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Firestar Re-Configure Project
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4600
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

If the plans and instructions are correct from Kolb Aircraft and the aircraft is built according to plans, it will fly.

I didn't make myself too clear, as usual. Of course check the angle of wing incidence when rigging the aircraft. I was speaking primarily to weight and balance numbers.

If there are errors in the instructions and plans, it ain't gonna fly right.

Again, these are my thoughts and ideas, and what little I know about these neat little airplanes.

John Williamson RIP went way beyond CG limits, fore and aft, during his flight testing of his Kolbra. He proved to himself the factory numbers for weight and balance were conservative. I never saw those numbers. I imagine they have been lost forever.

john h
mkIII
Morgan, UT


---- Rex Rodebush <jrrodebush(at)gmail.com> wrote:
Quote:


John,

You said "Did you all know that no numbers are required, in most cases, if a Kolb is built to plans".



My point is that if you measure the angles you know exactly what you have.




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hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

John,
Write the damn book! : )
We all share and have shared the joys of Homer's barn-bred, bare bones aircrafts for many years. (I had 3).
Homer is an historic figure in the ultralight/light sport community and to all who had the pleasure of meeting the gentleman, a good friend.
I got into Homer's world in about 88-90,
and don't know of ANYONE who has worked with the design, (you and brother's mods that became incorporated); enjoyed the nuances of the design and road tested it in the most austere locations and conditions. We have all grown in the sport as a result of you relaying your experiences and steadfast loyalty to the brand.
Your "story" exploits, along with the deeper demensionof your military experience would be a invaluable read to the Kolb community, highly interesting to military and rotor guys and flat out entertaining to the general public!
I for one would like to hear it all of what you and your brother brought to the sport before -- you stop flying.
I live in Cent FL now and started to think of Kolb people all over who know you but really don't. Thought of Glenn Rinck on West Fl, also a military guy, Marine), who built a bunch of Kolbs and others who'd love to hear what all went on as a Viet Nam chopper pilot and your Kolb life.
(I was attached to coalition spec forces in Afghan, 2012 and prayed that we got an American crew. Many time my partner and I didn't! Leave it at that!).
Don't know how funding works or even if you are interested in writing a book, but I'd gladly start the fund with $100 bucks.
Hope you think about it. There's are thousands of flyers, aspiring flyers and dreamers, (not unlike "Flight of Passage - Rinker Buck), who are waiting.
Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com
Date: 9/2/18 2:46 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Subject: Re: Kolb-List: Firestar Re-Configure Project

--> Kolb-List message posted by: <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com>

Kolbers:

Forgot to qualify my comments in my previous message below.

What I write on the Kolb List is in no way meant to encourage anyone to do as I do. My methods of building, repairing, rigging, and flying Kolb aircraft are mostly unconventional by other's standards. I have lived and still live an unconventional life style. I spent time in the US Army Special Forces as an EM and an officer, in peace and war. I have always been somewhat of a maverick. I guess that life style never wears off.

If you want to use any of the info I share, feel free to do it. I don't encourage anyone to do so. What works for me may not work for you. What I share does work for me and has been learned through many years and hours of building, flying, making mistakes, tearing up Kolbs, experimenting, and working until I get something that works well for me.

So please don't go do something because I said I do it.

I'm celebrating 50 years as a rotary wing and fixed wing flight time. I've been able to survive so far. Don't intend to change that.

john h
mkIII
Between East Canyon and Morgan, Utah.


---- jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com wrote:
Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com>

Did you all know that no numbers are required, in most cases, if a Kolb is built to plans.

We checked CG on the Ultrastar by hanging the aircraft from the main spar carry through. If it was close to level it was good to go. No paperwork required. No battery to move forward or back.

My original FS had no weight and balance.

My MKIII did, but the cg was so far back on paper that it was illegal to fly. My MKIII flies pretty good. In a glide it is trimmed perfectly. Under power it takes a lot of nose up trim. That pusher prop is at the end of a long lever that naturally pushes the nose down. That's why we have nose up pitch trim. I've flown some pretty screwed up Kolbs and they flew much better than "The Mystery Ship", Bill B's FSII.

Build and configure the Kolb the way the plans call for, hang some extra long main gear legs and big ass tires and the the Kolb will fly great. The Mystery Ship has some things not built or rigged to specs. Get it back to specs and specified rigging and it will fly.

Do you think you are getting full power out of your HKS? It is a second hand engine with time on it. How do you know it is running like it should?

This thread has got to be a record for the Kolb List.

I can't fix it if I can't see it.

A helicopter produces lift most of the time until you stall the blades, just like stalling a fixed wing. They like clean, cool, dry air. They will settle with power when too much pitch is pulled in and they begin stalling. You get out of that stall by lowering the collective and pushing the nose over, hoping you have enough altitude to recover. Why are we discussing helicopters?

Short landing contestants, the pros at least, don't flare because they are at the very edge of the stall all the way to the ground. They are flared when the are making the approach to land.

Stay close to Larry Cottrell and his FSII. It flies great with an HKS and big tires. Just what Bill B is looking for as an off field aircraft.

john h
Somewhere on a mountain near Morgan, Utah.





---- Denny Baber <baberdk(at)gmail.com> wrote:
> I have thought about the CoG problem. It is a range that the plane will
> operate throughout. But when the plane is in the air, the center of lift of
> a wing is 25%. I think that is the point that the plane rotates about when
> flying, not the CoG. When you raise or lower the tail you are changing the
> angle of attack of the wing by rotating the plane around the angle of lift.
> It becomes apparent that raising the tail reduces the angle of attack which
> also reduces the amount of lift. In my opinion, when the CoGravity is away
> from the CoLift you trim for the difference. The CoG will change, that is
> why it is a range, but the CoLift of your wing is always 25%. The easiest
> way to change CoG is to move the battery but moving the engine seems like
> it would have a larger effect although I haven't tried it. Has anyone else?
> An engine weighs more than a battery but the battery can have a larger
> moment and I'm too lazy to figure it out.
>
> On a taildragger, we normally let the plane slow down until it quits
> flying. But when I see the contests to shorten the landing distance, it
> appears they are increasing the angle of attack above 19 degrees to the
> relative wind at which point the wing will stall at any speed. It should
> drop the plane out of the sky and then you overcome the forward inertia.
> The slower you can fly with the boundary layer attached to the top of the
> wing, the less forward inertia you have to overcome on ground contact. It's
> more of a bombing run than a landing in the contests, but a lot of people
> can't fly a taildragger because you can't flair and they are not very
> patient. In the contests they FLAIR.
>
> A helicopter doesn't lose lift because the wing is rotating and producing
> lift all the way to the ground with no forward motion of the fuselage. The
> fuselage is just drag but raising or lowering the tail will change the area
> exposed to the stationary air along with the AoA. If we put a Kolb in a
> wind tunnel we could play with the elevator angle to personalize it, but
> I'll bet Homer wanted that wing at a certain angle of attack so he wouldn't
> get sued. But with an Experimental, let's have fun.
>
>
>
> [image: image.png]
>
>
> Respectfully,
> Dennis Baber
> Cape Coral, Fl
> baberdk(at)gmail.com
>
>
> Stay Curious





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Jerry-TS-MkII



Joined: 23 Aug 2017
Posts: 43
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Thanks Charlie!! Good to see that two of us are on the same page. The conversation is becoming more humorous, to me anyway.

Putting this into perspective? Well if the front tire on your car or truck BLOWS OUT.. you won't be worried about the balance weights. Bills wing (pretty sure) was flying with a flat. Reminds me of my wife, "Hey, honey, the Celica isn't handling very well! (flumpa, flumpa, flumpa). Duh!

Talking angles and CG? What ALL of you have.. is a AIRPLANE. It may have been built by Kolb parts, or Kolb drawings.. but I'll bet EVERYONE has been modified, AND that everyone flies a little bit different. I think the rest of you should cut a hole in your wing, induce the same upper wing turbulence that Bill experienced as verified by oil splatters (and terrible performance), and THEN talk about the CG or the angle of attack.

Horse power or thrust? The Drifters flew with 27 HP, then 50, and they probably ended up with 100. Bills plane did climb.. just poorly. People have died when the sail cloth came off.. even though the engine was running just fine. If you other guys cut a third of your wing off, tell me how it will fly, esp if it's on the heavy side. Or.. will it fly at all?

Bill is changing the flat tire. I'm sure he will balance it, when it's rolling again. He is not flying a KOLB! It's a modified design of what should be a good airplane. How many different ones did Homer build, while experimenting? And how many DIDN'T make it to production? Bill has one that sorta looks like a Kolb. And until the whole wing is lifting, and clean.. the rest is just speculation.

Jerry


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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

flycolt45(at)aol.com wrote:

<Snip>
Thought of Glenn Rinck on West Fl, also a military guy, Marine), who built a bunch of Kolbs and others who'd love to hear what all went on as a Viet Nam chopper pilot and your Kolb life.
<Snip>

Glenn Rinck sold me my Easy Riser. He is apparently doing well.
https://www.facebook.com/glenn.rinck?fb_dtsg_ag=Adzs3o6QcSse4S1rg4FbAht03CsXJ9Vv6aOQS3Y7QutuEA%3AAdyiBeRARqK5sS2x2l4k6KNuYQwNcL719IGKTSz5lUQ_-g


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_________________
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:46 pm    Post subject: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Hi guys, thanks again for apparently setting a world record Kolb List discussion thread with me... what, no trophy?

Today I just found out that my old glider flying buddy Lt. Col. Jim Payne (USAF ret.) has re-set the world glider altitude record, 76,000 feet in a pressurized unpowered glider flying over the "polar vortex" way down in Aegentina. It is called the Perlan Project, sponsored by Airbus if you want to check it out. The other day he "only" went up to 65,000 feet and broke the previous world record. That may even be a little higher than John H has flown a Kolb Smile

As far as my Firestar "Mystery Ship" ("The Drag Queen"), as of yesterday I removed the oil cooler and oil tank, and after an hour of head-scratching I figured out the better places on the cage to mount them. The oil tank will be very similar to what Larry C had done. The cooler will be parallel to the rear fuselage instead of sticking out to the sides. There may be anough air going through it that way, or I may have to make a little scoop, but the scoop would not have anything to do with the air flowing around the wings.

These changes will allow me to install a "solid" center section fairing across the upper wing center like Larry did. His LOWER center section does not have a gap seal, it is sealed at the top. I may do that, or I may keep my existing lower gap seal for a "double" seal.

The best rule is of course to change one thing at a time, as mentioned. So I am changing the center section FIRST, because that is what almost everyone has focused in on as a likely cause of my drg issue. So I will move the oil cooler and oil tank, make the top gap seal perfectly sealed as far back as I can get it, and I will test fly it in THAT configuration, without changing anything else.

BUT... this huge discussion with all of you (and others) has brought up several other strange possibilities:

1) The wings could be at the wrong angle on the fuselage, regardless of whether it matches the plans. I have not heard back from Kolb about the RANGE of different angles of wing incidence that are acceptable. But it is absolutely possible that LOWERING the wing angle, by drilling the hole up HIGHER on the fitting (like the photos of the Mark 3 that were posted today) would reduce the drag significantly. But that would make it "not a stock Firestar any more". If nothhing else works I may try that.

2) It may be my strange custom exhaust that is blocking the airflow into the propeller, and robbing engine pwoer, and creating back-pressure, etc. If the center section retrofit does not solve the entire problem, then I will have to try going back to the HKS exhaust like Larry C.

3) The carburetors being mounted up above the engine cylinders (for a tractor type installation) is DEFINITELY creating more frontal area (some amount of drag) AND they are blocking some air into the propeller, AND these mounts put the carburetor in the low-pressure "suction" field directly in front of the prop. So this could conceivably be reducing the intake maniforld pressure, robbing me of some amount of engine pwoer.

4) .The propeller may be dragging the aircraft like a brake, because it is at too fine of a pitch. This seems less likely because I am indeed getting max continuous RPM with the throttle open. But I have no do ubt the propeller may not be set up at the optimum pitch.

Bill Berle
www.ezflaphandle.com  - safety & performance upgrade for light aircraft
www.grantstar.net           - winning proposals for non-profit and for-profit entities

--------------------------------------------
On Sun, 9/2/18, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> wrote:

Subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Date: Sunday, September 2, 2018, 5:19 PM


Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net>


flycolt45(at)aol.com wrote:
>
>
> Thought of Glenn Rinck on West Fl,
also a military guy, Marine), who built a bunch of Kolbs and
others who'd love to hear what all went on as a Viet Nam
chopper pilot and your Kolb life.
>
>

Glenn Rinck sold me my Easy Riser. He
is apparently doing well.
https://www.facebook.com/glenn.rinck?fb_dtsg_ag=Adzs3o6QcSse4S1rg4FbAht03CsXJ9Vv6aOQS3Y7QutuEA%3AAdyiBeRARqK5sS2x2l4k6KNuYQwNcL719IGKTSz5lUQ_-g

--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Engine is
in place, now for the wiring. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is
wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.




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Rex Rodebush



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Branson West area, Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Bill,

When I called Brian at Kolb for the angles on my Mark III Xtra he gave me the following: Set the digital level on the Motor Mounts fore and aft and zero. The wing should be +3.4 degrees, the boom -6.1 degrees (ref), and the horiz. stab. -4.8 degrees.

This is reference information only. This may or may not apply to a Firestar.

I would pester Kolb again and see if they can give you some information. If you know someone nearby with a good flying firestar maybe they will let you get the information yourself.

By the way, the difference in my wing angle from the "measured" set up to what Brian recommended was about 3 degrees.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

When I called Brian at Kolb for the angles on my Mark III Xtra he gave me the following: Set the digital level on the Motor Mounts fore and aft and zero. The wing should be +3.4 degrees, the boom -6.1 degrees (ref), and the horiz. stab. -4.8 degrees.
---------------------------------------------------------

So if my math is correct, the total "decalage angle" for the Kolb (the angle between the wing and the stabilizer) is over 8 degrees. That seems like a whole lot to me, but I do not have an aero engineering degree.

What I believe I do know from researching Kolbs for a while, is that different models of Kolb aircdraft had different angles, and these LOOK like theyw ere changed around from one model to another in order to meet a certain mission, or achieve certain speeds, etc.

For example it looks to me (from the various photos) that the Slingshot was designed for a higher speed range, and the wing/tail angles were a lot lower. I also be lieve that this was accomplished by the hole drilled in the wing spar attach fitting at the root.

John H can you shed some light on this, as to whether different Kolbs had different wing angles, and what the reasons were for these changes?

Bill Berle
www.ezflaphandle.com  - safety & performance upgrade for light aircraft
www.grantstar.net           - winning proposals for non-profit and for-profit entities


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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Since I just happen to have two Kolb's on premises, I went out this morning and measured the angles on both of them. To keep things consistent, I raised the tail on the Firefly until the motor mounts were at 0 degrees - level - and then measured everything else relative to that. Since the hangar the MKIII lives in is on a slope, the motor mounts were within 1.7 degrees of being level, so I simply adjusted the numbers accordingly.
Also - just for the record, the Firefly was rebuilt from an original 1985 Firestar - it still has the original full size wings on it - so the numbers listed are for what a Firestar was back in 1985.

Firestar:
Motor mount = 0
Wing = 3 degrees
Stab = .2 degrees
Main tube = -6.8 degrees

MKIII
Motor mount = 0
Wing = 7.1 degrees
Stab = 1.8 degrees
Main tube = -5.1 degrees

Quite a variation, both of them fly excellent, the Firestar/Firefly cruises at 55 at 5500 rpm with a 277, will top out at 70, so it doesn't take a lot of horsepower to make a Firestar go fast.

Edit: Thinking about the variations in incidence of the different pieces parts of the different Kolbs, A small light just came on.
Maybe.
When flying at normal cruise speed, the bottom of the Kolb wing is typically somewhere around 3 degrees nose up relative to the horizon, give or take a bit, and probably constant for all models, since all of them use the same airfoil.
Given the low thrust of the 277, it is acceptable to have the engine thrust line of the original Firestar/FireFly at 3 degrees relative to the wing.
With the 582 (or 912/914) on the MKIII, and a lot more thrust trying to push the nose over, it requires a much different motor mount angle - around 7 degrees - to make it work. Probably an HKS will make just a tad less thrust than a 582, but about the same.

Decalage: Once again, given the comparatively lower thrust from the 277 on the Firestar/Firefly, 2.8 degrees is acceptable and works good. I imagine that as thrust goes up, the engine needs to be at a progressively greater angle relative to the wing. If the HKS is not making as much thrust as expected, then the motor mount angle needs to be reduced relative to the wing
BUT
you could probably also resolve it somewhat by changing the decalage angle between the wing and the stab. Perhaps this is a factor in Bill's situation? Not sure what to think about that one.
The MKIII probably needs the 5.3 degrees of decalage between the wing and the stab because when you add a passenger to the MKIII, all of their weight goes ahead of the CG, and the MKIII will be needing a lot more variation in trim than the Firestar/FireFly.

Thinking about the angle between the wing and the boom tube, there is a 9.8 degree angle for the original Firestar, and a 12 degree angle for the MKIII. Maybe because the original MKIII gear legs were pretty short and you needed that much of a wing angle to get it off and on the ground?
Worth what ya paid for it.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.


Last edited by Richard Pike on Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rex Rodebush



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Branson West area, Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Richard,

I notice that the difference on my wing to stabilizer is 8.2 degrees to yours is 8.9 degrees. Essentially the same. The Firestar is definitely a different animal.


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Rex Rodebush



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Branson West area, Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Firestar Re-Configure Project Reply with quote

Sorry, I added when I should have subtracted. Your difference is 5.3 degrees.

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