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 24 of 40

by reducing power and adjusting the throttle to get the sink rate you want, and when you get close to the ground, you add just enough throttle to slow the descent and skim across the ground, feeling for the surface with the rear wheels. Once you touch the ground, close the throttle and you have landed. It looks easy when the winds are calm but becomes trickier when it is gusty or you have convective conditions. Naturally most powered parachute pilots only fly early in the morning or in the evening when the winds are light (and that's when I prefer to fly fixed wing, too). What happens if the engine quits? Well, you are flying a parachute after all; you can still turn and maneuver with a 6-to-1 glide ratio, and you can use both steering pedals simultaneously to brake and flare your descent. With practice, making soft power-off landings becomes routine. Troy has flight-tested the Maverick with no-flare landings—the power off the sink rate is 600 fpm. And he said the arrival was firm, but the 9-inch independent shock struts on all four wheels handled the touchdown just fine. Wing and wing mount arms showing risers, suspension lines, and trim and steering lines. We drove the Maverick out to the Dunnellon Airport at sunrise, skirting around the perimeter road to a closed runway. The Maverick starts and drives like any car, with the same layout of steering wheel, accelerator, and brake. It has an automatic transmission with the gearshift located on the floor to the driver's right. With its 190-hp Subaru engine, it will really step out if you lay on the gas. In the cool morning air, Troy had the Maverick converted into flying mode in less than fifteen minutes. I know I slowed the rigging time with my questions and requests for him to pause while I took pictures. The wing is an elliptical ramair parachute and attaches to the cart by suspension lines and risers, attaching with mount arms that lock into one of nine holes located atop the cart frame. Which hole to use is determined by the pilot's weight. The pilot sits forward of the CG, while the rear seat and fuel tank are on the CG, and weight there does not change the CG. Instead of laying the deflated wing out on the ground behind the cart at launch like a traditional powered parachute, the Maverick has a 30-foot carbon-fiber mast that holds the wing aloft on a lightweight fiberglass boom. This way, the wing never scrapes over the ground as it kites up for inflation and is protected from damage on takeoff and landing. The wing is also free to pivot with the wind, the mast stabilizing the wing and minimizing the horizontal component of lift. This allows crosswind takeoffs by keeping the wing overhead and not allowing it to drift downwind and tip the cart. Once the wing inflates on the takeoff run, the weight of the cart is totally supported by the traditional risers and suspension lines, but the mast and boom does give the rig some Pressing in on the two locking bolts on the drive coupler allows the collar to be moved forward to engage the rear drive wheels, or to the rear to engage the propeller. Te 40-by-60-foot primary Maverick assembly hangar at the Dunnellon Airport. EAA Experimenter 25

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