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Bummin' on Empty Weight

 
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tinnemaha(at)hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Hello List,
Having calculated/estimated weights & CGs for paint & fuselage fabric/paint,
I did a preliminary weight & balance on my Series 5 taildragger w/ Lyc O-235
recently. My thinking was to find the ideal location for the ELT (before
covering the fuselage......everything else is done) so as to avoid carrying
balast. I'm very disappointed in the results.
Having been conscious of the heavy engine for quite a while, I feel like
I've gone to great lengths & expense to reduce weight everywhere, especially
in the nose. Alternator driven off the vacuum pump pad, belt groove removed
from flywheel, shortened prop extension 5/8", one electronic ignition, light
weight fuel & oil lines, copper clad aluminum battery cables & numerous
smaller measures. I was so much looking forward to coming in close to Cliff
Begnaud's/Vic Jackson's 870 lbs empty weight for what I believe to be
virtually the same aircraft. My results (w/ELT in the very back):
Rt Main: 436 lbs
Lt Main: 436 lbs
Tail: 42 lbs
Total: 914 lbs
I realize the airplane will still fly fine, but it will not perform like one
that is 50 lbs lighter. I can only take poor & accusing guesses as to where
the extra weight came from (heavy spring aluminum landing gear?, factory
quick build wings?, powdercoating?, varnish on wood ribs? I've really got
no idea!) Any suggestions? I have the medium weight fabric on the wings &
tail surfaces with one coat of pink on. Fabric on the fuselage as well as
silver & paint everywhere was calculated/estimated & simulated with weights
hanging on strings.
More importantly, any suggestions on what I can do now to further reduce
weight in the nose or add functional weight in the tail? Does anyone know
of a 9 or 10 pound tailwheel? God, I hate to add weight at all, especially
to an already heavy airplane! I have a strong aversion to carrying around
balast just for the sake of balast.
I took the measurements with analog bathroom scales & multiplier
arms.......As they got my body weight correct, I have no reason to believe
the scales are inaccurate. I took the measurements 3 times with small
variations in results.
Any suggestions on how to improve my situation (or why I got into it) will
be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Grant


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donpearsall(at)comcast.ne
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Grant, where is the battery located? For the heavy engines, most people put
it in the tail area. I would hate to see you add ballast too. On my KF 5
with Subaru I made a battery box and hung it just forward of the rear
stabilizer.
Don Pearsall


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shoeless(at)barefootpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


One of the biggest weight savers on my plane was the use of ASF finish. But
there were lots of little items that all add up. Lightweight alternator off
of a kubota tractor, custom aluminum pulley on alternator, tiny aluminum
skull cap spinner, lightweight starter, 2 electronic ignitions (no mags), no
mechanical fuel pump, minimalist panel, lightweight seat cushions, absence
of fancy interior, lightweight Odyssey battery in the tail, lightweight ELT,
fuselage is painted instead of powdercoated.
There are probably numerous other things that Vic did that I don't know
about.
Don't sweat it, at 914 lbs you still have the "second lightest" kitfox with
an 0-235
Wink
Cliff
Kitfox 5, 870 lbs
Grant, where is the battery located? For the heavy engines, most people put
it in the tail area. I would hate to see you add ballast too. On my KF 5
with Subaru I made a battery box and hung it just forward of the rear
stabilizer.
Don Pearsall


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ddsyverson(at)comcast.net
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Grant,
I couldn't tell for sure if your greater concerns were weight OR balance.
If it is balance you are concerned with - I know of other folks with a
heavy-engined Kitfox who have put the battery in the tail just below and
ahead of the horizontal stabalizer. This adds little to the weight (just the
addtional wire to the back), but changes the CG a lot if that is what you
need. Finding a location for other things which can be moved towards the rear
of the airplane will help move the CG to the rear also. I am not so sure what
the weight of a battery way out in the tail would do to spin characteristics
- in general a person wants the weight concentrated near the CG as much as
possible for better spin characteristics.
If your main concern is weight, you might consider that the extra 44 pounds
from 870 to 914 isn't all that much - just pick a skinny passenger (one who
is 44 pounds lighter). But the real thing to consider is this - compared to
the same engine (O-235) in a cessna 152 - you're light years ahead in the
performance department even with an additional 44 pounds - You will have
fantastic short field and climb performance with your Kitfox anyway.
Good luck with your project.
Sincerely,
Dave
M-7 in process
On Sunday 08 January 2006 12:46 pm, Tinne maha wrote:
Hello List,
Having calculated/estimated weights & CGs for paint & fuselage
fabric/paint, I did a preliminary weight & balance on my Series 5
taildragger w/ Lyc O-235 recently. My thinking was to find the ideal
location for the ELT (before covering the fuselage......everything else is
done) so as to avoid carrying balast. I'm very disappointed in the
results.


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vicwj(at)earthlink.net
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Hello, Cliff,
I saw your name on Vic's e-mail, so I am answering your message to let you
know that Vic passed away quite unexpectedly in his sleep on Thursday,
January 5. Will you please take his name off the Kitfox-List so I can
manage his e-mail with less time spent on the general messages. This will
be a great help to me. If you want to e-mail to me reb66(at)earthlink.net or
call 830-372-0444. Your name is the only one I recognize out of numerous
messages; so hopefully you can handle this in a way which would cause no
problem to yourself.
Thanks,
Ruth
Quote:

>

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shoeless(at)barefootpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Ruth,
This is a terrible shock. My sincere condolences! Vic will be missed by many
of us in the Kitfox community.
You should know that Vic has built a very special airplane and it has been
an inspiration for others to attempt to duplicate what he accomplished.
Despite great effort, his work at building a light weight high performance
kitfox remains unmatched.
Vic will be remembered as a giving individual and as a pioneer in our kitfox
community. Vic was well liked and respected by his kitfox friends.
Although I only met him face to face on two occasions, we communicated
enough that I thought of him as a dear friend. My heart hangs heavy with
yours.
Ruth, everyone here also appreciates his lifelong service to our country in
the US Army. For those that don't know, Vic was a retired Major from the
Army.
If you would like to share any other info about Vic with us, we would be
grateful to know more about Vic.
The list administrator will see this message and remove Vic's email address
from the Kitfox list.
Best Wishes to you and your family,
Cliff Begnaud
Hello, Cliff,
I saw your name on Vic's e-mail, so I am answering your message to let you
know that Vic passed away quite unexpectedly in his sleep on Thursday,
January 5. Will you please take his name off the Kitfox-List so I can
manage his e-mail with less time spent on the general messages. This will
be a great help to me. If you want to e-mail to me reb66(at)earthlink.net or
call 830-372-0444. Your name is the only one I recognize out of numerous
messages; so hopefully you can handle this in a way which would cause no
problem to yourself.
Thanks,
Ruth
Quote:

>


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Flybradair(at)cs.com
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


In a message dated 1/8/06 12:57:06 PM Central Standard Time,
tinnemaha(at)hotmail.com writes:
Quote:


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lcfitt(at)sbcglobal.net
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


I have been thinking of this thread and have some thoughts.
For the past several years, I have been involved with a group that has had
an annual back country trip to Idaho sometime each summer. All of the
Kitfoxes are Model IVs except for one year when we had a Model III with a
Rotax 912 join us.
Mind you this was a week living out of the airplane. Sometimes we stayed in
motels, but we always had camping gear in case we were overnighting in a
more remote location. My airplane was the heaviest empty at 704 lbs. Mark
had the lightest at 604 exactly 100 lbs lighter than mine. Larry was
somewhere in between. I had carpet, grove gear and lots of other stuff -
PVC wing strut fairings electric trim - everything heavy I could findand fit
in.
Mark always took his son Ty with him. Larry took his son one year. Ty is
in highschool now and Larry's son was in highschool probably 15 years ago.
In short, with camping gear fuel (we topped off regularly) and enough
clothing to not be too offensive by week's end, we were all at gross wt. if
not a couple of pounds over.
What this practically means is that a light airplane has more payload. A
lower empty weight, at least on our trips, was able to carry more souls or
stuff and that's what they did. Only once was there any "pucker" on a
departure and the judicious use of flaps on that occasion lifted the "heavy"
over the trees. I can't imagine flying some serious cross country with
mountains and dirt strips and not be full unless, of course, that is your
home base. Then you have the advantage of living where everyone else wants
to spend their vacation.
For me, I am always looking for the ultralight camping gear. My sleeping
bag weighs 1lb. 13 oz.. and packs to the size of a football. My tent
weighs 8 lbs. and I love it's features. I would have to lose at least 4 lbs
to make a change there. I am also always looking for a lighter smaller camp
chair - a must on an extended stay. Camping gear is in the back; my
backpack straps in where I wish my wife sat more often.
Anyway, don't fret to much on the empty weight. Granted lighter is better,
but in practicality, in my opinion, lighter is only worth some bragging
rights unless you like to travel extremely well.
Lowell


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jopatco(at)mindspring.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


Hello Lowell
Let me know when you are taking your trip. I would like to join you.
John


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kirkhull(at)sbcglobal.net
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote


On my classic VI with a suberu I moved the battery all the was back to the
tail and that helped a lot
--


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smokey_bear_40220(at)yaho
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:22 am    Post subject: Bummin' on Empty Weight Reply with quote

So well said Clifford. I am in shock and speachless.
Totally unexpected.

Kurt S.

--- Clifford Begnaud <shoeless(at)barefootpilot.com>
wrote:

Quote:
Ruth,
This is a terrible shock. My sincere condolences!
Vic will be missed by many of us in the Kitfox
community.

Quote:
You should know that Vic has built a very special
airplane and it has been
an inspiration for others to attempt to duplicate
what he accomplished.
Despite great effort, his work at building a light
weight high performance kitfox remains unmatched.
Vic will be remembered as a giving individual and as
a pioneer in our kitfox
community. Vic was well liked and respected by his
kitfox friends.
Although I only met him face to face on two
occasions, we communicated
enough that I thought of him as a dear friend. My
heart hangs heavy with yours.

Ruth, everyone here also appreciates his lifelong
service to our country in
the US Army. For those that don't know, Vic was a
retired Major from the Army.
If you would like to share any other info about Vic
with us, we would be grateful to know more about
Vic.

Quote:
The list administrator will see this message and
remove Vic's email address from the Kitfox list.
Best Wishes to you and your family,
Cliff Begnaud


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