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ArcticDave

ArcticDave's Legal Eagle XL

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ArcticDave    742

I have always wanted to fly. I was lucky enough to get some stick time growing up in my uncles Cessna 170 and his Piper Pa-18. He did the take off and landing part... I just got to do flying part. It was enough to get me hooked thoroughly. 

I don't have a pilots license. Never could afford it. I always figured that was a dream that would never happen. Then I started looking at homebuilt designs and found one that got my interest. 

The Legal Eagle is, when built to plans, a legal FAR 103 ultralight. Thrust is supplied by a half VW engine. 

The airborne prospector is coming! 

The picture I attached is a very crudely photochopped image of a completed LE

I'll document the build here in the hobby section( got to spice it up a bit, this  section is slooooww.)

Hopefully the first week of next month I will have enough money to run over to Corona, California and pick up supplies for the project. I tried to source the 4130 chromoly from Phoenix, but prices were over three times the cost of getting it myself from Aircraft Spruce. 

Check out a youtube user Joe Spencer, He has some great videos. 

Les Homan is another youtuber flying a Legal Eagle with some great videos.

Enjoy!

Feel free to chime in as we go along. It would be awesome to get this thing airborne by next summer.  

LegalEagleXL OD Green (771x370).jpg

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chrisski    249

Looks very nice.  Will be quite the fulfilling project.

 

I wonder what the BLM's policy is launching these from public lands?

 

AZ I quite large and I wonder why we don't see more of these.

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ArcticDave    742

From info I have, its legal to land and take off from BLM land without a permit, provided it is not for hire. For profit use requires a permit. State trust land is usable as well. Affix a ohv sticker somewhere in case you get stopped. 

Why is there not more? Good question...probably because of the testicular fortitude( or stupidity) required to strap yourself into something you built and go hurtling through space. The ground is hard...:arrowheadsmiley:

Edited by ArcticDave
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ArcticDave    742

National park land is off limits to landing.  National Forest land is an unknown. Probably a no go. You can fly over though! They can't stop that...yet.

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Terry Soloman    243

You can't land a helicopter or plane on BLM or National forest land without a permit, and they can take up to 18-months to get. We used to fly folks into the Bradshaw Mountains, but had to land on private property, or hover and jump, which is not for old guys and out of shape folks. Helicopter pilots usually don't allow folks on their skids without a lot of insurance. 

I built myself a "Mosquito" helicopter a couple of years ago, got cocky with it up by the Sikorsky plant in Connecticut and crashed it. I was so shook up I sold the parts we recovered. Just remember, these little aircraft are cute, but they come apart and crash regularly. 

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ArcticDave    742

You're lucky to still be here Terry.Glad you survived!  Thats a lesson learned the hard way. Getting cocky has killed a lot of folks. 

As far as BLM is concerned is is legal to land a fixed wing w/o a permit here in this area. The permit is required when the use is commercial in nature...such as yours. Heli's seem to have a LOT stricter regulations than fixed wing so your extra difficulties may be related to that. 

Nobody is going to bother you for landing in the middle of the desert in an ultralight. Middle of town...different story. 

If I am ever approached by a LEO with too much time on his hands. It's real easy to claim it was an emergency landing. That is protected by exemptions in all travel restriction laws.

Edited by ArcticDave
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Terry Soloman    243

You're right Dave- on all counts. My original plan was to trailer the Mosquito to Arizona, and take it back into some areas I want to drywash. I had thought about ultra-light fixed wing, but landing and taking off in some of the places I want to get into is impossible, probably less than 50-feet. I have been looking into gyrocopters...

 

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ArcticDave    742

I drooled over a Mosquito for awhile. It would be fantastic for access! I chartered a R- 22 once and it was amazing. All you need is a clear patch of ground the size of a piece of plywood. 

I however realized that balancing collective, pitch, throttle and tail rotor all at the same time...was probably a dance that I couldn't master. I really don't know how you guys do it. Voodoo...

You should look into fixed wing a bit more. New trikes, both para and fixed wing can get you up just as quickly, if not quicker than the take off run of a gyro. Like 40'-50'. Wing design improvments such as leading edge slots or slats along with Fowler style flaps can lower stall speeds to 15 mph or so in traditional fixed wing aircraft. The Valdez STOL championship is held every spring. Amazing to watch! There are videos on youtube that are worth watching if you're into aviation at all.

Edited by ArcticDave
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  [cynical weaver]  A boat is a hole in the water you throw cash into.

 A plane is cash you throw into  a strong wind[/cynical weaver]:tisk-tisk::4chsmu1:

  But then, everyone picks their own poison.

Edited by weaver hillbille
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ArcticDave    742

It is Weav. It seems we can't even breathe nowadays without pissing money away. Might as well piss it away on something fun. 

:4chsmu1:

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LukeJ    485

When I was taking my fixed wing classes...

My teacher was quoted as saying,  " A helicopter is a loose collection of parts going somewhere to crash..."   :4chsmu1:

Still that wouldn't have stopped me from getting my Helo rating, but the expense did.

Good Luck with your project, you seem well informed and capable.  Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

:thumbsupanim

Luke

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homefire    1,542
ArcticDave    742
29 minutes ago, LukeJ said:

When I was taking my fixed wing classes...

My teacher was quoted as saying,  " A helicopter is a loose collection of parts going somewhere to crash..."   :4chsmu1:

Still that wouldn't have stopped me from getting my Helo rating, but the expense did.

Good Luck with your project, you seem well informed and capable.  Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

:thumbsupanim

Luke

Thanks Luke! :)

7 minutes ago, homefire said:

Homefire...that looks like it was fun. What did it have for an engine, a little rotax or cayuna? I guess the big question is how did it break? You thankfully have lived to tell us about it. 

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homefire    1,542

Cayuna !   Never sputtered on me.  It outright failed for the guy that bought it about 2 years later. 

 

Had 220 hours on it when sold.  Guess he didn't rebuild it in time.

Edited by homefire
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homefire    1,542

It didn't get broke, I Did.  Needed the cash.

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azdigger    340

Only flying I am gonna do is with my RC planes , safer that way. :4chsmu1:

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ArcticDave    742
8 hours ago, azdigger said:

Only flying I am gonna do is with my RC planes , safer that way. :4chsmu1:

I have always wanted an RC plane or four, but I can't see them very well at any distance. Makes it hard for me to control. I end up flying them into trees, rocks and whatever else is unfortunate enough to get in the way :tisk-tisk:

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Bill Southern    1,089

Cool, looking forward to it, do I have to put in a runway here now?

 

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azdigger    340

My RC planes run anywhere from a 16 inch wing to an 8 1/2 ft wing. Got piper styles , cosair, and a Waco bi-plane , even a Cessna 310 style.

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ArcticDave    742
2 hours ago, Bill Southern said:

Cool, looking forward to it, do I have to put in a runway here now?

 

:ROFL:

Don't think I haven't already scoped that out! Pesky powerlines...I'd end up arc welding myself :yikes:

I'll make the wings fold and drag it a few minutes away to clear wide open ground. 

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ArcticDave    742
1 hour ago, azdigger said:

My RC planes run anywhere from a 16 inch wing to an 8 1/2 ft wing. Got piper styles , cosair, and a Waco bi-plane , even a Cessna 310 style.

8 1/2'!!! Thats a whopper:woot:

That probably is a lot of fun. Building it would be fun too. 

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