October 2012

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/84816

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Page 24 of 47

Construction The Panther's wings, tail cone, and empennage are constructed from 6061 aluminum using fl ush, blind rivets. The prewelded fuselage is built from a carefully selected mix of square and round 4130 steel tubing, from seat back to fi rewall, which is skinned with sheet aluminum. All critical attach points, such as the those for the solid aluminum (spring) landing gear legs, wing pin, engine mount, fi ve-point harness, ballistic chute, rollover bar, control hard points, etc., are all welded in the jig. This allows for quick and accurate construction of all criti- cal points, and the steel cage, with its integral rollover bar, offers added pilot safety in the event of an accident. Because the folding wings lie fl at against the side of the fuselage while trailing aft, hauling the Panther on an open, fl at-bed trailer, such as a customized, recycled boat trailer, is an option that's hard to beat by those of us on a tight budget. The overall size of the folded aircraft is compact enough to be easily rolled into the rear of a 7-foot by 7-foot by 18-foot- long enclosed trailer and kept there until the next fl ight – no need for a hangar or extra space in the garage. The Engine Powering the Panther prototype is the aforementioned Corvair automo- tive conversion reported to make 120 hp from 3000-cc displacement and with a yet unproven fuel injec- tion system. Stock Corvair engines are 2700 cc (164 cubic inches). But Dan is no stranger to the Corvair, having successfully installed one in a Sonex that he built and (out of respect for the designer's wishes) renamed Cleanex, as it was a clean- slate installation. The use of the Corvair in the Sonex, while gener- ally frowned upon by the factory, is a good fit for the airframe, and Dan supports this option with a full line of the required accessories that make for a clean installation for those who want extra power for the Sonex at an affordable price. Panther LSA Specifi cations Seats Wingspan Wing area Empty weight Gross weight Fuel capacity Engine Top speed VNE Aerobatic capacity * Maximum speed in level fl ight with maximum continuous power (VH ): 138 mph EAA EXPERIMENTER 25 While nearly every fl ying Corvair uses a carburetor, Panther creator Dan Weseman is planning to use mechanical fuel injection. T e integrated use of both square and round tubing, along with the simple and robust rudder pedal adjustment, show the forethought that has gone into the design of the Panther. 1 23.5 feet 93 square feet 650 pounds 1,020 pounds 20 gallons (in wings) 110-hp Corvair (or 80-120 hp) 138-180 mph* 200 mph +6/-4.4g

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