I was inspired to try this tail first takeoff after watching my seven year old son, José Luis, playing with a chuck glider. He launched the chuck glider tail-first and inverted, and it did a half flip and then flew away upright.
I figured why not? Here I am performing it with my 17oz ultralight Le Fish. I named the trick the J-Flip in honor of my son.
Got a chance to fly Ellwood in 12-15mph wind, which is quite a bit stronger than usual, and coming in offcenter from the right. I had both my traditionally-built Le Fish as well as my ultralight-built version, so I took some video of each flying to help illustrate the differences in how they fly. The flying itself is nothing special, but I hope it helps show how differently the design flies at each weight.
The traditionally built Le Fish is the original prototype that first flew back in 2006. It weighs 38oz and is covered in Solartex and Ultracote, along with thinned Goop both under and over the covering for extra durability. It has a traditional fixed elevator. Overall, the lift allowed it to fly pretty nicely, but it felt very heavy on the sticks compared to what I’ve become used to from the ultralights. It’s nowhere near as agile, which is to be expected since it’s more than twice as heavy.
The ultralight built Le Fish was first flown in the summer of 2011 and weighs 17oz. It is covered in laminating film and has a Madslide-inspired full flying stabilizer capable of about 150* of travel, allowing for tight flip maneuvers. It too enjoyed the lift conditions, although like with the heavier Le Fish the offcenter wind direction wasn’t optimal. It’s clear that the ultralight plane is much more agile, though with less energy retention, than the heavier plane. Again, to be expected given the weight difference between the two.
Overall, for me and the kind of flying I’m interested in doing today, the ultralight plane is a far better match. The heavy Le Fish was flying OK in these conditions but really would’ve come alive had the wind direction been more straight-in. The light Le Fish, by comparison, was quite happy to fly in a small space and perform trick after trick, able to be manipulated into all sorts of interesting situations thanks to its light weight and extremely low inertia. Honestly it’s a totally different philosophy of aerobatic slope flying, something that comes from flying the Dream-Flight Weasel and Alula more than any other influence. I dig it!
The Akhenaton kit is complete and includes all the wood required to construct it, sheeting, longerons, epoxy control horns, carbon wing joiner, and similar. All that is needed to complete the plane is glue and covering material.
Span: 1975 mm
Length: 1290 mm
Weight: 1070 grs
Wingloading: 31 g/dm2
Radio: 4 servos
Posted on April 27, 2012 by surfimp under General.
I had my original Le Fish prototype back up and running for WeaselFest 2012 and was stoked since day one featured strong 25mph+ lift. The 38oz beast handled it with its traditional aplomb, and Dave Garwood snapped this great photo of it flying in knife edge with the Ruins behind.
Some nice footage by Rog aka Cliff Hanger of Andy B’s Wings And More Stingray at Rhossili, Wales. This was from the fun fly event organized by Phil Taylor and held on Saturday, April 21st. Beautiful glider with excellent energy retention, flown smoothly here in what looks like some very tasty lift. Nice!
I’m really stoked to see this development! This is the Traceur VTPR glider by Modellbau Joost of Germany. It’s one of the first commercial offerings inspired directly by the ultralight Le Fish and Swiss Fish designs that Swiss Peter and I have been working on here in the US. I’m tremendously excited and honored to see these ideas spreading globally!
The Traceur incorporates all of the cool new things we’ve discovered over the past year:
Ultralightweight construction from EPP with carbon fiber reinforcement and lamintating film covering
A Madslide-inspired all moving stabilizer capable of close to 180* rotation and actuated by a Henderson Pulley
Pre-cut Swiss lightening holes for reduced weight and a cool newschool aesthetic
A two piece wing design for portability
Overall this design looks to be very promising and I can’t wait to begin seeing video of it in action. It’s a wonderful time to be involved in slope aerobatics and VTPR – we are creating the future one day at a time!