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Calling on your experience

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Calling on your experience

Old 20th Oct 2018, 18:30
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Calling on your experience

Hi Guys,
I'm back to flying again after many years and many kilos . Things are a little different now (not talking about age and extra pork!) I am flying with 1 leg and 1 working arm.

Cutting a long story short, I'll be after my own plane. OK, so, heaven looks like an RV8 with a fadec and HOS (can't have HOT, my left arm don't work!) adapted with throttle , trim and flaps on the stick and with an autopilot.

Before I get there, I might want to get something to learn on. So then, Is there such a thing as a tail-dragger that is aerobatic, could be adapted for throttle on stick and electric trim, yet doesn't cost a ransom?

My thought process takes me to Citabria (but what about trim?) or T67 (but what about the nosewheel!)

Anybody have any suggestions?
cheers

Neil aka 'Eileen-left'
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 20:33
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I canít help directly but perhaps give Aerobility a call. They have experience in this field.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 20:56
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Already there thanks! Just wanted to chew the fat here!

cheers
Neil
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 23:27
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Originally Posted by Eileenleft View Post
Hi Guys,
I'm back to flying again after many years and many kilos . Things are a little different now (not talking about age and extra pork!) I am flying with 1 leg and 1 working arm.

Cutting a long story short, I'll be after my own plane. OK, so, heaven looks like an RV8 with a fadec and HOS (can't have HOT, my left arm don't work!) adapted with throttle , trim and flaps on the stick and with an autopilot.

Before I get there, I might want to get something to learn on. So then, Is there such a thing as a tail-dragger that is aerobatic, could be adapted for throttle on stick and electric trim, yet doesn't cost a ransom?

My thought process takes me to Citabria (but what about trim?) or T67 (but what about the nosewheel!)

Anybody have any suggestions?
cheers

Neil aka 'Eileen-left'
Not recently and not on aerobatic aeroplanes, but I've overseen design and approval of a few "ability" mods to aeroplanes.

I'm absolutely sure that this is achievable, and that in principle just about any aeroplane could be modified for disabled use.

Aerobatics raises some really interesting questions, specifically...

- Ensuring that the pilot's limbs are sufficiently securely attached to the controls to prevent slippage and potentially catastrophic failure to fully control the aeroplane at a crucial moment.

- Ideally an aeroplane with sufficiently low control forces that limbs with restricted "control power" are not prevented from having full control over the aeroplane.

- Ensuring harness and abandonment mechanisms provide full functionality.


I can't see putting a trimmer on a coolie-hat on a stick would be at-all difficult. I can see that providing a throttle which can be operated with an arm unserviceable might be entertaining. A thumb lever on the stick seems a possible solution - but....

What I learned in the half dozen years I spent working on these projects (not recently, but I did) was that fully able bodied pilots and engineers should not attempt to design these devices for disabled people. This absolutely must be a collaborative effort between a design engineer, the disabled person, and probably a flying instructor qualified to teach the stuff that the disabled person wants to be able to do in the aeroplane.

So my recommendation would be to pull a team together, and go with them to look at some representative aeroplanes. RVs, Pitts, Bulldogs all spring to mind as aeroplanes that may be suitable. I am very firmly recommending that you look at LAA aeroplanes only. LAA is the only organisation which has both aerobatic aeroplanes under its aegis and a reasonably user-friendly modification approval process. They may also be able to recommend some good design engineers that they know and trust to provide good submissions to LAA engineering.

I'd love to offer to help myself - I'm certainly competent and qualified to do the design engineer bit, but am just so maxed out for the foreseeable that I just have no spare capacity. That said, I'd be happy to provide a few technical pointers here or by email (pretty please, not by PM - my message box is almost always full up, and you can't attach documents to PMs).

G
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 11:34
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Welcome Neil,

I suggest you contact Eric at MT propeller in Straubing, Germany. I know you're not looking for a propeller, but Eric could have helpful direction for you.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 11:40
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Neil;

A chat with Arthur Williams May be a help, Iím pretty sure LAA engineering at Turweston will help you get in touch.

Genghis is right about the design though. A family member ended up as a paraplegic following an accident. Her car controls are individually designed and change every time she changes car.

Good luck, and please PM if you need anything else.

SND
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 15:19
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Arthur flies a Cub. Having flown a Decathlon I would say it is aerobatic enough and certainly has more space and better access than a Cub. The only fly in the ointment may be that it is a certified design and so would carry a deal more paperwork to modify the controls to suit.

I would guess ease of access is always going to be a challenge with the majority of aerobatic designs, most of which have 'top entry' arrangements. The Beagle Pup is possibly an option and although ageing, there are a number of aerobatic Austers - possibly worth thinking about.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 15:31
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The Decathlon would be my choice too, CAA airworthiness have assisted several times over the years, IIRC there was a modified Yak, and I once flew a PA28-140 modded for hand controls. The Yak was CAA permit and the PA28 had a PT Cat C of A and belonged to a charity.

The guys at Thame Glider site may have some ideas, they do a lot of training with disabled pilots.

SND

Last edited by Sir Niall Dementia; 21st Oct 2018 at 15:32. Reason: Worms and smelling
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 08:42
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Thanks

Many many Thanks guys. Your input is absolutely fantastic.

it seems to me that the underlying message is, anything is possible; find a plane you want, then adapt it.

i think what i need to do is make a list, then get my tail feathers into every one on that list, to see what suits then take it from there. After all, when you have bits missing like me, even the smallest thing makes the biggest difference....

thanks very very much guys.

Neil aka 'eileen'
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