Pretty cool... good thing he had a long runway though... 104 lbs thrust at, say, 30mph (liftoff speed?) translates to 8.3HP, equivalent maybe to a 15HP piston engine turning a prop.
That begs the question that if you've got the horsepower equivalent of a low-end riding lawnmower, what's the point of even making a jet powered ultralight? It's certainly different but I just don't see the reasoning behind it.104 lbs thrust at, say, 30mph (liftoff speed?) translates to 8.3HP, equivalent maybe to a 15HP piston engine turning a prop.
It was back in the early 90s we had a guy show up on the Farm with a jet powered Mitchell Wing. He had used an APU that developed about 150lbs of thrust. He could only fly it for 18mins before he used up his 5 gals of fuel and he had to land before that happened or it would run out of lube.
I was on the main airshow announcing stand and in radio contact with Jamie Kee on the radio. He let me know 1 min before he was ready to take off on 36. I was chatting with Roscoe, Larry, Wayne and a few other anouncers. We all had mics on and they could hear the sound of the jet engine but they couldn't find it! They were looking way too far ahead of the noise!!!! We had a ball talking about the pilot wearing full leathers, white with flames with the line "Kick the tires and light the fires" on the back.
He flew north on 36, made one pass and landed back on the U/L strip.
Roscoe and the guys said for all the noise he sure wasn't going anywhere. I reminded them and the audience that ultralights were resticted to 55kts and that's what he was doing.
It was a hoot!!!!
Frank "WOOF" Beagle
Challenger Dealer CHII N797FB
frankbeagle at hotmail.com
I personally loved this video and the idea. Power requirements appear adequate for what he is doing/testing, and just being able to say you have a jet powered ultralight is reason enough for me!
Why put engines on a glider? And launch it off a sand dune? Crazy idea. What purpose will that ever serve?
I agree...but I also see it as one of those "solution without a problem" sort of deals. What exactly is being moved forward by strapping a turbine to an ultralight? The ultralight market is so limited (not in business terms necessarily but in terms of the performance limitations) that it just seems like a one-off more than an advancement.I always counter these questions with...why not? We won't move forward if people don't take the ideas in their heads, and make them reality.
Touche. LOL However, remember that a lot of ultralights are flown by non-certificated pilots.One can log multi-engine jet time on the cheap.
While I think this is a possibly good idea for the experienced certificated crowd, I just see it as a potential issue given the "touchiness" of a turbine (not to mention the increased maintenance issues) if it were to become commonplace among the non-certificated subset. The last thing we need is more maintenance or engine issues given that we already have the NTSB and FAA watching us closely on that.
Yup. That's kind of what I'm worried about the non-certificated ultralight crowd not abiding by.He could only fly it for 18mins before he used up his 5 gals of fuel and he had to land before that happened or it would run out of lube.