friends don't let friends fly plastic airplanes".
All kidding aside those are nice planes. Those lancair IVPs always impressed me. I just never could get the hang of working with fiberglass though. The biggest fiberglass job I did on my plane is the gear leg fairings and all those curves where a real pain where they go into the wheel pants.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2003, 07:53 AM
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Re: HOLY CRAP!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Motobeagle
American Flyers said it would be about 10-12K to get from start to solo. I am thinking that 10-12 $85 lessons in a UL isn't looking so bad afterall. Guess I better pay extra attention.

Try Galt Airport in Wonder Lake (I believe they have 150's and 172's, plus the woodstock flying club has an archer at their disposal...at least last time I was out there they did),

Also Poplar Grove has flight instruction as well, but the nice weekend usually end up turning into an airshow w/ all the t6's and antiques flying around.

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2003, 09:36 AM
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Moto,

American Flyers is and always has been an expensive school. I must say that they have an impressive training curriculum though and their instructors are quite thorough and well trained. If you are willing to attend a flight school that is less structured the price can be cut in half. I recommend you contact a friend of mine who happens to be the chief pilot and flight instructor at an airport on the south side. I may convince him to come to Strats with me if you guys promise not to spit or piss on his 1953 HD chopper. Let me know if you'd like to meet him.

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-26-2003, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Looking around

I'm going back to Dupage since their close. I understand there are a few schools there, but until I sell a bike or two, I may just do the UL lessons for now. Thanks for the info guys.
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