April 2014

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/287214

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Page 34 of 38

model airplane can be built and fl own for hobby purposes, but the operator must maintain constant line of sight (LOS) with the model at all times. Mechanical and aerospace engineering students at North Car- olina State University (NCSU) have built a UAV airframe with a wingspan of 10 feet, empty weight of 19 pounds, and a maximum weight of 55 pounds. Endurance is 75 minutes, and loiter speed is 37 knots. It has an autopilot and laser altimeter. At the annual competition held in Webster Field, Maryland, it must autono- mously take of , fl y a search pattern up to 5 miles from the airport, fi nd a lost hiker (dummy in a lawn chair), drop a water bottle, and return to the airport. Ground observers stationed along the route maintain constant LOS even though the UAV is operating autonomously. Participants operate under a certifi cate of autho- rization (COA) from the FAA because the controlling pilot does not have visual contact throughout the course. The NCSU club competed against 33 teams at the 2013 event and won second place. Here is the course description at the Student Unmanned Air Systems Contest. EAA issued this policy statement on UAVs in May of 2013. Commercial-use UAVs are distinct from hobby air- planes. They will require coordination and approval through the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Of ce, AFS-80, which also monitors issues related to hobby aircraft operations. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh typically includes model aviation activities sponsored by the AMA, and more is planned; but there is usually also some unof cial fl ying of small electric models and quad copters in the campground areas. The law signed in 2012 requires prior notifi cation when fl ying within 5 miles of an air- port, and fl ights such as this one in 2013 would likely be refused. If you're still not sold on model aviation, please try this YouTube search for E-Fest 2014 and "catch the bug." Please send your comments and suggestions to dgrunloh@illicom.net . Dan Grunloh, EAA 173888, is a retired scientist who began fl ying ultralights and light planes in 1982. He won the 2002 and 2004 U.S. National Microlight Championships in a trike and fl ew with the U.S. World Team in two FAI World Microlight Championships. EAA Experimenter 35 Photography courtesy of Dan Grunloh Kids build their fi rst model with help from volunteers. This tiny foam model is reminiscent of the Sky Pup ultralight from 1983. E A A E X P _ A p r 1 4 . i n d d 3 5 EAAEXP_Apr14.indd 35 3 / 3 1 / 1 4 9 : 4 5 A M 3/31/14 9:45 AM

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