Wednesday, June 29, 2016
We are on the cusp of a new era in experimental aviation like we have never seen before. We often hear doom and gloom from those who have been in the general aviation market and who have seen the downturn in the number of active pilots and airplanes coming off the factory floor. The overused cliché “it’s always darkest just before the dawn” is really apropos in this circumstance. We are here to tell you that the future of aviation looks very bright. There are several paradigm shifting technologies that are changing the world of aviation equivalent to that the Wright brothers first flight, the dawn of the jet age, and Burt Rutan’s contributions to composite aircraft. Some of the most exciting of these new technologies which we have embraced, include, electric propulsion, 3-D solid modeling software, and 3-D printing. Over the next couple of months, we will be writing articles exploring, in-depth, some of these new technologies which are rapidly becoming tangible for the average aircraft builder. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the possibilities of using 3-D printing in experimental aircraft.
With today’s proliferation of 3-D solid modeling software available to the average experimental aircraft builder, we are now starting to see the leveraging of this technology into the average builder’s toolbox. We have been using 3-D modeling software for the past 30 years, and “Solidworks” extensively for the last 15 years. We have become so dependent upon it, that we feel it is one of the most valuable tools that we use on a daily basis. With the ability to 3-D model components virtually on your desktop, the cost of design has plummeted dramatically. It allows us to import the 3-D models into other software and export g-code (computer numerical control (CNC) programming language) for manufacturing of components on different CNC machinery. Seeing this potential, we purchased our first CNC machine some 15 years ago. Since then, we have continued to exploit the advantages of this technology and we now operate 6 different CNC machines. The latest of these “machines” if you can call it that, is a 3-D printer.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
We have found these tools to be so useful in the shop that we have decided to make them available to the builders of the EMG-6. This series of tube marking tools that can significantly improve the ease and accuracy of marking round tubing.
These tube marking tools have a multitude of features which can only be created practically through the use of 3-D printing technology.
The tube marking tools are manufactured from 3-D printed ABS plastic, and are color-coded to easily identify each size. From 1/2" up to 2" in 1/8" increments. These are the standard tubing sizes used in the aviation industry.
2. Radial marking guide in 15° increments
3. "V" marking slots for super precision.
4. Alignment pin holes for 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4
5. Non-marring 1/4-20 nylon thumbscrew for secure positioning.
6. Center punch holding fixture.
7. Lanyard attachment hole.
8. Size markings embossed on housing.
9. Perimeter marking guide on base.
10. Manufactured from Non-marring ABS plastic.
11. Precision marking slots at 90°, 180°, 270°, and 360°
12. Available in all standard tube sizes from 1/2 inch to 2 inches.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Carol Carpenter Flies the EMG-6-250. These are the last flights on the EMG-6-250 . The engine and many of the parts were removed to complete Prototype #2 in order to start the Installation of the Polini 250 into the Cabin of Prototype #3. This will be a completely enclosed version similar to Prototype #2 but #2 is currently being fitted with the Electric Power Plant.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Cutting Flight Control Gap Seals from Pool Noodles
In this video we go through the process of converting pool noodles into low-cost lightweight, and easy to install foam gap seals for the EMG-6 electric motor glider.
Let's go through the detailed procedures on how we came up with the final results that we have been using on the EMG-6 electric motor glider. We have cut nearly 30 different dies and guide blocks to come up with the final results that we found that work very well.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
R&D MotorThis page is dedicated to any updates and information regarding the R&D Motor.
June 9, 2016 Motor Update
Today we had a meeting with Ed Donovan owner of R&D cable. Ed and his team are developing an electric motor that will be used on the EMG-6 electric motor glider. The design parameters are basically to design a 20 hp continuous operating motor turning at 2500 RPM and producing approximately 65 foot-pounds of torque. We will be spinning a 48 inch diameter propeller. this motor is simply a dummy motor that does not have the winding's and magnets inside but was delivered so that we can use it for the development of the motor mounting system on the EMG 6 as both as a pusher and as a tractor on the to the wing pylon locations. The bolt pattern is the standard two-stroke Rotax engine bolt pattern. the bearing is the same as the front bearing on the Rotax E gearbox. The total motor weight will be in the neighborhood of 25 pounds when completed. There are 6 mounting locations on the rear of the motor housing. During testing at full power the outer housing gets slightly warm but the winding's and the magnets remain cool even at full power operation. They are still undergoing some operational tests on the motor and perfecting the final design before going into the mass production phase and developing the tooling for the stamping dies for the winding core. The expectations are that the efficiency of the motor will exceed 95%.. And reliability and durability are key components in the development of the motor. I would expect that this motor will have a TBO in excess of 10,000 hours. And overhaul cost will be the replacement of 2 bearings. We have been told that we should expect to have a operational motor available for installation before we depart for the Oshkosh airshow.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
We are often looking for methods for creating parts on our experimental aircraft that replicate the professionalism of factory built aircraft. The biggest stumbling block is usually the cost of set up for fancy tooling and machinery. Yet, you might be surprised by what you can accomplish in your own small workshop. In fact, many of the greatest ideas in aviation originated from small workshops like yours.