I feel lame because I haven’t been good at keeping up with my goal. After moving to CT, I haven’t been able to do much work on the plane. Though I have done a few things here and there. I left my job with Amica insurance, and purchased a sewing shop in Old Saybrook – see www.coastalsewing.com It’s a great little business but it sure is taking up all my time. I was able to move the project around a bit and put the fuselage in the basement to create room for assembling the tail feathers re-doing the landing gear.

That leaves the wings in the garage to finish up leading edge nose wrap on the 2nd wing (first wing done), and minor details here and there.

So I’m thinking that with the Kawasaki 340 that I just snagged that maybe  if I go with a 2.8 to 1 redrive and a 60X36 prop I would get 65 mph at 6000 rpm. A fellow I know who owns a Fisher Avenger has this setup and is getting those numbers.

I keep changing my mind, and I’m not even a woman :)

I have this perfectly good 32 HP 1/2 VW engine that I tore down and rebuilt for kicks and giggles (still have to fire it up), and now I’ve decided to go with a different engine. Though the engine works fine on similar planes like the Legal Eagle, and those guys swear by it, too many people have told me that the Ragwing just has too much drag. Hard to believe that it has more than a Legal Eagle, but I’m not going to get into that.

I’ll likely just hold onto the engine for a little while, maybe mount it on a stand and fire it up. I’ll take some video to post to the group and also put on youtube.

I’ve decided to not use the 1/2 VW as it doesn’t have enough lbs of static thrust. I know too well what it’s like to fly a plane under-powered.

I once owned a minimax powered by a Rotax 277. It was 90 lbs over weight at 340 lbs! Not sure how the builder did that with a Rotax 277, but he did (I didn’t build it). It had a Tennessee 60×28 prop. It actually did ok. The climb wasn’t super impressive, but it got up and going and did just fine.

Then I had my first accident ever…I hit a runway light going less than 5 mph while taxing. That stupid grass cutter tube that makes up the minimax landing gear caught the runway light and the plane came to a halt. Of course not before nosing over and blowing the prop to pieces!

I was not educated enough about props and ended up replacing it with a brand new GSC Prop from Canada. They claimed it was a 60×28 as I ordered. I have no idea if they were right, but it sure DID NOT perform like  the tennessee prop I had before. I barely got out of ground effect. Once out of ground effect, climbing was scary, I was always on the edge of stall. Cruising was even worse, didn’t go much faster than 35 mph at full throttle! I felt like the plane was always sinking.

I ended up selling the plane to another fellow (less the engine and prop), he was going to put on a 477. Looking back I should have just bought a new prop from Tennessee props.

Anyway, to keep on with my rambling, Roger Mann swears by the Kawasaki’s and so does Scott Land (the designer of the Cloudster, Zing, and Pinocchio) and that’s good enough for me.

So I ended up purchasing this 30hp (or 35 hp depending who you ask), Kawasaki 340 aircooled engine. It comes with a 2.1:1 reduction which I’ll be changing to a 2.8 or 2.9:1 shortly.

I must be crazy to think I can do this in such a short amount of time, but I have a goal to have the plane ready for Oshkosh! My Dad and I decided that we are going to shoot for Oshkosh this year. We tried to go last year in my Sonex, but our trip was cut short when an oil leak developed when we were 2/3′rds the way up from Texas. This time I’m living in Connecticut and I’ll drive there with my family. My Dad will fly from Seattle to Milwaulkee and meet us there. Hopefully I’ll have a Ragwing Sport Parasol being trailered up with me.

I don’t move into our new condo (with a garage) until March 1st. I’d like to have the plane done by the first of June so that I have a month and half to do all test flying and work out any bugs before trying to take it to Oshkosh at the end of July.

Here is my plan:

  1. Finish all wing construction 1st half of March
  2. Finish all fuselage construction 2nd half of march
  3. Do pre-assembly including preliminary weight and balance w/out engine to determine best  engine package by 1st part of April.
  4. Cover fuselage and wings by 2nd half of April.
  5. Paint airplane the first half of May
  6. Install engine and instruments 2nd half of May
  7. Finish all final details of airplane as needed in the first week of June!
  8. Start Flight Testing in Early June!

I haven’t been able to do much lately on the airplane. Back in October I found out that my Sonex which I 1/2 own, had developed a crack in the Aerovee engine case. This required a full rebuild. Then in mid-November I learned that my employer was transferring me to CT from Dallas in light of a position change. We’ve been swamped ever since then with tasks repairing the house and rebuilding the Aerovee engine. I just finished the engine this past week and it runs great. Now the airplane is being sold. I’m moving to CT next week. The airplane is coming with me.

Once I get to CT I’ll re-setup shop and get back to work.

Here is a preview of a documentary on Barnstorming in our modern day. Maybe the fun never dies…

Recently I’ve put a lot of work into the turtle deck. The person who had the project last put on a turtle deck that was too heavy, and too far forward. It was made out of 3/4″ square pieces,  and built forward of the rear cabane, so there was no access to the u-channel on the top. I ended up pulling off the whole turtle deck and rebuilding it.

I made 1/8″ plywood formers and decided to go with a more boxy design. The stringers are laminated 1/8″ x 3/4″ strips built up to 1/4″ x 3/4″.  It was simple, and allowed for an easy storage compartment. Up to this point I’ve built the rear portion with a storage compartment right behind the pilot. It hinges, and allows storage for small items like a sack lunch, maps, emergency items, and “maybe” a small gas can. It would have to be real small and well sealed. I likely will never use it that way though. I made it small because I know there is no reason for large things to go behind the pilot.

I’ll post some pictures when i remember to do so.

A new exhaust arrived today for my Rotax 277. It’s the “Fisher” style exhaust. I currently have a different stile that I don’t want to fiddle around with. This will look better mounted down and below the fuselage, or to the side without the door. I’ll add some pictures when I get a chance. They will likely be listed  under the “engine” area of the site.

I found an purchased an engine mount this past week on Barnstormers. It’s from a J-3 kitten where the owner changed from a Rotax 277 to a Rotax 447 and needed a different setup. The mount looks to be built well with welded steel tubing (like the pro’s) that bolts at 4 points to the fuselage. I got the measurements from the seller, and it doesn’t appear that they will be a problem. The mount was only $105 with shipping. This will surely make mounting the Rotax 277 much easier!

When viewing the two photos, disregard the yellow landing gear leg. I didn’t purchase that.

So as luck would have it, I sold my weedhopper that I rebuilt from the ground up. I put a Rotax 277 on the plane that I took off of a Minimax that I sold. Oddly enough, the fellow who bought the Weedhopper doesn’t need the engine as he has a 37 hp 1/2 VW engine. I sold the weedhopper less the engine. Now I have an engine for my Ragwing!

I have some reservations that it may be underpowered. However, that 277 was on the front of a minimax before that weighed 350 lbs empty. This Parasol better not be close to that. I might be able to live with 280-290, but not 350. I’m actually hoping I can meet Ultralight weights at 254 lbs. I know it’s unlikely unless I spend the big bucks and go with a 28-30 hp Hirth F-33 that weighs only 45 lbs. Too bad that engine wasn’t around years ago.

I’m building to meet ultralight weights, but preparing incase I’ll need to register it Experimental AB.