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deuskid



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Location: St Louis, MO

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

In a different forum I recommended through a private message someone in Europe they consider a Lightning [they were discussing Cozy, RV-9 or -7, Lancair and a few others and want a kit and miserly fuel consumption] the germane portion of their private reply follows:

Quote:
I already knew about Lightning and had searched as much info of their product as I could find from the web. It looks to be pretty much copy of Esqual which is pretty much a modified copy of Pulsar. The 1425 lbs gross weight is the most limiting factor on lightning. And it can be possible that the empty weight isn't exactly as light as they promise, it could be more, which would mean the useful load to be pretty crappy. The 775 lbs empty weight is possible, but it may be too optimistic as well, especially taking in account the required equipment is usually not included on that count. Someone commented on Internet that the Lightnings have crappy laminate quality compared to Lancair. Crappy usually also is the synonym of heavy. RV-7 or 9 does not have much larger useful load (only a bit larger), but a metal plane usually weights pretty much as promised as empty whereas the weight of a composite plane can vary. E.g. one TL-96 Star that was being imported to Finland weighted 340 kg = 748 lbs empty whereas the company promised that it would have weighted only 265 kg = 583 lbs.


I'm not knowledgeable or experienced enought to address the stated concerns. How valid are they?

Thanks

John


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pequeajim



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 708
Location: New Holland, PA

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 5:40 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

I think it is too easy yo make direct comparisons of the Lightning to toehr aircraft like the RVs and Lancair.

The first thing to remember is that the Lightning, weight and size wise is about in the same class as most of the light sport aircraft. It is heavier than most light sport, but remember that this is an aircraft that has about the same performance as an RV7 and faster than a RV9, all while burning 5-6 gph!

The fair comparison would be:

Lightning, (empty weight 775lbs, UL 650, cruise 175, stall 45),
Pulsar, (empty weight 775lbs, UL 625, cruise 165, stall 55 )
WT9: (empty weight 605lbs, UL 495, cruise 155, stall 35 )
SportCruiser: (empty weight 748lbs, UL 572, cruise 138, stall 32 )
Zodiac 601: (empty weight 695lbs, UL 625, cruise 160, stall 44 )

The other aircraft that you mentioned are running with a 180-200+hp 10gph 100LL only engine. That was not what I was looking for. You should also note that the Lightning and Zodiac are the only ones in the list above shipping with the Jabiru 3300. If you read some of the messages on the Sportcruiser forums, there are a lot of frustrated people because SAW is not delivering the SC with the 3300 and really does not have a delivery time scheduled.

The weight of your aircraft is based on what you put in it. What you put in it is based on your mission. Most people who load up their aircraft with "goodies" know ahead of time that this will reduce their useful load and accept it, no matter what airplane they are building...

Jim!


On 5/25/07, deuskid <empire.john(at)gmail.com (empire.john(at)gmail.com)> wrote: [quote]--> Lightning-List message posted by: "deuskid" <empire.john(at)gmail.com (empire.john(at)gmail.com)>

In a different forum I recommended through a private message someone in Europe they consider a Lightning [they were discussing Cozy, RV-9 or -7, Lancair and a few others and want a kit and miserly fuel consumption] the germane portion of their private reply follows:
Quote:
I already knew about Lightning and had searched as much info of their product as I could find from the web. It looks to be pretty much copy of Esqual which is pretty much a modified copy of Pulsar. The 1425 lbs gross weight is the most limiting factor on lightning. And it can be possible that the empty weight isn't exactly as light as they promise, it could be more, which would mean the useful load to be pretty crappy. The 775 lbs empty weight is possible, but it may be too optimistic as well, especially taking in account the required equipment is usually not included on that count. Someone commented on Internet that the Lightnings have crappy laminate quality compared to Lancair. Crappy usually also is the synonym of heavy. RV-7 or 9 does not have much larger useful load (only a bit larger), but a metal plane usually weights pretty much as promised as empty whereas the weight of a composite plane can vary. E.g. one TL-96 Star that was being imported to Finland weighted 34!
0 kg = 748 lbs empty whereas the company promised that it would have weighted only 265 kg = 583 lbs.

I'm not knowledgeable or experienced enought to address the stated concerns. How valid are they?

Thanks

John


Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=114691#114691
[quote][b]


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vettin74(at)yahoo.com
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 6:22 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

I think the fellow who wrote this has little or no knowledge of the lightning, although he write as if he does....We have been dealing with composite aircraft for some time now.of all makes.....and find that the finish on the lightning components is better than many composite kits out there. As far as the empty weight of the plane, 775 is very much reality and not just some number. One such airplane at our facility weighed in at 787 and that has dual EFIS systems flat radios ( which are twice as heavy as the round style, leather interior. you get my point, it has all the fun stuff. Our demo, only slightly heavier with wheel pants and auto pilot weighed in at 795, it does have most of the same equipment and round radios.... The RV-9 with the 118 horse powerplant ( the specs with this power plant are comporable to the lightning and the engine is about the same horse) those planes weigh 1015 on their site and the gross is around 1600, 585 useful........not 625. And with the bigger motor it is about 650 so that is close to ours. Being that there are 12 flying lightnings now and every one has come in with 15 lbs of each other (this mostly due to panel choce and interior), not crappy hevay laminate, the posted empty weight is very much real. If we dig deaper into how the lightning components are built, and of course i am sure he did, one would find that we use a system called vacum unfusion which yields a part that is within onces of the last parts that came from that mold because the mold uses a specific amount of resin and glass that are introduced into it, not what ever amount we feel like. The lightning kit is mostly an assembly process with very little epoxy work to do, that said unless the builder uses 10 layers of O90 glass, i am sure they know what this is, and half a kit of aeropoxy to bond in the panel, they will come out with the same weight. I am sure that a little more research would have pointed to these facts before posting....One thing to note is most what is said is followed by " possible", "could", "usually" which are wonderful words of speculation and opinion not fact...Goes to show you can post what you like in the Web.

Nick Otterback
deuskid <empire.john(at)gmail.com> wrote:
[quote]--> Lightning-List message posted by: "deuskid"

In a different forum I recommended through a private message someone in Europe they consider a Lightning [they were discussing Cozy, RV-9 or -7, Lancair and a few others and want a kit and miserly fuel consumption] the germane portion of their private reply follows
Quote:
I already knew about Lightning and had searched as much info of their product as I could find from the web. It looks to be pretty much copy of Esqual which is pretty much a modified copy of Pulsar. The 1425 lbs gross weight is the most limiting factor on lightning. And it can be possible that the empty weight isn't exactly as light as they promise, it could be more, which would mean the useful load to be pretty crappy. The 775 lbs empty weight is possible, but it may be too optimistic as well, especially taking in account the required equipment is usually not included on that count. Someone commented on Internet that the Lightnings have crappy laminate quality compared to Lancair. Crappy usually also is the synonym of heavy. RV-7 or 9 does not have much larger useful load (only a bit larger), but a metal plane usually weights pretty much as promised as empty whereas the weight of a composite plane can vary. E.g. one TL-96 Star that was being imported to Finland weighted 34!
0 kg = 748 lbs empty whereas the company promised that it would have weighted only 265 kg = 583 lbs.

I'm not knowledgeable or experienced Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, [url=http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=48252/*http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch?refer=1ONXIC] mobile search that gives answers[/url], not web links. [quote][b]


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pete(at)flylightning.net
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

Here's another example of an expert declaring a lot of information he knows
nothing about. Or maybe I should say he is more like an old woman passing
along gossip that has no basis in fact.

No one in Europe has flown a Lightning and no one in Europe has any
knowledge of how a Lightning is built. But - the internet is full of advice
and when it comes from people like this person it is worth exactly what you
have paid for it.

Let me set some things straight. The last five Lightnings built have had an
empty weight of between 780 and 800 lbs. If these builders had installed a
light weight interior and left off the extra instruments the planes would
have weighed under 775.

I don't understand where his comments of 1425 being the most limiting
factor. That weight gives the Lightning a useful load of 650 lbs. An RV-6
series does not have any more than that and no one complains about not
enough capacity.

As far as crappy laminate - again here is an expert who has not seen a
Lightning but is passing on "authoritive information". In reality he is
passing on crappy gossip. Those who have seen the quality of the Lightning
fiberglass work always comment about how good it is. Weight is carefully
controlled on every piece by the layup method we use. We cannot get it over
weight as the amount of epoxy is carefully controlled. It really does not
exhibit much intelligence to site a poorly controlled Italian plane and
imply that any other plane would be done as poorly as that one.

I hope that most subscribers to this list can sort out junk mail like this
one and pay attention to those who have built and flown a Lightning like Buz
Rich, Brian Wittingham, Joe Cooper, Earl Ferguson, Linda Mathias, Bill
Hubbard, Rick Bowen, Ryan Gross, and others. These people know what they
are talking about as they have gained their knowledge from experience with
the Lightning.

It would be nice to know who the "private message came from. Those of us
with actual Lightning experience might have a few "private messages" for
him!

Pete

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pequeajim



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 708
Location: New Holland, PA

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

Hear hear!

Man, I wish I had said all that. Nick, you're my hero...


On 5/25/07, nick otterback <vettin74(at)yahoo.com (vettin74(at)yahoo.com)> wrote: [quote] I think the fellow who wrote this has little or no knowledge of the lightning, although he write as if he does....We have been dealing with composite aircraft for some time now.of all makes.....and find that the finish on the lightning components is better than many composite kits out there. As far as the empty weight of the plane, 775 is very much reality and not just some number. One such airplane at our facility weighed in at 787 and that has dual EFIS systems flat radios ( which are twice as heavy as the round style, leather interior. you get my point, it has all the fun stuff. Our demo, only slightly heavier with wheel pants and auto pilot weighed in at 795, it does have most of the same equipment and round radios.... The RV-9 with the 118 horse powerplant ( the specs with this power plant are comporable to the lightning and the engine is about the same horse) those planes weigh 1015 on their site and the gross is around 1600, 585 useful........not 625. And with the bigger motor it is about 650 so that is close to ours. Being that there are 12 flying lightnings now and every one has come in with 15 lbs of each other (this mostly due to panel choce and interior), not crappy hevay laminate, the posted empty weight is very much real. If we dig deaper into how the lightning components are built, and of course i am sure he did, one would find that we use a system called vacum unfusion which yields a part that is within onces of the last parts that came from that mold because the mold uses a specific amount of resin and glass that are introduced into it, not what ever amount we feel like. The lightning kit is mostly an assembly process with very little epoxy work to do, that said unless the builder uses 10 layers of O90 glass, i am sure they know what this is, and half a kit of aeropoxy to bond in the panel, they will come out with the same weight. I am sure that a little more research would have pointed to these facts before posting....One thing to note is most what is said is followed by " possible", "could", "usually" which are wonderful words of speculation and opinion not fact...Goes to show you can post what you like in the Web.

Nick Otterback
deuskid <empire.john(at)gmail.com (empire.john(at)gmail.com)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Lightning-List message posted by: "deuskid"

In a different forum I recommended through a private message someone in Europe they consider a Lightning [they were discussing Cozy, RV-9 or -7, Lancair and a few others and want a kit and miserly fuel consumption] the germane portion of their private reply follows
Quote:
I already knew about Lightning and had searched as much info of their product as I could find from the web. It looks to be pretty much copy of Esqual which is pretty much a modified copy of Pulsar. The 1425 lbs gross weight is the most limiting factor on lightning. And it can be possible that the empty weight isn't exactly as light as they promise, it could be more, which would mean the useful load to be pretty crappy. The 775 lbs empty weight is possible, but it may be too optimistic as well, especially taking in account the required equipment is usually not included on that count. Someone commented on Internet that the Lightnings have crappy laminate quality compared to Lancair. Crappy usually also is the synonym of heavy. RV-7 or 9 does not have much larger useful load (only a bit larger), but a metal plane usually weights pretty much as promised as empty whereas the weight of a composite plane can vary. E.g. one TL-96 Star that was being imported to Finland weighted 34!
0 kg = 748 lbs empty whereas the company promised that it would have weighted only 265 kg = 583 lbs.

I'm not knowledgeable or experienced Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, [url=http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=48252/*http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch?refer=1ONXIC]mobile search that gives answers [/url], not web links.
Quote:


href="http://www.matronics.com/Navigator?Lightning-List" target="_blank">http://www.matronics.com/Navigator?Lightning-List
href="http://forums.matronics.com/" target="_blank">http://forums.matronics.com

[b]


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N1BZRich(at)AOL.COM
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

See what's free at AOL.com.
[quote][b]


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

Hi John,
Again Pete and Nick have already responded, but let me add that getting information from internet forums is often like listening to guys at the bar or in a hangar talk session. You have to shift through the BS to find small morsels of useful information. Most of the talkers are loud mouth boasters that are trying to come off as the "ace of the base" trying to feel important rather than earn respect. Yes, there are sometimes some "pearls of wisdom", but probably more often you have to throw the "bull shit" flag. I am constantly amazed at some of the totally wrong information that is put out by people professing to be knowledgeable.
So I would suggest that the next time someone has something to say about a Lightning (or any other airplane or subject), just ask:
Have you built a Lightning? No. Well, have you flown a Lightning? No. Well have you ever really seen a Lightning or a Lightning kit? No. Well, have you talked to some one that has built or flown a Lightning?
I have used that technique numerous times to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is how you will get the most accurate information. By the way, the same applies to those out there that are bad mouthing the Jabiru engines. I suspect most of them are Rotax dealers seeing their sales decline as the real word gets out about the Jabiru.
Blue Skies,
Buz

See what's free at AOL.com.
[quote][b]


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deuskid



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 26
Location: St Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 5:38 am    Post subject: Thanks - good points Reply with quote

Thanks Guys for the good posts.

This was on a canard forum [so the thinking is already 'out of the box'] and alternative engines are actively promoted [traditional engine mindset is accepted but no one has drunk the kool-aid].

I agree he/she didn't know what they were suggesting and the 'have you seen, flown' argument is a good one 'cept - neither have I.

He/she is an engineer and probably a bit more analytical and cautious than many. Also, his/her 'wish list' is probably made of the material: unobtainium. I've seen many posts by this individual and they are a flying pilot w/ an older certified a/c in northern 1/2 Europe trying to identify the 'perfect' replacement. He/she is not a troller or troublemaker.

I wouldn't take offense at his/her observations but I would like as much information as possible to alay fears and misconceptions to help him/her individually and just make sure the lightning is accurately portraited in general. Good information is the best way to keep misperceptions like this from being perpetuated.

His/her questions/concerns were sincere even if the conclusions are poor - based upon presumption and misinformation.

Give him/her the benefit of the doubt and give me all the information needed so that I can link him/her right here and let them become better informed. That is the best answer for everyone, him/her and the Lightning group.

This thread could be quite useful because this mindset will arise again and again and a solid explanation easily linked would be a great place for all of us to refer 'doubters'.

John


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pequeajim



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 708
Location: New Holland, PA

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:09 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

John:

The problem is that people make strong statements about things that they
have never seen or touched. If someone told me that you were a rocket
scientist, and I responded with several "assumptions" not based on my
experience with you, especially with strong statements using words like
"crap" and insinuating poor expertise, I'm sure you would be offended.

I questioned some things with the Lightning when I first saw it. These were
things that I did not understand about composites and the list quickly
brought me up to date with a good understanding. The people on this list
are very helpful, but when you quote someone who obviously shouldn't even be
granted a listen, then it makes it hard for people to not get offended and
help you.

Pete and the others at Arion/JabiruUSA have endured this before and I'm
amazed at their durability. I guess that's why their aircraft are so
robust, because they are too.

One step at a time and I am sure others on the list would be happy to help.
Use your own judgment in deciding if the Lightning is right for you. You
must be impressed if you recommended it as a possibility in the first place.

This list is one of the reasons that I purchased a Lightning in the first
place. It took me six months of research to get to the point of writing the
check.

Now I'm happy!

--


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Kayberg(at)AOL.COM
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

In a message dated 5/26/2007 9:40:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time, empire.john(at)gmail.com writes:
Quote:

This was on a canard forum [so the thinking is already 'out of the box'] and alternative engines are actively promoted [traditional engine mindset is accepted but no one has drunk the kool-aid].


Not so sure I agree. I think they are firmly locked into a box.  I was on their lists, both canard aviators and alternitive engines, for some time.

Burt Rutan gave the canard a new life that turned out to be short lived. Ask Beech how their Starship turned out. Or remember Larry Heuberger's Stinger or his turboprop hauler, the OMAC 1? There is a reason most airplanes dont lead with their tail.

I would suggest that the most honorable Mr. Rutan made his largest contribution to aviation in the form of advancing moldless and later molded glass composite structures. It is precisely that effort that led to the Lancair and now the Lightning. Lighter weight and better aerodynamics make for faster airplanes that carry more.

Oh, I understand the efficiency of a canard and winglets. They are a must for flying around the world on one tank of gas. But puting the tail where it can do the most good, like pitch control at low speeds, means we have near the speeds of a glass-backwards plane but can land 20 mph slower.

I sold my Long-Eze projeect when it finally dawned on me that no matter what I did, I could not hit the ground any slower than 60 mph. And, no matter what I did, I could not operate a canard out of a 1500 foot grass strip.

I am a great fan of alternitive engines.....I am still waiting for someone to actually produce one that is affordable and reliable. I do like the Jabiru, but reality is that I can build a Lycoming from parts for less than half the price....it will just weigh 60 lbs more...which is still lighter than most alternitives.

If you have any background in mechanics at all, you will fall in love with a Jabiru, particularly if you see one disassembled. Makes all the sense in the world. Just costs too damn much!!!...until you price a 912 Rotax!!!

Doug Koenigsberg

See what's free at AOL.com.
[quote][b]


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

Kayberg(at)aol.com wrote:
Quote:
I do like the Jabiru, but reality is that I can build a Lycoming from
parts for less than half the price....

What's a realistic amount of time needed to assemble and test such an
engine? For example, if half the price of a Jabiru is, say, $7,000,
and you take 280 hours to assemble a comparable Lycoming from $7,000
worth of parts then if you value your time at more than $25/hour then
you are better off buying an assembled engine for $14,000.

Generally the lower the engine cost, the less advantage there is in
building one from parts. In this case your construction of a heavier
engine also eats into your plane's payload capacity.

Of course if you are retired and/or enjoy the process itself then
building an engine from parts may be just the ticket. That assumes of
course that one accepts that the cost of parts adds up to less then
a factory assembled engine. I know that is not generally the case in
the automotive engine world. I'd like to see proof that one can buy
all the parts to build a Lycoming that adds up to a cost lower than a
factory assembled engine.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 4:45 am    Post subject: another's concern Reply with quote

Thanks for thinking about this, James. I did make a couple of assumptions.

1) That if you could build an airplane, you could build an engine....with some help, of course. They are actually rather simple in construction. There is a learning curve to some of the details of course.

2) That the engine would be assembled from used parts that may not meet certified standards. For example, some crankshaft cracks are acceptable for an experimental engine but none for a certified. Obviously some cracks are acceptable only for airboats!! As you might expect, there is a substantial difference in price between airboat and certified.

I have an O-290-G case bored to accept O-320 cylinders, using a O-235 crankshaft with backing plates, mechanical lifters, Bendix mags, carb, manifold, new pistons and rings, etc. I picked it up on Barnstormers dissassembled for $1,900. My plan is to spend about 30 hours assembling it, another $1,000 on parts and will pay an engine shop another $1,000 to coach me on assembling. I will build it for low horsepower, 130-150, so I can feel comfortable burning auto gas. Since most planes only fly 100 hours a year or less, I think I can get 10 years out of it with no problem. Hence my statements about a less than half price engine.

You are correct about engine weight, I would not even dream of puting it in a Lightning. I am working on a Witman Buttercup

In my opinion, for the money, the Lightning is the best combination of engine and airframe out there today. It offers the best combination of high and low speeds along with good handling and fuel efficiency. That is why I am a part owner in our demo plane at Green Landings. Being a scrooge, I just hate that it costs so much. Yes it is worth it and I am not getting any younger, but......


Doug Koenigsberg

In a message dated 5/26/2007 7:59:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, JamesL(at)Lugoj.com writes:
Quote:

What's a realistic amount of time needed to assemble and test such an
engine? For example, if half the price of a Jabiru is, say, $7,000,
and you take 280 hours to assemble a comparable Lycoming from $7,000
worth of parts then if you value your time at more than $25/hour then
you are better off buying an assembled engine for $14,000.

Generally the lower the engine cost, the less advantage there is in
building one from parts. In this case your construction of a heavier
engine also eats into your plane's payload capacity.

Of course if you are retired and/or enjoy the process itself then
building an engine from parts may be just the ticket. That assumes of
course that one accepts that the cost of parts adds up to less then
a factory assembled engine. I know that is not generally the case in
the automotive engine world. I'd like to see proof that one can buy
all the parts to build a Lycoming that adds up to a cost lower than a
factory assembled engine.




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