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Trike - Foot Launch


asquaddie
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I was just imagining such a beast the other day. I wanted to have a dual paraglider/hangglider power unit that was still foot launchable to stay within the FLPA (Sorry self propelled hang glider) classification but that would double as a hang glider trike when no one was watching the launch. I want one NOW

Parajet have somethin a bit like it but with wheel spats, but I dont know if you can foot launch it.

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Foot launch is foot launch. add wheels and it becomes a trike with the associated licence requirements. Even if you can foot launch it, the CAA aren't that stupid.

"would double as a hang glider trike when no one was watching the launch."

There is always someone watching, either in person on on forums like this (and e mail groups).

We should comply with what little rules there are otherwise we will soon drown under the new rules that will be imposed if we don't play ball.

Having said that, it does look like a nice trike.

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Not sure I agree with your interpretation of the SPHG classification. Wheels are fitted on the doodle bug and skids on the mosquito but these are still "self propelled hang-gliders" under the CAA classification. I dont think wheels are mentioned in the classification only that the machine must be foot launched (and under a certain weight and with a limited fuel supply). I think the CAA have refused to be drawn as to what is or is not within that definition. They can bring a prosecution if they feel a pilot is outside their (undisclosed) interpretation but it is for them to show that the machine was not foot launched. Or for the pilot to show that his machine complies with the definition, perhaps.

Only if and when a test case is brought will that be determined by legal precedent.

The trike shown here is clearly (claimed to be) foot launchable and (I have assumed) for the very good reason that it falls within the UK CAA's SPHG classification thus grabbing a market lead in the UK and Europe (I think it is a Danish company isnt it)?

I am still unsure as to whether the SPHG classification excludes wheeled landings.

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Just re-checked the CAP393 and wheeled landings are definitely allowed (not proscribed) by the classification as long as your airspeed is under 35knots!!!!! so if anyone can build this trike for me at under 780EU (asking price from the manufacturer- leg-lifters) then lets get designing.

The only aditional feature I want is a hang-glider attachment bar as per this video.

the machine in this video combined with the foot-launchable trike idea above is what I am after.

If you look at the sitting position in this video it is much more reclined than our PPG harnesses and so much more paraglider like in flying feel I would guess. The design constraint is that it must be launched (either hang or para) by foot (some of the weight of the aircraft or its payload must be supported by the pilots legs or feet up to the moment of leaving the ground (that is my interpretation of the CAP393 section 1 part 14 page 25 paragraph 8 "SPHG") :?:?:?

Any offers? :lol::lol:

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We are getting into semantics here, and some people are always up to "some antics".

The spirit of the regulation is foot launch for both take off and landing. Taking some of the weight on take off! I'm sure we have all ridden a bike whilst pretending to run. I can spin a regulation with the best of them (I spent 14 years in motorsport making the life of senior scrutineers and regulators a nightmare) but whilst it's fun to bend the rules like that it will only take a small error of judgement to bring the CAA down on us like a ton of bricks.

Just my opinion of course.

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well yes it is semantics, the definition is written in simple words without any interpretation. The CAA have been asked for and refused to give any further interpretation to the definition. That is for a very good reason. They are leaving it to the courts to interpret. They are not saying you can and cant have a trike or wheels or any specific thing. they have written a asimple definition and left it to Judges to decide whether a particular instance of alledged breach falls within that definition or not. Ther are a number of people who say as you do that wheels are out, there are a number of others who disagree and push the definition to the point where it is made clear.

there are already a number of SPHG systems that use wheels in the launch, have been for a few years. The CAA have not made any indication that they are interested in prosecuting the pilots of the doodlebug, the wasp or the Mosquito systems.

There was no law permitting the use of powered paragliders (paramotora) when they first came in, the CAA made an exemption from the ANO for them BECAUSE people were using them. Now the CAA have redefined the classification and it is for the pioneers to expand the number of available machines within that classification. Only when there is a test case and a Judge says "its got wheels therefore it is not SPHG" will a flying "foot launched" trike actually be illegal without a PPL.

I beleive :oops:

And I am serious about the 780Eu if there are any takers :idea:

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I can't prove it's not a myth, but I think the wording of the original UK Foot launched UK rule was partly due to some creative person in the US. version.

Something like... a normal looking aircraft with a floor opening in the cockpit area. Then using leg force to lift it for a second on a very very steep windy slope to launch it once. Then they fixed the floor and it only ever rolled from then on.

Personally, after seeing trikes/quads fail on anything other than flat smooth grass, kind wind conditions and in expert hands - I'm in no rush to try one until my body tells me I have no choice.

Cheers

Paul

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AIC 109/2000 Foot launched powered flying machines: (powered paragliders and hang gliders) defines the genre further

Quote"Powered parachutes have been flying in the UK for several years and use a ram air Para wing to provide lift above a tricycle frame embodying the pilots seat and a power unit driving a pusher propeller, they are classified as a microlight………(dull and irrelevant stuff removed)…..The powered paraglider simplifies this configuration further by dispensing with the undercarriage and frame, the power unit being strapped to the back of the pilot. Such a device is still a microlight….. "end quote

and goes on to say

Quote"A powered flying machine which:

1:Comprises a combination of a parachute or flexwing aerofoil and a mechanical propulsion device

2:is demonstrably capable of being safely foot launched from a horizontal surface in still air or light wind conditions........."end quote....then repeats what is in CAP 393

CAP393 section 1 part 14 page 25 paragraph 8 "SPHG"

'Self-propelled hang-glider' means an aircraft comprising an aerofoil wing and a

mechanical propulsion device which:

(a) is foot launched;

(b) has a stall speed or minimum steady flight speed in the landing configuration not

exceeding 35 knots calibrated airspeed;

© carries a maximum of two persons;

(d) has a maximum fuel capacity of 10 litres; and

(e) has a maximum unladen weight, including full fuel, of 60 kg for single place

aircraft and 70 kg for two place aircraft;

Minimum pilot age is 16 (as it is a glider)

Seems pretty well defined to me.

If you have a trike for one person then you can design it under SSDR rules. If it's two people then CAP 482 BCAR Section S applies (This is the view of the BMAA who look after the design of microlights and therefore also the view of the CAA who allow the BMAA to operate the microlight catagory for them).

By all means pioneer new designs, but you should fly it with the correct licensing. If you wish to challange the rules please do so out in the open in full view of the CAA/EASA (and the committee of 12 people who are looking into European licencing harmonisation right now).

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That is a VERY good point,

The idea of a Trike may look and souind great BUT

I cant help thinking, ( I will be able to confirm on my return form South Africa when I will have a play in / on one ) that once you leave the ground the pilot is 'stuck' to this frame of Alloy and bolts may not be so much fun.

Who has flown one? give us your thoughts?

Whats the landing like? I can imagine a little cross drift (otherwise sorted out by feet moving over the ground) would be a bit of a drama.

They do look like fun though, it's the idea of a passenger that flicks my switch the most.

SW :D

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That is a VERY good point,

The idea of a Trike may look and souind great BUT

I cant help thinking, ( I will be able to confirm on my return form South Africa when I will have a play in / on one ) that once you leave the ground the pilot is 'stuck' to this frame of Alloy and bolts may not be so much fun.

Who has flown one? give us your thoughts?

Whats the landing like? I can imagine a little cross drift (otherwise sorted out by feet moving over the ground) would be a bit of a drama.

They do look like fun though, it's the idea of a passenger that flicks my switch the most.

SW :D

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Martin please clarify what you are saying as I am not sure if I have got this all wrong. This is more than accademic to me as I am currently developing a system.

You sart by quoting from the CAA's Air information Circluar 109 from year 2000 which describes trikes and other powered parachutes as they were in 2000 . Surely this circular was issued for the purpose of describing the aircraft types to GA pilots as they existed then and is not a "legal definition" of what constitutes a foot launched powered aircraft (as Paramotors were classified then). That circular refers to the Exemption from ANO that the CAA brought in in 1996 to permit the use of paramotors as an interim measure.

What we now have is the definition of SPHG that replaces the definition of FLPA (similar but distinct).

SPHG definition seems to mean that the flight must have originated with and could not have originated without the pilots feet (and presumably legs) involved.

Isnt the trike that started this thread distinct from all other trikes designed so far BECAUSE a pilot can launch it standing up (with the wheels in mid air), fly his flight and land on the wheels and still remain within the SPHG definition?

This might seem a bit pointless for a paramotor pilot (why would you want to land on wheels when a stand up landing is so easy?) well yes, but as we try to increase our flying speeds by using smaller wings (it is coming to PPG just like it has arrived in PG) we might be able to take off at a moon-walk run but landing at 30 mph and wheels start to look like a good idea.

For a hang glider landings are already very fast and standup landings require great timing. Pushing the speeds up just a little and they get really difficult. Many HG (unpowered) already elect to land on their bellies using base bar wheels. And aerotowed hangies take off on a trolley they leave on the deck because take off speeds are too high to run it. A trike that you launch standing up and land on its wheels is a big step forward. (Or should that be roll forward?)

I am certainly "doing it in the open" (I have already had my efforts looked at by one of the bodies you mention) but I am not challenging the rules I am abiding by them if my machine is not capable of getting airbourne but for the use of the pilots feet (to support some weight of the machine during the take off phase - my interpretation)

The only "Rule" that I can see or has been drawn to my attention is the CAP393 section 1 part 14 page 25 paragraph 8 "SPHG" definition which must be satisfied.

What am I missing?

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I have been musing on this for a while now.

It seems to me that to be considered foot launched then the feet must be integral with the launch. By that I mean that if the feet were not present then the machine could not take off. This is demonstrated well in videos of wasp, doodlebug etc powered hang gliders. The two wheels at the back provide balance and prop clearance, but without the pilots legs the whole thing collapses. (there is a youtube video which demonstrates this very well on a landing. search for powered hang glider doodlebug)

If the machine could plainly take off with no input from the pilots legs, as in the case of a trike, then regardless of a person being able to pick up the whole thing and run with it fast enough to take off I believe that it would still be classed as a trike. Of course one could argue that if two wheels was the definition you could use a bike layout but the same applies.

I think the clarity will come from the question "do the legs of the pilot form an integral part of the deal or not". I vote not in the case of the trike.

In terms of the AIC 109/2000. one of the things we must adapt to is that the regulations pertaining to foot launched are not all in one place. As an example, to define the minimum pilot age for a paramotor one must look in 3 places in CAP393 to achieve the full definition. I went through this exercise with the CAA head of GA so that I could get it absolutely water proof.

I'm not a legal person, but if push came to shove AIC109/2000 would be referred to and the definition it contained would be used.

AIC109/2000 also defines foot launched machines and what they can and can't do in terms of flying. So it's much more than just a document for GA pilots. AIC's are for all aviation as is the ANO (CAP393).

I have also sought advise from someone who will be able to give a definitive answer without any constraints from the CAA etc.

I'm off to bed!

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...I cant help thinking, (I will be able to confirm on my return form South Africa when I will have a play in / on one ) that once you leave the ground the pilot is 'stuck' to this frame of Alloy and bolts may not be so much fun.

Who has flown one? give us your thoughts?...

I have flown Tony's one in SA and although I didn't think it courtesy to say directly to him I felt it was quite dissapointing compared with foot launch. There's a picture on my album page. It was as you might expect pretty thermic down there and we were being swung about quite a bit. With our standard machines it is not as noticeable as when you have a large structure of metal in front swinging all over the place. Also it is not exactly a light weight pice of kit and misses out on that whole personal flying machine feeling. Having said that the trike that forms the subject of this thread is a different kettle of fish and would probably be more like what we are used to.

The part of the flight that concerned me most was actually the take off. Our normal undercarriage allows us alot of flexibility (eg the ability to reverse launch and to be able to move sideways if the wind dictates) which is not an option with a trike. Also, on a no wind day you can't run forward to get the wing up beforre applying power. Instead you end up giving an almighty whack of power while the wing looks like a bag of nails behind you. If the stars come into alignment then it all sorts itself out and off you go. Foot launch for me every time!

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Ian,

I am intrigued by trikes of small and large sizes. I do tend to agree with you though, the less aeronautically redundant junk you have to haul off the ground the better. The idea of one man, a wing and a motor arrives with a frisson to it that just evaporates when you add aluminum box section and wheelbarrow wheels.

Some countries are reporting a rapid rise in the popularity of the trike though. I wonder why?

fat_wheelie.jpg

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An interesting dilema Martin.

re Definitive answer???? Surely there cannot be a definitive answer unless it comes from the CAA (no matter how august the proponent) and they have refused to give one. Their position is that they have made the definition (CAP393 page 1 etc etc) which supercedes the definition refered to in the AIC 109/2000 (FLPA exemption promulgation) and they are content to wait for anyone to come up with a design that challenges the new SPHG definition to such a degree that they feel compelled to attempt a prosecution. All us pundits can do is debate with each other what does or does not constitute an infringement.

My own view is that the definition was changed on the first two points and the point about "can be demonstrably launched from a flat field in nil wind" changed to "is foot launched" was a subtle but deliberate means to exclude machines such as the Swift class 5 hangglider with a motor attachment from the definition. Those machines are "capable of being launched by foot" but in practise rarely are because you need enough strength to lift them and then enough left to run up to class 5 flying speed! (They are now classed as ultra-lihght requiring a PPL I think).

The subtle definition change requires the particular flight in question i.e. the one that they are prosecuting you for to have been originated on foot.

However (I contend) that now allows the trike we are looking at BECAUSE it can be launched without the wheels being in contact with the ground and, IF IT IS so launched the flight is on an SPHG by definition!

They have moved away from what the machine may be capable of to what it actually did on the flight in question.

Whether or not that was the intention it permits a perfectly reasonable defense in law against any prosecution that relies on evidence based on the capabilities of the machine, requiring the prosecution to prove that, on the flight in question, the machine was NOT foot launched.

We must clear up whether my contention that the AIC 109 (FLPA) definition is superceded by the CAP393 (SPHG) definition. If it is not then the law as stated is plainly contradictory and can be ruthlessly exploited for its inadequate framing :D

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Norman,

re trike popularity, the ability to fly a machine that has a higher flying speed than can be launched on foot is an obvious attraction. Great though paramotoring is, it is definitely not a quick way to get about, 'specially into a head wind. Tandems are generally faster than solos and tandem PPG foot launch, in nil or light wind, is a very difficult thing to do as neither P1 nor P2 can run properly. Nil wind launches on tandem PG on a a steep alpine take off are hard enough to survive; from a flat field, getting the wing overhead is virtually impossible without a wind to assist. To get up to flying speed without much wind to reduce the ground speed demands undercarriage. Wings are getting smaller for solo PG in order to get higher glide speeds and, as this trend moves into PPG, the demand for flat field nil wind take offs on higher speed wings argues for wheels; and the trike is the simplest (so far) means of providing them.

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Trike foot launched? this subject has been covered on the BMAA web site to quit some depth. It certainly got me thinking how different laws are interpreted by different people! Jeremy Harris seams to have put a rather a lot of effort into this definition!

here are the links

http://www.bmaa.org/forums/default.aspx?f=14&m=4074

http://www.bmaa.org/forums/default.aspx?f=14&m=6265

Hope this helps.

Paul

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Francis

Without giving their name (no name, no pack drill) I had a reply from my contact. I have edited it to remove any traces of identity.

>I think to be honest that it probably is foot-launched,

>since the feet and legs are doing the main

>work of the take-off. Since the definition doesn't make any

>reference to the landing,

>I don't think landing on wheels negates it.

>Possibly it rather defies the spirit of the foot-launching regulation,

>but not I believe the word of the law.

So you and I are both correct. On a technicality it can be classed foot launched, under the spirit of the regulation it is not.

It will continue like this until someone in authority has the balls to stand up and say "look guys, I know we didn't specifically say you can't, but you've gone too far". That's the polite version!

I have also considered some other methods of achieving the same aim of taking some of the weight whilst still remaining within the spirit of the regulations and it is entirely possible.

Maybe one day Francis we will meet and have a face to face, I'll buy you a beer and we'll have a laugh about it.

Martin

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Francis,

I'm with you on the reasoning which is why I was (and am) intrigued by the idea of the trike. Joking apart, so is most of the US PM community as they are taking to it in increasing numbers for all the reasons you eloquently provide.

I think for the moment I will continue dangling until I gain sufficient experience and inclination to give trikes a try.

[Wondering what you have up your sleeve but understanding your reasons for stuum on the subject.]

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