December 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/234576

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Page 23 of 40

T h e M a ve r i c k L i g h t- S p or t A ir c r a f t In addition to his duties at I-TEC overseeing the Maverick facility, Troy is also a designated pilot examiner for powered parachutes and an instrument-rated fixed-wing private pilot and sport pilot CFI. When rigging the support lines, multiple attach holes are provided to ensure that the cart's CG is correct in accordance with the weight of the pilot/passenger. As Troy explained, the Maverick was not designed to be a commercial product but was developed by the I-TEC missionary organization to meet the unique needs of its jungle operations. I-TEC needed a way to transport people and goods over South American jungles lacking in roads and airstrips. They had some success using traditional powered parachutes but had trouble transporting them on the ground, and the rough-hewn clearings were tearing up the nylon canopies. Troy and his team set out to eliminate the problem areas, and after six years of development, the finished product is the Maverick. Now this successfully certificated craft is also being offered for commercial sale with the proceeds being used to offset I-TEC's charitable missions. As a fixed-wing pilot who had seen powered parachutes buzzing around but had never flown one, I was curious about control and performance. As Troy explained to me, a powered parachute has only one speed. That speed is determined by the size and shape of the parachute, which is really an inflatable wing, and the weight of the "cart." For the Maverick, which is heavier than most and is designed to fly faster than lighter craft, this speed is 40 mph. The Maverick takes off at 40 mph, climbs at 40, cruises at 40, glides at 40, and by now you can guess at what speed it lands. Mast and leading-edge spar system eliminates the need to "kite the wing." Te single mast allows the wing to "weather vane" so no load is put on the mast, avoiding tipping forces and allowing crosswind takeofs by keeping the wing overhead and not allowing it to drif downwind, creating sideways lif. To take off, you open the throttle, accelerating quickly until you reach 40 mph, where the Maverick lifts off and starts climbing. The amount of throttle determines how fast it climbs, and when you want to level off, you simply retard the throttle until the climb stops. To descend, you reduce the throttle some more. For turns, you can use the traditional foot pedals that operate the control lines to the "wing brakes," which are the trailing edges of each wingtip. Push the right pedal and the Maverick turns right; push the left pedal and it turns left. What is unique about the Maverick is the electric interconnect between the steering wheel and the steering lines. When driving over the ground, the steering wheel works the front wheels, and when in flight mode, turning the wheel energizes servos that work the steering lines to the parachute, just like the foot pedals. Steer with the wheel on the ground, steer with the wheel in the air…what a great idea; no new control system and muscle-memory to learn, plus transitions during takeoff from ground steering to flight steering and then back again to ground steering on landing are seamless. Handles on each side of the instrument panel that look like lawn mower pullstart handles are "trimmers" that adjust the trailing edge of the wingtips, just like the steering controls. 24 Vol.2 N o.12 / December 2013 So now that we're in the air, how do we land the Maverick? For a powered landing, you establish your descent Photography by Bruce Moore

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