All FLPHG stuff goes here

uvflyer wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:33 am
I only see plusses 8) , thats good!
Okay. Now for the negatives.
  • A loss of that "challenge" of staying aloft, which is an inspiration and motivator all in itself. At first it can be like activating "God Mode" in a first-person shooter game, but the novelty can quickly wear off. You need to be creative and able to set yourself tasks.
    - Constant vigilance for other air traffic.
    - Restraint in posting all your mid-winter FLPHG videos when your fellow free-fliers haven't been able to fly for months.
    - Assume that your engine will fail at any time. (No flying low over water, forest, built-up areas or other places where there are no landing options.)
    - Much more detailed checks for corrosion, fouling, fatigue cracks and loose fittings.
    - Finding other FLPHG buddies to fly with (you may be the only one in your local area).
    - I don't carry my bags with me, so if I ever have to land out somewhere, packing up my gear will be more difficult.
    - I can only walk in a forwards direction when on the ground (the rear skids won't let you walk backwards).
Yes the first bullet is the one I hope is not to bad. I think I should just forbid myself to turn on the engine again before I really cannot stay up anymore. And another downside is that I'll probably fly alone (most of the times). Now Im flying with others.

What do you guys think about pull start vs electric? I see a second hand one online that doesn't have an electric start and external fuel tank which I don't like so much
I don't turn my engine off unless I have a landing option. The reason is that I might flood the engine when I try to restart (10-20% chance, I recon). From cold, I start with choke but no throttle. As soon as the engine coughs, I go 1/4 throttle and no choke. It usually starts then. If no start, I repeat with choke and no throttle. This usually works, but I end up flooding the engine 10-20% of the time. (I am open to suggestions on how to improve my mid-air technique.)

Also, when idling for an extended period, the plug can foul. I suggest you test your engine and see how long you can fly with the engine idling until it stops. I don't like to idle it for more than about 10 minutes. After that, I give the engine a little bit of a run to clean the plug, before idling again.

Pull vs. electric start. I find electric to be fine, but with some cautions regarding battery and maintenance. Firstly, get rid of the stock Ni-Cad battery. It is heavy, weak and takes overnight to charge. I use a Lithium-Ferrous-Phosphate (not a Li-Po) battery. Its cranking power and stamina is far superior to the Ni-Cad, it weighs half as much, and it charges in less than 40 minutes. (The catch is that you need a voltmeter to care for the battery properly. Never let the resting voltage drop below 12.8 V, and never charge to above 14.6 V) I use an Ultrabatt single cell. Ref: www.ultrabatt.com .
Secondly, periodically service your starter motor. Eventually the carbon brushes will need replacing, plus carbon dust from the brushes can build up inside the housing. If left un-serviced, your starter motor could die after a couple of busy seasons. (I will have mine serviced at the end of this season.)
It is better to have both electric start & pull start on your harness. Obviously things are easier with an electric starter, especially if you are rigging and taking off alone.
The stock battery is crap (as mentioned already), I also have a homemade LiFe battery delivering 16.4V to start the engine. I even have jump cables to start the motor with the help of my car should the need arise.
If you buy a harness with external tank you can invest in an internal tank conversion kit, cost around 500 euro.
I have heard of one pilot with pull-start-only who rigged his pull start (by lengthening the cord, adding a pulley and a foot stirrup) to become like a kick starter. He claimed that he could do mid-air restarts this way.
I am happy to continue with electric start only, but with regular preventative maintenance of the starter motor. I figure that money spent on periodic starter motor servicing is money well spent.
As for my battery, I check the resting voltage at the end of each flying day and the day before I fly. Once it drops to 13.0 volts, I top up the charge. The little $10 digital voltmeter is perfect for the job, and is essential equipment as far as I am concerned.

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