The homemade ultralight built by Peter Sripol is really getting there! Here's where he's up to with the project.
Not many people can say they've built their own ultralight. Even fewer can say they've done it with materials found at the local hardware store. Fewer even than that (probably just Peter) can say they've done it in only a month. I met Peter for the first time at Flite Fest and helped him and his friend Sam to set up the new aircraft for display at the event - here's the story so far.
Finishing the Build
There have been a few changes and lots of progress since the last update video featured in the first article on Peter's MK2 ultralight. For one thing, the aircraft is now finished. In just one month, the project has gone from concept to reality. Impressive stuff.
Changes have been made to how the tail functions. Originally, Peter wanted to go for a pully system. Instead of this, the aircraft now has a pushrod from the joystick to a bellcrank. This has pullies that run from the crank to the tail surfaces allowing there to be less stress on the joystick itself.
At first, Peter worked on the fuselage and left the wings for later. One of the last things to do on the fuselage was to make a landing gear. This was machined from 1/4"aluminum. Here's Peter to explain everything in his build video!
"It'll probably be fine."
After a few initial ground tests, it was time for the new DIY ultralight to take flight, albeit in small hops at first.
On the evening after these tests, Peter explained to me how the results had looked promising. The aircraft had got in the air and it seemed like things were progressing well. However, according to Peter, the aircraft didn't behave as well as the previous MK1 biplane ultralight at lower speeds. This might be due to the dual wings of the MK1 which worked with ground effect close to the ground.
Unfortunately, things didn't turn out too well on the last 'test hop'.
Here's the video.
Peter at Flite Fest
Flite Fest is always a time for fellow makers, aviation enthusiasts and Flite Test fans to come together, build great things and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Among those who attended was our favorite Swede, David Windestal who had traveled all the way from Scandinavia to be with the community. I for one was very pleased to meet him for the first time. If you want to see what David is up to at the moment, check out his website www.rcexplorer.se or his Maker Knife kickstarter.
The bent landing gear (although now straightened out... a little) was shown for all to see. We really appreciated Peter turning up to show his new aircraft to hundreds of fascinated attendees. With the new SunnySky USA motors and their 42x30" props on the way, all of us here at Flite Test HQ can't wait to see what happens next!
In addition to Flite Fest Ohio, Peter also visited the world famous Oshkosh airshow this year. This time he brought his MK1 ultralight. Check out the video!
Article by James Whomsley
Editor of FliteTest.com