A Wheeled powered para-glider
Because my legs aren't good as an undercarriage.
AprilI'm still busy with the new house. I haven't even had time to fantasize I'll fly again.
The moving process is still ongoing and my official deadline to have my old house empty is the 15th of June.
I moved the Quad to Nimbin mid 2017 because it was safer here in an open shed than locked up in Riverview.
When I tried to start it in early 2018 the engine was totally dead. It appeared to be a dead ECU (it was).
A few weeks ago I got brave and took as look at the ECU. I found the M7 reserve voltage protection diode on the ECU PCB was open circuit.
I got a couple on ebay for about $1.50 and replace it yesterday. I managed to start the engine today.
It still sounds pretty good but the gauges show one side is running a little warmer than the other.
It is a bit worrying that the original diode blew without a known cause.
There is unlikely to any quad news for 2017. My quad has not been rigged for over a year. My focus has been on building a new house in Nimbin.My new place is beside paddock suitable for mowing a strip or two.
I've spoken to HGFA about my situation and the interaction has been quite positive. My quad is in NSW and mostly I'm still in Qld. I don't know if I'll bring the quad back to Qld or fly it at a NSW training site. Keeping the quad here at my old place is awkward - I have to keep it in a secure area as the place is crawling with petty crims.
OlderGetting legally airborne has spanned >4 years - this is not normal.
The delay was mostly due to the laws in Australia. There have also been many problems with the quad.
It takes a few days if you are in a sensible country that doesn't require a license or rego for such a light machine.
The US has FAR-103 which badly needed here as well but there is no chance CASA will release the strangle hold on light hobby aircraft.
Here instructors qualified to issue wheeled PPG licenses are few and far between.
The new rules are very inflexible and ignore prior experience on other types of aircraft. This is crazy considering PPC aerochutes can now be used for PPG training. I've done 7 hours in an aerochute but with PPC instructor not a PPG instructor.
I've also had problems unrelated to flying which needed my attention.
Pages started 6-July-2013
BlackHawk LowBoy II Quad
July 2013The big attraction for me to the quad isn't the four wheels but the optional Hell Cat 360 four-stroke engine. The Hell Cat 360 is 35HP and claims 5+ hours duration on 16.6 litres.
This isn't the only 4-stroke PPC but there aren't many.
The power is a lot less than the rotax-582 but because it uses lower drag chute you don't need as much.
The crash protection seems pretty marginal to me and you can visualize for yourself what could happen in one of these fights with a barbed wire fence. A roll onto the side wouldn't be fun but a flip upside down could be pretty nasty. The quad disassembles for easy transport (not this one) and at 4 foot wide (no it isn't) it should fit my existing box trailer (no it doesn't).
I'm not sure if 4 wheels is a good idea or not but it looks like it is asking to have floats fitted.
I'm not sure about speed and glide angle and these will depends on the canopy and load.
October 2013It has been three months and still no quad but it is on the way.
If I knew then what I know now I might have bought something else.
The problems are mostly red-tape and not that it is a bad machine.
Much of the information I was given or read was wrong.
There is currently no legal way to fly these in Australia.
There is a registration problem if you want to fly with the RAA and there is a licensing problem if you want to fly with the HGFA.
The former (RAA) problem can be fixed if blackhawk produce a certificate of compliance.
The latter (HGFA) problem is being worked on and could be sorted out by the end of the year but no one knows for sure.
The HGFA seems better suited to the quad. The biggest problem with the HGFA path is there will be no passenger ratings for quite some time (many years).
I've also been told the standard hellcat is under-powered for all but the lightest passengers. However the fuel injected version may have a bit more power than the carburetor version.
Another thing which was exaggerated was the short takeoff run.
Once the canopy is inflated and stable you can takeoff in metres - however it takes quite a while for an average pilot to get the canopy stable. This will probably depend on what wing you are using but the beginners wing I'm getting takes time to stabilize - I'll post some numbers once I'm flying it.
21st October 2013.I finally have it.
28th October 2013.My comments at this point are negative - that may be normal when the toy arrives and isn't quite as expected.
There are virtually no instructions. There is a little on building the frame but there are differences between the one in the video and mine.
There are no colour codes stickers (as per video) to help match up the parts.
The parts aren't exactly precision made - bends were noticeably different comparing one side to the other and holes didn't line up if the left and right hang bars were interchanged.
One of the selling points was that the quad could be pulled apart in 15 minutes and put inside a car.
This might be true for some 2-stroke models but there is no way this will work on the hellcat/verner model.
The cage is four piece as expected but the radiator is mounted on the two upper sections and there is a oil cooler on the lower left hand one.
So - the cage really has to stay in one piece.
Also I don't see the front seat working out.
I've sat it in place and there isn't enough room for my legs to go past and onto the steering bar.
I can reach the bar but there is no way I could stay like that for long.
Part of the problem is the contouring of the rear seat. The bucket seems quite comfortable when your legs are straight but not so when you are spread eagle.
6th Nov 2013.A few more gripes. I should be past this stage soon and reporting good news.
Buried in the engine manual PDF (supplied on CD) is a note that the engine needs to be started within a month of leaving the factory unless preservative is used. I'm guessing the engine takes a lot longer to go from Europe to the US, then to OZ where it sits in customs.
If this had been pointed out early I would have sorted out oil ASAP instead of leaving it till last.
Other bad news from the manual is a low TBO of 350hrs and drive belt life of only 50 Hrs.
(Later - I'm told TBO is currently 600hrs - not great but a lot better than 350.)
7th Nov 2013.One more. (This section will probably be rewritten when I figure out what is going on).
The fuel system seems ill conceived. The main (front) tank is not vented (later - yes it is) . I believe this is done so the main tank can suck fuel from the rear tank (which is vented).
The problem is when you are low on fuel a gain in altitude or temperature will expand the air in the main tank and the remaining fuel will be force into the rear tank.
After the engine stops the fuel pump will probably need to be primed.
So most likely no engine even if the fuel returns to the front tank.
(Later - the supplied fuel circuit is wrong. The rebuilt system *may* prime better.)
I guess there is a chance the pump will suck a fuel air mix instead of running dry but that can't be a good thing either.
Even without moving the quad all the fuel (1/2 a tank) has been pumped into the rear tank by the changes in ambient temperature.
(note at 15nov) The existing fuel circuit is wrong. If a return line is fitted to the rear tank this issue might go away(nop that didn't work).
(note at 18Nov) The front tank cap is actually vented. This means fuel can't be sucked from rear to front (can be siphoned). It also means fuel should not have been forced into the rear by air/vapor pressure - but it was.
(Even later) Mystery solved. The cap has one way valve in it. It can suck air into the tank but it can't go the other way.
8th Nov 2013.
14th Nov 2013.Another note from the engine manual.
NEVER (only in the state of emergency) shut the engine down without sufficient cooling period.
This just isn't going to happen in a paraglider. You will probably do a landing approach at reduced power but you're not going to be doing a cool-down after landing.
Generally you cut power immediately after touchdown to avoid snagging lines in the prop.
15th Nov 2013.From the EFI manual.
3) The fuel return line must be routed back to fuel tank correctly, otherwise you have air bubbles in the fuel supply system, and not able to provide the fuel to the injector.
I don't see a return line.
I don't know what blackhawk intended me to do but the recommended fuel circuit will require an extra T-piece and another fuel tank connection.
The engine came with the pump connected to the regulator without a T-piece so I think they got it wrong.
16th Nov 2013.
This is a graphic of the 3D parts I've designed for the quad so so far.
There will be more.
20th Nov 2013.
Above - roped up for the hang test.
Just about done. Two holes to drill, a tank to stick down and maybe re-align the cage.
It should be ready for ground testing tomorrow if I don't get distracted.
29th Nov 2013.
My birthday photo.
13th Dec 2013.
Capturing 11 minutes of data to diagnose engine trouble.
The verdict was a bad MAP (manifold air pressure) sensor.
I'm waiting for a new one.
Some 3D printed parts on thingiversehttp://www.thingiverse.com/thing:176490
My visit to Propfest 2013
June 2014Last month the "Government's independent Aviation Safety Regulation Review" was published.
It seems I'm not the only one who thinks CASA is being hard to get on with.
HGFA, RRA and sport aircraft are mentioned but no mention of WPPG or PPC specifically.