Le Fish & Spindrift Plans

“I’ve come to realize that what I want is a four channel plane (flaperons/elevator/rudder) that will fly in lift similar to a Weasel and can take the same kind of abuse.”

— Original Le Fish build thread

Hello and thank you for your interest in the Le Fish and Spindrift Ultrabatic / VTPR glider designs!

The Le Fish glider was designed for unlimited Ultrabatics and/or VTPR aerobatics (Voltige Très Près du Relief / “aerobatics very close to the ground”) as shown in this video:

Black Hills Reprise from surfimp on Vimeo.

Here is the original video of the Le Fish prototype from 2006:

Le Fish at Farren from surfimp on Vimeo.

My designs have been influenced strongly from what I’d learned in flying my beloved Aeromod Voltij and studying open source plans and photos of the MiniToons v1 on EPP Concept, as well as BPLR’s Madslide, experience with scale models of the MDM-1 Fox and S-1 Swift, and lastly experience flying an early prototype of the Dream-Flight Alula forward swept flying wing.

The Le Fish plan was intended as a first step towards my stated goal above, to create a lightweight EPP aerobatics glider that would allow me to take what I love about flying a Weasel and go even further. The resulting design has brought me hours of enjoyment, and the commercial success of the kit offered by Leading Edge Gliders has been a wonderful thing to see (Jack tells me it remains one of his top sellers). I’m so glad to have been able to give something back to the hobby and community that I love so deeply.

But it is thanks entirely to the pioneering work of “Swiss Peter” Richner that I have been able to realize my original dream in today’s ultralight version of Le Fish. By covering the plane in lightweight but strong laminating film as described in the “How to Build a Swiss Fish” thread, Peter literally made possible the vision of flying a fully aerobatic EPP glider in light lift. So a huge “Thank-You!” to Peter for his efforts, without which we would not enjoy the wonderful slope aerobatics that we do with Le Fish and other ultrabatic gliders today 🙂

In that same spirit of experimentation and shared journey, I encourage anyone and everyone to learn what they can from these designs, and make them better!

The plans are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. You are free to copy, adapt, and make personal and/or commercial use of these designs provided that you adhere to the following requirements:

1) Attribution — You must provide attribution to Steve “Surfimp” Lange for all copies, adaptations and commercial uses of these designs. This attribution must not indicate that I in any way endorse you or your use of my designs.

2) Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Happy building and flying!

Steve “Surfimp” Lange

Specs of Le Fish:

  • Wingspan: 60″ (1500m)
  • Length: 39.4″ (1001mm)
  • Area: 434 sq.in. (28.1dm^2)
  • CG: 70 – 80mm (2.75 – 3.15″) from wing leading edge at root
  • Airfoil: SB96V (root), SB96VS (tip)
  • All Up Weight, Traditional build: 35 – 40oz. (990 – 1130g)
  • Wingloading, Traditional build: 10 – 13oz/sq.ft. (30 – 40 g/dm^2)
  • All Up Weight, Ultralight build: 16 – 20oz. (470 – 560g)
  • Wingloading, Ultralight build: 5 – 6oz/sq.ft. (15 – 18 g/dm^2)

Controls: Flaperons, Elevator, Rudder

The traditional build of the Le Fish will fly with full aerobatic performance in a range of wind conditions from approximately 10mph – 25mph+ without ballast, depending on slope characteristics and pilot skill.

The ultralight build, based on the innovative construction techniques of “Swiss” Peter Richner as outlined in the “How to Build a Swiss Fish” thread, will allow the Le Fish will fly with full aerobatic performance in a range of wind conditions from approximately 6mph – 20mph without ballast, depending on slope characteristics and pilot skill.

Both versions of the Le Fish are designed with fullspan flaperons in mind, requiring both positive and negative snapflap mixing for best performance. In addition, the ability to apply camber or reflex via a switch, 4-axis sprung throttle or similar is highly recommend to extend the performance of the plane.

Resources for builders:

Le Fish plan & CNC cutting files:

Le Fish PDF

Original Spindrift plan:

Spindrifting from surfimp on Vimeo.

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