Episode #192 "Alumagami"

A place to post misc. feedback to individual eps.
Forum rules
We'd love to have you Reply to posts in this Forum, but please don't create new Topics here. One exception: If we haven't created a thread for a particular episode, feel free to get it started. For other subjects, I suggest creating new Topics in Virtual Hangar=>Other Topics. Thanks.
User avatar
Scofreyjet
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:13 pm
Location: Billerica, MA/KBED

Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby Scofreyjet » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:52 pm

The interesting experimental aircraft mentioned at the beginning of the episode was the Baker MB-1 "Delta Kitten".

Baker Delta Kitten

This link has some more information and a good quality B&W photo of this same airplane, then N57A (this tail number has long since changed hands)

This plane also shows up in a period article from Flight International Magazine (now Flight Global) here:
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1962/1962%20-%200026.html
Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
Scofreyjet on Twitter

User avatar
Sven
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:26 am
Location: KSTS Santa Rosa, California
Contact:

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby Sven » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:21 am

Now I can finally sleep at night. ;) Although not the manliest of names, it is a very interesting design. Thanks for the info, Scofreyjet.

-Sven

Great short article at the bottom of this page http://hlangebro.stormloader.com/index_files/Page820.htm
Flying a Mooney M20D. One of only 3 fixed-gear Mooney aircraft still flying.

User avatar
dansmusicuk1
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:03 pm
Location: Norfolk England
Contact:

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby dansmusicuk1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:08 am

Hi Dave Jack Jeb,

Thanks for the shout out guys, and well spotted. Its the Lovely Ladies from the Team Guinot Wing Walkers.

Dan G
Dansmusic - Twitter
Daniel J Gay - Facebook

17935_471077295304_747135304_10809320_6940044_n.jpg
17935_471077295304_747135304_10809320_6940044_n.jpg (31.63 KiB) Viewed 3279 times



This was almost as exciting. An Apache training near our airfield yesterday. Kindly flew past my Cessna 150 for a photo op.
It was just about fast enough to keep up.

36104_10150228707695305_747135304_13132949_6659996_n.jpg
36104_10150228707695305_747135304_13132949_6659996_n.jpg (76.75 KiB) Viewed 3284 times

User avatar
mike.smith
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby mike.smith » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:02 pm

On the Terrafugia:

I think you guys are completely missing the point of this aircraft. You're thinking conventionally, and not thinking about the real "why's." This vehicle is first and foremost an airplane. That is what it is for. It fits in the Light Sport category. The Light Sport category requires (ostensibly) half the training of a standard pilot's license, and a valid driver's license. One of the ideas is that there are then more people who this becomes available to.

But the whole premise is, YOU FLY. It's for flying, not driving. Driving is the bonus, but the intent is to fly. If you run into bad weather or darkness, you land (at an airport; not on a road). But now you are not necessarily stranded at the airport. You have the option to fold up the wings and continue driving. Chances are if you do, you will be going far enough to get past the weather and not driving a couple of hundred miles. You will NOT use this as your primary transportation!

There are two other issues the airplane tries to solve:
1. The cost of leaving your aircraft in a hangar, or tied down outside at an airport. Hangar space is expensive. Tie-downs less so, but still it costs you every month. And leaving it out in the weather is not so great for an airplane, either. So this aircraft allows you the option to drive it home and park it in the garage.
2. What happens when you get to your flying destination? Can somebody pick you up? Is a taxi available? Are there rental cars available? Do you want to pay for a rental car? Usually the airport is not your destination; you have somewhere else you want to go from there. When I fly I run into this problem all the time. Many airports in this country are in the middle of nowhere.

No telling if the car will be a success, but they did give a lot of thought to the "WHY".

===========

On the ICON:

This is one aircraft where you do need to read the marketing material. Their specific market are those that have the disposable income to play with ATV's, motorcycles, boats, RV's, etc. It's just another "play thing." Their premise is that the price point fits in the income range of those recreational types. In many if not most of those activities you take your play things from the house, play with them, and take them back home. To do that with the Icon you need to fold the wings and trailer it, just as you would with those other expensive toys. And again because it fits into the Light Sport category they have the opportunity to reach more people.

The Icon was designed to look like a sports car inside and out. Specifically they did not want to make it look like a traditional aircraft interior. That only appeals to those who are already airplane geeks. They want the recreational vehicle geek to look outside and inside and see a BMW or a Jaguar.

All of this makes it totally unlike any other amphib, Light Sport or not.

BTW, I can't afford either toy, and I am not associated with either outfit. I've just been following both for some time because I think they are unique, even within their Light Sport niche.

Mike Smith
Maynard, MA
mike.smith208@verizon.net

BTW: if anyone is looking for accommodations in Camp Scholler, we have a trailer next to the Fly-In Theater from Friday the 23rd through Friday the 30th (dumb rental period, but that's what they offer), and we're looking for another couple of people to help populate it. We're only there Sun through Wed, but the trailer is there Fri to Fri. Contact me off line if you're interested.
Mike Smith
Maynard, MA
Sonex N439M
Scratch-built tail dragger

User avatar
Scofreyjet
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:13 pm
Location: Billerica, MA/KBED

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby Scofreyjet » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:15 am

Great commentary Mike! I've been following the Terrafugia Transition since the time I saw their first poster at the EAA 106 Light Sport event at Lawrence (KLWM) a few years ago. I've met several of the principal folks involved (Carl and Anna Dietrich, Dick Gersh, and others) and they are bright, thoughtful people. I even got to sit in the prototype a few months after first flight. :geek: Who knows whether it will be a big success, but they've moved the concept a long way "down the road".
Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
Scofreyjet on Twitter

ruckin
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:42 am

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby ruckin » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:20 am

Unplanned engine failure - An engine failure that occurs when when you are not flying with an instructor.

Planned engine failure - The engine failure(s) that will occur when flying with an instructor..

:roll:

gmarshall
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:54 pm

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby gmarshall » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:35 pm

On the Terrafugia: I wrote an email to my brother in law that I'll just paste below:
----------
The Terrafugia is an interesting implementation of the roadable airplane / flying car idea.

No matter how slick it looks though, there's some pretty huge issues which make it a little less appealing from a potential user point of view.

There isn't really the capability to just unfold the wings and go fly. You'll need to drive to an airport, convert to aircraft mode, go through a complete pre-flight, and then go fly. No real time savings over driving to your aircraft and the airport, preflighting a normal airplane and taking off.

Major difference though: If I'm flying a normal airplane, the last time my airplane moved, it was in flyable condition. A preflight is to make sure nothing has changed since then, but generally, airplanes remain pretty sound between flights.

The Terrafugia though has to deal with driving on the streets between flights. The vibration and abuse of driving around is hard enough on cars, which can be built a heck of a lot sturdier than an airplane, which by necessity is a minimalist structure. If I hit an unexpected pothole in my car, I cringe, but a structural failure in a car due to fatigue (bent or broken tie rod, cracked welds in the unibody etc.) are generally not going to cause a fatal accident.

Airports are also reasonably secure. You park it somewhere, and someone could back into it, kids could rock the wings back and forth, or what have you. I simply wouldn't feel comfortable getting in an aircraft that has been left sitting out with non-pilots walking around it all day or night. ;)

New materials and technologies have allowed them to overcome a lot of the performance related issues of a roadable aircraft, but it's still not an appealing 'solution' for most people, in my opinion. There might be a few people with a mixed air/ground commute that could profit from this (getting across SF bay, maybe?), but it's still pretty niche.

In the end, $200k could get you a nice car, and a more capable aircraft, as well as a HECK of a lot of taxi rides at your destinations. This is certified as a Light Sport Aircraft. That means 2 seats, fair weather (not even night flying allowed), and mediocre maximum performance. The 35 year old Cessnas that I fly are more capable travelling machines, and they're not renowned for their cross-country performance.

I applaud their gumption for making a very cool toy. It's in the same vein, in my mind, as the jet powered wing suit ( http://www.jetman.ch/?page_id=24 ), or electric airplanes ( http://www.electraflyer.com/electraflyerc.php ). Cool application of technology, but not really a 'solution' quite yet.

gmarshall
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:54 pm

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby gmarshall » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:12 pm

RE: the escrow fund for Californian flight schools...

We went through the exact same thing here in Canada. Flight Training Units which want to do commercial instruction have to conform to certain additional rules. This includes an escrow account to cover any fees they have collected. I'm not sure if that's an insurance situation, or if they need 100% of the cash on hand.

What it basically meant was that flight schools under a certain size (mainly clubs) stopped providing training for the commercial certificates.

I learned at a club that has a very active and adept board, who were able to get around having a huge amount of cash on hand. They argued they are 'member owned' and the finances are already completely open, and therefore someone won't be beetling off with $30,000 of a student's money to Aruba. I did have to pay an extra $150 or so up front when I started my commercial training.

This went down about two years ago...

User avatar
PilotBillFromTexas
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:10 am
Location: KGPM Grand Prairie, Texas

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:26 pm

I know that the Icon has struck a chord with several pilots I know. It has several utility factors that are not found bundled on other airplanes. It's an LSA, so the older guys can forget about their next medical. It can be "landed" on water so even if you never go fishing or camping with it, it's cool knowing that you could. Over-water trips are now safer. The folding wings means that you could stuff it into a hangar with other planes or even into a storage space if you really had to. If you want to travel with it on vacation then you could trailer it and tow it with the RV. It's unique for now, so you have the cool factor which would be good for hours of lies to tell people who ask about it.

I could see these on the decks of expensive yachts like they have their sea-do's and helicopters now. It just looks cool sitting there. Maybe these will be dime-a-dozen in Boca Raton in another 10 years.

I think that it passes the sniff-test for a lot of people because they were smart enough to use a proven Rotax engine, BRS and carbon fiber. They are also being very open with the engineering design and test data.

This is a fun plane, not a "let's see how we can justify the expense" plane.

User avatar
champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Episode #192 "Alumagami"

Postby champguy » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:59 pm

It makes me nervous when they start marketing aviation to the jetski and atv crowd. Any yahoo can twist the loud handle and get a thrill with out hurting too many people. Aviation requires a commitment to a culture of personal responsibility and safety. We maintain this in part by making it harder to get involved, setting a higher bar as it were, before turning just anyone loose to go commit aviation.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image


Return to “Episodes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest