Experimenter

DEC 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.

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24 Vol.3 No.12 / December 2014 KL AUS SAVIER'S DETERMINATOR KLAUS SAVIER CALLS HIS Long-EZ the Determinator. The air- plane's name seems to be a "quadruple entendre": Klaus is determined to terminate inef ciency, and he wanted to use the plane to determine what can be achieved in ef ciency and per- formance. Or, the name could reference Klaus' German accent; he sounds a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie character the Terminator would, if he had ever been the poster boy for experimental aviation. Klaus, the stocky, serious, self-taught engineer, said, "I've made hundreds of improvements, mostly aimed at going faster." He started experimenting in 1983 with his VariEze. (He calls that the Delaminator.) Thirty-one years later, he still continues to improve his airplanes. Some of the VariEze improvements were in the propulsion system—more sophisticated intake tun- ing and a better fuel-injection system. Aerodynamic modifi ca- tions were more numerous: changes to the canard elevator slot; upswept canard tips; and a new canard airfoil, among others. The result of all those improvements? Klaus increased the VariEze's speed from 183 to an amazing 260 mph. His experi- mentation made him go—can you believe this—42 percent faster! Also, if he fl ies at 15 percent power, the VariEze can get 100 mpg. Klaus considered buying a partially completed Long-EZ back in 1985, but he wasn't very optimistic about its perfor- mance over his modifi ed VariEze. "At fi rst glance, there was no chance that the Long-EZ could do any better," Klaus explained. "It could only burn more fuel." He ended up buying the Long- EZ at 10 cents on the dollar but continued to work on the VariEze for several more years. Eventually Klaus had so many parts left over from his VariEze modifi cations that he fi gured he should just incorporate them onto his Long-EZ project. So what did Klaus do to his airplanes to make them go faster? Lots and lots of little things. Before we get into specifi cs, some words of caution. "Do not try this at home," he warned. "Changing little things on an airplane, especially a canard, can have big ef ects, mostly nega- tive." EAA Sport Aviation (November 2009) reported that bugs, paint stripes, or even rain near the leading edge of a canard can increase minimum fl ying speed and cause pitch changes. Klaus' cautious approach is how he has developed an impressively methodical and exceptionally thorough process to make his planes go faster. For each improvement he contem- plates, he goes through four phases: 1. Understand the situation. 2. Design a fix. 3. Test the fix. 4. Repeat until satisfied. (This would be "never satisfied" for Klaus.) The improvements Klaus has made fall into three catego- ries. The fi rst is with the propulsion system: intake, ignition, exhaust, propeller, and fuel subsystems. The goal here is to improve ef ciency and run the engine at lower rpm. Klaus Savier's Determinator He makes speed mods look EZ BY LYNNE WAINFAN, PH.D., E A A LIFE TIME 50408 Klaus Savier and his Determinator, a much-modifi ed Long-EZ. Photography by Lynne Wainfan

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