Basically at a standstill with the wing panels since last fall. I did attempt to correct the bubbles formed during the PolyBrush first coat. I used a rag soaked with Reducer and removed the PolyBrush in those areas. The bubbles were visibly reduced but not eliminated. I will need to recoat these areas or risk pinholes in the top color coat.
I completed the first prototype car-top carrier which is shown here, mounted on the cross members of my stock Honda roof rack. I've tried it out and it works as planned as a one-person process. I need to add a washout spacer so that all four points of the bottom panel are supported after loading the wing halves.
Ready to load wing panels (and, yes, I need that step stool to do this)
First panel loaded (leading edge first so that I can easily add a washout support block before closing the rack).
both wing sets loaded with the rack ends closed and locked. I may re-think this and load that upper wing trailing edge first to make a better windstream profile on the front end although this is only intended to be moved no more than about 20 mph....I'll have to see what it will stand. Most of the sites I would fly this at could be driven slow from the LZ to launch anyway so it shouldn't be a problem.
I did some hardware sourcing research this winter and finally got the rivnuts that are central to the quick setup design of the Easy Riser airframe. I aquired an airframe from a damaged Easy that had been exposed to saltwater and outside storage so the rivnuts were badly corroded. The stamped, stainless steel brackets looked great so I decided to attempt to replace one to see if I could do it.
I drilled out the old rivnut.
Some of these brackets had key slots stamped into the rivnut hole and others did not. This one did not and I ended up filing a notch to accommodate the key on the new rivnut (I ordered them all keyed since my only reference when I ordered where the brackets in my kit which were all keyed). You can see the key on this new rivnut prior to installation.
I will include a photo of the tool I assembled from parts bought at a local hardware store to install the rivnut when I find it again. It consisted of a collar with set screw, a spacer and a bolt....simple and cheap.
Here are the two rivnut sizes used in the Easy Riser. One is 0.5 inch and the other is .75 inch. I got them from e-aircraftsupply.com (Jaco aerospace Pasadena, CA). The manufacturer is Ramco Specialties, Inc., Hudson, Ohio. The part code numbers the industry uses for these things are:
NAS# NAS1329C3K280, BFG# C10K-280, MS# MS27130-C29K
NAS# NAS1329C3K130, BFG# C10K-130, MS# MS27130-C26K
The K130 being the short one and the K280 the ¾ inch barrel. Please note I DID NOT use the same material as the kits sold by UFM. I decided to order stainless steel vs plain steel which did not stand up well as you can see. I did not price the plain steel ones. The cost on the order I placed was $2.00 each for the short ones and $2.50 each for the long ones.
Here's a shot of the finished, newly installed rivnut using the homemade tool described above.
LEARNING TO FLY THE EASY RISER
It took me most of this spring to find a hill suitable for learning to fly the glider I inherited last fall from “Dr. Darrell” at Funston. The first one I came up with was across the road from our house. Here I am set up on the hill at this first site.
I got some runs in but the conditions were so restricted I never really had more than one session where the breeze was enough to help launch and from the right direction. After 3 days here and not really doing much beyond running the glider down the hill I started looking for a better site.
The next one I found was almost exactly 10 miles from the house and had a nice short little road right to launch. Here's a shot of the set up area and also a panorama showing the launchable directions this site offers.
This shot is off to the right side of the top with the Easy parked in the shade.
The range of open, launchable and landable directions go from ENE all the way around to due West which covers about 90 percent of our prevailing summer and fall wind directions. It's about 50-60 ft high and sloped at about 5:1 so it requires a launch run-stride to get airborn.
Here is a shot from near the base off on the east side. You can just see the Easy up there ready to be launched.
The Easy aimed off to the NE waiting for a stronger cycle.
Me standing by waiting for a strong enough breeze to help me avoid pulling leg muscles running this thing off. This was my 3rd real working session.
Some things I've concluded so far:
1. I'm convinced that taking the time to find a REALLY EXCELLENT site to learn is time worth spending.
2. I wasn't running fast enough given my own restriction in how much of a breeze I was willing to practice in to get launched.
3. It was easy to fly the glider without enough speed to lift me and stop it on the hill by gently letting it pitch up into a soft flare. This gave me plenty of time to get used to controlling roll with the rudders.
4. All my hard stops (crashes) were a result of me trying to keep my feet from touching the ground thinking I could glide back up by picking up a bit more speed.
5. Once I decided to stop in a soft flare, I had to remember to rock the nose down a bit to avoid having the wing tail slide back and hit the trailing edges and rudders. In a flared position the glider is balance tail heavy and will come down hard unless you rotate the nose level and catch the glider.
6. I used shoulder straps and a loop around each hang tube to support the glider at about hip-height during my practice sessions. This made it much more comfortable to hang out, strapped in, while waiting for the right moment. I also am using a leg harness I made by taking an old swing seat harness and cutting off the plastic seat. My hang loop is off the top trailing edge and my feet come off the ground with the cage about level with the bottom of my ribs. I started out with it much higher, closer to my armpits, and it was too much of an effort to work the rudders like I felt I needed.
7. My best runs happened when I had a nice breeze, I'm guessing about 10mph. Just enough so that I still had complete control. Getting out there in 12-15 was sketchy. I weight about 140 so 170 sq ft of wing is a lot to keep under control.
8. Once in the air, pitch control did not seem to be difficult but I've only really got one, single flight to date.
9. Directional control seems to be very easy even at slow speeds.
10. I find it essential to stay completely on top of the rudders to keep the wings level and maintain a controlled ground track parallel with the wind direction.
11. If I find the direction has changed as I'm launching, I have been successful in using the rudders to bring the nose into the wind to adjust my ground track to the direction of flight even while just barely carrying my weight while striding down the hill.
I have yet to get someone out there to take photos/videos of launches or flying but will try to get that accomplished soon.