Light Aviation June 2022

Page 1

BENEFIT? LIGHT Aviation THE MAGAZINE OF THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION WWW.LAA.UK.COM Light Aircraft Association Tiny, but big fun! Clive Davidson tries the Smith Miniplane DSA





Engineering Director


Chief Technical Officer


Chief Inspector



Vice President


Engineering email


Office Manager Penny Sharpe

Head Office Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northants NN13 5YD

Telephone for engineering and commercial 01280 846786





Production Editor LIZI BROWN



In full swing…

Well, I don’t know about you, but the spring weather, along with the lengthening daylight hours, has lead to a flourish of fun days flying around here. Most recently I headed to a fabulous Vintage Piper Fly-in at Goodwood organised by the Vintage Piper Aircraft Club. More than 50 Vintage Pipers covered the grass outside the beautiful Goodwood Flying Club building. The whole airfield was alive, with particular aerial punctuation provided by the resident two-seat Spitfires, which flew throughout the day to give a number of rides. Walking around, there were a number of beautifully restored and presented aircraft, and few caught my eye. An L4 in Eighth Airforce markings, an L21 painted to represent an NE1 that flew with Airship Squadron 32 – Cub vs. blimp, now there’s a race that the Cub should win! What really stole my heart though was a white and red Reed Clipped Wing J3 – just gorgeous. I have had a very long-term hankering for one, so it has lingered on in my mind since that sunny Saturday. Perhaps one day, I’ll find one to call my own… Permit time for the RV-3 rolled around. I broke off from editing this issue to de-panel and prepare it for my new Inspector after he managed to fit me into a busy schedule (Thanks Toby!). A bit like post-flight cleaning, I enjoy taking a look inside at those bits of less-often seen structure, and while I’m one for trying to keep up with the aircraft proactively throughout the year, it’s definitely an eye opener when something is spotted in a dim corner. Catching little jobs before they become big jobs is a mantra I think we can all agree on.

The following day, after a few hours of re-assembly, it was time for the Permit test flight. What had been a bit of a thermic day had begun to settle down a little – I’m always a little weary of bumps when the test schedule calls for going to VNE. At our strip, and maybe yours too, discussion of that bit of the test is always a good topic of pilot conversation over a cuppa…

All that remains is to transfer the figures from my knee-board to the Permit renewal form, and take advantage of the speedy service provided by Adèle, Fiona and the rest of the Engineering team.

As for other fly-ins, I’m hoping to head to the Devon Strut fly-in at Farway Common on 18 June, and Sleapkosh (at Sleap, where else?!) on July 9/10, so say hello if you spot me there!

Ed’s Desk
June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3
expressed by the
are not necessarily those of the
or the
No part of
publication may be reproduced in any form without permission.
Just some of the vintage Pipers at glorious Goodwood.

Having built a reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of light aircraft fuel system components within the amateur-build aircraft sector, Andair has now established a significant presence in the commercial aviation market as well.




Highlights from the Popham Microlight Trade Fair


Making a custom oil tank for a Rotax 912 engine, Bücker BU133C Jungmeister, and Cleared to Fly…


Aeroplanes don’t come much smaller than the Smith Miniplane. Clive Davidson tries one on for size…


AERO Friedrichshafen attracted many, many visitors – and aircraft. Ed Hicks reports on what he found at the show


Head of Coaching David Cockburn says it pays to be alert when flying near gliding sites – for many reasons


Jerry Parr looks at topics including duplicate inspections, paint vs powder coating and Kitfox fuel tanks…


After nine months in post, Engineering Director John Ratcliffe explains the changes to LAA Engineering…


Ian Fraser takes a look at electronic ignition. Is it just a bright spark or does it offer a real benefit?


Pete White looks back on 30 fabulous years of Aeronca friendship…

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 5 Contents June 2022

Plenty more news is available on the LAA website at check it out every day!

LAA’s first 600kg microlight approval moves forward

The LAA and Dragon Aviation, importers of the Ukrainian Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen, are working together on CAA registration of the aircraft as a sub-600kg microlight in its kit version, and also introducing it as a factory-built sub-600kg microlight under the new regulations.

The Vixxen and its predecessor the Aeroprakt A22 Foxbat have been highly successful as LAA-overseen kit aircraft in the SEP and microlight categories, with

TLAC E-KUB flight

At the end of April, more than two years of hard work finally saw the E-KUB, built by The Light Aircraft Company, make its first flight this month. TLAC believe the flight was possibly the first ever of a totally British designed and built all-electric aeroplane, and a milestone in what’s been years of hard work.

Professor Guy Gratton from Cranfield University undertook the first flight test and gathered data along the way to help improve and fine-tune the design.

The E-KUB’s first flight was 39

AeroExpo cancelled

around 55 of the earlier model flying in the UK, as well as 13 A32 Vixxens which have flown since the type was approved in 2019.

“Based on our long working relationship with Dragon and Aeroprakt, it is logical that the LAA develops this for both homebuilding and factory building in the sub-600kg microlight category,” says LAA Engineering Director John Ratcliffe.

“We see the changeover of the existing

minutes, including slow and fast taxying, low hops, and finally 10 minutes of continuous flight, followed by a second flight later that day of 34 minutes long, 22 minutes of which was airborne, and the aircraft reached 2,000ft and 80mph.

TLAC recognise the support of Innovate UK, EnabEl, (Enabling Aircraft Electrification) and Cranfield University for their role in making this project a success. The E-KUB will make more flights in the coming months as the team continues to expand the flight envelope.

The AeroExpo General Aviation exhibition planned for 16-18 June at Cotswold Airport has been cancelled for this year.

Organisers said the difficult decision to cancel AeroExpo/RotorTech UK for this year. was taken as they had unfortunately lost access to indoor exhibition (Hangar) space they had been allocated.

The team says the event will return for 2023.

kit version to a sub-600kg microlight as a fairly simple step which can be undertaken promptly using the existing processes. The factory-built version under the 600kg rules will be the first 600kg factory-built type that the LAA will bring onto the fleet, under the type approved route through the CAA and we assist Dragon Aviation in achieving the necessary A1 company approval.”

Grass roots fly-in

Plans are moving forward with Popham Airfield for the LAA Grassroots Fly-In on 2, 3 and 4 September. It has given us the opportunity to go ‘back to our roots’ with a new event and new location for the traditional Rally date, and feedback from members and potential exhibitors has been strong with many looking forward to a fun, relaxed and social weekend, reflecting all that is best with the LAA. Watch out for more on the event in next month’s Light Aviation

There will be a homebuilder’s tent at the event, so if you have a project you’d like to share, and wish to be part of the event, please contact Dudley Pattison with your details at

6 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 LA News News
Above Would you like to display your part-complete homebuilt? Above LAA Chairman Eryl Smith and Ray Everitt of Dragon Aviation at Popham.

LAA members win awards

LAA members gathered in London on May 18 at the RAF Club for the annual Royal Aero Club awards and received 13 awards ranging a variety of achievements – individual to collective effort and lifetime contribution. They brought together some of our youngest and oldest members – the Britannia Trophy for Travis Ludlow, for his round-the-world flight at the age of 18 (the youngest ever solo), and for his subsequent outreach activities, including LAA Strut and young peoples’ presentations, and the Old & Bold Trophy for 101 year old Ted Barrett. Ted has had a PPL since 1955 and passed his microlight GST at the age of 93. He still drives, and frequently flies from Hunsdon and Andrewsfield airfields in Essex.

A prestigious RAeC Diploma was presented to Francis Donaldson to recognise his 30 years of engineering service to light aviation and the LAA.

Well done to all!

New Look for LAA Aviation Art

Under the leadership of the Guild of Aviation Artists’ Phil Jackson, the LAA’s Aviation Art for young people has a new look this season. Caricatures and cartoons of vintage aircraft is the theme and from the very youngest up to teenagers, we provide a picture ready for colouring, featuring aircraft from Shuttleworth’s collection. Phil has designed the pictures and they prove popular at Old Warden’s airshows, where the art is now based. Older children are encouraged to use their skills in designing their own pictures, and a prize is awarded for the best after each airshow day. The caricatures are also available for Struts and Clubs to use at events. Please get in touch with the LAA office if you would like to be involved in supporting this very popular activity.

Hellos and goodbyes

We say hello to Marika Lacobucci (left) who joins LAA as our new bookkeeper, and Andy O’Dell (right) who joins as an Airworthiness Engineer. There’s also a farewell to Mike Roberts, who has left the Engineering Team to develop a new business –, providing bespoke services to the aircraft homebuilders, restorers and designers. Good luck, Mike!

Meet the LAA days

Don’t forget that there are a number of upcoming ‘Meet the LAA’ events taking place around the UK this year. The events give you a chance to meet LAA staff members from HQ, as well as members of the host Strut.

· 23 July Bodmin Meet the LAA with Cornwall Aero Club and VAC Fly-In.

· 6 August Rufforth East ‘We All Fly Day’ with Vale of York Strut

· 17 September Rougham Meet the LAA with North Weald Marshallers and Vintage Fly-In.

New CAA Safety Sense leaflet and podcast

The latest in the revised series of the CAA Safety Sense leaflets have been released. The guide is intended to help pilots think about safety when planning a flight to a strip for the first time and to provide general operational guidance.

The CAA have also launched the first episode of their new General Aviation podcast. The first one covers interviews and discussions on their recent Virtual Voyage for Airworthiness, and the Carbon Monoxide Detector (CODE) Project. caapodcast1

Queen’s Jubilee flypast flight restrictions

Extensive restrictions covering large areas of southern England will be in place on 2 June when a large formation of military aircraft will make a flypast over London to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.

Mauve AIC 33/2022 has been issued detailing airspace restrictions in place for the flypast.

LAA Members invited!

The Lancashire Aero Club (LAC) is its 100th anniversary this year and invites LAA members to join them on 11 and 12 June for a packed weekend event at City Airport Manchester (Barton). The event is open to all GA aircraft, including microlights and gyrocopters, with reduced landing fees, and visitors by air will be able to camp by their aircraft overnight.

On Saturday evening there will be a party for visitors who have flown in and Lancashire Aero Club Members and Guests. Please see to request tickets for the Saturday Evening Event. On Sunday afternoon there will be awards and a flypast by an Avro Anson. Regular shuttle bus to local hotels and attractions will also be provided on Saturday and Sunday.

LA News June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 7
Liz Isles Photography

Norman Surplus

1963 - 2022

Some of us love to fly, some of us love to have adventures, Norman Surplus loved to do both.

Norman’s early years were spent between Larne, N. Ireland and Preston, Lancashire. The son of a Merchant Navy Officer, Norman was always happy on the water, becoming a windsurfing instructor and the second coxswain of the Larne RNLI lifeboat. Businesses included constructing models from pipe cleaners, through to creating the tracks for the highly successful Formula 1 Grand Prix computer game series, to being involved with the development and building of the first wind farms in Ireland. Norman was passionate about the environment, helping run outdoor activity centres, and planting thousands of trees in his spare time.

While undergoing chemotherapy in 2003, aged just 40, he saw a TV programme about restoring an autogyro… and a seed was sown. Norman set himself the challenge that, if he was to recover, he would not only learn to fly such a craft, but

go on a great adventure and become the first person to fly an autogyro around the world. It’s not easy to plan such a journey, but seven years later he took off from Sandy Bay playing fields next to his garden in Larne.

I met Norman going east as he was going west, on the Island of Nantucket, north of New York. The Russians hadn’t let him through and he had spent three years stuck on a Japanese airfield, away from his family. The immense tenacity to continue working through the problems was hugely admirable. Yet he had not succeeded, and had to ship Roxy, his aptly named autogyro, to the home of the Spruce Goose in the USA, to be able to continue his journey. Unselfishly, he gave me the information I needed to succeed, to go where he could not, just because he wanted the best for anyone and everyone.

In 2019 he wrote to me saying, “I think we can get through Russia”, and later that year he set off again from Larne and indeed flew VFR across all of Russia, crossing the

Bering Strait and back down to the Spruce Goose, then becoming the first person to autogyro around the world! I was so happy he achieved his nine-year journey, a feat that he was barely recognised for… Why, I do not know? Other much more revered journeys didn’t take nine years of endeavour and perseverance.

Such a warm chap, Norman made everyone around him feel valued. He was modest and humble, yet he had a wicked sense of humour. When dealing with a ship that had run aground, to lighten the severity, he merely mentioned that it had just ‘run out of water’.

Thank goodness he finished writing the book about his epic journey, such a shame he is not here to receive the gratitude and see the happiness it will no doubt bring its readers. It was an honour to attend his funeral and to meet his wife Celia, son and daughter Felix and Petra, and so many family and friends. He will be missed.

Top chap, Norman… Top chap. Colin Hales

8 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Obituary Obituary

We are always pleased to receive your letters, photos of your flying, and your feedback. Please email the editor at

Prompt Permit renewal

Dear Fiona,

Thank you very much for all your help and assistance over the past week nudging the CAA in order to get our Permit issued, it is very much appreciated.

Would you be kind enough to pass on our thanks to Mr Donaldson for all his assistance as well, please. We have, and remain, highly impressed with how efficient the LAA is, and only wish it was put in charge of UK GA replacing the CAA. I’m so very glad we sold our CAA licensed aircraft in order to fly under the LAA.

With kindest regards and best wishes, Andrew & Charlotte.

Electric aviation

Hi Ed,

I’ve been a continuous Member of the LAA/ PFA since 1970. During that time there have been 12 LAA Chairpeople and numerous changes to our magazine. Can I say the April 2022 issue under your editorship is excellent, bringing us up to date with the latest in Electric aviation with the World Record beating Rolls-Royce NXTe.

Many thanks, Mike Walling no.2450.

Ed: Mike, great to hear you’re enjoying the magazine. I was pleased to tell the tale of the NXTe from the point of view of the LAA members involved – a tremendous achievement!

Wise up to woodworking

Hello Ed,

I note that Dudley mentioned in his article (LA, May 2022) about Mosquito failures in Malaysia, due to high temperatures not being suitable for use of Aerolite.

Now I know nothing about this issue, but I wonder if he is confusing these failures with the earlier Mosquito failures in the same region?

Early in production, Casein adhesive was used and Mosquito failures were attributed to this. Casein being derived from a natural product in hot humid climates resulted in failures due to attack by fungus, insects and mould. I found the following in Mosquito by C Martin Sharp and Michael J F Bowyer. P.263 ‘Operations in Far East’.

Following an accident: “Further investigation revealed that the aircraft in which formaldehyde glue had been used were in a

satisfactory state. At Hatfield all completed glue parts in which formaldehyde glue had not been used were ordered to be destroyed, or sold off as scrap.”

I have a particular interest in the Mosquito, living in High Wycombe, where significant production of wooden parts were manufactured in the town’s furniture factories. Kind Regards, Dave Scott.

Turweston for annual Rally?

Hi Ed,

I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering why Turweston cannot be considered for our Annual rally. If there is a limit for the number of movements / aircraft then surely it would be possible to approach the appropriate planning authority to ask for a three-day annual exemption?

Mike Walling.

Stephen Slater writes: Yes, we did look at Turweston, but car parking would either be a long distance away, or would necessitate pedestrians walking under the runway approaches which we could not allow.

YES Education developments

For years YES has enjoyed conferences at Brooklands Museum and in more recent times it has added Cosford Aerospace museum as

a venue. The conference is an action-packed day with many speakers from all aspects of aviation – and many youth movements – who are all locked together in a single thought of helping our youngsters discover the world of aviation. There was also time for networking, between attendees which has led to incredible opportunities for our future adults.

The last two years have presented problems for us all due to the pandemic, so it was decided to hold the 2022 YES conference by Zoom, with which we now have all become very familiar. So the date was set for Friday 11 March at 1900, with a running order of speakers on the agenda. More than 50 people joined the meeting from all aspects of YES activity and support.

On another note, after last year’s YES Aviation Taster days for Scouts where the WWI Aviation Heritage Trust exhibited its simulator, they worked with the Mayor Richard Porch to find funding for the sim to be displayed at schools.

Having applied to the local council’s Youth Initiative working group, it has now been funded and booked for more school visits to inspire youngsters – not just about aviation but to help them understand history and life skills.

The simulator activity also helps to fund the unique aircraft that the Trust fly which are on LAA Permits.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 9 Letters
Above ‘Oscar’, a beautifully restored Aeronca Chief - see ‘Prompt Permit renewal’…

Straight and Level

In the spotlight

The past month has provided a number of opportunities to put the Association and our members firmly in the spotlight. I use ‘spotlight’ as that has been adopted by Sophie O’Sullivan, the Head of the CAA’s GA and Drone Unit, to highlight and share what is happening in each of the key Sports and Recreational Aviation Associations. It was the LAA’s turn to feature recently, with members of Sophie’s team led by Mike Macdonald, GA Policy Manager, visiting Turweston to spend a day learning more about the LAA’s work, and discussing issues of mutual concern. I could then make a presentation to a meeting of the General Aviation Partnership, hosted by Sophie, setting out our strengths and capabilities, outlining the challenges we face and what we seek from our regulator. This provided the opportunity for some honest and robust discussion, which we will carry forward into meetings to review our A8-26 disposition, commencing shortly.

While the CAA is our regulator, we have made clear we seek to be partners, not adversaries, based on proportionate, performance-based regulation, if we are not to be unreasonably constrained in what and how we do it. After all, we bring 75 years of knowledge and experience to the table! I hope we can have a constructive dialogue and that I can report positive progress.

Updates from the Chairman and CEO

Elsewhere the spotlight has fallen on the activities of our Struts and members. The end of April saw the Wessex Strut Fly-in at Henstridge, with the Andover Strut supporting the LAA’s stand at the Microlight Trade Fair at Popham a week later. Both are examples of how grassroots members come together, make things happen and promote the Association! It was great to meet LAA members at both events, as well as the VAC fly-in, at Popham on the Monday.

I am delighted that during the course of the Microlight weekend we were able to announce an agreement with Ray Everitt of Dragon Aviation, importers of the Ukrainian Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen, to work together on CAA registration of the aircraft as a sub-600kg microlight in its kit-built version and also introducing it as a factory-built model. This represents an exciting step forward following the introduction of the 600kg category and the first of what I hope will be similar initiatives with support to manufacturers and importers from LAA’s Engineering team.

Finally, I had the pleasure of hosting LAA award winners at the Royal Aero Club Annual Awards evening, presented by the Minister of Aviation. LAA members secured awards and commendations in 13 categories and their exploits were truly inspiring. They ranged from one of our youngest members, Travis Ludlow, who in July 2021 became the youngest ever pilot to fly round the world, to one of our oldest members, Ted Barrett, who at over 100, is still flying regularly, and encompassed individual meritorious activities and lifelong contribution to the Association. Congratulations to you all! ■

One of the real treats for me, as we have been progressively released from Covid restrictions, is the ability for us to get together at events face-to-face, or even just for a chat in the hangar after a day’s flying. Recent highlights for me have included meeting fellow flyers at the GA Expo at Duxford, the Microlight Fayre at Popham and a return to relative normality for the annual Royal Aero Club awards, at which more than a dozen awards were collected by people with LAA connections.

While the Expo at Duxford was relatively poorly promoted and attended, it was a case of ‘the right crowd and no crowding’. The event was hosting the British Air Display Association and Historic Aircraft Association’s respective AGMs and it was great to host many of the world’s air display greatest names at our show trailer, which turned out to be the biggest exhibition unit in the display hall. In particular though, it was a privilege to host on our stand, 19-year-old Zara Rutherford, fresh from her solo round-the-world flight. If you get the chance to meet her, do take the opportunity, she’s a truly inspirational character.

The Microlight Trade Fair was somewhat better populated, and our shared display area manned by both the LX Aviation team and members of the Andover Strut, saw us enjoy meeting friends both

old and new. Of course, we were also delighted to announce our relationship with Dragon Aviation to help facilitate the approval of their Vixxen aircraft into the UK, as factory-built 600kg microlights. We’ll have some further announcement to make in this vein as the summer goes on.

I elected not to go to AERO Friedrichshafen this year, as the LAA was already well represented by engineers Jerry Parr and Ben Syson, and if like me you didn’t attend, there is a great report from Ed Hicks in this issue (p26) on some of the exciting aircraft on display. Am I jealous? Just a bit!

The Royal Aero Club Awards in London are traditionally the ‘Oscars’ of the aviation world and after a Covid absence, it was a true privilege to join LAA members whose achievements were being recognised. While there isn’t space here for me to name all the recipients, I was particularly proud to see Francis Donaldson receive a RAeC Diploma, one of the Club’s highest accolades, for his commitment to the LAA and to light aviation. A truly welldeserved award.

However, the real highlight for me was watching an animated post-awards chat between Travis Ludlow, who last year at 18, became the youngest-ever pilot to fly solo around the world and Ted Barratt, the winner of the ‘Old and Bold’ award. By the time you read this, Ted will have celebrated his 101st birthday, but remains a regular flyer, engineer and LAA Inspector, as well as participating in LAA YES young people’s events. Listening to old and new, face-to-face, sharing their passion for flying, is for me, what it’s all about.. ■

10 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Face to face Steve Slater CEO Eryl Smith Chairman
See our website for full range Call us on 01280 700020, or visit us at Turweston (next to the LAA) to discuss your requirements. Our Address: LX Avionics Ltd, Hangar 10, Turweston Aerodrome, BRACKLEY, NN13 5YD VAT: GB 793 1777 86 Company number 4417407 E & OE We can help with panel and wiring design through to complete installation. Contact us to discuss your Avionics build requirements and to go through ideas. G3X Touch PFD G5 AI/HSI GTN650/750 Xi waas GPS/NAV/COMM GFC500 Autopilot Supply, design, build and install service uAvionixSky Echo II from £529.00 inc. VAT. Please call us to order at offer price. RV7 panel under build RV9 panel under build GNS to GTN adapter custom made loom for RV9 Talk to us for LAA member discounts We specialise in Avionics supply, design and build assistance for homebuilders. Come and visit our demo trailer at various Meet the LAA Days this year.

Popham Microlight Trade Fair

Highlights from the show! Words & Photos Ed Hicks

01 Glorious weather and tremendous attendance on Saturday.

02 The LAA and Dragon Aviation announced they would be working together on CAA registration of the A32 Vixxen as a sub-600kg microlight kit and introducing it as a factory-built ready-to-fly aircraft, the first for LAA.

03 While an EASA LSA version is already available, LX Aviation is seeking type approval for a 600kg version of the WT9 Dynamic for the UK which it hopes to sell for around €140,000 plus VAT.

04 The Skyranger Nynja from Flylight Airsports has a BMAA approval for 600kg which, thanks to it’s light empty weight of around 287kg, means it can offer over a whopping 300kg of useful load.

05 The KFA Explorer imported by Sprite Aviation is currently being assessed as a 600kg type by the LAA and BMAA. This is the second UK example.

06 What might at first have had you thinking it was a regular Pulsar among the visiting aircraft, was in fact the unique Pulse SSDR, built by multiple aircraft project builder, Dave Stephens in 2016. The aircraft uses a modified flap system to meet the stall speed requirements of the SSDR category.

07 The latest and most potent version of the Eurofox, packs a Rotax 915iS engine under its cowl. Developed primarily for the glider-tug market, nine have been sold already. If you’d like one, price is around £115k inc VAT, but popularity means there’s a 20 month wait…

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13
03 04 06 02 05 07 Show Report 01

Project News

Having compiled this column for more than five years now, I have never known a month where there has been no new project registrations. New starts are typically thinner on the ground as the flying season gets going, and we more typically see a move to constructors finishing their projects and getting them into the air for the first time. Aircraft cleared for first flight can be found at the end of this column.

First of all, a plea from Dudley Pattison, who has been in touch, and is now looking for willing members with partially complete projects who’d like to display their creations in this year’s homebuilder tent at the LAA Grass Roots Fly-In at Popham on 2,3 4 September. Interested? Project News would be happy to put you in touch.

Blue Two is not only a scratch built aircraft but an own design, one off, nearing completion with LAA member, Andy Best.

Andy has provided updates from time to time – actually year to year – and I suspect this may be the last but one, as the craft is looking decidedly like an aeroplane. Recently, he found himself with an unforeseen problem when finalising the engine fit out. There wasn’t quite enough room under the bonnet for the Rotax remote

sump or oil can! In such a situation we’d all probably throw around a selection of Old English, I’m sure Andy must have, and then he set about resolving the issue. After all, you don’t reach the closing stages of such a project without being pragmatic in the face of adversity, do you? Most would soon start considering some shapley bulges in the cowl, but Andy has analysed the problem at its root and reinvented the oil container. In the process the dipstick has been made redundant – excellent, I bet that would make some people very uncomfortable, but the thing only exists because of past design inefficiencies anyway. What a marvellous idea, ‘design out’ the need for it. Have a look at Andy’s lubricating adventure below and see what you think.

Have you had to come up with a novel approach to a problem in your build? Project News would love to hear about your success in beating the odds in sub-structures and systems, it doesn’t have to be a tale of a complete aircraft.

To get in touch with Project News, and tell your story, report a milestone or just to send a picture, email: Please share your story!

Blue Two (LAA 388-15251) A carbon-composite, two-seat original design

Building your own aircraft can seem a rather daunting task but, like all big jobs, if it’s broken down into small ‘bite size’ chunks the whole thing becomes much more manageable. I also think it’s important for your own sanity to tackle only one job at a time. I know our esteemed ‘other halves’ will say ‘you men can’t multitask, like we have to’, and I agree, with good reason.

One of my ‘bite size’ aircraft building tasks was installing the oil system for the Rotax 912 engine. This meant mounting the oil cooler and working out the routing for the oil pipes. It can be quite a tricky job, to avoid the water pipes, the engine mounting frame and especially the hot exhaust pipes. Then came the mounting of the Rotax oil tank. And, as every builder knows, there are days when things just don’t go right. Well, I had one of those days. The oil tank would not fit in my engine bay without fouling the engine covers. Oh dear!

However, years ago, I had designed and made a dry sump oil tank for a Formula Ford 1600 racing car, which worked well. So I thought, why not make my own oil tank for the aeroplane?

‘Dry sump’ engines pump the hot engine oil out to a remotely mounted oil tank, from where it is drawn back into the engine through an oil cooler and then into the main oil pump. This has two advantages. One is that, in

14 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Right On the left of the picture are the component parts of the standard Rotax Oil Tank, and on the right, Andy’s replacement.
Inspiring members to take on their own aircraft build or restoration project

the absence of a normal deep sump, the overall engine height is reduced allowing it, in racing cars anyway, to be mounted lower. The second benefit is because of the height of the oil tank, oil flow into the oil pick up pipe is always maintained, even under high sideways ‘g’ loading. Now, of course non-aerobatic aircraft are incapable of producing high sideways loading. Relative to the aircraft, the loads produced are virtually always in a vertical aeroplane. In light of the above, one wonders why Rotax thought it was a good idea to introduce the complications of a dry sump system in the first place…

My overall design thinking is to keep things simple and reduce the parts count to a minimum. This saves manufacturing time, cost and weight, which is all good news for us aircraft builders.

The 912 engine requires four litres of oil, three litres in the oil tank and the rest in the engine, the oil filter, the pipes and the oil cooler. My tank has an internal volume of four litres which allows room for de-aeration and expansion. The main body of my tank is made from two bent pieces of 2mm thick aluminium sheet. The third sheet aluminium part is the baffle plate, which is set at a height in the tank, such that when the oil just covers the plate, I know I have three litres of oil in the tank. This gets rid of the need to have a dipstick. The feed pipe from the engine is placed above the baffle plate and directs the oil flow onto the side wall where it spreads out allowing any entrained air to separate out.

If the oil was allowed to splash down into the main reservoir there would be a danger of foaming. And drawing a mixture of oil and air through the oil pump and engine bearings is definitely not good news.

The pick up pipe delivering oil back through the cooler to the engine is about 20mm up from the bottom of the tank, so that any sludge or dirt that falls to the bottom of the tank is less likely to be picked up.

The third pipe is the breather pipe, situated in the filler neck. Thus, the tank is not pressurised, its contents remaining at the ambient prevailing air pressure. The Rotax engine is, I believe, quite unique, in that rather than having a scavenge pump to return oil to the tank, it relies instead on crankcase pressure, created from piston blow by. If this pressure becomes excessive, due to high piston bore wear, then the breather air flow will become large and as it carries oil mist with it, some depletion of the oil level in the tank will result. This will show up when the underside of the fuselage becomes streaked with oil.

Unlike the Rotax tank, I feel no need for a drain plug in the tank. On changing the oil at 50 hours, I would always remove the tank anyway and wash it carefully, with petrol, to clean out any sludge or debris. The gauze screen, for me, serves no real purpose either, as there is no reason for anything that could be removed by it to enter the oil system. The magnetic drain plug, at the front of the engine block and the oil filter itself, should be much more

effective in capturing any metallic debris.

I assembled the tank parts with small strips of masking tape and took it to my local Rally car prep shop. They spend all day TIG welding aluminium fuel tanks and the like, and for about £50, did a superb job welding my tank. They also did an excellent job TIG welding my stainless steel exhaust system, but that’s another story…

Cost wise, the filler neck and screw on cap were about £20 from Merlin Motorsport, the aluminium sheet about £40 and the stub pipes about £15, giving me a grand total (with welding) of £125. The cheapest (and some sources were a lot dearer) new Rotax oil tank that I could find was €765.9.

And weight wise, at 712g, my tank was 852g lighter than the Rotax tank which weighed in at 1.5kg.

The picture of the assembled tanks also shows my mounting bracket which has been bonded to the firewall of the aeroplane. The tank, which gets hot from the oil, at around 100°C, is insulated from the carbon fibre firewall and the mounting bracket by a 10mm thick layer of dense foam. I certainly didn’t want the epoxy resin in the firewall to get that hot, as it starts to soften at around 70°C.

I have run the engine a couple of times now and all seems to be well but it pays to be vigilant, and as with any prototype – always expect the unexpected.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 15 Project News
Left The assembled tanks, again, standard to the left, Andy’s to the right. Below The custom oil tank in the completed firewall forward installation - very neat. Bottom A tremendous original design accomplishment! Andy's project is progressing well.

Bücker BU133C Jungmeister G-CMCX (s/n 35)

Bücker Bu-133C Jungmeister Manufacturers Serial Number 35 was built by Dornier-Fluigzeuge at Altenrhein, Switzerland in 1940 for the Swiss Air Force and allocated (military) s/n U-88. The aircraft is fitted with an original 7-cylinder Siemens Bramo Sh 14A-4 radial engine rated 160hp at 2,200 rpm.

Following military service, all of the Bu-133C’s were decommissioned and transferred or sold to the Swiss Aero Clubs and various private individuals in the late 1960s. Bu-133 U-88 was subsequently sold on to a US buyer in 1971 and remained in the US until 2005, when it returned to Switzerland registered as HB-MIZ.

The aircraft was then sold to a German buyer (also in 2005) and registered as D-EIIV. Following an overhaul of both the airframe and engine the aircraft once again returned to the US in 2016. I purchased the aircraft in June 2021 which came with all of the original Swiss log-books dating back to 1940.

It was carefully disassembled, packed, and exported from the US into the UK by Ben Cox of Heritage Air Services, who subsequently reassembled, inspected and

test-flew the aircraft (April 2022) at Heritage Air Services facility, Coventry Airport. The aircraft was virtually ready to fly ‘out of the box’. While stripped, she had new rudder cables, some bearings and bushings, a couple of instruments were replaced with ones that indicated imperial units, a back-up lap belt added and all of the hoses pressure tested. That just left weighing, and the creation of a new weight schedule.

From my perspective, it all made it very easy and was a rewarding experience. I now have a fantastic aircraft on an LAA Permit – let’s hope for some favourable weather! ■

If your aircraft has featured recently in the magazine and has subsequently completed its maiden flight, Project News would like to hear from you at:

■ G-CKWM Van’s RV-8 (PFA 303-14430)


Name & address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-CLHY Miles M14A Magister (s/n 873) 26/4/2022

Name & address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-CMCX Bucker BU133C (s/n 35) 4/4/2022

Name & address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-CMEJ Van’s RV-8 (s/n 83330) 22/4/2022

Name & address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-OJGC Van’s RV-4 (LAA 181-14971) 29/4/2022

Name & address held by LAA Engineering

Right Miles Magister G-CLHY made its first flight at Henstridge.

Project News
Above right The Jungmeister sitting on jacks for the process of rigging.
Cleared To Fly 16 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Below At Coventry – and all ready to be test flown by Ben Cox of Heritage Air Services

A Darn Small Aeroplane

18 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 Flight Test

Flight Test

Originally built in the US in 1962, and imported into the UK in the early 1990s, this Smith Miniplane is the sole example of this diminutive biplane here in the UK. Its full ‘name’ or type designation is a Smith Miniplane DSA, the DSA is the tautological emphasis of a ‘Darn Small Aeroplane’. Golf Juliet’s wingspan is just 17ft, the fuselage is just over 15ft long, and the tip of its upright propeller stands just six feet from the hangar floor. It has to be said, it is one dinky aeroplane. One with an intriguing character though, promising a certain amount of enjoyable agility, coupled with its Continental C90. Its owner and caretaker is Adrian (known locally and colloquially as Ad, pronounced ‘Aid’) Eves who, at 6ft 3in tall, is not very small at all. I was a smidgeon under 6ft 1in, but with life’s gravity and perhaps the constant compression of aerobatics, I am now a straight 6ft. So, on meeting the Miniplane, my question wasn’t, would I fit in, but rather, how do you go about getting in…? More on that later…

The Smith Miniplane was designed by Frank Smith and made its first flight in October of 1956, just more than 65 years ago. Smith would go on to produce plans for like-minded and motivated constructors. The staggered wings have spruce spars and ribs, and a welded steel tube fuselage and tail group, all fabric covered. Glancing at it quickly, you might understandably mistake it for an early Pitts, but with large tyres. True, it shares a similar layout and dimensions, but then so do the Mong Sport and the Meyers Little Toot of the same period within the United States.

The Pitts, which first flew in 1944, would grow in popularity from the first and earliest 55hp-powered machine, and way beyond in the power to weight ratio game. There were only a few S1s – the earliest model –when the Miniplane first took to the air, though that would change when Curtis Pitts started selling plans for the S1-C 1962. This was for their ‘flat wing’, as was and still is, the Miniplane. Frank Smith, however, was ahead of the marketing game and by 1977 had reportedly sold 350 sets of plans. After Frank’s passing his son worked on a two-seater version the Miniplane+1 and later Sky Classic Aircraft produced plans for a wider and longer fuselage,

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 19
Biplanes don’t come much smaller than this.
Clive Davidson puts on the Smith Miniplane…
Photos Neil Wilson

Below The Miniplane was fitted with a new Hercules propeller for this flight test. It’s 70 × 47 (diameter and geometric pitch in inches).

as well as incorporating a refined wing section with a tailored change of incidence. While the burgeoning growth of the various Pitts variants and its capabilities has proved a boon to the aerobatic world, in the world of recreational aerobatics the Miniplane offers enjoyment for a modest outlay and a fun way to swap the horizon for the sky, and back.

Acquisition and adaption

You may remember a Meet the Members article from the July 2020 issue of Light Aviation of a serial builder, or perhaps a rebuilder, Dave Howell. I first met him when I had the good fortune to fly his Taylor Titch for a flight test article, which I admit to particularly enjoying. He acquired the Miniplane after the then owner had a landing upset.

’GJ suffered a collapsed undercarriage, a splintered prop and a scuffed belly and right wing tip.

The repairs included fitting a new wooden prop and a freshly rebuilt Continental C90, reconstructing the undercarriage, and repairs and spraying to the fabric and paint where needed. Dave says he bought her to fix and if he found he could fit in the aircraft then, OK, well, so much the better! Well, he did, and whatsmore flew her for a further two years before selling her to Ad, who moved her to Dorset. Dave replaced the Miniplane with a half-scale WAR Focke Wulf 190. There are not too many of those either…

While Ad was pretty happy with the Miniplane, he wished for a prop which was slightly coarser to improve the cruise speed. He turned to Rupert Wasey of Hercules Propellers to replace its current French Evra prop, which had a diameter of 70in and a pitch of 44in. Hercules makes its props from laminated blocks of European Beech from Eastern Europe, bonded with aerodux. Each one is 3D modelled using its own software then machined by CNC (Computer Numeric Control). The leading edges are embedded with a section of polyurethane, which according to Rupert, makes them impervious to stone chips and rain. The finishing process sees the application of a polyester lacquer produced by an Italian firm, which Rupert says is also used on vintage Ferrari steering wheels – a nice touch. Each individual propeller’s parameters are fine tuned for the specific engine and airframe to give performance gains. In the case of the Miniplane’s new prop, the diameter has remained at the original 70in, but the pitch has deepened by 4in to 47in. Ad was hoping for a higher cruise speed to enable him to manoeuvre from straight and level, rather than having to waste altitude diving to increase the speed for aeros. So when I was asked to help with the propeller test flights, and in turn judging an aircraft through its aerobatic capabilities, it was an invite that was right up my street.

Propeller test flight

Look around on the LAA website under the Engineering section and then ‘Flight Tests’, and you’ll find a new propeller flight test check. This includes all aspects of engine handling, noting ‘t’s and ‘p’s, indicated speeds and performance, rpm at every aspect from the tick over to take off distance, time to climb, cruise figures, a Vne dive and landing distance had to be recorded. A change of propeller can make a significant performance difference, with both gains and losses, but hopefully provides the pilot’s desired increase in the area of tailored performance. A fixed-pitch prop means having to find that fine balance between climb or cruise. Propeller balance is of real importance as vibrations are not only awkward, but an indication of potential damage soon to occur. Blade tracking is also pertinent. Like all such flights, it’s wise to study the requirements of all of the form boxes before getting airborne to ensure every section is completed correctly. It is rarely just one flight, as sections may be investigated separately. A chat with Andy Draper

20 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Flight Test
“Each individual propeller’s parameters are fine tuned for the specific engine and airframe to give performance gains”

at LAA Engineering, reminded me that a thorough submission should prevent protracted toing and froing. One other note, the final flight is undertaken with the loaded weight within 90% of the max take-off weight.

Almost 40 years ago I was engaged to test fly a two-seat, tailwheel Sonerai. It was thought that the prop needed more revs to help move the actual performance nearer to the anticipated brochure figures. The prop’s chord was shaved back. I certainly got the revs on departure and certainly got a different performance, but not quite what had been hoped for. The revs were higher but, what I could only describe as the ‘pull’ had somewhat diminished. The Sonerai and I vanished from view over the runway’s slight upslope in a very low rate of separation from the Earth. Air traffic’s query of ‘have you got a problem?’ went unanswered, not because of ill manners, but because the throttle lacked any friction and dropped the much needed revs as soon as I took my hand off to try and press the remote RT button. We both arrived back after a low, low circuit and I, a little bit wiser on an aspect of prop theory, and applied operational practice, i.e. reality. I later ended up in the same aircraft on my back in a barley field while heading to an LAA Rally, with ever-reducing revs being unable to clear carb’ icing. But that, as they say, is another story.

So, with this experience in mind, our agreed test schedule for the Miniplane considered possible scenarios of vibration, under or over speeding, as well as the more common considerations of partial and full engine failures. Along with Ad I was one of two nominated Miniplane test pilots and I had an early shot. There was no need just yet to be at nearly all up max weight, as the plan called for

the first flight to establish some general everyday figures without going too far into the corners of the envelope. The 60 litre tank was half full, and under normal circumstances would give an hour and a half at a generous 20 litres an hour. We agreed how long I would be and where I was to operate.

In the cockpit

Because a pilot completely fills the Miniplane cockpit, Ad gave me a cockpit brief – before we got in.

Pride of place in the centre of the panel is the ASI marked in mph with a green line starting at a stall speed of 55mph, up to a Vne of 150. Helpfully, there is a blue best rate of climb line at 75mph. Scanning anti-clockwise is the VSI, a G-metre still recording three and a half from the last flight, an altimeter, a cylinder head temperature gauge, the rpm gauge with green permissible bands and red warnings, then a small rotary switch and cylinder temperature selector 1 to 4, and above is the combined oil pressure and temperature circular dial. Good to know the original builder was so keen on monitoring the engine. A small slip ball completes the set up.

The keyed mag switch is on the left and at first glance looks for the world like those found in all commercially built trainers, except the fourth click position for the starter is missing. Starting will be a hand-propping exercise. The weight of a starter and battery might also have been an early determining factor as the centre of gravity was first considered. Beneath on the left fuselage sidewall is the red mixture lever, which is suggested to only be used to stop the engine, the black throttle knob and a grey carb heat selector with a short pull range. The

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 21 Flight Test
Above Sitting sedately, while the Miniplane might be small in stature, but it’s big on fun factor.

control column is topped with a hand-fitting grip and the expected ‘press to transmit’ button on top. The Kigass primer is far right on the panel next to an iCOM sidemounted handheld. In a good nod to safety, the cockpit is edged with neatly bound and laced leather-esque cushioning.

A fairly recent trick of mine has been using my phone to take pictures in the tight and invariably darker recess of the inner lower forward cockpit, so as to get an idea of the rudder and brake pedals. I find it gives a useful heads-up seeing where, and knowing how, the brakes are applied. In this case they are heel operated levers similar to those found in both the Piper J3 and L4 Cubs. While knowing the position of the lever arm and how far it extends across the span of the floor and width of the rudder base may seem an unnecessary fact to gather, my flying boots have a lip where the sole is stitched onto the leather and, in the past, this has momentarily snagged when changing the position of my feet from rudder to brake on other types. That moment lost might be at minimum embarrassing, and worse, costly. Also slow rolls require a near extension of full rudder pedal to both slow

down the aileron input for roll, while holding the nose on the horizon. Any snagging here is a bit detrimental to the flow and calibre of the manoeuvre. I flew for a collection in Northern Germany and the owner kindly presented me with two flight suits, one black and the other a desert tan as well as a pair of ‘pixie’ boots as used in car racing circles. I wore them, but honestly they were not me, and I felt, well, a bit of a prat in them…

As a complete serendipitous result of the picture taking, I got a good view of the fuel selector. The fuel tank is between the firewall and the instrument panel, just above the pilot’s knees, and the lever sits at the lowest point in the fuel pipes.

Lastly, the cockpit headrest opens to reveal a small stowage area for chocks and a small overnight bag, well maybe a tube of toothpaste and brush. I once ferried a Laser aerobatic aircraft and was not asked to roll on the flight to the Republic of Ireland as the chocks in the locker might dent the turtle decking. I didn’t, but thought it a weak excuse to prevent me enjoying myself and defeat the boredom of so much straight and level…

Externally the front pair of flying wires angle downwards from the outer top of the N struts to the main undercarriage legs, while the closely spaced twin landing wires rise from the outer wing forward N strut base to the rear of the fuselage cabane struts. The front metal cabane struts are useful visual cues for steep turn aiming points to align with the horizon, and the bracing wires directly in front of the cockpit offer the same for 30° banks. Mind you, those tyres do seem oversized and draggy, although handy for uneven strip

22 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Flight Test
Above Lacedleather padding surrounds the cockpit and frames the well-packed panel.
“The cockpit headrest opens to reveal a small stowage area for chocks and a small overnight bag, well maybe a tube of toothpaste and brush!”


The start is against chocks and positioned on the grass. I had the five point harness strapped tightly, hugging into the cockpit confines and a headset on my lap so that I could hear Ad’s starting instructions. As prop-swinger, he is in charge. After the primer has squeaked in some shots of UL91, Ad calls, “Throttle set, contact.” I answer with the same, and she fires first swing. The warm up gives time to run through checks and orientate myself one last time. The view over the nose, through the rotating disc is pretty good as I can see the horizon. Well, not much but I can see it. The curved windscreen surprises me in its ability to keep the slipstream at bay.

The 1,800 rpm against the chocks allowed for power checks, including a comforting drop and rise as I used the carb heat. With the chocks waved away, a bit of taxying on the grass showed a good turning circle with the castering tailwheel disengaged. Flexing my heels onto the pedals, the drum brakes were effective, although I needed a little practice and anticipation. Onto the tarmac, where I felt prepared enough to backtrack and line up for what I hoped for was a controlled departure without visiting the edge of the runway. After all, she is short-coupled and potentially prone for a squirrely character on a smooth surface under power and speed. I would try not to over control and keep the tailwheel on the ground for as long as practical on the take-off roll. “Drop your shoulders, relax, feel the aeroplane.” I need not have been worried as she remained in the groove, up and running along the centreline at quite a surprisingly

Above It’s rare that the top wing of a biplane may be inspected on a walk ’around, but on the Miniplane it's below eye-level!

Left Adjustment of the rudder and elevator trim tabs give a feet and hands free cruise of 100mph at 2,300rpm.

Below On the break! The Miniplane is one of those machines that just wants to help you have some flying fun.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 23

Below Pretty proportions, but those wheels (which are from a Cub) do look quite chunky compared to the rest!

increasing pace, with the ASI needle rising as I counted four seconds before easing the stick smoothly forward to what I thought was neutral, prepared for the slightest of swings. It didn’t though, and we lifted cleanly from the ground without any encouragement from the stick, to accelerate in ground effect. A little gentle rolling action, a bit of up and down pitch and a light 'pedal' of the rudder, – I felt connected and at home. We climbed away at the helpfully marked blue line speed of 75mph. I was definitely grinning.


Although bright and sunny there was some thermal activity with the odd developing Cu about. The sort of feature to be avoided during any time to climbs or the high speed dives. Clear of cloud and any updraughts, our light weight at 75mph / 2,300rpm returned an indicated climb rate of just under 1,000ft per minute. The cruise at the same figure, 2,300 rpm, gave 100mph and the light

stick force that had to be held in the climb was now missing. Trimmed out, she appeared stable in pitch, but not markedly. Directional stability was fair, but lateral was lacking with both wings ponderous in their return to level. The frise ailerons have side stepped most of an ailerons deficiency of adverse aileron drag, but any slight yawing away from the turning is helped along by gentle squeezes on the rudder.

After a scan around the sky to look for traffic, I rolled her. Nothing exotic, just a few aileron rolls. A pitch up to a guessed attitude nose high, checked with neutral stick to stop before a full rolling application. First left, then to the right. Without the benefit of a stop watch I thought the left took just over three seconds at four to the right. Stick forces were light.

Stalling showed a rattle through the stick at 60mph and flat wobbling wing shake, letting go at 55mph. Fine, that confirmed my approach speed of 75mph. And for my enjoyment, over-pitched climbing turns with cruise power showed that she rolled out of the right turn levelling the wings. However, aided by the same influence of torque, she juddered at the high angle of attack and fell away when I tried to the left. Promptly moving the stick forward with some balancing rudder solved all.

Wide open throttle while maintaining altitude brought the rpm to 2,650 and 120mph, with temperatures and pressures stable and in the green. What did cause me to

Flight Test
24 | L IGHT AVIATION | June 2022
A little gentle rolling action, a bit of up and down pitch and a light 'pedal' of the rudder – I felt connected and at home… I was definitely grinning”

down on the dial and having to check for parallax. Looping from the cruise, she came up and over and down again, ‘working’ her over the top and easing the stick as the air over the elevator was thinking of detaching. So, just a bit slow, perhaps pull harder initially or start from a higher speed. The G-meter read three and a half. A couple of languid barrel rolls, arcing up and over in both directions and a Cuban… I ought to take her home. In clear sky now away from hills and clouds, with the throttle eased back to save the dear C-90, we nudged to the Vne of 155mph.

Back on the ground with a three pointer I read off the numbers. All very satisfactory. No tremors. No vibration. All areas satisfactory. All with a high fun factor without using much airspace either. The debrief left Ad with the more in depth examination to complete and then the Permit flight test.

I later flew in formation with Ad after his Permit issue, and after splitting away I climbed to give myself a view as he flew some aeros. Two manoeuvres impressed me, as with each he broached the horizon at my level from a barrel roll and a stall turn. Marvellous to be able to grandstand such aerobatics with an elevated viewpoint.

I flew the Miniplane again for the photos for this article, and after breaking off from that sortie, I tried some more aeros. Spinning her from straight and level with throttle fully closed, decaying airspeed and with stick fully held back, left rudder increasing to full deflection – and around we went. She used the first rotation to settle and on the next two she spun rather like a top, quickly. Well, I should have expected that with such short wings. I counted the appearance and disappearance of my straight road line feature and after two full stabilised rotations, applied opposite rudder. I could feel the right foot pressure against the rotation, paused and eased the stick forward of neutral. More by luck than judgement we exited on our road now with no deflections and fortuitously pointing homeward.

Having seen Ad from the air and his stall turn I felt happier now to try one. One time, flying a Cuban in an aeroplane without a starter, I had an engine stop and my subsequent dirty dive couldn’t prompt an air start… I had asked Ad what speed had he used to kick at the top? He shrugged, saying, “When it felt right.” I too kicked when it felt right, and it worked beautifully. Nevertheless, I had still checked and positioned high above some newly mown fields as insurance! A quarter clover – a three quarters loop with a 90° change of direction on the vertical downline, found me throttling right back, as the speed built, my roll rate slower than the last machine in which I had tried this. Perhaps I should do the roll on the upward line first?

Back home on the ground with the Miniplane easily rolled into the hangar, I thanked Ad and said we should do some more formation. He smiled and readily agreed. I would love to get some video of him repeating his aerobatics. A spectacle indeed.

And should you be wondering, after all that, how I got

into the cockpit, it was really quite simple to swing a leg over the rear decking as if mounting a horse.

Getting out though, was a struggle… unless you have double jointed knees. A feature I sadly lack… Happy landings! ■


General characteristics

Length: 15ft 3in (4.65 m)

Wingspan: 17ft (5.18 m)

Height: 5 ft (1.52 m)

Wing area: 100 sq ft (9.29 m2)

Empty weight: 616lb (279kg)

Gross weight: 1,000lb (454kg)

Powerplant: Continental C90 90hp


Maximum speed: 135mph (117kt)

Cruise speed: 100mph (87kt)

Stall speed: 56mph (49kt)

Range: 260 nm

Service ceiling: 13,000ft

Rate of climb: 900fpm

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 25
Above Off, up and away to swoop and loop. Left Rebuilder of Golf-Juliet, Dave Howell. Note the earlier Evra propeller.
Flight Test

AERO 2022

01 The Turbotech 130hp turbine, is available in both turbogenerator guise shown here, and also as a turboprop engine. The engines offer an eco-fuel burn of 19l/hr thanks to the unit’s clever regenerative exhaust gas reburning technology. Two versions of the turbo generator are in development – the 55kW TG-R55 and the 90kW TG-R90, which could make it an excellent contender to power future hybrid light aircraft. Price for the TP-R90 turboprop is €90,000, while TBO for both units is 3,000 hours. The TP-R90 weighs 80kg, while the TG-R55 and R90 weigh 55kg and 64kg respectively.

02 My personal highlight was the innovative eMagic One personal eVtol aircraft developed by Michael Kügelgen. A 40kW Geiger electric motor is the primary power source, and there are eight 15kW for vertical lift, along with four batteries. Operating in VTOL mode, the aircraft has an endurance of four minutes, but in regular flight, it can fly for one hour. While the aircraft is a proof of concept, a two-seater is being considered.

03/04 Blackshape Aircraft continued to tantalise pilots, they launched the new Rotax 915iS-powered Prime BS100-915 600kg ultralight at the show and displayed the 160hp Lycoming-powered EASA CS-23 certified BK160-TR Gabriel.

One of the world’s best aviation shows, 27,000 visitors attended AERO 2022 at Friedrichshafen to see more than 633 exhibitors. Here’s some of the highlights! Words & Photos Ed Hicks. 02 03 09 04

05 Record-setting world-rounder Zara Rutherford and her Shark ultralight were both popular with the crowds.

06/07 A fascinating hybrid project, between partners Comco Ikarus and Geiger Engineering is an electricpowered C42, with a hydrogen-fuelled range-extender located in the rear fuselage, that can provide power for flight – and re-charge the aircraft’s battery. The hybrid system is said to generate 35kW. The airframe flies with a 50kW Geiger motor that can deliver 74kW for take-off. Eight lithium battery packs promise 60 minutes flight time with 15 minutes reserve.

08 Rolls-Royce displayed its H3PS collaborative project undertaken with Tecnam and Rotax. The parallel hybrid motor system, which has been extensively test-flown in a Tecnam P2010 aircraft, combines a 30kW electric motor and a 141hp Rotax915iS – the motor is to the rear of the Rotax on a common shaft. The propeller can be driven by the combustion engine directly, by the electric motor, or by both at the same time with the electric motor adding extra torque to the propeller shaft. The motor also serves as a generator and starter-motor for the Rotax.

09 Unveiled at the show, the Xaeros 200 Hybrid is intended as a retrofit product to directly swap for a conventional aircraft engines like four-cylinder Lycomings. Two V2 four-stroke motors combine with an electric motor on a common shaft, the whole package being FADEC controlled and offering very high redundancy. System power is 270hp/200kW with a maximum continuous power of 160hp/110kW. The whole package measures 500x510x790mm. This version is petrol powered, but a diesel version is also being considered for the future. Xaeros is now actively seeking investors to help further develop the product.

Show Report 09 08 06 07

planned to fly next year.

02 Also from Junkers was news that they plan to build and sell a new version of the Junkers JU52, the JU52NG. The new aircraft will use the same basic airframe as the original, but will be powered by three 550hp RED A03-005 V12 diesel engines and feature a Garminequipped cockpit.


02 04 03 05
01 The Junkers Flugzeugwerke A50 Junior is a modern 600kg microlight interpretation of a 1929 design, and is powered by a Rotax 912iS, with a launch price of €179,000. Even more intriguing, (and seen above the A50), was the big reveal of the A60. A modern side-byside two-seater with vintage-style design, it features a retractable nosewheel undercarriage and the option of open or enclosed cockpit. It is
Powered by a Rotax 915iS, the ScaleWings SW-51 Mustang 70% replica is available as a full quickbuild kit. 04/05 Unveiled at the show, the JMB VL3 Turbine was popular all week. Powered by the 130hp Turbotech turbine, cruise is 156kt.

AERO 2022

01 The Gogetair G750 is a Slovenian four-seater. Engine options are Rotax 912ULS-915iS. With the 915iS, the aircraft cruises at 138kt, 950nm range and 350kg useful load. A ballistic parachute is also fitted as standard.

02 A collaboration between BRM Aero and Swiss company H55, the B23 Energic promises to be the first electric trainer certified to EASA CS-23. With 49kWh of batteries in the wings and a 10kW motor, it is hoped that the Energic will provide one hour of flight training with a 30 minute reserve, plus a 90 minute recharge time. H55 is also working on a 200kW motor

03 Bristell revealed their 130hp Turbotech TP-R90. turbine-powered B23 at the show. Currently, the aircraft is just a personal project for Milan Bristela, and there are no plans to put it into production.

04 Also making its debut was the pretty Bristell B8 high-wing two-seater. The B8 will be certified as a 600kg Ultralight in the Czech Republic.

02 01 03 04

01 Remember the Banbi? Well here’s the newest version, the MCR Club Sportage. A cracking-looking two-seat tailwheel machine that could fit the 600kg microlight category. MCR, a French company originally set up in 2012 to make parts for Dyn’Aero aircraft, is now manufacturing a full range of two- and four-seat aircraft based on those designs. Max cruise with a Rotax 912ULS is 145kt.

02 As well as a refreshed MCR ULC Evolution, MCR also displayed a four-seat MCR 4S Evolution, powered by a Rotax 915iS. Max cruise is said to be 153kt, with a 46kt stall speed.

03 The Pioneer Twin is the latest product from Alpi Aviation. The aircraft can use either a pair of 100hp Rotax 912s, or 915iS engines. With the latter, a sea-level cruise of 178kt is predicted and a MTOW of 1,300kg possible.

04 The Gropp G70-600 Fi could be another 600kg microlight category contender. Powered by a Rotax 912, it will cruise at 100kt and has a 250kg useful load. An optional quick-folding wing system is also available.

30 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 AERO 2022 01 02 03 04

01 The Spacek SD-2 Sportmaster is a two-seater optimised for the Rotax 912.With an MTOW of 600kg, hopefully we may see this in the UK in the future?

02 The very pretty M26 Victor is the latest gyrocopter from Magni. Gyro Seating two people in tandem, it is powered by a Rotax 915iS

03 ULPower displayed their latest engine - the UL520T. Turbocharged, it will produce 220hp up to 15,000ft. A custom engine mount and engine mount adaptors to suit the Van’s RV-7 were also shown. The engine, though, is not currently approved by LAA for the aircraft.

04 Squadron Leader Aircraft of Italy displayed a three-quarter scale version of a Textron T6-A Texan. An aluminium airframe, it’s powered by a Rotax 912 with a turbo conversion. Max take-off weight is an odd 650kg, though the company says it’s working on a 600kg version.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 31 Show Report 01 02 03 04

01 The Corsair e-motion is the latest version of this wonderful SSDR from JH Aircraft. While an earlier model used the Verner Scarlett three-cylinder radial, this one uses a HPD20 electric motor with 30kW peak and 20kW continuous power. Batteries up to 14kWh can be used, giving up to two hours of flight time. Weight saved going to electric also allows for a new folding wing, just like the original! Stall speed is 24kt, cruise is 55kt while rate of climb is 1,200fpm. The aircraft is available ready to fly or as a kit.

02 A splash of British homebuilding colour was very well provided by Andy McKee and his well-travelled Silence Twister. Andy’s display area promoted ‘Flying for FUUN’.

03 The result of a partnership between Air Race E and the University of Nottingham, this electric-powered Cassutt II. The aircraft is now being used by KASAERO to help develop a new race aircraft for the Air Race E Performance Class, a formula based on a standard electric powertrain.

04 This four-seat HY4 aircraft from Stuttgart-based H2FLY is a technology demonstrator for aviation hydrogen fuel cell technology The aircraft set two records on the 77-mile journey between its base to Friedrichshafen, including first hydrogen-powered aircraft to exceed 7,000ft, and also the hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft to be flown between two major airports.

05 The Dracula SSDR from Aviaircraft is available ready to fly for €33,200 with a Helvenco 36hp four-stroke engine. A 23kW electric version is also available for a similar price. Endurance is one hour with a 25% reserve.

01 03 04 05 02

01 The Vision is a very pretty aircraft developed by Aeropro, the manufacturer of the highly popular Eurofox two-seater. The aircraft has been a side-project for the company and is designed from the outset to meet EASA’s CS-LSA certification standards and LSA certification in the USA. While the proof of concept aircraft flew in 2012, this conforming example made its first flight in 2020. Aeropro does not have the capacity to put the aircraft into production, so it was advertising the entire Vision project for sale at AERO.

02 The 14.5m span ATOS Wing Electro has an empty weight of 120kg, and can carry a pilot of between 50kg and 140kg. Minimum sink rate of 127fpm, stall speed is 21kt, Vne is 75kt.

03 Evektor unveiled a facelift look for the EASA certified Sportstar RTC, including a new cowling and a cockpit with new carbon-fibre seats and a new instrument panel, including Garmin G3X Touch. Evektor say these options are available across the range.

04 The MW Spirit Redline engine from MW Fly is a cleansheet design that produces 160hp yet weighs just 79kg. The company has Design Organisation certification from EASA and plans to start certification for the engine later this year.

05 The fastest 600kg ultralight around? Swedish speed record breakers Blackwing were claiming a new victory in the FAI RAL2T class with the Rotax 915iS-powered BW 635RG – a scorching 203kt on a 15km straight and 187kt on a 50km triangular course. Price is from €210,000.

05 02 03
AERO 2022
04 01

Coaching Corner…

Stay vigilant near gliding sites…

It pays to be vigilant when flying near gliding sites for a number of reasons, as Head of Coaching David Cockburn suggests. Plus, when did you last get a transponder check?

I’m pretty sure many of our members are, or have been in the past, glider pilots. However, there are a significant number of our pilots to whom what I am about to say will be new information, and the rest of us (including me) can always benefit from a reminder.

Our charts include markings for several features such as the letter G in the circle in the centre of the extract illustrated. Of course we all know what it means – this is a glider launching site, and we should be prepared to encounter gliders. However, as I expect we also know, there is a specific hazard which the marking highlights with the number following the ‘/’ written beside the ‘G’ symbol. Winch launching takes place, in this case up to 2,800ft above sea level (asl) – 2,000ft above the site, which is itself 800ft asl.

The gliders attached to the winch cables will cover most of that 2,000ft in about 15 seconds, and drag the cable very steeply upwards.

Glider launching cables are usually braided steel, which when moving under tension can saw through metal girders, so the hazard to our own aircraft and the unfortunate glider crew is pretty obvious – there have been fatalities in the past.

Many other serious accidents have been avoided by the sharp eyes of the launch team, but trees can hide an approaching aircraft until it is too late, and the noise of an


aircraft engine can be drowned out by other mechanical noises on the ground.

The normal times of glider launch operation are published in the UK AIP, and supplemented by Notam. However, these are only the ‘normal’ hours of operation. For various reasons launching will sometimes take place outside notified hours, so the hazard should always be expected.

Whether within notified hours or not, it seems that some pilots believe that it is perfectly safe to fly over a winch-launching glider site if they see no activity actually taking place, or if the weather appears unsuitable for soaring flight. They may argue that unless the launch site has an Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ), there is no legal reason why they can’t fly through the circle marking the launch site below the published launch altitude. However, the launch of a glider requires very little supporting equipment, which may not be immediately obvious to an approaching aircraft. We should also be aware that it is against the law to endanger an aircraft.

So, does this mean that if we stay outside the marked circle there should be no problem? I’m afraid not. After launching, glider pilots invariably seek a means of extending their flight time. Numbers of them can often be found above the into-wind slopes of hills in the vicinity of the launch site, and these slopes usually stretch well outside the marked circle. Although gliders can be found anywhere in the country climbing in convective upcurrents (‘thermals’), and cruising at high speed between them, thermals near launch sites often contain large numbers of gliders circling in the rising air and climbing at rates, which although often quite slow, can sometimes exceed 30ft per second. And gliders, especially when pointing directly towards or away from us, are very difficult to spot.

Whether or not the glider site has a published winch launch altitude, many gliders self-launch, and others are towed by aeroplanes. These need to maintain their take-off direction for some distance before they are able to change direction safely; consequently their climb paths tend to extend beyond the marked circles, generally upwind of the sites.

Even when safely well above the ground, the combinations have restricted manoeuvrability, hence the rule that powered aircraft must give way to them. To maximise the glider’s ability to extend its flight time, pilots of both self-launching and towed gliders prefer to start their search for sources of lift some distance upwind of

Coaching Corner 34 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Chart notaitions can give you a quick insight into what activity to expect.

the site, so it is worth remembering that that area of sky is likely to contain large numbers of gliders. Winchlaunched gliders will seek to do the same, albeit probably a little closer to the site. Class G airspace is free for all, but remember that a glider on a converging course has right of way. As a particularly lazy pilot I try to avoid having to make any unnecessary last-minute manoeuvres to avoid hazards, so I try to keep clear of glider sites and the area upwind of them, unless I am actually flying a glider at the time!

Not that we need to keep away from glider sites all the time. They are often situated in areas of natural beauty which we might wish to visit. A glider site is an aerodrome, and many are quite capable of operating powered aircraft. Indeed, a number of gliding clubs welcome visitors in aeroplanes. However, all stress very strongly the need for the visiting pilot to obtain permission, and a thorough briefing from a club official, before attempting to land there, or even approaching the site. Even a light wind at sites in hilly areas can produce unwelcome turbulence, but each glider site has its own particular hazards in the air and on the ground. It is vital to stick to the local rules and procedures.

Transponder Mode C check on 1013

The CAA’s current emphasis on airspace infringements has highlighted some possible problems with transponder Mode C altitude reports. There have been cases when the

information reported by the transponder to the air traffic control radar has been incorrect, and some pilots have been accused of infringing notified airspace when they were actually well below or above it at the time.

Every time we communicate with a radar controller he or she can be expected to ask us to confirm our altitude against what they are seeing on their screen. That’s what they are doing when they say ‘request altitude’ or ‘request altitude passing’, and all they want is a report of whatever our altimeter is reading at the time we reply. However, if we do not normally talk to a controller we may be unaware of any fault on our transponder. It may be an idea to deliberately call a local radar controller and have our transponder altitude readout checked from time to time, especially if we plan to fly close to notified airspace in the near future. Preferably when the frequency is not busy, a simple call of ‘Request transponder check’ should give both the controller and you confidence that your equipment is working correctly.

Even if a controller is not immediately available, many transponder displays, such as the one illustrated, provide an indication of the pressure altitude that their sensor will transmit. If we temporarily set our altimeter to 1013 HPa, perhaps after engine start, the transponder indicated pressure altitude should be the same as that indicated on our altimeter, in the case of the picture -50ft. If it isn’t, we should have the fault investigated and switch Mode C off until it is rectified. ■

Coaching Corner June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 35
Above When was the last time you asked for a transponder check?

The latest LAA Engineering topics and investigations. Compiled by Jerry Parr

Engineering Matters

Including: Duplicate inspections, painting versus powder coating, AERO show musings, Kitfox fuel tanks and LAA generic maintenance schedules …

Welcome to Engineering Matters – the section of Light Aviation that is dedicated to discussing all manner of topics concerning both technical and operational aspects of the LAA fleet. If you have anything to say that you think would benefit others, then please email words and pictures to LAA Engineering at

Duplicate inspections are independent inspections

Everyone involved with aircraft maintenance, be they owners or inspectors or engineers, should already be aware of the term ‘duplicate inspection’. Previously, the subject has been covered in the December 2019 edition of Light Aviation

The CAA define duplicate inspections and their associated requirements as:

‘A duplicate inspection shall be carried out after any flight safety sensitive maintenance task. Maintenance tasks that involve the assembly or any disturbance of a control system that, if errors occurred, could result in a failure, malfunction, or defect endangering the safe operation of the aircraft should be considered as flight safety sensitive maintenance tasks needing a duplicate inspection.

A control system is an aircraft system by which the flight path, attitude, or propulsive force of the aircraft is changed, including the flight, engine and propeller controls, the related system controls and the associated operating mechanisms.

Duplicate inspections should be carried out by at least two persons, to ensure correct assembly, locking and sense of operation. A technical record of the inspections should contain the signatures of both persons (involved in carrying out the duplicate inspection) before the relevant Permit Maintenance Release (PMR) is issued.’

In the RAF, this form of inspection is called an ‘independent inspection’. EASA couldn’t really make up its mind whether to call it a duplicate or independent inspection and often referred to it as a

‘duplicate / independent inspection’ just to cover all bases. These days even the CAA acknowledge this variation in terms and say that the Duplicate Inspection may be referred to as an Independent Inspection.

Perhaps, ‘independent’ is indeed a better name for this inspection task, given it is a specific check that is carried out in addition to the job itself.

One might wonder as to why the name of the inspection is relevant and it comes down to understanding the purpose of the inspection and the way that it is carried out and recorded.

Owners and maintainers should remember that the duplicate / independent inspection is an entirely separate inspection to the maintenance task in question. It may well be that one or more persons involved in completing the maintenance task are also involved in carrying out the duplicate inspection but it should be treated as an independent exercise.

There are various LAA Technical Leaflets describing the procedure for duplicate inspections (as well as in the notes on the LAA Aircraft Duplicate Inspection Record) and it is imperative that the correct format is followed regarding the first and second inspections, who is authorised to sign what, and with what authorisation. For instance, if a pilot (who is also a current member of the LAA) carried out the second inspection, their pilot’s licence number is the authorisation and must be recorded against the signature and date.

Duplicate inspections are, ideally, recorded on the specific Aircraft Duplicate Inspection Record but may also be recorded (in the correct format) on a worksheet or in a log book entry.

In the litigious world that we live in, insurance companies and lawyers really do check aircraft maintenance records to ensure everything is dotted and crossed in accordance with the procedures. So, if LAA Engineering ask for an amendment to duplicate inspections to bring the record into line with LAA procedures, this is not being pedantic but potentially providing a level of protection to owners and inspectors.

36 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Above Know the procedures for carrying out duplicate inspections on aircraft control.

Powder coating or painting

Many manufacturers and aircraft builders choose to powder coat metal components such as undercarriage legs and engine mounts because of the coating’s hard-wearing properties.

There is no disputing that this is a plus point of powder coating, but proceed with caution. Because of the thickness of the coating and its ‘flexibility’, it can hide defects (cracks) and corrosion issues in the metal component it is protecting. It is actually a much better practice to use ordinary paint on aircraft components and contrary to the industry norm, use a light colour. Cracks tend to be black so do not show up well on items that are painted black.

Recently cracks were found in the upper section of a Pioneer 300 nose undercarriage leg during routine undercarriage functional (retraction) tests. This is not known to be a common problem with the Pioneer and may be a one-off occurrence.

Incidentally, the importance and value of undercarriage retraction tests should not be underestimated. While it can be a bit of a pain to carry out, as it requires the safe jacking of the aircraft, it is really the only way to ascertain that the system is functioning correctly and to be able to test any emergency extension systems.

Retractable undercarriages are inherently more complicated than fixed gear, simply by the fact they have more moving parts, which can make them heavier and less accepting of abuse, such as heavy landings and operations from rough strips. Lubrication and correct adjustment are paramount in maintaining retractable undercarriage in an airworthy condition.

Ben and Jerry’s AERO 2022 trip

With the advent into the UK of factory built sub-600kg microlights, Ben Syson and Jerry Parr were sent on their travels to represent the LAA at the AERO 2022 show at Friedrichshafen, Germany.

The primary mission was to visit all the manufacturers which are interested in importing factory built sub-600kg microlights into the UK, and that were exhibiting at AERO.

Due to the availability of flights, we planned on being there for just one day and found that there was sufficient time to get around all of the exhibition halls and promote the LAA’s services to the various manufacturers. There will now be follow up communication with the various manufacturers, offering LAA Engineering support (and eventually, oversight and administration of their products) as and when required.

In addition to the 600kg manufacturers, we also spoke to various propeller and engine manufacturers and other exhibitors. Everyone

Open worksheet entry

When carrying out maintenance tasks on an aircraft, worksheets should be raised listing the individual maintenance tasks to be carried out. These are called ‘open’ entries, as the ‘work required’ is called up but the work has yet to be carried out.

Once the task has been completed, this should also be recorded and signed for as required by the maintainer and inspector (if outside what is allowed under the terms of ‘pilot authorised maintenance’ – see LAA Technical Leaflet TL 2.05).

If a maintenance task is started but not completed, then an open entry should be made, so it is obvious that that task has not been completed. This is very important when maintenance is not going to be, for example, completed in one day, and so acts as an aide-mémoire. It’s easy to be distracted from the job in hand, and a task left incomplete. An example would be the disconnection of a flying control pushrod to allow for an adjustment to be made. The worksheet may call up ‘elevator range of movement to be adjusted’ in the ‘work to be required’ column.

Once the pushrod has been disconnected, an open entry should then be made in the ‘work required’ column specifically stating exactly what needs to be carried out to complete the task, i.e. ‘elevator pushrod to be reconnected at elevator bellcrank’ Ideally, there would also then be an open entry made on the worksheet for: ‘duplicate inspection to be carried out on elevator pushrod at the bellcrank’.

Open entries may be made for any required maintenance task, not just those involving flying control or engine control connections.

seemed very upbeat about life in general in General Aviation. It was certainly good to see various UK dealers and importers at the show, many of them working on the stands of products they represent.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 37 Engineering Matters
Above The cracked nose undercarriage on a Pioneer 300. Above left Meeting familiar faces at AERO 2022: Paul Hendry-Smith of TLAC Above Ben and Jerry on duty at AERO 2022

Kiev propeller hub crack

Propellers operate under immense loading and stress when operating and so it should not be a surprise that issues and defects occur. Many of these have been reported in previous Engineering Matters articles, and concern propellers from just about every manufacturer and involve certified and non-certified propellers.

Recently, a problem was highlighted on a BMAA-administered EV-97 Eurostar with a Kiev propeller where the hub has cracked. The propeller type is also found on a number of LAA-administered aircraft. At the current time, it isn’t known what caused this failure but it is imperative to thoroughly inspect propeller assemblies during routine maintenance (including removing the spinner), or at any time there is a strange vibration or other anomaly found with the propeller.

Problems may be caused by propeller strikes (even when the propeller is stationary), incorrect torquing of propeller hub bolts, blade pitch out of alignment on ground adjustable propellers and lack of lubrication on variable pitch propellers.

Propeller spinners and spinner attachment plates are also operating under high loads, so include them in the maintenance checks.

Andair gascolator filter element

The builder of a Europa recently highlighted an issue he found with an Andair gascolator fuel filter he had received. Initially, it was thought to be a scratch on one of the filter elements but on closer inspection, it was found to be a cut or split right through the filter element.

Andair replaced the filter immediately and this is most likely to be an isolated case, but it is still worth checking next time you have the gascolator bowl off.

LAA Inspector Dave Bland has previously reported issues with Kitfox fuel tanks and has now sent an update on his investigations into what he has found with one pair of tanks after cutting access holes. This particular tank rattled when moved about as something was loose inside. It goes without saying that having loose articles inside a fuel tank is not a good idea as they will normally manage to make their way to the fuel tank outlet and cause a blockage.

Dave reports, “The construction method seems to be that the baffle rib was bonded to the lower main moulding and then the top

surface was bonded on. Obviously, the excess resin from the bonding joint area could be cleaned off externally but remained on the inside. I suspect that the excess resin at the joints did not like fuel vapour and this may possibly be exacerbated if the tank has contained mogas. The sloshing compound looked pretty nonexistent and what was there, appeared to be peeling and flaking. The excess resin broke away easily and some of it was found loose in the tank – hence the rattling noise.”

Dave is currently working on a repair scheme for the fuel tanks.

38 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 Engineering Matters
Kitfox fuel tanks Above The inside of the Kitfox fuel tank showing poor areas of bonding. Above The excess resin could be easily removed by hand and a number of pieces were already loose inside the tank. Above Note the poor condition of the bonded areas. Above Kiev propeller hub crack. This is not known to be a common issue on these propellers. Left Andair fuel filter showing the split in the element.

LAA generic maintenance schedules

The LAA-issued Generic Maintenance Schedules have been revised and are available for download (in MS Word format) from the LAA website in the ‘Aircraft Maintenance’ part of the LAA Engineering ‘Operating and Maintaining’ section.

The Generic Maintenance Schedules include a Check A, 50 hour / six month inspection, 150 hour / 12 month inspection and 500 hour / 36 month inspection.

Vacuum pump failures

Following the piece in last month’s Engineering Matters concerning a failed vacuum pump drive shaft that happened to be installed on the engine of a Bulldog, Mark Miller (Chief Engineer of de Havilland Support Ltd) has kindly highlighted the existence of DHSL Service Bulletin BDG/100/180.

This Bulldog-specific Service Bulletin is titled Vacuum System Components – Approval of Replacement Parts and Their Recommended Maintenance and Lifting Requirements

LAA Engineering housekeeping

Permit to Fly Revalidation paperwork: Fairly frequently, we receive emails with a scanned copy of the Permit to Fly revalidation documentation attached. The current procedures require LAA Engineering to only accept the original ‘hard’ copies of the revalidation application. Due to the number of Permit to Fly revalidations received, the applications that are emailed to LAA Engineering will not be reviewed until the hard copy is received.

Check your ‘junk’ folders: It would appear that some LAA emails end up in people’s Junk folders. Please check your Junk folder if you are expecting an email from LAA Engineering, including the Permit to Fly Certificate of Validity.

LAA Engineering charges

LAA Project Registration

Kit Built Aircraft £300

Plans Built Aircraft £50

Initial Permit issue

Up to 450kg £450

451-999kg £550

1,000kg and above £650

Permit Revalidation

(can now be paid online via LAA Shop)

Up to 450kg £170

451-999kg £220

1,000kg and above £260

Factory-built gyroplanes* (all weights) £275

*Gyros note: if the last Renewal wasn’t administered by the LAA, an extra fee of £125 applies

Modification application

Prototype modification minimum £60

Repeat modification minimum £30

All of the LAA Generic Maintenance Schedules are intended to be amended by the owner as required, to suit the maintenance requirements of that specific aircraft.

It is highly recommended that owners and maintainers of LAA-administered aircraft use a bespoke maintenance schedule for their aircraft to accurately track and record all scheduled maintenance tasks.

Cessna 120/140 seat belt bracket

As anticipated, the problem with Cessna 120 / 140 seat belt attachment brackets (as discussed in the April 2022 Engineering Matters) is now an FAA Airworthiness Directive. The FAA has issued FAA AD 2022-08-03. Reference to this FAA AD will be added to the TADS for the Cessna 120 in due course and compliance with the AD is mandatory for LAA-administered examples.

Postage: Please ensure the correct postage is paid for when sending documents to LAA Engineering. Items with incorrect postage often get delayed by one to two weeks in the Royal Mail system. It is advisable to keep copies of documents sent to LAA Engineering, just in case the items do get lost en route.

Change of ownership: When an aircraft is bought or sold, please inform LAA Engineering, preferably using the form in LAA Technical Leaflet 2.18. This includes when a group member sells their share or buys into a group-owned aircraft. The CAA does not always inform the LAA when there are changes to aircraft ownership details. ■

LAA Fleet Summary

New Projects Registered in 2022: 18


(from C of A to Permit or CAA Permit to LAA Permit)

Up to 450kg £150

451 to 999kg £250

1,000kg and above £350

Four-seat aircraft

Manufacturer’s/agent’s type acceptance fee £2,000

Project registration royalty £50

Category change

Group A to microlight £150

Microlight to Group A £150

Change of G-Registration fee

Issue of Permit documents following G-Reg change £55

Replacement Documents

Lost, stolen etc (fee is per document)£20

PLEASE NOTE: When you’re submitting documents using an A4-sized envelope, a first-class stamp is insufficient postage.

Permit to Fly First Issues in 2022: 16

Permit to Fly Revalidations - 2022: 594

Recent Alerts & AILs (check the LAA website for further details)

Zivko Aeronautics Inc. Edge 360, Edge 540 and

Laser Z200: Aileron Centre Hinge Attachment

CAA MPD: 2022-001

LAA Alert: A-001-2022

MT-03, MTOsport, MTOsport 2017, Calidus and Cavalon: Rotor Blade Inspection/Replacement/


CAA MPD: 2002-002

LAA Alert: A-002-2022

TLAC Escapade and Sherwood Scout: Seat locking and Secondary Seat Restraint

CAA MPD: 2022-004-E

LAA TSB: TSB-001-2022

Europa: Door Latch System Stop

CAA MPD: 2022-003

LAA AIL: MOD/247/012

LAA Alert: LAA/AWA/21/08

Adjustable Seats in General Aviation Aircraft

CAA Safety Notice SN-2022/001: Security and locking of adjustable seats

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 39 Engineering Matters

LAA Engineering restructure

Firstly, a huge thank you for all your support since my arrival last August. In November’s magazine, I asked for feedback and I am pleased to say that you did not hold back. Such honest responses have made a huge difference to my understanding of what we do well, where we could improve, and it is helping us plan the changes which we are now putting in place.

These changes were precipitated by our former Chief Engineer, Francis Donaldson, moving into a part-time consultancy role at the end of 2021, with Jon Viner stepping into the breach as our Chief Technical Officer, to whom all the Engineering team now report.

Key areas of responsibility have been divided among our existing specialists, with Ben Syson taking over the role of Head of Design and Andy Draper becoming the Head of Flight Test. Jerry Parr has become Head of Airworthiness and has been joined by Andy O’Dell, supporting Jerry as Airworthiness Engineer. Fiona Storer is taking on a greater responsibility for the timely turnaround of mod applications through the department, while Adele Cooney will be taking on more of the day-to-day responsibility for the coordination of the Permit to Fly revalidation process.

In addition, Ken Craigie is shortly to retire as our Chief Inspector. Ken has been with the LAA / PFA in this role for 31 years, in which time we have benefitted from his encyclopedic knowledge of our aircraft fleet and, of course, the 350+ strong Inspector team – most of whom he has personally recruited and nurtured through the years. We are currently recruiting for Ken’s successor, who will be announced in due course.

Other members of the team to depart for pastures new this year have been Joe Hadley and Mike Roberts, who both joined us as graduate engineers in 2019. Again, a huge thank you for their support to the LAA and we wish them well with their new challenges.

As well as changes in personnel and roles, a number of our processes are under review, which include:


The LAA’s paper-based system for the Permit revalidation process has, for the last three decades, been based on the famous LAA ‘blue form’ (green if you fly a gyro). While well known for its speedy turnaround, the mechanics and cost of sending forms through the post are looking decidedly tired these days, so we are planning to move the permit revalidation process online. This will be undertaken in two phases. The first (2022) will allow the option for the forms to be completed, scanned and emailed to us, which will make sending documents between all parties and storing / retrieving the information easier. We will also be providing more detailed guidance about the permit application process and taking stronger measures to help improve the quality of future permit applications. Phase 2 (2023) will aim to bring the system fully online.


We have introduced a new process to prioritise mod applications. This assesses each application by the urgency from one (long term project) to five (aircraft on the ground), and the amount of engineering resource required, from one (a project needing a significant amount of research) to five (a repeat mod that identically replicates the original). Both figures are multiplied, giving a score, with 25 being the highest priority. In due course, scores will also have a time factor applied to ensure that they move up the list.

The main area of concern from our members is the lack of feedback and progress updates with applications and enquiries. To address this, as well as Fiona Storer’s progress chasing role, we are looking to expand the current online facility

for members to track engineering first issues, mods and repairs. This will result in a quicker turnaround of applications and will ensure that the relevant communications flow in both directions, so it is clear to all where each request has got to.

New aircraft types

It is essential that we keep looking at new aircraft to bring onto our fleet to provide our members with the latest types and technology, to encourage new members to join and to support manufacturers and suppliers. We are actively working with several manufacturers and suppliers to bring new types, including 600kg microlights, onto the LAA fleet.

Night / IFR

The Night / IFR processes are currently being reviewed, with the aim of speeding up the application process. Watch out for the Night / IFR article in the July issue of Light Aviation


LAA Engineering’s top priority is, of course, safety and we continue to build upon our excellent record in this area. It is good to report not only that the LAA’s accident rate has remained at a low level so far this year, but also that our Engineering Team audit by the CAA in March resulted in ‘nil findings’… in other words, ‘top marks’.

While the Engineering team has generally achieved high satisfaction rates in our member surveys, I am sure there is still plenty of work to do to keep abreast of new developments, new technologies and customer expectations.

With such a strong team looking after a huge day-to-day throughput of engineering work, my prime task is to further improve the level of service and delivery to the LAA and its members, so please do continue to send me all of your feedback to this address: ■

Engineering Update
After nine months in post, Engineering Director John Ratcliffe explains some of the recent changes to LAA Engineering
40 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
0800 5999 101 stein pilot insurance Without specialist advice fixed wing and rotary pilots can often face significant premium increases when applying for life insurance. We can usually secure standard rates with no aviation exclusions. Your insurance will provide 24/7 cover including whilst flying. • Life insurance for your family, mortgage or business. • We help recreational, commercial, instructor and student pilots. • Cover can be arranged over the phone. • Our insurance advisor holds a PPL. • Online quotes.
life cover
For all display advertising enquiries contact Neil Wilson 07512 773532 Not only can you access all our great content, but you’ll get member benefits worth hundreds of pounds a year. Find out more at Join the FLYER Club The new-look FLYER is now live and you can join from just £30 for a year, for a limited time. * for full terms and conditions visit

Electronic Ignition

Is electronic ignition

Advertisements and anecdotal accounts are tantalising builders with wondrous gains to be had by replacing that dinosaur of aviation, the magneto. What is aircraft electronic ignition about and what is its potential?

While some Rotax and VW based engines already enjoy dual electronic ignition as standard and aftermarket solutions are beginning to appear, most of our engines including the majority of Lycoming and Continental are still ignited by old style magnetos. Electronic ignition is a common subject on several of the aviation forums these days with debate revolving around the benefits it might afford. Typically, aftermarket electronic ignitions cost upwards of £1,500 per bank of plugs and some, but not all, are quite simple to install.

A new traditional magneto is more expensive, a refurbished one less. This leads to temptation to replace ageing magnetos with modern technology with the additional hope of some performance benefits.

The perceived bête noir of classic magnetos is starting the engine. To be self-contained they generate

their own electricity, whose strength is a function of engine speed (rpm). At low rpm they don’t generate much, so the resultant spark is not strong and sometimes fails to overcome all of the many challenges that starting can present. Once running, the spark is normally adequate although, in the quest for simplicity, their fixed timing is sometimes less than optimum.

While simple, they do depend on old electrical technology which is stuck in the dark ages and can be short-lived and unreliable.

Electronic ignition differs in several ways from a traditional (points and coil) magneto ignition. It has far fewer moving parts and its electronics offer a consistent stronger spark (Picture 1) using the battery as its electricity source.

It is not just an electronic implementation of the old magneto, it is a fundamental change to the way your engine operates. The key difference is, it adds automatically varied ignition timing.

Left, no spark. Middle, coil and points generated spark. Right, a capacitive discharge (electronic) spark.

Why is ignition timing important?

A magneto on most aircraft engines has only one timing setting, fixed somewhere between 20-25° before the crank’s top dead centre position (TDC). Other than for starting, this doesn’t vary. It is a long-established compromise between performance (which requires more complexity) and reliability (where simple is best). It works because, unlike cars, once flying, the engine speed remains in a relatively narrow and efficient band, even more so with a constant speed prop. Once you move outside that band, it is less efficient.

When an engine is running normally, two synchronised sparks initiate burning of the compressed fuel air mixture. (Picture 2) The resultant fire progressively fills the cylinder with hot gas. This results in pressure of up to 2,000 psi, ideally peaking at a sweet spot 16° after top dead centre (ATDC). This sweet spot provides maximum torque and hence economy and efficiency. The high pressure pushes the piston down to turn the crank.

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 43
1 Technical
Above Fuel burn in an aircraft engine needs to start in time to be complete by 16° ATDC.
just a bright spark or does it offer a real benefit? Ian Fraser has been taking a look…

Simple, but best power, economy and engine life depend on the engine being operated around that torque sweet spot under all conditions. Variable timing sets out to broaden the efficient operational envelope by adjusting the spark timing to reflect the differing rpm of the engine and speeds the fuel / air mixture burns in the cylinder. As an illustration, at sea level and set to 2,400 rpm (a typical Lycoming cruise setting) the crank rotates 40 times a second or once every 25 milliseconds (ms). Once ignited, the fuel flame front expands at about one inch per ms, so for a Lycoming’s five-inch diameter piston (Picture 3) the flame has to travel 2.5in from each spark plug to complete the burn and build up maximum pressure. To match this to the torque sweet spot, the burn should start 2.5ms before the engine reaches that point. At 2,400 rpm in 2.5ms the crank will have turned 36°, so for optimum timing the ignition should fire 20° (36 minus 16) before TDC.

In normal operation the Lycoming’s rpm can vary between 1,800 and 2,700 and the speed of the flame front in the fuel / air mixture between 0.5in a second to 1.5in per millisecond. The flame front speed is very sensitive to the fuel / air mixture and density (and to a lesser extent several other parameters). The lower the density, the slower the flame front. Reducing the throttle limits the amount of mixture that can get into the cylinder lowering the density, slowing the flame and vice versa.

Flying higher also reduces the air density available to the engine and reduces the fuel / air mix density. While the sweet spot remains unchanged at 16°, the required spark timing to achieve it can vary by as much as 40°.

Cars of the 1950s-1960s introduced mechanical devices (centrifugal and vacuum ‘advance’ mechanisms) to adjust ignition timing to compensate for these variables. Because of the fairly narrow range of operation

44 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 Technical
Above A Leburg electronic ignition popular in smaller homebuilt engines. The modular approach to its components means the sensitive electronics can be mounted in a cooler place. Above An enormous Lycoming O-360 piston. It is twice the diameter of a typical car piston. Because of its size, its ignition timing is much more sensitive to the fuel burn rates than a smaller engine.

for an aircraft engine and the low price of fuel in the USA, the benefits of variable timing over the fixed system did not justify the complexity and the car technology was not taken up. In the late 1960s, electronic ignition was developed by Delco (Chrysler) and by the 1980s sophisticated versions were commonplace in most cars contributing to the increased efficiency required by evolving emissions legislation.

But by that time the aviation product liability die was set, paranoia took over and this technology never transferred over to the aviation dinosaurs. Even today the big guns in piston aviation engines are only just beginning to look at variable ignition timing.

In literature on the subject, it is suggested that in some circumstances even well set up and operated classic aircraft engines with fixed timing, may be performing at only 80% of their potential efficiency.

By making the timing controllable through electronic ignition systems, some of that efficiency loss may be recovered. But you can’t just bolt on a 20% improvement. What you can gain depends on how you operate your aircraft.

Electronic ignition

Creating the spark. Capacitive discharge ignition (Picture 4) creates a bigger spark by firstly generating a bigger voltage (250v or more) within the ignition (from the battery which has a lot more power available than a mag’s generator) which it stores in a capacitor. When needed, it is discharged through a coil to the plugs to create a spark. This spark voltage is normally greater than 20,000v regardless of rpm (a mag produces 6,000-10,000v) and has no problem igniting fuel in most conditions.

A magneto routes the spark voltage pulse through a moving arm that ‘distributes’ it to the appropriate plug lead. Most electronic ignition systems eliminate the ‘distributor’ by the ‘wasted spark’ system. Instead of the distributor, each spark plug has an individual coil (Picture 5). They are fired as two pairs, one pair around TDC and the other 180° later. No need to worry where the engine is in the four-stroke cycle, just crank position will do. One plug will fire as the piston approaches the top of the compression stroke creating the bang and the other at the top of the exhaust stroke where there is nothing to ignite, the so-called ‘wasted spark’. One revolution later they swap. Although it does nothing for performance it is much cheaper to make and eliminates another less reliable moving part.

Timing the spark. Typically, a magnet and sensor are placed on the crank (Picture 6), flywheel or old mag housing for position and rpm calculation.

Manifold pressure (MaP) used by some ignitions relates to fuel / air density and is measured via a digital pressure sensor connected to a small port on one inlet manifold.

This data all goes to an ignition controller which uses a digital ‘map’ of timing settings to determine the optimum point to set off the spark (similar in function to that in a modern car engine ‘chip’). Thus, for a chosen fuel type, the best spark timing can be determined for any rpm, throttle setting or altitude (but note, not mixture!).

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 45 Technical
5 6
Above The coil set for the Leburg ignition is less heat sensitive and can be mounted closer to the plugs. The Leburg set up is typical of several of the modular electronic ignition options. Above A typical magnetic crank position sensor. This one is mounted on the prop flange.

Electronic ignition drawbacks

It is important to be aware that although electronic ignition eliminates a lot of the mechanical and electrical weaknesses of the mag system, it comes with its own baggage. The bigger spark normally needs a different spark plug (temperature range). The wrong plug will negate many of the benefits sought and may even damage the engine.

Electronics are also a lot more sensitive to heat than a magneto. Effective cooling or a cool location (Picture 4) is absolutely essential to achieve the promised reliability improvements of an electronic ignition.

A note of caution. There is a limit to spark timing variation beyond which it is counterproductive and even risks damaging the engine. Too early (advanced) a spark, as well as being very inefficient (working against crank rotation), can cause a phenomenon called detonation. This can seriously damage your pistons and valves.

On a silenced car engine this can sometimes be heard as a knocking or pinging sound (called pinking). In most aircraft this will go undetected mainly due to the competing noises and noise reducing headsets. As well as being affected by mixture density the optimum timing advance required for an aircraft engine is impacted by fuel type and mixture. Lower octane fuels and weaker mixtures counter-intuitively burn faster. An engine ignition optimised (mapped) for 100LL will in some circumstances be firing up to 40° BTDC, which could be much too far advanced for unleaded fuels (mogas or UL91), risking detonation. Similarly, a leaned mixture is more prone to detonation and, in combination with variable ignition timing advance, a potential risk.

An approval for your engine to use unleaded fuel may not be valid with electronic ignition. In some of those 1960s cars, when faced with unleaded fuels, ‘vacuum advance’ devices often had to be disconnected to avoid over-advance to protect the engine from detonation. Modern car electronic ignitions have a detonation (knock) sensor which can detect the detonation effects of lower octane fuel and are able self-adjust to compensate. There are technical reasons why electronic identification of ‘knock’ is challenging in some aircraft engines. To date, no aviation aftermarket ignitions have this feature. To be safe, ensure that your automatic timing is correct for your leaning policy and all fuels it will face now and, in the future (100LL will die sooner rather than later).

Left Electronic ignition monitor and in-flight programmer. This one, the EI Commander fits a 2-1/4in hole and is aimed at the popular E-MAG range of ignitions. It is indicating an ignition advance of 32.2 BTDC being applied but a deviation of 5.8° between the two ignitions. They are supposed to be the same, so that’s an engine problem that needs addressing. Useful device.

Below The popular E MAG. It packages all its bits into a casing that replaces the departing mag. It also includes a built-in generator to address the LAA’s fail-safe concerns and is easy to install.

Installation. Aftermarket electronic ignitions all have slightly different subset of the various features of electronic ignition and typically come in one of two physical packages. One is built into a mag-like body which just bolts in place (Picture 8) of the old one requiring just a few minor electrical changes. The other, a modular system (Pictures 4,5 & 6) comprises a box of electronics, separate coils and a crank position sensor which can be installed around or outside the engine compartment as appropriate, requiring a little more wire and mechanical work. Functionally they do much the same task although any performance benefits are down to the suitability of their built in ‘timing map’. Some products offer computer access to the timing map to customise the timing variation, even in the air! (Picture 7) LAA requirements for installation of electronic ignition. There is very little mention of electronic ignition in the LAA’s technical data library save for TL 3.15 (applicable to modifying Lycoming engines). Any modification to an engine including addition of electronic ignition generally renders it non-standard. Unless Electronic Ignition is listed as a ‘standard option’ in the TADS for that engine type, such a change must be the subject of a formal modification proposal, initially through form MOD 2 (or, if identically repeating an existing mod on the same airframe, engine and prop, a repeat mod application can be made using MOD11 – TL 3.01 and 3.07 refer). Using TL 3.15 as indicative of the LAA’s general position raises

46 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 Technical
7 8

two points, metal props and fail-safe. The former reflects the view of some of the principal propeller manufacturers on potentially destructive resonances aggravated by different ignition characteristics. We already see this phenomenon reflected in the rpm band limitation imposed on some of our aircraft with metal blade props. In order to consider an electronic ignition proposal for a metal prop, the LAA expects you to demonstrate that your prop manufacturer is happy with your proposal (a ‘nonobjection’), or that a certified version of your proposed engine / prop / ignition combination already exists.

The LAA will also be expecting you to propose a fail-safe solution whereby a single failure (such as a common power source) does not stop the engine. This often involves self-powered ignitions (Picture 8) or an independent battery backup. One of the ‘acceptable’ approaches to achieve a fail-safe solution is to replace just one mag but, before you plan a single electronic ignition, consider what it is actually doing and if the benefit of that one device is worth the investment or effort. With that approach, you will have one spark being generated consistently at 20° BTDC and another firing anywhere between TDC and 40° BTDC depending on your environment. In an engine designed to have both sparks firing together the resultant timing and benefits will certainly not be the same as for a dual system and its effect needs to be carefully considered.

Is electronic ignition worth it? While the spark strength

Below A fine wire (iridium) plug, beside a traditional massive electrode plug. The massive electrode, while lasting well, masks the spark from much of the fuel resulting in much less reliable ignition. A fine wire plug produces a much larger spark from the same voltage and much less masking results in better ignition. The catch is, the exotic materials needed to avoid wearing out too quickly. My, are they expensive!

benefits for starting are without question, the spark alone does little for power or efficiency. From a timing point of view, the way most of us fly in the UK the aircraft is close enough to the sweet spot for the fixed ignition timing much of the time. Measurable efficiency benefits from variable timing will only really come if it is operated for a significant time outside of the sweet spot envelope, e.g., if it does a lot of long-distance high-altitude work or perhaps lots of low throttle work. Of course, if you have to change a mag then it’s a serious contender even if you have to fix its timing to that of the old mag. The feedback from my investigation and on the forums tends to back this conclusion, with few reports of tangible performance gains, although lots of praise for starting improvements.

I looked carefully at electronic ignition for my RV-6 (Lycoming O-320 & metal fixed prop) and, notwithstanding the metal prop issue, concluded that a single electronic ignition for my normal use would not provide any quantifiable efficiency or performance benefits. A dual system might show some efficiency improvement long-term and, of course, would be kinder to the environment, but costs twice as much.

Also, I use fine wire plugs (Picture 9) with a less shielded spark area and narrower electrode producing a much better spark from my standard magnetos, so I would gain little from the bigger spark. But, if I could put it in, would I? Yes, if I could install a dual system. But then again, that is me and I like playing with technology… ■

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 47 Technical

Struts 4U

Tony Palmer had waited patiently to receive the David Faulkner-Bryant Shield for his work in running the Southern Strut over the years, the first of the Struts set up by David Faulkner-Bryant in 1969. We chose a very special location for the presentation – Lady Judy MacAlpine’s Fawley Hill Railway and Museum where Tony was attending a day event with the Vintage Aircraft Club on 24 April. Steve Slater made the presentation, amid smoke and whistles from one of the collection’s steam trains, so it proved to be a memorable experience!

Congratulations to Tony for this, and also for the National Transport Trust Award, which Tony would have received for his Klemm L2c restoration at the same venue last autumn. That award, presented by HRH The Princess Royal, was collected by his co-builder Jim Copeman as Tony was unable to attend.

April 24 proved a busy day across the country for Strut and Club Fly-ins, and Ruth Kelly shares her account of the Wessex Strut Fly-in.

“The day dawned brightly at Henstridge, although with a gusty wind forecast in the north-east and heavy rain

showers to the west, we all held our breath. After a two-year absence, due to Covid-19, and several busy days of airfield preparation, the 2022 Wessex Strut Fly-in was poised to go ahead.

“No doubt the forecast weather conditions deterred a few individuals, the risk of a gusty crosswind would certainly have put me off, but in the event the day turned out to be a great success. The sun shone all day, the wind mostly stayed in line with Runway 06, and some 55 visitors flew in. Stars of the show included a Harvard, a Chipmunk and a Westland Wasp from Navy Wings at Yeovilton, a line-up of aircraft recently reviewed for the magazine, including the Stolp Starlet, Van’s RV-14A and the Smith Miniplane. Making its debut was a Miles Magister in the final stages of restoration by Kevin Crumplin and Annabelle Burroughes. Very splendid she looked too, parked next to a Tiger Moth in identical colours. Spotters were out in force and there was a cheerful surge of people into the air park over lunch. Food was typical airfield fare – bacon rolls, sandwiches, teas, coffees and soft drinks – and very good too, all laid on by airfield owner Geoff Jarvis.

48 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Above Tony Palmer, left, and Steve Slater. Top right Scotland – Firth of Forth by John Whitfield. Larger island in the distance is the Bass Rock, sitting in the Firth of Forth, and North Berwick and the East Lothian shoreline are on the right. Right bottom Aircraft on display at the Wessex Strut fly-in.
LAA Strut News
Anne Hughes

“Happily, our event-planning skills, although rusty, proved equal to the task of the day. I certainly learned a bit about marshalling – my first proper experience of waving colourful bats at aeroplanes! It was a delight to see flying friends meeting, chatting and looking at aeroplanes after such a long absence. Here’s to a good season ahead.”

Looking ahead to 28 August, the Aeronca Club of Great Britain, one of the LAA’s Member Clubs, will be celebrating its 30th birthday. The Club was set up in 1992 by two former Chairmen of the VAC, John Broad and Alan Biggs, who co-owned Aeronca Champ G-AJON. Alan and John were joined on the committee by Roger Jones, editor of the PFA magazine Popular Flying, and by Pete White. With the inaugural meeting having been at White Waltham, the club will return there for the celebration.

Pete White has been the Club’s chairman since he took over from Alan in 1997. Pete is also Chairman of the Cornwall Strut based at Bodmin, and is co-owner of Aeronca Chief G-IVOR. I am pleased to confirm that the combination of Pete and IVOR, along with a beautiful summer day, made a flight around the north Cornish coast a delightful and memorable experience for me last year! The club usually holds six fly-in events for members and Aeronca owners can be found across the country. The Vintage Aircraft Club and LAA are holding a combined event at Bodmin in July.

Highlands and Islands and East of Scotland Struts are making plans for summer, where the long daylight hours in Scotland make for superb conditions both for flying and taking aerial photos. Published in its monthly newsletters, the views are enviably stunning and, by the time you read this column, the LAA Scottish Tour will doubtless have reported back on the combination of mountain scenery and seascapes as viewed from above.

We are now into the season of fly-ins, BBQs and real aviation activities across the UK.

I am always happy to receive both photographic and written accounts for this column, which can be sent to the email address below. ■

Strut Calendar

Please contact your local Strut to check the details before attending the calendar events.

Andover Strut: Spitfire Club, Popham Airfield, SO21 3BD. 1930. 9 June – Bums-on-Seats Evening followed by Fish & Chip Supper, 1700 start. Contact Bob Howarth email:bobhowarth99@ Phone no. 01980 611124

Bristol Strut: BAWA Club, Filton, 1930. BAWA Club, Filton, 1930. 7 June – National Police Air Service. Contact:

Cornwall Strut: The Clubhouse, Bodmin Airfield. 11 June – Grasshopper Gathering; 19 June – Fly UK Microlights; 23/24 July – VAC and LAA Fly-In; 31 July – Lundy Sunday. Contact Pete White 01752 406660

Devon Strut: 18 June Fly-In to Farway Common; 16 July – Farway Common; 30 July – MiddleZoy. The Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter. 1930. Contact:

East of Scotland Strut: 18/19 June

– Easter Airfield Summer Solstice Fly-In; 9/10 July – Lamb Holm; 30 July – Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. Harrow Hotel, Dalkeith. 2000. Contact: inrgibson001@btinternet. com 0131 339 2351.

East Midlands Strut: The Plough, Normanton on Soar. 13 June – AGM. Contact: We also have a Facebook group and upload recordings of some meetings where we have speakers.

Gloster Strut: Summer venue Croft Farm, Defford, WR8 9BN. If flying in PPR phone 07767 606172. Contact: Harry Hopkins phone 07902 650619 harry.

Highlands & Islands: 9/10 July – Lamb Holm; 30/31 July – Easter Airfield, Strut Fly-In. Highland Aviation, Inverness Airport. Contact: b.w.spence@btinternet. com 01381 620535.

Kent Strut: 30 June – Strut BBQ at Ripple. Cobtree Manor Golf Club, Maidstone, Kent. 2000. Contact: Steve Hoskins 07768 984507.

LiNSY Trent Valley Strut: Trent Valley Gliding Club, Kirton Lindsey. pilotbarry1951@gmail. com http://

North East Strut: Fishburn Airfield. Brunch the third Sunday of each month. 1130-1330 at Fishburn Aviator Cafe. Contact:

North Western Strut: Veterans Lounge, Barton, Manchester, 1930 for 2000. Contact: 07813 497427.

North Wales Strut: Caernarfon Airport, Dinas Dinlle. First Sunday of the month –HEMS Bistro Café. 1300. Contact: Gareth Roberts 07876 483414.

Oxford Group: Sturdy’s Castle Country Inn, Banbury Road, Kidlington, OX5 3EP. Second Wednesday each month. June: TBC; 13 July – Strut BBQ TBA. Contact: www.oxfordlaa.

Redhill Strut: The Dog and Duck, Outwood, Surrey, RH1 5QU. Third Tuesday of each month at 1930. Contact:

Shobdon Strut: Hotspur Café, Shobdon Airfield, Hereford HR6 9NR. 1930. 14 July – Travis Ludlow, the youngest pilot to fly around the world. Contact: Keith Taylor

Southern Strut: The Swiss Cottage, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5TD. First Wednesday of the month 2000. 6 July

– GASCo Safety Evening. Contact:

Strathtay Strut: Scottish Aero Club, Perth Airport, Scone. Scone Clubhouse. Contact: keith.boardman@peopleserve. 07785 244146.

Suffolk Coastal Strut: Earl Stonham Village Hall, IP14 5HJ – 19.30. 10 June – Gliding Evening at Tibenham (from mid/ late-afternoon) 9 July – Annual Strut

Fly-in at Monewden Airfield – PPR at 10 July – Strut Day at Monewden, including Aerial Treasure Hunt. Contact: Martyn Steggalls uk / 07790 925142

The Joystick Club: 5 June and 3 July – @Shuttleworth Air Show with pedal planes and simulator. Contact Mike Clews, 07775 847914.

Vale of York Strut: Chocks Away Café, Rufforth East Airfield.1900. Contact: Chris Holliday 07860 787801 www.

Wessex Strut: Henstridge Airfield Clubhouse. Check Wessex Strut website. 9 July – Strut BBQ at MiddleZoy (Wessex Strut members and friends). Contact: neil.

West Midlands Strut: Navigator Café, Halfpenny Green Aerodrome 1930. Contact: Graham Wiley westmidlandslaastrut@googlegroups. com Stuart Darby stuartdarby134@

West of Scotland Strut: Bowfield Country Club, Howwood, PA9 1DZ. 1900. Contact: Neil Geddes barnbethnkg@ 01505 612493.

Youth & Education Support (YES)

– YES stand at Shuttleworth Air Shows. Contact Stewart Luck. captainluck@

NB: Thank you to all Struts and clubs for getting in touch.

If you have any stories, items you wish to share or updates for the calendar, please contact me at

June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 49 LAA Strut News
John Whitfi eld Neil Wilson

Aeronca Club of Great Britain – 30 years strong!

Pete White looks back on 30 fabulous years of Aeronca friendship…

Nearly 30 years ago on 28 August 1992, a collection of Aeronca aircraft attended the Air Britain Classic Aircraft Fly-in at White Waltham, sowing the seeds for the formation of The Aeronca Club of Great Britain. Instigated by Alan Biggs and John Broad, his fellow group member in Aeronca Champion G-AJON, the day at White Waltham was a great success and Alan signed up several members to the new Club. Looking back now, only one of the original team is still flying Aeronca aircraft – and that is Reg McComish. He attended that inaugural Fly-in with his wife Vera in their Aeronca Super Chief G-BRCW, but he now flies an Aeronca L3B Defender G-BRHP.

In creating the new Club, Alan was soon joined by the then editor of the PFA magazine, Roger Jones, who flew Aeronca Chief G-BRXL, decked out in US military marks with the charming handle of Fat Bullet. Then I, the present

Above Aeronca Chief G-IVOR.

Below Aeronca C3s at Old Warden.

Bottom Aeronca K.

Below left Aeronca owners, pilots and friends - at Badminton.

Aeronca Club chairman, who was away in France on a family holiday for the initial event, soon joined Alan and Roger at the helm to help organise the Club and the events. The Club grew and established itself as a worthy and very active ‘type club’, which enabled owners / operators to keep in contact and meet at regular fly-ins around the UK, with occasional trips to France and Ireland.

Roger Jones left the fold in 1994, and in 1997 Alan Biggs passed the reins to me, and I have been running the Club ever since. The Aeronca Club has successfully

50 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022

maintained that same initial casual approach but has gained more useful contacts worldwide for advice and spares, with the help of the Club website (www.aeronca., started by Bob Swan and then passed on to Jon Turner and it is now in the capable hands of Seth White.

The stalwarts on the committee that assist Pete White in the running of the Club are Alan Crutcher (Aeronca Chief G-BRWR), Reg McComish (Aeronca L3B Defender G-BRHP), Rich Valler (Aeronca Champion G-TIMP), Derek Boyce (Champion G-BPFM – aircraft now sold) and John Colgate (who shares the Aeronca Chief G-IVOR with me). A great bunch of owners and pilots of the Aeronca breed, a type that is very special in the world of US Classics.

Over the years the Club has visited many airfields in the UK and shared some events with other Classic type Clubs for example, the Vintage Piper Aircraft Club and European Luscombes. Mind you, the Tours of France and Ireland were always highlights of the Aeronca calendar and were certainly the route to great adventures. Just picture, anything from six to 12 ageing Aeroncas meandering around French airspace taking in the history and delights that the landscape offers and leapfrogging from airfield to airfield.

As with all of the Aeronca events in the UK the majority of the participants usually camped under the wing of their aircraft. There was much fun cooking up breakfast on small petrol stoves using locally sourced supplies, including airfield mushrooms if available. All of this after the previous evening of merriment and friendly banter at a local hostelry, which adds a very special feel to the package.

The Aeronca Club hold about six fly-ins a year around the UK and stay in touch using email to assist the members and other enthusiasts to make their ownership and flying of Aeronca aircraft to be as pleasurable as is possible.

The Club celebrated the 20th year anniversary with a superb fly-in at Badminton Airfield with the special help from the late Martin Ryan who, as an honorary member, attended most of our events and tours with his magnificent Stinson 108. Thanks Martin, you were a gentleman and will be sorely missed.

Suddenly it is 2022… and the 30th year of the Aeronca Club of Great Britain. So in addition to the list of planned fly-ins there is a special ‘birthday’ event at White Waltham Air Britain Classic Fly-in on 25-26 June. It is where it all started 30 years ago! Also the Aeronca Club is returning to its much-loved tours, but staying in the UK this time and travelling around East Anglia with a particular wish to visit as many historic sites as possible.

Part of the joy of Aeronca ownership is being able to self-maintain the aircraft through the LAA Permit to fly system and it gives you the unique opportunity to really

‘get to know’ your aircraft. The Club endeavours to help its members by sourcing parts or information and this has secured contacts in different parts of the globe who share the same passion to keep Aeronca aircraft flying. ■

Pete White, Chairman 01752 406660 | 07805 805679

Above Aeronca Sedan Above Aeronca Chief and DC-3 at North Weald.
June 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION 51
Above The joys of camping with a Champ! Above Aeronca Defender.
Type Club
Aeronca Club
Great Britain: Flying Events 2022 25-26 June White Waltham – Air Britain Classic Fly-in (Aeronca UK 30. White Waltham Radio 122.605) 01628 823272 1-4 July East Anglia – A Club Tour of airfields in Norfolk/Suffolk 01752 406660 23-24 July Bodmin – VAC visit to the West & Meet the LAA Day 01208 821419 2-4 Sept Popham – LAA Grass Roots Rally 1 Oct Compton Abbas – Vintage Fly-in 01747 811767
Above Aeronca Champ.


Aselection of events for the beginning of the year, and some you might want to plan for in the summer months. While they’ve yet to publish a list of events, don’t forget GASCo are running some Safety Evenings up and down the country. Keep an eye on its website,, for further updates. As always, check the Royal Aero Club Events


3 Old Warden Jubilee fly-in

4 Compton Abbas Vintage fly-in (PPR)

4-5 Pitsford FoxFest Kitfox fly-in (PPR)

5 Fenland Yak fly-in

5 Duxford D-Day flying day

10-12 Guernsey Guernsey Air Rally

11 Sleap SAC VW-powered fly-in

11 Welshpool VPAC fly-in

11 Bodmin Grasshopper gathering (PPR)

11 Blackbushe 80th Anniversary fly-in (PPR)

11-12 Barton LAC Centenary fly-in (PPR)

11-19 Aston Down BGA Gliding competition

18 Farway Common LAA Devon Strut fly-in

18 Barton David Gray memorial fly-in (PPR)

18 Old Warden Shuttleworth Militar Evening Air Show

18-19 Duxford IWM Summer Air Show (PPR) 18-19 Easter Summer Solstice fly-in (PPR) 19 Priory Farm Father’s Day fly-in & BBQ (PPR) 23

25-26 Breighton VAC fly-in (PPR)

25-26 Hinderclay Meadow Suffolk Soaring Midsummer fly-in (PPR)

25-26 White Waltham Aeronca Club 30th with Air Britain

26 Kittyhawk fly-in & BBQ (PPR)

25-03 Bidford-on-Avon BGA gliding comp


website for the latest information and web links for many of the events:

As always, our thanks to the RAeC and to Dave Wise for the use of their data.

If you have an event you want to advertise on the list, please email the details to Dave at:

1-2 Leeds East Private Flyer (pre-register)




Planning ahead…

Jul 26- Aug 1 Oshkosh, WI. USA EAA AirVenture

Aug 1 Duxford IWM Young Aviators Flying Day (pre-book)

Aug 5-7 Rufforth East LAA Vale of York Strut fly-in & Meet the LAA [PPR]

Aug 6 Compton Abbas Vintage fly-in

Aug 6-7 Leicester BAeA Competition

Aug 7 Old Warden Family airshow (PPR)

Aug 12-14 Schaffen-Diest 37th Old timers and ultralights fly-in

Aug 13 Bodmin Cornish Pasty fly-in (PPR)

Aug 13 Beccles VPAC fly-in

Aug 13 Leicester STOLfest & fly-in

Aug 13-21 Lasham BGA gliding competition

Aug 19-21 Breighton Vintage Aerobatic World Championship

Aug 20 Old Warden Flying Proms (PPR)

Sept 2-4 Popham LAA Grass Roots fly-in

Sept 2-4 Connington BAeA Nationals

Sept 4 Old Warden Shuttleworth Steam & Vintage Air show

Sept 10 Bodmin LAA Cornwall Strut fly-in (PPR)

Sept 17 Rougham fly-in & Meet the LAA day (PPR)

52 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
Popham Evening BBQ & fly-in
Goodwood Festival of Speed 24-26 Alderney Alderney fly-in
Middle Wallop AFM Wings and Wheels
Compton Abbas Vintage fly-in
Deenethorpe VAC and Bulldog fly-in
Fenland Bulldog fly-in
Popham Andover Strut and Bolkow fly-in
Seething Lunch fly-in and WWII Control Tower open day
Compton Abbas BAeA competition
Monewden LAA Suffolk Coastal strut Spirit of Boxted fly-in (PPR) 9-10 Sleap Sleapkosh fly-in and show (PPR) 9-10 Goodwood UK round of World Championship Air Race 9-10 Headcorn Stampe Club fly-in 15-17 Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo 16 Old Warden Evening Air Show (PPR) 16 Breighton G-George Day (PPR) 16 Beverley VPAC fly-in 16 Branscombe LAA Devon Strut fly-in 16-17 North Coates Wings & Wheels 23 Duxford IWM American flying day (PPR) 23-24 Brienne le Chateau RSA Rally 23-24 Bodmin VAC fly-in & Meet the LAA Day 23-24 Farway Common European Luscombe fly-in (pre-register) 23-24 Newtownards Ulster FC fly-in 23-24 Sleap BAeA competition 23-24 Sollas SAC beach landing fly-in 28 Popham Evening BBQ fly-in 30 Kilkeel Mourne FC fly-in 31 Lundy Lundy Island fly-in (PPR)
Where to go
Price exclude P+P.
Chasing the Morning Sun by Manuel Queiroz. Signed copy £18.00 LAA Baseball Cap £12.50
LAA branded Navy coloured peaked caps. Made from brushed cotton and has an adjustable strap at the back to fit all sizes.
100 % cotton, extremely versatile and stylish. Available in Navy, Green, Charcoal, Red & White. Sizes: M,L & XL.
LAA Coloured polo tops £18.00



For use in July, we’ve got four great free landings for you to enjoy. One is in the UK at Bagby, and as we live in hope that summer brings the opportunity to venture further afield, we have three from our friends at Newcastle, Sligo and Dublin Weston Airports in

Ireland to share with you. Our thanks to these airfields for supporting our LAA members landing voucher scheme. Please be sure to thank them for their participation by buying fuel for your aircraft, or visiting their cafe!


Free Landing July 2022

Bagby Airfield North Yorkshire 01845-597385

A grass airfield with a great welcome, situated in the Vale of York, three miles south of Thirsk in North Yorkshire. Bagby provides a base for visiting aeroplanes for refuelling, lunch and overnight stays. Well located for Thirsk, Harrogate, York and the Moors for a holiday or short visit. Club house offers food and drink 0900 to 1700 daily. No overhead or dead side joins. Avoid flying over Bagby and Thirkleby villages. The 8.33 radio is 123.255 but not always manned, so please make calls as normal.



Free Landing For July 2022

Newcastle near Dublin 00353 86239 4417

Placed south of Dublin, right next to the coast and near the scenic Wicklow mountains, Newcastle makes a good place to start or finish your Irish visit. A very friendly airfield with avgas available, low parking rates, maintenance and checks if required; this is a good place to tour the south-east of the Republic of Ireland and Dublin. PPR is required please. Taxis and car hire can be arranged in advance. A café is on site, washroom and shower facilities, and a briefing room to help with any planning you may need.


Free Landing July 2022

Sligo Airfield 00353-71916 8461

A wonderful location to visit. Positioned on the coast, flying into Sligo offers fantastic views and photographic opportunities. A friendly welcome is guaranteed, as the airport management and local flyers are very keen for UK-based pilots to visit and tour the area. Ireland can look its best during this time of year, plus the Guinness tastes better over there as well, but please remember the ‘drink and fly’ rules. A great area for walks, fishing and golf. Radio 122.10

Free Landing July 2022

Dublin Weston Airport 00 353 (01) 6217300

A new airport in Ireland has joined us. Situated on the western outskirts of Dublin City, it is ideal for a weekend away or touring. Situated in Class C airspace, RWY 25/07. Radio Frequency is 122.4 call sign ‘Weston Tower’. Visiting aircraft from the UK with Irish or UK Passport holders require 24 hours notice and a GAR Form shall be submitted on Phone 353 (0)1 6217300. See website for arrival and more information

Landing vouchers 36 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2021 ✁
✁ 54 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022
LIGHT ✁ Ireland offer Ireland offer Ireland offer
JULY 2022
TL-Sting S4 LAA Permit aircraft OR BMAA Light Sport Microlight (600Kg) See 0800 5999 101 stein pilot insurance There’s just one specialist on radar Life Insurance FOR PILOTS



Battery powered ground handling tug for tailwheel aircraft. Dry cell, Forward/Reverse, variable speed. Engages/raises tailwheel. Suitable for grass and hard surfaces large wheels, demount for transport in car boot.

For all display or commercial advertising enquiries please contact Neil Wilson: 07512 773532

You can email your classified advertisement direct to the LAA at the following address:

Deadline for booking and copy: 17 June 2022

If you would like to place an aircraft for sale advert please see details below:


Up to 30 words: £6; 31-50 words: £12

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £45


Up to 30 words: £22; 31-50 words: £44

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £60

LAA Engineering advice to buyers:

AIRCRAFT APPROVED? Members and readers should note that the inclusion of all advertisements in the commercial or classified sections of this magazine does not necessarily mean that the product or service is approved by the LAA. In particular, aircraft types, or examples of types advertised, may not, for a variety of reasons, be of a type or standard that is eligible for the issue of a LAA Permit to Fly. You should not assume that an aircraft type not currently on the LAA accepted type list will eventually be accepted.

IMPORTED AIRCRAFT? Due to unfavourable experiences, the purchase and import of completed homebuilt aircraft from abroad is especially discouraged.

TIME TO BUILD? When evaluating kits/designs, it should borne in mind that technical details, performance figures and handling characteristics are often quoted for a factory-produced aircraft flying under ideal conditions. It is wise, therefore, to seek the opinion of existing builders and owners of the type. You should also take your own skill and circumstances into consideration when calculating build times. The manufacturer’s build time should be taken as a guide only.

AMATEUR BUILDING All LAA aircraft builders and potential builders are reminded that in order to qualify for a LAA Permit to Fly, homebuilt aircraft must be genuinely amateur built. For these purposes the CAA provide a definition of amateur built in their publication CAP 659, available from LAA. An extract from CAP 659 reads “The building and operation of the aircraft will be solely for the education and recreation of the amateur builder. This means that he would not be permitted to commission someone else to build his aircraft”. An aircraft built outside the CAA’s definition could result in an expensive garden ornament.

Jabiru 400. Superb example from quick build kit. Always hangared. Total airframe and engine time 680. LAA Permit until November 2022. Cockpit - IMC capable, Garmin G5, Garmin 255A VHF NAV/COM Radio with VOR and ILS, Transponder, Garmin 296 GPS, Electrical gyro Standby Horizon. £46,000. Tel. 0752 784 6947 OR

Lycoming O320 parts for sale, new, with 8130-3’s: Cylinder kit 05K21100 with installed valves, piston 75089, rings, pin & plugs, gasket set. Camshaft LW-18840 & tappets kit 05K22754. Each £1,000 ono. Email tel +35386174477.

1929 Display sectioned DH Gipsy 1 engine on wheeled stand. There is a strong possibility this was Amy Johnson’s engine from Jason. U.K. to Australia. Email: for full details.

Tiger Moth Parts For Sale: Engine frames, Side Fuselage X tubes, Cabane Struts, and Tailcones, most other Tiger Moth Parts available. Genuine enquiries relating to a purchase only please, giving specific part details or part numbers Tel. Shelly 07941 130 585


Viking SF-2A Cygnet for sale. PFA award winning 2 seat Rotax 912 powered Group A light aeroplane, first flown in 2021 and Permit till September 2022. Free first renewal. STOL performance and docile handling. Cruises at 95 knots on 13 litres of Mogas per hour. Modern instruments, Mode S and new radio. Started by Rolls Royce engineer, finished by LAA Inspector. Very low hours. New project started. See November 2021 edition of Light Aviation magazine. Offers over £25,000. Hangarage available near Lewes East Sussex. Contact P. Kember on 07801 721128

Kitfox Mk4 G-BTKD for sale. Rotax 582, 784 hours, Permit until October 2022. Bereavement sale. £10,000. Please call - 07871 983048 or e mail -

1/6 share 1948 Cessna C120. Hangared Old Warden. Established group, excellent availability, well maintained. £50ph, £90pcm, £2,750. Jeff on

Stampe SV4 1/6 Share £10,000 G-OODE. Excellent example in very good condition, inverted fuel & oil. Hangered Headcorn, good availability inc. weekends. Online booking system (Goboko). Fuselage recovered 2015. Wings recovered 2018. New cylinders 2020. Monthly Costs £200, healthy Engine fund, £125 wet per hour. James Barrett – 07847 891479


Design & Stress Analysis Service. Type submissions, modifications, engine frames and general advice. We cover everything from SSDR to A380:- structures, powerplant (IC and electric) and avionic installations. Contact John Wighton or call 07770399315.

Reluctant sale Zenith CH601HD, excellent condition £28,000 ono. Air Squadron Trophy winner 2013. UL260i engine - less than 15 litres/ hour, mogas,UL91, 100LL. DUC Swirl Inconel propellor, Dynon D180 FlightDek, analogue ALT and ASI, Filser ATR833 radio, Filser TRT800 transponder. email: tel: 01725 512545


JPM, Oil filter adapters. Made to order, Continental O-200 -12 from £360 and A65 -8 from £430. All oil filter adapter kits are LAA approved via TADS document, E05.

Julian Mills 07976 530 563

WELDING SERVICES (Mobile). CAA approved for 4130 steel airframes manufacture and repair. Custom exhaust systems and aluminium fuel tanks undertaken. Cheshire based – contact Julian Mills on 07976 530 563 or e mail

Light Aircraft Weighing Service in East Yorkshire and surrounding area. For details contact Demraview Ltd. Email: Mob: 07984 810 761



56 | LI GHT AVIATION | June 2022
Classifieds June
Email your classified advertisement direct to the LAA:


A & N nuts bolts washers or British Standard ones. Also 3/4 wide X 4 ft of strip spring steel.


Wing Aerodynamicist, CD designer & 3 D modelling specialists to assist on exciting new project. No money involved. Just the fun & satisfaction of solving a design problem

Email: for full details.


Classic Zenair Zenith CH200/250 airframe offered with few fittings but essentially structurally complete approved design, plans set 2-590, priced to sell at £2,950 apply for info pack

Taylor JT2 Titch mostly complete fire wall back, basic instruments, canopy u/c etc. All work signed off, ill health reason for reluctant sale. Tony 07938 814170

Project for sale due to the sad death of the restorer. Unique Nord 858/9, designed for glider towing. Dismantled and in storage awaiting restoration. Contact P Lovegrove. Tel: 07967 135376

For all display and company advertising contact Neil Wilson




Don’t risk it with water absorbing E5 and E10 fuels (mogas). WARTER UL91 and 100LL aviation fuels are ethanol free, storage stable and have a vapour pressure suitable for ying.

Please call for more information.

June 2022 | L IGHT AVIATION | 57
TRANSPORTATION Contact us now for a quotation Telephone: 0121 327 8000 E-mail: Web: Aircraft Transportation Specialists Specialist vehicles to move your aircraft safely
Anglo American Oil Company +44 (0)
despatch, UK-wide,
Available in 55 and 195
drums for immediate
on a next day basis.
SPORTYS.COM/COURSES SPORTY’S PILOT TRAINING APP 25 Courses Available LightAviation_2022.indd 1 12/23/21 3:45 PM
No Ethanol Safe flying

FROM THE ARCHIVES The stories behind items in the LAA’s collection


While the March 1957 issue wasn’t the first publication (as early as 1947, the Ultra Light Aircraft Association produced the ULAA Bulletin, which consisted of a number of types duplicated pages stapled together), in 1957 it was decided to produce a printed magazine and Popular Flying was born.

Or, rather, re-born. The title Popular Flying had been used for a monthly magazine created between 1933 and 1939 by Captain W E Johns, author of the Biggles’ series. Given that Association’s name had changed from the Ultra Light Aircraft Association to the Popular Flying Association some years earlier, the title was secured with the permission of Johns, and edited by former guards officer and air display commentator John Blake.

Popular Flying magazine was made available to members and also offered for sale with a cover price of one shilling and sixpence per copy – 7½p in today’s money.

The first edition featured a cover picture of a DHC-1 Chipmunk from a batch of 62, which had been sold by W S Shackleton after being ‘demobbed’ from RAF service. It also included the first of a series of articles by Arthur W J G Ord-Hume, entitled The Amateur Aircraft Constructor’s Guide

Meanwhile, there was a report on a trip to Paris to ‘iron out a few Turbulent drawings’ with Roger Druine, adding that Druine’s new Condor drawings, redrawn for the homebuilder, were to be available imminently and the ‘Aviation Diary’ showed that what was to be the first PFA Rally, would take place on 14/15 September 1957. Steve Slater

58 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2022 From the archives
0RDERONLINE LAS AEROSPACE LTD TEL: 01837 658081 LAS AEROSPACE LTD Concorde House, North Road Industrial Estate, Okehampton,Devon EX20 1BQ TEL: 01837 658081
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.