I received my kit Monday evening and had my first successful flight Saturday morning. By the time we rigged up a borrowed harness and did a hang test it was 11:30 so there was a pretty strong breeze. I was only planning to fly a few feet but it felt good so I flew across the whole field. I have been flying paragliders for 26 years but my only powered flight prior to today was 20 years ago.
Wow! You’ve got an amazing field to fly from I’m jealous!
My son Braedin, my flying buddy, helped come up with this method for attaching the batteries which works great!
Adhesive Velcro on the batteries front and back (fuzzy side). The straps are double sided Velcro and the way they weave through the frame create a place for the Velcro on the batteries to adhere. Plus the straps adhere to themselves and the battery on the other side. The white packaging foam holds the batteries away from any screw heads.
I am still missing how OpenPPG is using Lipo batteries. They are not even allowed to be internationally shipped after the mini-“segway” fiascoes, so how can these be used in aviation? What am I missing? Thanks…
Remember to file/sand the edges of the carbon fibre… that stuff is sharp and will cut your straps if you’re not careful!
That carbon sands really easy and nicely. Thanks for the tip! Now I kinda wish I sanded the edges of all of the carbon before it was assembled.
We were only flying a few minutes at a time because we didn’t want to heat up the battery wires too much. We were only using two Bonkas with 10 AWG wires. Next time we fly we will be using all 4 batteries.
My first flights with this motor I used my Skywalk Tequila 4 wing. I love this wing for soaring but didn’t feel comfortable on it with the motor. The wing was too active and seamed to want to constantly dance around above my head during motored flight even in really light conditions. I’m sure the added weight made it even more active. It has a B rating and it isn’t motor certified.
Last night we both flew the Skywalk Mescal 4. It’s an A wing and it’s motor certified. It felt much more solid with the motor compared to the Tequila. I was really loving it!
What part of the world are you in?
Northern Utah in the USA
So gorgeous!! I need to get up that way and go fly! (In the SF Bay Area myself)
I flew with all four Bonka batteries last night. The batteries and the wires stayed significantly cooler than with two. I could barely feel heat from the batteries. The 10 AWG wires on the batteries were warm but not hot.
Today I cut my battery wires down to just under 3 inches and resoldered the connectors on (the red wire shows the before and the black wire shows the after)
I did this as a way to manage the excess wire to keep them out of the props. Plus, it might remove a little resistance, probably not a significant amount though.
Here is how the batteries and wires are organized now:
I replaced 4 of the socket head bolts with button head bolts because because the socket head bolts collided and prevented the base/stand from folding up all the way:
Good modifications, Gliderpilot! Thanks for sharing. How long a flight did you get using 4 batteries?
I flew until the battery level indicator on the controller read 0% which was only 26 minutes of flying. My cells ranged from 3.41 to 3.53 volts at that point.
The more throttle you give it the lower the battery percentage reads but you can ease off the throttle to see closer to what the true battery percentage is.
Cutting the battery wires down as short as I did not only keeps them out of the props but they stay even colder now too.
The props were rubbing against the main plate when folded so I used my dremal to open up the holes a bit.
I made a paper template to make them all the same. Shown here with the template to show how much I removed.
Now the holes match the pitch of the propellers and there is good clearance all the way around.
I designed a new quick latch for the arm hinges. They self latch when you open the arms and you hear them click when they snap into place. Then pull with one finger to release them. I made them out of 1/8” thick lexan.
@Pdwhite, if you like this concept feel free to use it on future builds. It would certainly be cheaper to make than the twist knobs and you might be able to make them from scrap carbon if they were long enough to bend easy.
Here is the file:
Arm Hinge Spring Latch.stl (114.1 KB)
GliderPilot, I have redesigned the latch for my own build to be very similar to that. However, I redesigned the main hinge block to eliminate the arc latch feature. This makes them easier, and less costly to machine. I also think its a more reliable, positive locking mechanism. The spring will be carbon fiber, which makes a great spring, and the catch block made of acetal.
I actually made quite a few modifications to the hinges. I removed the angular features. This also makes them easier, and less costly to machine. Mainly the main arm block. I do not feel it is necessary. I believe @Pdwhite done this to incorporate some sort of pressure angle into the hinge, which is fine, however unnecessary. That is merely speculation as to why he done it that way however.
I also redesigned the main body side of the hinges to be the same part. No need for left and right pieces here. They are fully symmetrical , and the same part which can be used in the left or right position. This also reduces cost, and eases assembly. This however also required an adjustment to the hole positions in the main body plates.
I also redesigned for round hoop tube. As I will be machining/fabricating all parts myself, this makes fabrication of the hoop much easier, less costly , and much easier to replace if needed in the future.
I also made several other minor design alterations.
I dont mean to jack your thread. Just nice to see other thinking along the same lines with the latch.
If you would like some carbon latches for that, let me know. I can cut them for you. While the plastic works, its probably not an ideal long term solution.
Thanks for sharing! It’s fun that we had such similar ideas! Yours is better for future builds with manufacturing costs in mind while mine was just a quick and easy modification to my current machine. Lexan (polycarbonate) is pretty strong stuff with a decent amount of flex so I think my latches will last quite a while.