October 2012 Archives

Broken Airborne RedBack 503 2-place Trike

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This craft came from Australia with a 17.5 Wizard 3 wing.  It is intended as a trainer although the 50 hp 503 engine is a bit weak for our 6500 foot elevation.  It was originally purchased and used as a trainer by Richard Hastings.  At about 120 hours, he replaced the Wizard 3 wing with a small fast wing.  He had not gotten the optional steering damper.   The higher speed landing resulted in severe nose wheel shimmy that ended in loss of control and a roll over of the trike.  The new wing got torn up. The mast mount adapter bent. The propeller shattered. The left mast support wire broke.  The top plate the holds the mast broke and the bottom one bent.  The left trailing landing gear strut bent.  The left passenger foot rest broke.

Parts are still available from the factory--about $3000 worth.



A true ultralight trike. Designed and built by Richard Hastings.  He named it Mallard for reason to be explained later.  Has a Rotax 447 engine.  An Airborne Wizard 3 wing that originally came with the RedBack 503 trike (see separate entry).

Richard brought this to Mountainair where we put it together and he did a demo flight.  However, when I tried to fly it a few days later I had a horrifying experience and did not think I would make it down in one piece.  It took me about 45 minutes to get enough control to land it.  It seemed like I had never flow a trike before.  (inspite of reasonable surface wind when I took off, the air was really turbulent above 50 feet).  The assumption was it was my relative inexperience and the turbulent air but then Claudio (200 hrs trike time) flew it on a morning with calm air and had lack of control trouble too.  Conclusion has been that it is flying close to stall so very mushy and very little control response.  Had to move the control bar to the extremes to get a response.  Result was constant lateral PIO and no apparent for/aft neutral or trim spot.  It took Claudio at least 3 passes to get down.  He said he would not fly it again.

Everything seems perfectly symmetrical. (even with the terrible control response, it seemed symmetrical--wanted to drop right as easily as left).  I have sent images to the factory and my instructor but nobody sees anything wrong.  We did move the hang point from the middle hole to the forward hole which should make it fly faster but have not had low enough wind to test it yet.  We did check the battens against the wing chart and they seemed about right.

Will do some high speed taxi test as soon as wind permits to see if we can find a neutral hang point and any sign of lateral control. Have added a wind speed indicator so we can get an idea of what speed things are happening at.  Will try to get a third camera to mount also.

From there expect to take the wing off and hang the trike to see what angle it is at with full load.  Then compare this to other another known properly flying trike.


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This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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