Float Mods

Share your thoughts, photos and general help to all builders

Postby huronflyer » Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:05 pm

Field of Dreams...
OK Perhaps this summer I can graduate to floats.
I have a pair of "Ultraflight" floats that I bought just after I bought my
series III.
They need fixing having been cracked on the bottom.
It has been recommened that I put a few baffles in as a
safety retro. I am not restricted to Far Part 103; but I do want
to get off the water.

Secondly, it is imparative at this location to have amphib available to
get from the hangers to TO. Someday they may have a road to the
nearby lake - SOMEDAY is not now.
We have hundreds of lakes and virtually no fields, oh yah, millions of rocks and
billions of trees

So I hope to enlist the technical help of a local homebuilder who has experience with
fiberglass (Lancair).

BTW my biggest challenge is the ldg gear, upty up up and downsy down down; safe simple and light?
It would seem logical to have a tri gear & steerable...

Dave
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Elliot Lake, CYEL
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Postby JPXman » Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:46 am

daver,

lots of pics on the net on ultralight amphib floats. no need to re-invent the wheel here. if you can't find any, i will forward you what i have on the subject.

puddle jumper is the most widespread, but not the lightest i fear.

simplest in my mind is the pivoting main gear that operates through one of the rear spreader tubes, and a nose gear that pivots on the front spreader tube. actuator - unknown. not hydraulic, but cleverly located and levered handle.

Tyler
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Postby huronflyer » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:06 am

Tyler,
TX !
Tyler you and Pete have been a great help.
Also, a homebuilder nearby has offered to help me with the glass portion.

Since he has a newly rebuilt homebuilt on amphib floats, he should be
helpful on rigging too.

Per your other letter I am leaning to a screw, down up rigging,
aka car screw jack, as its less likely to flip off a locking device.
I have worked out a mini transmission so mains fold back and
nose folds forward.
two levers would be quicker ans simpler though

First up float fix and mods.

drh
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Postby huronflyer » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:49 pm

Tyler sent me some ideas. They may not apply to you, due to the difference in planes.

He has me thinking about mounting my ldg gear on the inboard side of the floats. At first blush I thought "Oh no narrow track!"
but it may not be much more narrow than series three. I will need to think about it more. Perhaps wider spreader bars.

It is an easier installation in some ways.

His other idea though is to have small trailing wheels, i.e. tail-dragger, instead of nose wheel...this is a whole new thought.

When we get the floats fixed I would like to bring them to North Bay, for my first test, just to have expert advice.

My wife said are you going to get some experience... I would like to get the feel of a float plane mounting the step and the sense of attitude for landing. Fortunately here its not busy and there is lots of lake to taxi on. I think though before we mount landing gear its important to see how it taxis and short hops with floats on.

Disassembly is a bit of a pain. There may be a friend who will allow me to tie down at his cottage...
There are no marinas or tie downs on Elliot Lake, with the exception of two commercial operations; whether they and the city would cooperate is moot at this time.

drh
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Postby huronflyer » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:55 pm

I pulled the floats out today.

Just one is cracked and beat up, so we will only need to repair one.

Though I will have my friend inspect both

AND I want bulkheads and sailboat/float access holes for pumping.

One guy at "Lazairforce" added storage compartments mid-ships.

As I posted at the other sites: my props are the P-Tips, which perform
very well, BUT they are WOOD. So they will need to be watched.

drh
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Postby xgary » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:21 am

Daver,

Like i said in emails i sent you, Weight will be your enemy.
I am not saying that is cannot be done. But If i was you I would mount what you got on first and try it. You will notice a big differance in performance.
Amphibs on a lazair like any plane will hurt performance further.

You said you not near water ? Well here is what i did once a bout 25 year ago for a buddy. I got him to land in a gravel pit near me with his ser 1- retrofited to 185s from pioneers. I brought the floats in trailer. We put the lazair on floats and in the water. It worked well but we both then weighed about 130 lbs.
Now to add gear on then might have worked. but now at 210 -- yikes :)

Personally i would find a place near water where you could do the same before i went to all the trouble to make amphb gear.

One simple idea would be make it a taildragger with retractable mains. you might even get away with a wheel that only hung below the float less than an inch inside a wheelwell.

Another is larger engines.

PS: in your country you can take off in a bay to find at other end 130 foot hemlocks plus rising terrain. On a summer day a heavy lazair with 185s might climb at 100 fpm.... so you figure it out at 30 mph how long it will take to clear 400 foot obstacle. 2 miles ?

Hope that helps
Shorty .............
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Postby huronflyer » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:42 pm

Foam.

Any tips on slow expanding foam...

that does NOT absorb water?

Daver
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Postby bdiedenhofen » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:58 pm

Here's a crazy idea,
what about a dolly for takeoff. I've seen a video with this done with a Quicksilver. You can get airborne provided you don't have much of a crosswind. Then go to play in the lakes, and land on the turf when you return. As long as you've got some grass to land on, it should work out ok. Downside would be that you can't go anywhere else unless someone brings the dolly. And your landings need to be soft since there's no suspension.
Has it's limitations, but would be easy to make, and keeps the plane light.
Hmm...............
Brian
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Postby huronflyer » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:10 pm

Brian,

That is a neat idea.
Where I had some flights last summer south of Nortyh Bay
would be ideal, Here though the area beside the runway is light gravel.

It could get me off to the lake though...

I am thinking about a small trailer and using Paul Grandal's method,
fold wings with engines on*

It would only be to take plane out of the water for severe WX; I would perhaps be able to tow it open like that to the airport and the hanger.

That is a drool, but a ways off. After looking at George's workmanship I need to
do essentials, like cap strips.

Also to store on the water I need covers to block UV; I saw soem neat covers last summer on a motor-glider made of "Tyvec" turned inside out (the pilot said it wa sthe best stuff he has used yet).

I should try and convert Paul's video of his trailer and folding wings and post it.

drh
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Postby xgary » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:24 am

Foam.

Any tips on slow expanding foam...

that does NOT absorb water?

Daver




Foam ?? what for ? Not buoyancy i hope?

I think spray foam in cans is closed cell and would work for sealing up holes.
Shorty .............
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