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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Unit74, Nov 6, 2015.
fully engineered and bede in the same sentence is really funny!
Is that all? Wow, makes it sound easy.
From the videos, it looks like they have two or three people working on it. They've come a long way for designing and building a plane from scratch. It takes most people building a RV 5-10 years with their hole matched kit. I wish them luck with the design.
All of the home built companies started out like that. The difference is, they didn’t take 6 years for a prototype to be flown. Glasair, less than a year before first flight. Velocity, less than a year before first flight. Both had kits going out the door within 2 years. Heck, Epic produced a flying prototype within a year.
This isn’t a few guys building a personal airplane. They’re advertising something that they can’t live up to. Unless they get bought out by a larger company that has the resources to produce over 1,500 kits, their business plan just isn’t going to work.
I think we all wish them luck with their design but we’ve all seen this sort of thing happen so many times in the past. Promises that never come to fruition.
I mean the cabin looks cool and it sounds cool. Gonna be a cool 200kt airplane!
It is fat both from a weight and cabin size perspective. I don't think it'll hit 200 knots in level flight.
Just heard Peter Mueller is planning on flying a Raptor to Oshkosh this year.
EDIT: For the record, I haven't been keeping up with his progress. I just happened to hear this little tidbit.
With 2 months to go and an unflown airframe with a one-off powerplant, that's pretty aggressive. Get thereitis has killed a lot of people over the years.
We had one here recently where they were trying to hit a milestone before displaying at SnF. That project and the pilot are both lost to us now.
Somewhat of a setback. Heck I’ll fly it...It’s gotta parachute.
You use the deposits as proof of product viability and can get more favorable terms from investors.
Kinda wonder why the test pilot didn’t know about the aircraft to begin with. Peter has documented everything online and I would think a test pilot traveling clear across the country would already know about the ECU and said aerodynamic issues. Not sure if the test pilot “Len” is Len Fox but that guy is the go to guy for something like this.
Also wonder how the DAR inspection went???
Nobody can say they aren't being transparent, he put all the issues out there.
It'll make a cool golf cart at OSH, or outdoor tiki bar add-on for GA enthusiasts.
Joking aside, somebody is gonna get physically hurt playing big boy games with this senior year capstone bush league effetry. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. As to the people lined up to lose their money, that's just nature, so in sha Allah afaic. I've grown to accept the persistent order of natural things in recent times.
This is a bit weird. Since when are test pilots aerodynamics and power plant experts? I thought test pilots came in and flew the aircraft. Silly me.
Expert? Maybe, maybe not. I would expect a test pilot to at least have a thorough understanding of aerodynamics, power plants, electronics, and other fields and be able to make a call as to whether or not the airplane they're about to climb into will have an acceptable probability of successfully and safely flying. You're not just going to take the designer's word for it.
Watched that video last night. He sounded down and out. Both the guys (who STILL need a haircut) are leaving for other things and he's got some proving to do.
I would have expected the test pilot to be an authority (don’t like the term expert) on aerodynamics and power plants. Having known a few that went through Navy TPS and seen their syllabus, there isn’t a flying program around that is more thorough than what they go through. As they say, they’re “pilot engineers.” What we get in typical FAA training is “aerodynamics for dummies.”
TL;DW version: The test pilot doesn't like the winglets, elevator, and the Engine Control Unit, and won't fly the airplane until they are changed. The two other guys who are working on this now are leaving. He's given up his apartment lease and the project is running out of money.
I think @steingar's signature line pretty well describes this guy.
It’s not weird at all. Any test pilot who values his or her own health and well-being will either know enough to do their own independent review or have a non-advocate provide same. As @Velocity173 alluded to, there is not a legitimate test pilot school in the world that doesn’t teach aero and propulsion fundamentals.
worth every penny.
If he is so confident why doesn’t he test fly it?
According to his video, he's confident in the engine, but not necessarily the air-frame and he won't know how to handle things if it starts misbehaving.
Oh what could go wrong? If there’s an aerodynamic issue, it’s not gonna rear it’s head until max performing it. In that case, that’s what testing is for and that’s what the chute is for. ECU? So you only have one. Flown thousands of hours behind turbine ECUs and never had one fail.
Get the thing in the air! Work out the problems once you’ve got it up. I’ll fly the darn thing.
I bet he'd take your call.
out of range
Sounds to me like the test pilot wasn't impressed with the whole operation and just made some excuses up to get out of flying it without totally hurting their feelings.
Well I don’t have a high performance endorsement so that leaves me out...not to mention I don’t have a clue about flight test.
Old friend of mine is a full time civ XP. I sent him the link to see if he’d be interested. Probably not.
See, you might be just what he's looking for!
the test dummy
“One hundred and fifty thousand. Non negotiable...as usual.”
Who knows he doesn’t know enough about canard aerodynamics to have The Right Stuff.
I know people I would bet would take the job for much less if offered. I wouldn't want to be on either end of that referral chain.
who doesn't skimp on the old family recipe
You should see the required courses at the Navy Test Pilot school!
Not sure how exactly his operation is funded but certainly not by the deposits: They are in escrows and not accessible by him.
I watched the yesterday's video in absolute disbelieve: How can significant stuff like this come up AFTER everything is said and done!? Either it was serious miscommunication by Peter or the test pilot is an absolute a-hole! Watch almost ANY of his videos and you see how tall the winglets are and how the elevator is designed. Watch almost ANY of his engine installation videos and becomes clear that he is only using a single ECU.
I have followed him for some time now, and thought that he knows what he is doing and that he is also doing beautiful work.
Adding a second ECU in any meaningful way is not as trivial as people in the comments section on YouTube and Facebook suggest: You need pretty much all hardware that is installed on the engine twice: Sensors, injectors, etc.. Otherwise you'd have to somehow switch between them what would add a significant amount of single points of failure.
Rotax took this approach with their iS engines, I would however bet that this is pretty much impossible to do with an existing engine, particularly a super complex modern Diesel.
Frankly, I was never a fan of his engine choice and wished that he would have went with a conventional, turbocharged engine, but this seriously sucks.
I wonder how long ago he engaged the test pilot. Did he contract with him early enough and pay him enough to spend hours reviewing all of the videos, engineering drawings, analysis reports, etc, or did he just contract an onsite visit/inspection/consultation with the expectation that it would turn into a flying job? I know some aspiring test pilots who would probably work for free but the real ones ones I'd use all charge a realistic amount for their time and skills.
just in time
I'll betcha he was paid off to sabotage the whole program...
There are people out there who would pay to see him fail.
It seems like the people sabotaging the program are not being paid to do it.
No one is sabotaging the program and no one has anything to gain by doing so. If the test pilot in question is the one I think he is ( Len Fox), his resume speaks for itself. He’d have no reason not to fly it other than his personal belief / experience that it’s unsafe.
I know for all the deposit holders this is bad news. All I can say is, what did you expect in this kind of GA climate? Vans is the only EAB company that’s stable financially. All the rest are getting by by the skin of their teeth, a qtr away from getting bought out by the Chinese. You could probably name a dozen other EAB start ups in this century that have folded. Just the way it is.
I just don't understand the worry about the ECU for the purposes of testing/prototyping. It's like worrying that the propeller governor is going to fail. Can an ECU failure happen? Sure. Is it statistically likely during the limited number of testing hours? Probably not. I know the idea is to have redundant systems/etc., but I just don't see why it's a deal-breaker for testing. I'm sure he'd love to use the Rockwell/Rotax dual channel ECU but I don't think they're letting experimentals play with that coding.
Of all the things on that project that reed drive setup would have been the thing to bother me. A single modern ECU doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
I can’t speak to the aerodynamic stuff, just don’t know much about it.
Depends on that particular ECU they’re using. Even if it were reliable in an automotive application, you can’t compare it to aviation because of the extremes involved in aviation. With no revert to manual throttle, I’d be a little hesitant as well.
I flew instrument training in a Liberty XL2 with FADEC and that thing broke a lot. Broke just before my check ride and had to use a PA28 at the last minute.
You mean you got to use a PA28 at the last minute.
Yes, I was blessed to use the mighty Cherokee after I already spent 15 hrs in the Liberty. About the only similarity was they both used hand brakes.
While I can't speak to the finances, Velocity is cranking out the twin kits as fast as they can make them.