EMG-6 Electric Motor Glider Webinar Hosted By EAA

EMG-6 Electric Motor Glider Webinar Hosted By EAA

Years ago we didn’t really know where
we’re going to go in this world but we we’ve done just about everything that
you can possibly imagine. And you know lately I’ve heard a lot of people given
me a lot of talk about “you know Aviation’s hurtin, it’s on decline we’re
not seeing as much activity. Everything’s kind of, you know, not all that great in
the aviation community. But I got to tell you, I’m at a spot right now where I have
never been more optimistic about aviation than I am right today. And one
of the reasons for that is all about this electric propulsion and electric
flying that we’re going to be doing in the future. And you know I I’ve been
doing this so long that you know you get to the point where you think oh, you know,
what else am I going to do at this point. And this picture that I’ve got up on the
screen coming up next here is a picture of me when I first hopped in this
airplane with electric power plant on the thing. And I can tell you, I’ve never
been more happy doing aviation than the day I was sitting behind this airplane
and that little electric motor was whirling away and cruising me through
the sky. And so it got me thinking about this whole process about where we’re
going with the world. And I believe we’re really on the cusp of a change in
aviation that is the same kind of paradigm shift that we had during the
jet age. And I think we’re really there. But before I get to extolling all the
virtues of electric power. I want to talk about some of the realities. And so on
the screen, I’ve got here the typical ultralight engine. Tthe Rotax 447
probably one of the most popular ultralight engines ever built in
aviation. And Rotax builds an absolutely beautiful piece of equipment but that
motor on the left there, is well… with the electric starter, and the gear box on
that thing, it’s about 93 pounds. I have on the right side just a random motor
that I picked. The Nova 30, which also happens to be a 40 horsepower motor and
that 40 horsepower motor that you see on the right instead of 93 pounds that’s 11
pounds. Now 11 pounds with that we need to add some more stuff to make this thing fly.
But let’s say we put a prop hub a controler, a bunch of wires and stuff like that. let’s say we even end up at 20 pounds.
That leaves us 73 pounds of batteries before we get to zero fuel weight. Now, if
we were to take and put these on an equal footing where we could fly the
same amount of flight time at exactly the same weight. We’ve kind of calculated
out a round number of around 23 minutes of flight time on this thing. And so when
you’re talking 23 minutes of flight time what you need to realize is that
gasoline. The energy density in gasoline is so phenomenal that if we want to fly
longer than 23 minutes the gasoline powered equipment just runs away with
the efficiency. on this stuff, there’s no way we can even begin to compete. But if
we want to fly less than 23 minutes, it now exponentially gets more favorable
when we start talking about doing electric. That’s the reason why the model
airplane industry has gone bonkers with the electric airplanes. Is simply because
you know we can fly for 10-15 minutes and it’s it’s twice as efficient as
doing gas powered stuff anymore. And then all the other reasons which we’ll get a
chance to talk about. But that kind of puts some reality in the real world. If
you want to do cross-country flying. It.. just stick with a gas motor. That.. that is
really a great advantage. But one of the things that makes this so exciting is
that you know. It wasn’t that long ago when we were talking about flight times
and equitable to a gas power plant that were really in the neighborhood of 10
minutes. And now we’re at 23 minutes and if you look at the curve of where we’re
going with this stuff. You know it wasn’t just but oh I think
last month one of the magazines you know mentioned that we’ve now sold over a
million electric vehicles in the world. And you know those numbers just keep
climbing every year. And as that happens the energy density gets better, the cost
goes down, all of this will just continue to improve as we get going. So the future
is extremely bright. For the… for that very reason. But let’s talk about a
couple of other advantages that helped us build into where we’re going with
this EMG 6. Cost of operation. Almost every operator has seen the writing on
the wall. You know we’re really talking about for
the EMG 6 for a typical one-hour flight you’re talking about a couple of bucks
to pay for the electricity to fly that thing. You know we will eventually be
into the spot where batteries are just, you know, they’re modular. You go fly for
an hour, you come down you put another one in there and go fly for another hour.
Classic training scenario. It’s going to be it’s going to be perfect scenario for
the thing. So just the cost of operation starts to play into the into the picture
a little bit more. How about if we talk about simplicity of an electric power
plant. When we’re talking about this little motor that I’ve got drawn in
SolidWorks here up on the screen this is one that’s being built by a company in
Southern California and we’re going to be doing all the testing on the EMG with
this thing. But this is a motor that has one moving part on two bearings in the
thing. Now think about all of the thousands of parts that are in your
typical engine today to make that thing run. When we’re talking about one moving
part, we’re talking about exponential simplicity in terms of even a turbine
engine. And so the size of these things makes them to be able to be modular. This
motor that we have that’s being built by R&D we anticipate the TBO of this motor
to be ten thousand hours. Ten thousand hours of operating time before we have
to overhaul it. Well that’s horrible, only 10,000 hours. And then we think, oh well,
what’s the cost to overhaul this thing. We anticipate about 200 bucks to do a
complete overhaul on this motor. When you start talking about electric and you’re
comparing it with gas engine and you start talking about these kinds of
numbers. You can’t help but be excited about some of the possibilities. And the
reliability and the all of that other stuff. You know, you’re not out there with
a choke lever, and you’re priming the thing and you’re pulling on the handle
and you’re jerking this thing on and off and on and off and trying to finally get
this thing started. And then only after you get started you have this great big
giant 15 minute warmup time. And then you have to be real careful about shock
cooling the thing. All of those things disappear in an electric power plant
system. So, just from the simplicity standpoint the ability to take a little
rheostat on your model switch and just run it right on up.
When we were flying the first prototype, it was so fun, you just shut
the motor off. And then at any point in time, you just crank the power up and
whatever power setting you wanted. The motor didn’t care. You just select
whatever whatever setting you want. let’s talk about regenerative power. Many
of the power plant systems that are available have the ability to go into
the regen mode. So like in a car when you go to slow down you’re using the motors
themselves to regenerate electricity and to act as brakes also. But imagine this
scenario, we’ve gone out into the valley someplace we found a place where we
could take off. We launch, and we fly 10 15 minutes over to a Ridge where there’s
awesome lift. And then once we’re in this office awesome lift and we’ve got all
this excess lift, we can go into the regen mode and recharge the batteries
while we’re cruising this Ridge. That now gives us you know even if we’re only
carrying 23 30 minutes worth of batteries we’ll just say as a as a
standby. Now we’ve got all kinds of options. Especially as the glider. You
know if we’re if we’re out there and we just get cruising a little bit too far
from home. Oh well, we got thirty minutes worth of flight time to cruise on back. Or let’s say, that you know, we want to fly to a different site we got 30
minutes to do that and then regenerate power off of the next Ridge that we come
to. All of these things are really going to change how we think about this
electric power stuff. With that being said, let’s talk about just a couple of
the other things that we’re going to see. These things aren’t aren’t pipe dreams.
These are things that are happening in real life right today. Prop indexing. With
electric power plant you can select where you want the prop to stop.
Horizontal, vertical, wherever it’s going to produce the least amount of drag.
Maybe you want it horizontal for landing so that if you’re off field landing you
don’t get it stuck in the weeds or hit it hit some bushes or something. There
isn’t any reason why we can’t utilize maximum reverse thrust on these things.
So now we have thrust reversers. How cool is that. The ability to go into thrust
reverse on an airplane that takes 50 feet to land and now we’ve got thrust
reversers to even help with that. That’s going to be pretty neat. Thrust vectoring.
We’re going to see because of this whole new concept of having what we call
distributive thrust. Distributive power. Where
we can take and take small motors multiple small motors and we place them
all over. And then we can control those independently from each other. The
ability for many of these airplanes to change the position of the thrust
momentarily, for landing for example. You’re going to see tons of new
airplanes that will be popping up where we’re able to put the props into the
normal cruise configuration and then just before landing we reposition them
like a quadcopter go full thrust for just a few seconds to make the landing.
And that will totally change our short field takeoff and landing type aircraft.
And so we’re going to see more of that we’ve already got on the drawing board a
thrust vectoring version that fits two motors on to the EMG -6. A linear torque
and horsepower. These linear torque and horsepower motors that we have. Unlike a,
you know, a combustion engine. Very specific torque and horsepower curves.
And we really in order to be able to take advantage of that we really need to
be right on those curves everything working properly. With these type of
airplanes we can you know we can completely just select what kind of
torque and horsepower we want and if we need more we just add more voltage to
the thing and we get more. As we go up in altitude all of these gas-powered
airplanes start running out of umph. Well that electric motor doesn’t need that
oxygen except for cooling. And so now all of a sudden we’ve got some big
advantages when we go to altitude. And of course you’ll see a lot of the high
altitude research airplanes all selecting an electric power plant for
that very reason. You know and even though you can say oh well the props
running out of efficiency as we go out go up in altitude. Well that’s true, but
you know when we’re not producing as much thrust we’re also not producing as
much drag we’re not producing as much load so so what. Add more juice to the
thing and just compensate for that thing. It’s relatively a fairly simple way to
go about doing that. So with all of this stuff that we’re
talking about we just saw many many applications where we could put this
into the EMG six and including quiet operation you know we’ve got so many of
these airports that are constantly under threat from the public closing down
these airports and you know saying uh too much noise and
restricted you know flight patterns and stuff like that nobody would be
complying you know would be complaining if these things were quiet and in fact
if you’re interested Brian Sealy from the cafe foundation has this
presentation he puts on dealing with pocket airports in downtown San
Francisco and the whole concept is of course based on being able to reduce
traffic and congestion downtown San Francisco and be able to fly to some
small airport in an outlying area but because of electric power the ability to
be able to do that without the noise really seems like a viable concept so
that kind of stuff can’t do anything but make life better for everybody in
aviation so we we saw that as a positive aspect also so when we when we started
down this path we kind of had well you can see on the screen I’ve got nine
basic design criteria that we picked for this and of course part 103 ultralight
was one of those that’s really important to me and then electric power of course
was extremely important otherwise I wouldn’t have named it the electric
motor glider and all of these other ones number six I want you to look at real
careful because this has become a passion of mine keeping the cost under
control and so um with that being said let’s
talk kind of about how this design got started and where we came from and a
little bit of history behind some of this the EMG six project was started
back in 2012 and at the time Quicksilver had just changed ownership and the new
owners of the Quicksilver company decided to become collaborators on this
airplane project and at the time they were building about 25% of the parts on
the EMG 6 and I thought it was going to be a great collaboration but in late
2014 Quicksilver announced their bankruptcy basically called up and said
you know would you like to buy the company and of course that wasn’t in our
budget or in our business plan at all and so anyway we were left hanging it
set the project back about twelve months and probably in the neighborhood of
about sixty thousand dollars we’ve been for
the last couple of years clearing all these hurdles to get back
on track and we’re actually doing really good right now
just before Oshkosh air venture 2016 we got the prototype number two flying and
we got a couple days of flying on it before we took off to AirVenture and so
this whole original design of Quicksilver with utilizing the simple
design that we have here on the screen we were using a lot of the Quicksilver
components because we simply didn’t want to you know why not utilize some of the
technology they had already developed in fact these wings are basically a
modified Quicksilver GT 400 wing and we had sales and everything designed for
all of this and of course when they went bankrupt
we lost access to all of the tooling all of the templates for the wing sales and
basically we had to restart thinking how we were going to do all this stuff but
in the interim we have the airplane flying and so we started down doing a
lot of testing with the basic design and we have well we have about a hundred
flights in the legal part 103 configurations shown here on the
airplane with the motor mounted in the thing the first motor that we use was
about 226 pounds and we just threw in batteries that would bring it up to the
legal part 103 to 54 and we had a BRS and the thing as well and so we flew
about 50 flights as a pure glider we would tow this thing behind a vehicle
with a ground tow operation the airplane has both a ground tow and a narrow toe
release hook built into the airplane one of the more fun things that we did was
we towed it with a 400-seat or a 500cc Honda four-wheeler and that would tell
great I mean it’s just a hoot out there all day long we’d launch the only
problem this is all of my wing runners and my tow operators would get bored
after about ten flights and say well we’ve done enough testing so but great
hoot to fly the thing we then flew about 50 fights with flights with the electric
sustainer motor on the thing which we’re going to talk about in a little
bitte and then we’ve flown almost 30 hours with the Pelini 250 two-stroke
engine and we’ll talk about that as well and each one of the tests that we were
doing was basically arm centered around flight testing for different
configurations on the thing and so we had a very strict flight test program
during all of this stuff and we ended up with very happy results on the on the
prototype we were we were extremely satisfied and enough to keep pressing on
with the whole program but just to give you a little bit of the performance
specifications here wingspan it’s about 37 feet one of the criteria that we had
is it had to be able to fit into a hangar without having to fold the wings
or take the wings off like a conventional glider has about 170 square
foot of wing area and we’ve designed a 750 pound gross weight which we’ll talk
a little bit more about and as far as the performance characteristics of the
airplane the prota original prototype had a little bit
slower wing on the airplane and so we ended up with a best glide speed right
around 40 miles an hour and a minimum sink at 35 miles an hour and a V&E we’ve
designed in at 90 miles an hour on the thing and we typically like to tow the
airplane when we’re doing ground tow or arrow toe um in the neighborhood of 35
to 60 miles an hour and 60s about as fast as we’ve done so far we may be able
to bump those numbers up just a little bit more especially on the new the
number 2 prototype it’s so it’s kind of a different animal entirely than the
original ultralight version of the thing so performance on the thing on the
original prototype was very crude prototype design but we had a glide
ratio of about 13 to 1 that’s about your average hang glider kind of glide ratio
and then a minimum sink of 280 and 280 is kind of the key number because of
course one of the best ways to reduce drag is go slower in this airplane with
its large wing area allows us to get into the into the minimum sink speed
right at about 35 miles an hour and the thing is just a floater launching to 600
feet on the runway and flying the traffic pattern flying down over the
heights cool and coming back around in for a
landing and just doing that over and over again
tons of fun just to be able to do those short flights like that during the
flight testing the aircraft we typically have three flight data recorders
recording information of different types of stuff on each one of the flights it
helps us to build some real live data that we can then take and analyze and
this was off of the I don’t know which I guess this is off of the very ometer but
it shows us launching climbing at about a little over a thousand feet a minute
and then going in the glide configuration and it shows a couple of
spots where we’re down to about 300 foot sync on the thing and then this is a
powered flight and then later on in the flight and this isn’t a very long flight
but we powered up and you can see once we power up we start climbing back up to
zero and then we’re actually able even with the little predator 37 we were
climbing for short periods of time at about 125 feet a minute but that was
that was we’ll talk about the predator 37 and what happened with that now in
the very early design stages of the airplane we decided that we were not
going to be motor controller battery battery management system developers but
rather we were going to build a platform that would allow all of this new
technology to be modular on the aircraft so that we literally could like in the
slide you see here this is the Rd motor this fits into a socket and one bolt
holds it in place and one bolt will remove the thing and then we just have
to disconnect the wires on the thing and so we’ve got three motor mounts on the
airplane two on each wing and one on the trailing edge on the fuselage there that
we can do different configurations so you might imagine an airplane with three
smaller motors or maybe two medium-size motors or even one big motor like what
we have here on the back of this thing and that was kind of our design criteria
right from the very beginning is that these motors and this technology it’s so
fun to watch but it’s changing so rapidly I mean every week we’re seeing
and some new stuff that’s coming out it’s kind of like your cell phone the
minute that you’ve bought one boy there’s a new model out there and you
just can’t wait to have that so we wanted to make this stuff so that it
would be modular we’d be able to move it from one airplane to the next airplane
and allow builders of the airplane to upgrade to newer technology as as they
had the availability now originally um we decided we were going to make this um
basically do a test on this predator 37 motor this powerplant package that we
have in the original prototype everything is off-the-shelf model
airplane the motor propeller blades the controller the batteries the chargers
all of that everything completely is off-the-shelf model airplane stuff that
you can buy right today we built a couple other things like you can see the
little cooling fan that’s on the back and the little spinner we built those
two in order to help with the cooling on the thing but our original goal was just
use it as a sustainer and then do some evaluation on the motor to see what we
thought about the whole thing this actually is a 16 kilowatt it’s
basically 20 horsepower at 6300 rpm spinning a 33 inch diameter propeller
this thing is small the propeller the propeller blades the propeller mounts
the motor mounts the the motor the cooling fan the spinner all of that
together weighs 5.3 pounds just absolutely incredible and it puts out a
hundred pounds of static thrust on this that one ninety nine point three I think
is what the manufacturer says we were never able to get that kind of control
out of the thing but we were you know we were getting some pretty good thrusts
out of the whole thing we developed an entire battery mount system where we
could simply take the Zippy 5000 model airplane batteries cheapo chinese-built
zippy 5000 s we built a little board to be able to safeguard each one of the
battery cells so that they’d have a circuit protection built into the things
but we’re just using them off the shelf and we just stack these things and we
put them into what we would call modules and each one of the modules could be
stacked on top of the next and then we could select how many
modules we want based on what we were going to do and here was a basic
configuration that we never did use but this was one where with this many
batteries in the back of the thing we had computed had we been able to use the
power out of that electric motor that this was about an
hour’s worth of flight time and so we ended up using four of these modules for
almost all of the flight tests that we did and those flight tests involved you
know basically we go up we’d run the thing until the battery was I mean the
motor would start overheating and then we’d land and with four battery packs we
could typically get about four launches out of out of those battery packs in a
total of almost almost thirty minutes in fact right at 30 minutes doing it that
way but all of the original flight tests
that we did was based on doing ground tows to altitude and so we would just
basically tell sometimes we could get as high as about oh I think I think fifteen
hundred feet was about the highest we ever got we just don’t have a very big
airport and so we’re kind of limited on space but you can see in the picture
there that little Honda 400 cc or yeah 400 500cc four-wheeler and it told that
Ling just great in fact it was really fun to tow behind it because it couldn’t
take off too fast I dragged it back down if it got going too fast so anyway we we
did a lot of ground toes with the thing we had like I said over a hundred toes
on the aircraft so far on the on the original prototype and we ended up
developing the tow system that worked really well it has a automatic release
system built into the into the tow system so if you accidentally over fly
the tow rope it automatically releases it actually got to the point where the
toes were so comfortable that once I was transitioned off the ground and
positioned the airplane ready for climb I could let go of the controls and fly
it all the way to the apex before releasing without touching the stick at
all and so that was kind of fun but the purpose of the ground tow was basically
so we could get a little bit altitude up there and then use the predator 37 as a
sustainer motor and in this picture here you can kind of see we’re out there
cruising around with the predator on the thing and we had some flights that were
about 20 minutes long with the predator 37 that
the downside of the Predators 37 is that we just eventually ended up not being
able to cool the motor adequately it’s a great little motor for model airplanes
and stuff like that but it turns out that probably wouldn’t be my favorite
choice to put on to the airplane would work well for some short flights and so
one of the first problems we had was we had the Schulz electronic speed
controller shut down and on this graph here you can kind of see the the red is
indicating temperature on the thing and the problem is that the Schulz
controller has built-in protections so that you can’t overheat the thing and so
when it reaches a hundred C it just shuts off and right at about frame o
1691 there you can see motor just shuts off and on this one we’ve got a video of
this we’re just out there cruising around we were fat dumb and happy and it
just shut off on us so we have the land of thing but it’s a glider so no big
deal but you can see kind of the following the throttle versus the RPM
really good data they’ll provided us a tremendous amount of information on the
thing and so right after we had this problem we just decided well we just
need a little bit more cooling on the esc so our next step was we went to
Lowe’s and we bought a CPU cooler 90 I think was 97 bucks for the CPU cooler
machined out a little flat spot on the back of the of the ESC and just bolted
that thing right to that and that solved all of the cooling problem the temps
went way down all the problems on temps on the on the ESC disappeared and now
the ESC was never a problem anymore it was no longer in the picture in terms of
limitations the next problem was of course of the motor and we started
identifying that we never did burn up a motor in air but we could see that we
were starting to get some temperatures we had motor sensor temperatures that
were just too high and the problem was that the the speeds that we needed to be
able to maintain where we could use it as a sustainer motor even in the our
plan was to put two on the wings and even with two on the wings the
the RPM that was necessary to be able to provide the thrust with that propeller
anyway that we had just wasn’t adequate even with two motors we identified that
it wasn’t going to kind of work out and so we went on to the next step of the of
the testing on the thing so that’s what left the predator 37 in the dust where
we decided that even though it’s a viable option it was kind of fun you
know to be able to even at lower power settings we would just use it you know a
little here and a little there and we could keep it under control but it
wasn’t you know it wasn’t where we’re going we need something that’s going to
be a commercial product so we abandon ship on that arrow to operations we did
a whole bunch of arrow to operations and in this picture here you can see Carol
is flying the Quicksilver gt500 and she’s telling me to altitude and we did
we’ve done all probably 50 toes total so far many of them 3,000 feet gives us
lots of time in the air with the airplane and this is towing prototype
number two right here prototype number two is so much less drag than the
original prototype using the Quicksilver parts that we now easily tow two to
three thousand feet before we cut loose we haven’t done a whole lot of higher
altitude towing we’ll probably get to that in the not-too-distant future one
of the cool things is that all of these original transitioned Els a airplanes
have the operating limitations which allow us to use them for tow aircraft
not only for towing but for commercial operations for tow the new Els a kits
can’t be used that way but all of the SLS a airplanes can be used for tow so
anyway we’ve also got a and this is just an artist rendering here but we’ve got a
Varga Kachina and the Varga Kachina has a tow hook on it that we put on also
it’s a certified airplane we we plan on doing some testing with the new airplane
with this but we haven’t used it yet the problem is is we’ve designed it for
sixty mile an hour tow speeds and that’s a that’s kind of like stall speed for
the Varga Kachina so that could be a little bit entertaining for us so we’re
still working on that little project and we haven’t got the balls to go do that
yet one of the next things we did with the original prototype because now it
just was a testbed for us we mounted the pelini 250 two-stroke
onto this thing and there’s several videos of the airplane flying with the
Pelini to 250 on the thing it turned out to be a really awesome little powerplant
this actually was originated from Tom blanking hime there in Wisconsin he
wanted to build the the EMG 6 but he initially wanted to have something where
he could do some cross-country flying in the thing and we’ve got a couple of
flights now that are two hours in with the Pelini 250 on the thing and it works
out great for that but he bought the motor and we decided that we would do
all the flight testing and develop the installation for that thing so we
initially just put it on the back of the airplane not our not our intention
initially but it would make it much easier to do the testing we’ve gone
through all the testing we’re totally happy with the motor it’s it’s an
awesome little powerplant 36 horsepower and just really amazing we did go
through about four or five different prop combinations and we ended up in
order to use that engine on this airplane we ended up having to make our
own propeller and we have that capability in-house and we’re very very
happy with the final design propeller that we’ve got and the next step is
we’re going to take this motor and we’re going to move it to the back seat and so
that we can fair this all in in order to be able to streamline the thing the
airplane with all of this hanging out in the breeze with a big motor back there
and all that a little bit draggy kind of flew like a traditional ultralight just
a little bit cleaner than a traditional ultralight but we could really slow that
Pellini down and take advantage of its characteristics in cruise for some long
cross countries if we can get that whole fuselage faired back in so that’s the
the next goal in terms of the Pellini 250 on the thing in this whole process
while we were doing all this testing we were also working on prototype number
two to solve all the problems where we had been kind of abandoned by
Quicksilver and so we started working on prototype number two and at the same
time since we have this opportunity now we started cleaning up everything
just changing the design if we’re going to go to all that trouble why not clean
the airplane up and let me tell you the the new designs so much cleaner than the
original almost tripled the rate of climb on the toes using the the new
airplane it just doesn’t have any drag much of the time in flight
we are literally rope slack in fact on a couple occasions it looks like I’m
catching up with Carol when we’re flying the thing but we began the process of
building prototype number two and we got that all finished up and we were able to
make it to ash Kosh but only by robbing probably 25% of the parts off a
prototype one in order to get this thing in the air just before we left it it
also took us a lot of money in a lot of time we had to accumulate a whole bunch
of new machinery in order to be able to accomplish this so we ended up with
buying several several new CNC machines but now that we have all of that
capability in-house we have five CNC machines in-house that we can do
different types of manufacturing with these are some parts that are for the
wing fold mechanism on the airplane and it’s just nice to be able to do all that
stuff in-house right now so we’ve made good progress
right before Oshkosh we finished up the prototype and had it ready to put in the
trailer we literally ended up getting two test flights on the airplane two
days of test line on the airplane the first day we did half dozen or so ground
tows everything was looking awesome so the second day we continued the flight
testing with ground tows and then we immediately did about a half dozen arrow
toes to 3,000 feet and this is the picture of a slight testing without the
motor on the thing just as a pure glider you can see Carol is flying off into the
sunset out there she’s flying so we can get her in the picture also but
everything went awesome the next day this airplane was tore down put in the
trailer and we headed to Oshkosh it just literally was was that fast to make all
of this stuff happen so the next electric motor that we’re going
to test we have in house now it’s not completed yet
but our D is a company in Southern California they’re actually an
electrical aerospace company that does electrical cables but they’ve got a
whole bunch of really sharp people down there and they decided to build this
motor and we we actually became friends with them during one of our 120-hour
courses and they just took this on as a side project but they’ve got some pretty
sharp people in there they’re actually right now about 96% efficiency on the
air on the motor it’s designed to be able to operate continuously at 20
horsepower it’s only a 24 volt system they wanted to be able to make it
redundant and safe and so they selected 24 volts but they’ll run it on the test
stand and even after 30 minutes of run on the test stand it’s so cool that you
can physically put your hand on the outside of the motor after 20 minutes at
full power under load under torque on the tests and so we’re kind of excited
about it they’ve lost their lead engineer so we’re we’re waiting for them
kind of get up and swinging again on this thing the lead engineer on this
project transferred to a new job and so they’ve been kind of hamstrung in that
area so that’s the next one that we’re planning on testing we’ve got other
things in the works though but I want to talk to you about what I see as just the
total game changer for everybody you know it was when Paul originally formed
the EAA the aircraft were being built with you know Volkswagen engines and
McCullough’s and all of this military surplus stuff and you know we were
getting this existing technology it’s very hard to with the numbers that we
have in the experimental world it’s very hard for any manufacturer to really make
a big giant dent when it comes to making a product and that’s normally the reason
why the products for aviation are so expensive we just don’t sell the numbers
but think about this for a second we’ve just hit the
$1,000,000 the 1 million vehicles sold in the in the world electric vehicle
sold in the world and those things are crashing at a pretty alarming rate it’s
not alarming it’s spectacular because all of that stuff now becomes available
in the junkyard and we can go buy that stuff and I just
talked to a couple of guys the other day that had just recently bought a Nissan
Leaf it was all mangled but all the electrical components on the entire
Nissan Leaf were intact and they paid 2 grand for that thing now the batteries
alone in Nissan Leaf are worth about 10 grand so when you start thinking about
oh man we’re just going to be able to go leverage all of this junkyard stuff
that’s going to be perfect for us you know controllers battery management
systems the batteries themselves will pull the batteries out and you know
reconfigure them for an airplane I think you know for the EMG 6 I think you could
you could equip batteries for 4 airplanes out of one Nissan Leaf on the
thing so we’re really excited about a lot of that kind of stuff that’s going
on and we think that that’s where we’re going to just see some tremendous you
know there isn’t hardly a car manufacturer today that isn’t building
an electric vehicle they’re not doing this for entertainment they see the
writing on the wall they know where this is leading they know what’s going to
happen in the future these guys are smart
you wait and see now this next one is kind of my new love right now the new
2016 zero FX X FX s I think I can say that is pretty awesome they’ve got two
powerplant options available one is a 27 horsepower and the other one is a 44
horsepower now both of these motor configurations are awesome for the EMG 6
we’re just really excited about trying either one of these two configurations
mark Byerly with the Eagle has already done this he’s done it on a little
different motorcycle than these with I think a little bit I think he’s about a
60 horsepower configuration he ended up swinging a pretty big
propeller in order to be able to get the thrust that
he needed on that and he makes his own little reduction drive unit for the
thing but we’ve always been really excited about the possibility I’m not
having to do that complexity and that cost and that reliability issue of using
reduction drive units and it just happens that both of these motors are
designed for 3700 rpm max rpm and with our 50 inch propeller
that’s absolutely right exactly in the ballpark where we want to be for this
thing so we think we can use these motors direct drive we haven’t seen the
motor yet we don’t know exactly how it’s going to work but Marcus kind of blazed
the trail for us already and proven the reliability he literally takes the
batteries the motor the controller the charging system the dashboard right out
of the motorcycle and just retrofits them directly into his airplane and so
that’s pretty exciting the cost with government incentives on electric
vehicles on this motorcycle right here brand new out the door six thousand
eight hundred and ninety five dollars now even if you bought the entire
motorcycle and yanked that out of there that’s not a bad cost just to go around
doing that but when we start talking about junkyards and crashes and mangled
up stuff or even buying a new motorcycle take advantage of the subsidies steal
all the good stuff and then sell the rest of the brand-new motorcycle on eBay
for spare parts you probably are talking pretty cheap way to go there’s a bunch
of other manufacturers out there that are also doing exactly the same thing
and we’re seeing more and more electric motorcycles all the time we’re going to
have some options in the not-too-distant future that are just going to be awesome
for the electric world so we’re looking forward to that now remember in the
beginning I said you know one of my exciting areas that I’m really excited
about is the cost and so we are doing everything we can in order to be able to
get the cost of these kits down and we’re basically if you’re a welder and
you’re going to build your own stuff you can buy the basic kits for this thing
and with you’ll be right in the ballpark of 10 to
12 thousand dollars for the cost of one of these airplanes if you’re a welder we
have gone to the steps now of making all of the plans available online for free
you can go to our website go to the builders database download all the PDFs
you want we’re going to eventually get some money out of you but we believe in
this whole process we would like you to be able to take the time to go look at
all of the drawings we continually add to them we continually upgrade the
things they’re all designed on a side straughn’s
they’re designed so that you can print them on your home printer you’re not
going to have to go do a whole bunch of weirdo stuff in order to be able to do
that they’re all designed so that you can use them on an iPad or some other
laptop device time kind of thing we have a lot of builders that simply take their
iPad right directly out to the workshop and they work right off of that in
addition to that we provided a whole bunch of other kinds of files on the
website for free also because this is designed in SolidWorks there are many
many drawings and you can download a free copy of the heed wrongs viewer and
simply grab the part and start rotating sing around you’ve seen how we operate
and manipulate 3d drawings you can zoom in look at something cross section it
it’s just amazing what you can do all of those are on the website is well for
free this airplane has a 4130 steel cage on the thing it’s very user friendly
it’s one of the most complex parts on the airplane and so that’s one of the
areas where we wanted to be able to provide you the ability to build that
yourself so that you could reduce the labor costs in order to make that stuff
we have provided not only all the drawings to be able to do this but we
really have come up with a super trick system for cutting all of the tubes on
the airplane and we have this template system where if you haven’t seen how to
do this we’ve got a couple videos on it that you can go watch but we simply
print this on your printer at home you cut it out with an exacto knife you wrap
it around the tube you slide it to one end you mark the end you slide it the
other end mark the end and there’s some marks for interim marks
as well and it’s like having CNC cut tubing when you go to fit all this stuff
up together if you’re a welder you will appreciate this tube marking stuff
rather than cut and fit and cut and fit and then weld up the three-quarter inch
gap that you just made this is just phenomenal it’s exactly the same system
we use in the shop to create the frames we’re not doing it any different than
the builders are doing this now not only are we making all these templates
in-house we’re building the fixtures in-house so that we have DXF files
you can literally either rent the jigs for these things or you can download the
DXF files take them to the local cabinet shop and cut all these things out on MDF
plywood or three-quarter inch plywood or MDF and make your own jigs if you want
to our goal is not to do that but rather to rent out the jigs and so that’s kind
of how we’ve been pushing this whole system borrow the jigs for a little
while basically 50 bucks a month with a $500 deposit and then when it moves to
the next person you get your deposit back usually will only take you about Oh
2 months as well what it took Charlie to put his frame together and then he moved
the frames down to the next builder and so all of these parts they all come
boxed up and pre manufactured when you’re building the parts on the
airplane you’re using exactly the same jigs that we use in the shop to be able
to create the thing and so it’ll show up in a box kind of like this where all of
the fixtures fit in there it’s basically four pieces of four by eight sheets of
plywood in order to make all the fixtures
edie Santucci in North Carolina is one of our builders and he has been taking
the drawings and he’s making he’s just making his own fixtures that are much
simpler he obviously knows what he’s doing and he’s been adapting that and
we’ve agreed that will supply him with any dimensions that he needs in order to
be able to succeed at this whole process um the the fuselage boom is a 20 20 43
aluminum fuselage boom and so we’ve created all of those parts our CNC match
drilled basically Clicquot and pop rivet together um takes the average well takes
Jason in our shop heat he’s got it down he’s been building them he does about
four hours and he’s finished with that sucker now he’s getting pretty good on
it but all of that even if builders wanted to build these parts themselves
like the bulkheads we’ve got drawings where you can do that but the whole goal
is of course on something like this where we’ve got match drilled parts why
not just take throw them up on the CNC router and we cut the parts out and then
bend them up ahead of time so that everything fits perfectly and that’s
kind of how we’ve been doing that in addition to the sheet metal parts we’ve
been outsourcing all of the metal parts with laser cutting but oh my god the
cost they get for laser cutting these things is ridiculous so we’re still
cutting a lot of them in-house with our with our mill kind of a harsh way to do
this come this this laser cutting is pretty awesome stuff so anyway we are
also trying to build the airplane with a simple low cost as we possibly can so
for example the wing struts are the basic original Quicksilver one-inch o
5/8 6061-t6 aluminum tubes and that’s how we flew the prototype and then once
we did that we just retrofit them with a wooden trailing edge covered them with
fabric and we increase the performance and then if you want to go the next step
up we’ve got these these 6061-t6 aluminum extrusions that we’ve made that
retrofit directly so you can start off with the basic stuff and then upgrade
stuff as we go we want the airplane to be simple but we want to allow those
that want to to be able to make this thing more high-tech that’s why we did
all of the enclosures and all that kind of stuff later on Oh wing fold and tail fold the airplane was
originally designed because people need to be able to fold this up and put it in
a trailer so we’ve designed that into the airplane the original prototype
folded up pretty cleanly we were able to get it into the studio at EAA for one of
the hints for home builders sections that we were doing because it folds up
it’s actually only 33 inches wide in the completely
folded position this of course with the mono wheel and the training wheels to
keep it from tipping over the new prototype number two we still got a
couple of bugs on the wing fold but we’re working those out as we go the
whole idea of course is that we want the airplane to be trail herbal that’s a
that’s a big feature for a lot of people so we’ve we’ve been working that into
the plans right from the very beginning the airplane is a two-place airplane but
let’s talk reality here you know this is this is not your typical two-place
airplane but it has a gross weight of 750 pounds the original ultralight
weighed in at 200 pounds a little over 200 pounds that leaves us a substantial
amount of weight so we could put a couple of pilots in there and still be
under the 750 pounds the whole goal there is of course that well we need to
be able to do some transition training maybe we want to fly the thing around as
a pure glider and we’ve got access to either ground tow or arrow tow it’d be a
great way to do some basic training for for people that are not familiar with
the airplane if you’re going to fly it as a powered airplane let’s say put a
little two-stroke in the thing now probably with 750 pounds you’re going to
be restricted to basically a single place airplane at that point or maybe a
little smaller electric sustainer motor and a smaller passenger but two fat guys
like me we’re going to be a paraglider in those kind of configurations but the
whole goal here is to be able to provide options be able to provide different
types of configurations depending on what your mission is going to be for the
airplane so build it lighter keep it simple and you can throw more goodies
onto the thing the airplane was designed right from the very beginning with the
capability of putting a BRS parachute in it and of course during all the flight
testing we have a BRS parachute in there but it is certainly an option we don’t
think I hate putting that extra weight in the thing I can’t imagine why anyone
would want all that extra weight on board the airplane but kind of a
necessity during all the flight tests because we’re really pushing the
envelope in some of our tests we have molted
landing your configurations the monowheel I’ve flown a hundred hundred
flights with the monowheel configuration I flew three flights with the training
wheels and you can see the training wheels mounted on here it’s actually
takes about 30 seconds to pull the wheels on and off they’re just pit pins
and they just kind of like a trike go when you’re a kid you know you’re a
toddler and you’re learning to fly put the training wheels on there and then
the airplane will stay right-side up while you’re flying the thing and as you
get better and better you can shrink up the the struts on the training wheels
and operate it more and more like a tricycle but I only had it on there for
three flights I didn’t think it was necessary and so the the other 97
flights were without training wheels and I’ve never drugged a wingtip yet even
though you can see the wingtip wheels that are built into the wing
you know I off of entually – just because I didn’t like the drag of the of
the wheels on the wingtips out there but with a little bit of practice if you’re
a glider guy flying with one wheel and remember we’re landing literally a lot
of the landing speeds there’s a couple videos you can see on online about 30
feet landing distances with a little headwind most of the flights we just
come to a stop we hold the brake on and we put our foot down and then hold the
airplane up you’re just kind of straddling the airplane
very easy to operate we’ve we’ve built the tail wheel configuration with a
steerable tailwheel the conventional gear we even have on the drawings the
nose wheel version of the thing that’s kind of ridiculous but we may do that at
some point in time the next one I’m excited about is um I want to fly it
with skids take that stupid big fat draggy wheel out of the center and just
put a couple of little skids like well like on a helicopter you know the skids
on a bell helicopter this thing literally lands in you know in 50 feet
with no wind what are you so worried about land on the grass and you know
you’ll probably be 20 feet landing on the things so I’m excited about trying
that one fairly soon but lots of different options on different ways to
go with the landing gear a lot of people need that extra stability and want that
stability and got tons of videos on flying it with the tailwheel
configurations so the whole concept has just been a total
last we get out there and fly like this even without running the motor just
launching one after the other after other absolute hoot to stay up in the
air and of course the whole goal is to be able to fly long distances eventually
but our primary whole thing that we’re doing is you know develop this airplane
so that you know we can adapt to the new technology that’s coming out as people
build these new motors and stuff like that and we’re gonna we’re going to see
so many people develop so much neat stuff in the future is just going to be
amazing but back to this way that we’re flying the airplane right now as a
sustainer motor only even with say fifteen to thirty minutes worth of power
remember most the time a glider you’re going to be out there cruising around
and you’re going to be you know catching thermals or flying Ridge lifts or
something like that but just to have a little bit of power to do things like oh
I don’t know do a go-around for example that’d be kind of cool if someone pulls
out in front of the runway and yeah that’s not really an option in the
glider most of the time back up glide path control maybe you’re
a little short Oh that’d be nice to just have a little bit extra power we could
add to the thing in order to be able to get to the runway you know just that
kind of stuff we can now with sustainer capability oh we can go out and we can
fly you know further where we would normally because it’s too far to get
back to the airport but you know if we get all hosed up and we run out of lift
and we’re in sync and just crank up the motor and start flying on back to where
we should be so tons of options that we’re going to have in that area so I
see that I am running out of my time here
what time is notes um I think we’re six o’clock I don’t know how long I don’t
know if you’re there Charlie but I don’t know how long I’m yeah so I’ll put this
last slide up here and just talk about it a little bit before we get into
questions and answers but the electric motor glider comm is the website and
then there are several emails but you can just use adventure aircraft at
gmail.com and that’ll get sent to us as well as several other contact
email addresses that are on the website a couple things I want you to do on the
website it says followed by email go click on that throw in your email
address we’re not very sophisticated around here I’ve got no time for doing
anything other than work on this airplane we’re not spamming you we’re
not smart enough to spam you and we don’t have the tolerance for doing that
kind of stuff anyway but you’ll end up with we just get ton of feedback about
people liking this because anytime that we make an update to the website it
automatically sends out a blurb of whatever the newest post was to your
email address and I get a lot of feedback on people really liking that
and then they only come back to the website every couple of weeks or so to
check to see what they’ve missed there’s tons of stuff on the website for
research I just recently realized that the index
has not been working for quite some time I don’t actually know how long we’ve got
that working back up on there I don’t know but I think there’s close to 200
posts that are on this about different subjects and we keep throwing in new
information on a regular basis also I want to point out that the link to the
YouTube channel we do a lot of other stuff other than the EMG on our YouTube
channel we do a lot of stuff on you know other airplanes stuff and so there’s
other stuff there but I want to encourage you to go there and subscribe
to that I try and only put out high quality information recently we’ve been
flooding the website with a project where we’re doing a bunch of solid work
stuff and so you can just ignore that if you’re not into that kind of stuff but
will eventually develop that into a neat little package that we’re going to put
together for people watching how to do some solid work stuff but please go to
but go to youtube and subscribe to our channel there I watch that stuff every
day I’m like all excited when somebody signs up for the thing we’re about 750
subscribers on that now and it keeps growing so we’re pretty excited about
that so I think I babbled long enough here I think probably in order to give
everybody a chance we can start doing some questions if
if you’ve got some there charlie

17 Replies to “EMG-6 Electric Motor Glider Webinar Hosted By EAA”

  1. Wow! What a great product. I can see the future with graphene powered batteries. A lot of good information and thanks for taking the time to share your product. Best hour I've spent on YouTube.

  2. Thanks for the information, extremely informative, well done! Commercially producing a Part 103 airplane is huge task, it looks like you have great operation and are at the beginning of a new wave of ultralight flight.

  3. As a former GA/Lazair II owner/pilot I am enjoying this video immensely. I was never impressed with the QuickSilver but you it appears you have brought it to a whole new level.

  4. What's the flying speed and how much it costs.? Is this equipped with extra parachutes for additional safety in emergency

  5. if you are flying for less than 1 hour or even two, you seriously need to re-evaluate your airframe choice. love the talk, and would love to talk about the airframe end of things. I have no experience with designing full scale aircraft, but lots with electric models, and have them flying for over 4 hrs. would love to chat. cheers!

  6. Okay, I have watch almost all your videos and I am impressed. Amazing little airplane and I want one. I have started renovating my shop. Next I must repair my kerosene heater as I live in Canada at Wasaga Beach. The worlds longest fresh water beach, on Georgian Bay. We are not far from Blue Mountain ski resort where I used to fly hang gliders back in the early seventies and eighties. I still have my honourary Mountain Flying Licence from United States Hang Gliding Assiation for introducing the sport in this part of Canada. Got my plans from Dick Eipper who designed the famous Quicksilver. Next I must figure out how to download your plans and start building. PS, sorry for the umm comment.

  7. I was going to get another license because I let mine go for a couple of decades. I got my ASEL around 1963 and added a glider rating in the ‘70s. When I went to the local airport to start lessons. Two things put me off. One was the cost. I knew it would be higher than in the ‘60s, but not THAT high. The second was the paperwork. I think I filled out one sheet of paper the first time. This time I was handed a stack of papers that looked like a phone book. Pass. I’m going the nonlicense, nonmedical certificate route, thank you very much.

  8. these thoughts seem 2 me as a not that smart person, it would seem that this would have been thought of many years ago . please just my small opinion thx 4 ur vid

  9. Good video! So regret to see it this late. However I 've got a question. As far as I know Part 103 is incompatible with 2-seats ultralight. Can any one render some hints for this?

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