Lazair Kit

General Messages Post you pics as well

Postby Shannon » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:19 pm

Most people here are familiar with how a Lazair looks assembled and ready to fly. Have any of you ever wondered what a Lazair looked like when the original buyer, owner, builder got the kit shipped to him ??? There are not many pictures of Lazair "kits" around for you to take a gander at. It just so happens that I have just such a picture for your viewing enjoyment. Enclosed in your extremely long box was your Lazair. Neatly packaged without an inch to spare. It was all there... tubing, D-cells, ribs, engines....... everything ! Talk about one gigantic jig saw puzzle.

I often think if more people understood just what it took to build a Lazair from all these bits and pieces they would have a degree more respect for the builder and the finished product as well. Building a Lazair from scratch was a daunting task even for the most experienced workshop fiddler. Evidently the guys of the past got the job done and did it right. Look at all the Lazairs still around.

Shannon
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Shannon
SHANNON
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:05 pm

Postby lazair » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:33 pm

Nice pic there Shannon.

Later ones came in two crates


Lazair
lazair
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 10:25 am

Postby Shannon » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:53 pm

Yeah, your right right. The later kits had a smaller box that contained the engines and other bits of the puzzle !
Shannon
SHANNON
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:05 pm

Postby Chappy » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:42 pm

Very early kits, the first year at least, were packed in 18 inch (IIRC) cardboard like tubes 18 feet long. Dale and Peter were testing my engines when I arrived from Virginia to pick up my first kit, so they were not packed in the tubes as usual. Carried the big tube home on top of a modified set of roof racks that cradled it. Customs thought I was trying to sneak rugs into the USA.

BTW, that was Peter Lert's Lazair project that he wrote up for Air Progress, right?

This is my first post on this forum, and I have no idea how to use this style. I think I'll go over to Yahoo's groups, at least I know how they work! Why 3 different forums?

Bob Chapman
Chappy
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA

Postby Shannon » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:59 pm

Hi Chappy,

I think I heard or seen your name before. Do these pictures look familiar ??

Shannon
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Shannon
SHANNON
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:05 pm

Postby Chappy » Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:47 pm

Hi Shannon,

Yep, you even have my old '78 Chev van in the background! Do you remember what year Sun 'n Fun you took those shots? I'm not even sure myself without doing some serious digging through my stuff. Still have both, the van still runs with almost 300,000 miles on it, but sadly I haven't flown this, my first Lazair, in at least 5-6 years. Most of my flying nowadays (what I do get to do) is done in a 1946 Aeronca Champ 7BCM that I share with nine other guys. I have committed to do much more flying this year, since both of my kids have moved on to college/jobs now.

I VERY MUCH want to get this old bird back in the air this year, and I would like to find a Series III for restoration, and perhaps build redrives for a set of Solo 210's I have stashed away.

Chappy
Chappy
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA

Postby Shannon » Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:16 pm

Hi Chappy,

Actually these photos came from one of Mike Mckusicks old paper Lazair Newsletters. I remebered that your name and plane (and van) was in there. I also remember reading that you had the honor of working at the Lazair factory one summer. That must have been pretty neat.

Look around a bit, there always seems to be a plane for sale. Bryan Green has a Series III that he is looking to sell. It needs some work from what I understand but that shouldn't be a problem.

You mentioned Solo 210's. So far I've heard of three Lazairs equipped with 210's. To date I've never been able to get any reliable performance figures when using these engine direct or re-drive. I think they would work fine either way . Someone said that Lazair tested the Solos but went with the cheaper 185s.
Shannon
SHANNON
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:05 pm

Postby Chappy » Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:57 am

Shannon,

I replied the other evening, but AOL and the worm must have eaten it, so I'll try again!

I should dig out my copies of the old Lazair Letters, I'd forgotten those pictures.

I did work for Dale and Linda over the summer the year my daughter was born, 1983. They, along with Peter Lawrence, attended the Paris Airshow, and flew the Lazair at the show. The Canadian government paid to ship a Lazair to France. I was the person that answered any technical calls from customers that summer. My wife and I, along with our infant daughter, stayed in the Kramer's home on the beach at the lake. You could grab a company plane, take off out of the back field and fly across town to their house, and land on the beach for lunch! Dale would take off out of the plant's driveway, straight at the building, but I wouldn't do it. I think I was kind of a disappointment to him, as I was rather conservative behind the controls compared to him. And of course, this was before ballistic 'chutes were available.

I usually would gravitate out to the plant floor when I could, and worked on some of the current projects like the two seater. I continued to bug Dale to build a Hot Rod, because with the developement of the two place, we had all the components to build one. That didn't happen until after I left, but I did fly a fair amount in the company's two place that summer, and was a demo pilot at Oshkosh. The next spring, I was hired to fly the new Elite at Sun 'N Fun. If you look around real hard, you might find a picture of me there in an overturned single seat Lazair;-(

The time I spent at Ultraflight was the job of my life. I've never worked at a more exciting place. I only worked there for a long summer, and I was worn out. I've never worked for harder working people. I don't know how they indured the years they did. I'm still in awe of them.

After being away for the season, my own dealership was about dead, and being a new dad eventually brought new priorities to my life, and my several year obsession with all things Lazair slowly faded, but will never be gone.

Chappy
Chappy
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA

Postby Chappy » Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:57 am

Shannon,

Ultraflight did fly the Solo's. As I remember, they produced somewhat more power, and could almost pull three of the plastic props. They developed most of that extra power at higher RPMs, which was a disadvantage compared to the Rotax. Support for the Solo was even more problematic back then than for the Rotax, and Dale was developing good relations with Bombadier, so it made sense to continue with the 185's. Besides, he had just become the Canadian and US importer for the Westlake NGL twin drone engine, and was testing the electric start KFM's.

The NGL was a beautifull, light engine that had the potential to be a great fit to the Lazair, but they were unsuitable for turning a larger direct drive prop. They experienced all kinds of problems, the worst of which were cracked and broked crankshafts. None of the first ten engine we tested failed to NOT experience a critical crankshaft problem within the first 100 hours! Fortunately, Dale was able to return the remainder (40) of the first stock order of engines. No customer received one. Otherwise, Ultraflight surely would have been ruined financially.

The early KFM installations also had their share of problems. These engines also were designed to run at high rpm. That would create too much noise, and way more power than we required. We fitted large, heavy props. IIRC, the KFM was prop limited down to around 13-16 hp depending on which props we were using at the time. This caused all manner of problems, including crank flex, prop fatigue, ignition, and carb jetting.

The reduction drive setup on my Pioneer's in the above pictures were my design, and I built them over the winter of 80/81. I made everything, including the pine props, with the exception of the large sheaves. I'm pretty sure I was the first to use redrives on a Lazair. They made a very significant improvement in performance over the stock Pioneers, so Dale had some motivation to try them on the 185's. He tried tuned pipes on the Pioneers, as the stock Pioneers just were outclassed when floats were fitted. For his trouble, he got horrible noise, both exhaust and prop,and holes in the pistons. Dale gave me a set of floats, which I smuggled into the states, but even with my redrives the performance was pretty awful. Redrives were installed on the 185 while I was working there, but didn't fly until after I left.

And then there was the disastrous adjustable prop project...

A quick look tonight on the Web finds several 'off the shelf' reduction drives currently available for the Solo 210. Cool!

Chappy
Chappy
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA

Postby Chappy » Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:31 am

Shannon,

The serial number of my Series I above is #25. I ordered it at Oshkosh in 1979. My original order was something like #6, I think, don't kill me if I'm wrong. I dealt with David Foster, but when he left Ultraflight to go to Glen Rock, PA to work for Denny Franklin (to sell Hummers, the Ultralight kind), my order was held up for the remainder of my payment, which I didn't know they were ready for. While I patiently waiting and building my trailer, Paul Nash in Maryland called me to ask if I would like to come up and see his almost finished plane. Because he had ordered his sometime well after I had ordered mine, I then knew there was a problem. I think my plane was about the twelfth one to actually fly. I don't know if that included the factory planes, or not.

When I arrived to pick up my kit, I remember Dale exclaiming to Peter Corley "Someone our age bought one!" Actually, I'm probably ten years older than Dale, but it seems many of his customers were in their fifties and sixties.

Almost twenty five years later, I'm now 55, and excited again to get my old bird back into the air.

Chappy
Chappy
LazairNUT
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Northern Virginia, USA

Next

Return to Lazair - General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron