Lazair Floats

Lets see who know what

Postby rayjb60 » Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:00 pm

Does anyone know how many Float kits were sold with the Lazairs?

I do not think I have ever seen any floats for sale, and I do live right by Lake Elsinore in CA, which is a lot closer than the 90 miles I drive to go flying right now.

Anyone know how a float equipt Lazair performs with 185's?

The Mono float seems like a great light option, what kind of float is that?
Are you running 185's?

Ray
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Postby artman12us » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:53 pm

Mike McKusic sells floats, I think. He fly's a Lazair with floats. Give him a call. Art
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Postby Shannon » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:21 pm

Probably quite a few.
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Postby Bill » Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:49 pm

I flew hang gliders from the mountains above Lake Elsinore... Eric Raymond and many other HG pilots lived in E. Eric went to RIT when I did... and then went off to CA. to fly... Hit the cover of Outside Magazine upside down in a loop...flying various forms of fledging ridged wings...

I think we bought maybe 5 sets of floats... and a few sets of other brands in the 80'3.. the lazair floats are very delicate... but with some reinforcing they are super... Lake George was tough on floats... the waves could be huge...

The lazair ll was the best on floats... it had built in left to right shock absorbtion due to narrow wheel set up... the climb rate was very poor... but the fun is at the lake level... I did climb 2000-4000' above the lake at times, but mostly with some assisting lift.. ridge or thermal... and lots of time...

my weight at the time 165 lbs... 200 lb pilots new they weighed more and 300 lb pilots... well I just discouraged there getting into lazairs.

Bill



A bit more... Lazair lll's on floats... needed with some floats to have more volume added to the rear end of the floats... or you could tip back and sink... And we always carried a manual boat bailing pump, paddle, added access hatches to see the insides.. and pump...

I touched the floats once... at high speed...JPX full throttle... just touched wave tops... wobbled the floats... landed later... not knowing splits... in bottom.... and sank. Sinking in 5 seconds.. 2 seat belts to remove with no vision underwater... no air to breath... wires to get past without tangling up... I was a scuba diver at the time... decided not to panick... took my time... knowing I had one chance... got unbelted...and up to the surface...

water temp...ice just out... 1 mile from shore...... fisherman in small rowboat come by... said they would get help... I said OK... just come over and give me your seat cushion... when they got close... I grabbed their boat.. and said.. I was getting in... not to panic... cause if I didn't get into shore then with them... no one was getting in. I did get in... and made it to the nearest house just in time most likely... with a long shower.. warming up took hours...

float flying is the best... but it can be surprising...

Bill
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Postby uscgairdale » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:29 pm

Bill, You sank your 2-place? I guess that makes it the submersible version.....

If anything else crazy happened to it I don't want to know about it! ha ha

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Postby ozzie » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:11 am

Bill, did you have baffels or compartments in your floats? i had a very scary experience in an aerolights eagle you know those canard handle bar weight shift thingies. it had lord floats and on my first flight in it and on floats i got airbourne ok and just after i started to climb it reared it's head and climbed with me trying to climb over the bar to get the nose down. nose dropped at zero airspeed and then doing handstand on the bar in a dive just pulled out and started the sequence again. and again until just let it slam on in nose up attitude. found about a gallon in each unbaffelled float. a little later when "playing boats" i learnt that i was not just suffering from radical changes of CoG but also "free surface affect" it does not matter if the water is 1 inch or 1 foot deep. it is the surface area (movement )that can roll you over or start a fire on a oil tanker.

More importantly how did you retrive the lazair? and did it suffer badly( salt or fresh?) ozzie
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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:55 pm

Ray,

I also think Ultraflight sold quite a few sets of floats, as there was a good demand for them from Canadian owners.

I flew ONE TIME with floats on my series 1. I don't think a stock series 1 could get off smooth water. Probably the most compelling reason for Ultraflight to start looking for larger engines was their, and their customer's, desire to fit floats to the Lazairs. The original factory Lazairs with floats had long tuned expansion chambers fitted to the Pioneer engines, and they had enough poop to fly OK. They were very loud. Unfortunately, the Pioneers so modified lived VERY short lives before tearing up.

Even with redrives and 44" props on my series 1, on the hot summer day I flew I was hard pressed to get much over tree top height. I was only able to make a few take offs and landing before I had an ignition module fail (the only one I've ever had, of course). While trying to figure out how to get back to shore with only one engine (!), I noticed that one float was slowly sinking (!!). A friend of a friend was there with his boat in case I ran into a problem, so he attempted to tow me in, but continually pulled much to strongly and almost turned me over. I got mad and decided I'd rather sink than get torn apart. By that time the "bad" engine had cooled off and would start and fast idle only, but it was enough to allow me to slow taxi back in to shore. When I finally got there, one float just about to disappear under the water, I noticed about twenty boats had followed me in!

I couldn't get too mad about the floats, as Dale had given them to me on one of my trips up to the factory. That was before I let him talk me into becoming a dealer. Several people had seen my Lazair at Oshkosh, Sun n' Fun, etc. and purchased their Lazairs as a direct result of seeing my plane. I always thought that it was pretty special of him to give me the floats as a thank you present.

The floats I had were very probably of an early design. I don't think they had any partitions in them, and were awfully flexible. I think later ones were a little stronger (and heavier) after the Rotax engines became available.

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Postby Bill » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:38 pm

Lazair floats were always delicate, never had baffles... I added inspection plates... do not fly with water...

Dave... the 2 seater did not sink... I would have told you that story... If was another plane... ... sank in fresh water... was easy to recover... slit the rear tedlar... drain as it comes out of the water... add fuel... pull plugs... ground plugs... pull over till water out... then start engines ...using new gas of course... you do have to have half a brain... submerging a lazair that is all aluminum and foam... is not too bad a situation other than the possibility of drowning... by the way.... they will float with the wings level with the water while you sit on the wing... and with you off it... for hours...

Bill

lazair floats need minor mods to be good floats... email me if you need my help
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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:18 pm

testing fast reply....
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Postby ozzie » Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:24 am

Talking about floats i think this is a pretty neat idea mono float amphib
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