Experimenter

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.

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Light Plane World the AirVenture Reserve Grand Champion ultralight by John Steere of Martinsville, Indiana, I thought it was one of the top news stories in the ultralight area. The unique plane, inspired in part by Leonard Milholland's Legal Eagle, showed fabulous workmanship and much originality. See more photos by Mathew Long here. Oratex UL600 is a prepainted woven fabric that uses the same technology that has been available for years for model airplanes, but it is now engineered for full-size aircraft. The red and yellow colors looked terrific. Oratex UL600 is approved for air- craft up to 600 kilograms or 1,320 pounds gross weight. It is glued to the airframe with a water-based adhesive, then the fabric is shrunk tight with heat, and you are done. There are no paint runs, painting equipment, or hazardous solvents, and the method will save both time and weight. Oratex has a finished weight of 3.0 to 3.8 ounces per square yard and should save 10 to I would argue it makes little sense to include the full 5 gallons of batteries in the empty weight of the ultralight. 20 pounds of weight per airframe. The final cost is said to be about the same as conventional aircraft covering processes after you consider the cost of aircraft paints. Unfortunately the range of colors is small. For more information, go to the German manufacturer's web- site, Oracover.de. The UK distribu- tor has a summary here, and there is a dealer for Alaska and Canada at www.BetterAircraftFabric.com. Expect the announcement of a U.S distributor soon. Batteries as Fuel Something significant happened at AirVenture, and you might have missed it unless you talked to Dale Kramer or noticed he brought his eLazair electric-powered ultra- light to AirVenture 2012 in the landplane version. The ultralight no longer qualifies for the addi- tional 60-pound "allowance" for amphibious floats as it was when flown here last year. It now must weigh under 254 pounds empty of fuel. There has been some talk and Dale Kramer with his electric-powered eLazair, now in the landplane version, returned for a second year of fl ying at AirVenture. It will fl y for about one hour per charge. T e ultralight was probably the most fl own electric airplane at the convention. 40 NO. 2/OCTOBER 2012

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