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  • #31
    Low priced Sails for SSDR

    Paul Dewhurst wrote:
    Buy a copy for SSDR if you like, but buy it eyes wide open form a position of informed knowledge, - what scares me is people purely buying from a cost standpoint with no knowledge of the complexities involved. And not all suppliers may be worthy of uninformed trust.

    Paul
    Paul...
    Who are "all suppliers"?
    I am specifically referring to Ace Aviation.
    The simple fact is, there is no competition here in the U.K.
    Prices can be set at whatever P&M want them to be.
    If Ace Aviation can manufacture the same wing for considerably less isn't that good for the customer?
    What worries me Paul is the prices keep ongoing higher and higher and there is no alternative.

    Comment


    • #32
      Low priced Sails for SSDR

      Bob Hood BMAA 3300 wrote: Paul D and Wayne,

      I think you are both arguing about different things here.

      Wayne is supporting Ace Aviation and John Penry-Evans's expertise in the field of wing design and manufacture as being at least on a par with that of P+M, as it was John who was the expert and taught a couple of P+M sail makers how to make sails. So in theory, he has better knowledge of the field than P+M do.

      Paul D is supporting P+M's expertise in the field of wing design and manufacture as being superior to anyone else's on P+M specific wings.

      You're both right! They both do what you say. The problem here is that Wayne is arguing for the talents of John Penry-Evans in particular as being equal to those of P+M when it comes to making safe wings.

      Paul D is saying that P+M are the de-facto experts on their own wings, and anyone else may try to copy, but they can never match the in-depth knowledge of P+M themselves on their own wings.

      So Wayne is arguing for a specific person's talent to design, whether based on other people's designs or not, whereas Paul is arguing against a more general support for cheap copies as he sees these as inherently inferior to the original.

      As an aside on this, I remember listening to Brian Milton one day telling a group of us about how the Brits beat an American team of HG pilots back in the late 70's. He said he managed to get hold of one of the American wings, and told his HG sail making friends here to copy it if our team was to have any hope at all of matching the performance of the American team. They did, and our team won, so in that particular instance, the copy beat the original design on performance. Food for thought eh?

      Best regards,
      As always Bob you make some very good points.
      Watching one of your videos is partly the reason I began flying, along with a open day at North Coates and a chat with the then CFI, Rob McKellar.
      However times have moved on.
      I remember specifically in 2005 the airfield was bustling and we were buying new Quik's and GT450's and life was great.
      Then we had the downturn in the economy and people wee tightening there belts.
      Rotax continued to put up there prices and P&M followed suit.
      Two prime examples of a competitive free market. P&M and Rotax.
      There is no alternative.
      Paul D obviously has to pin his loyalty to P&M.
      It'st ime to take the blinkers off.
      Remember the motto, "Microlighting, affordable aviation".
      That motto is is flying high and true with John and Ace Aviation.

      Comment


      • #33
        Low priced Sails for SSDR

        Kev,
        May I correct you slightly. The sail you refer to that was interesting to fly was made by the approved sail maker. It was a different colour to usual sails and was drum tight. I did purchase a sail from a non approved maker but was ultimately unable to fit it under the permit regime. I was very fortunate to have an understanding supplier who took the sail back from me. The interesting sail was tamed though by retuning the wing using all the available wing adjustments.

        Rich

        Comment


        • #34
          Low priced Sails for SSDR

          Thanks Rich

          Your experience echoes others, in that factory sails need setting up and are no guarantee of instant perfection.

          I mailed John about materials and got this...

          (quote from Ace email)

          QuotCustomer / Agent USA for Q2 sails. These were not regulated in the USA until around 2007 / 8 (As you know so were almost like SSDR. They also have experimental class over there.
          Q2 Customer comments >>>>>>>>>>This is a good Q2 replacement sail. There are a number of areas where the sail maker / Ace Aviation has used his experience to improve the original sail and the quality of work is generally very high.

          The wing tip stitching has been cleverly covered up by the addition of a sewn-on patch on the leading edge tip. This has the advantage of protecting the stitching from UV. ( Me - - - - - What ever anyone says you DO NOT want this critical anchorage point of the wing tip to have any UV degradation at all. Reason why we always protect the critical wing tip webbing stitches with a separate cloth cover that makes sure the UV rays have little effect on the stitches. P&M`s sails at this high stress point are exposed to the sun - - - what hope have we got? ).

          Flight tests Q2 --------- The sail has been flown approximately 5 hours

          The Q2 wing performed flawlessly through shallow turns, steep turns, and mild turbulence. Stalls and stall recovery was normal both from straight and level flight and turning flight. High energy manoeuvres, including spiral dive and spiral dive recovery were all performed and the wing showed no unusual recovery or reaction to being placed in these unusual conditions.

          Customer / Agent USA Chaser / Prowler sails.

          Hi John, Your sails compared to the original; The wings are faster, I think your customer in the UK should have similar results. Your sails have a better wing shape. If you remember the first sails you made for me, we changed the fence (the narrow piece of sail cloth joining the upper and lower surface at the Wing tip) it made for a smoother transition from the root airfoil to tip airfoil. Your sails also have a better leading edge shape, with fewer flat spots and wrinkles in between the inboard battens. All my Prowler guys that have flown the wings agree that they fly better.
          Customer / Agent USA for Q2 sails. These were not regulated in the USA until around 2007 / 8 (As you know so were almost like SSDR. They also have experimental class over there.
          Q2 Customer comments >>>>>>>>>>This is a good Q2 replacement sail. There are a number of areas where the sail maker / Ace Aviation has used his experience to improve the original sail and the quality of work is generally very high.

          The wing tip stitching has been cleverly covered up by the addition of a sewn-on patch on the leading edge tip. This has the advantage of protecting the stitching from UV. ( Me - - - - - What ever anyone says you DO NOT want this critical anchorage point of the wing tip to have any UV degradation at all. Reason why we always protect the critical wing tip webbing stitches with a separate cloth cover that makes sure the UV rays have little effect on the stitches. P&M`s sails at this high stress point are exposed to the sun - - - what hope have we got? ).

          Flight tests Q2 --------- The sail has been flown approximately 5 hours

          The Q2 wing performed flawlessly through shallow turns, steep turns, and mild turbulence. Stalls and stall recovery was normal both from straight and level flight and turning flight. High energy manoeuvres, including spiral dive and spiral dive recovery were all performed and the wing showed no unusual recovery or reaction to being placed in these unusual conditions.

          Customer / Agent USA Chaser / Prowler sails.

          Hi John, Your sails compared to the original; The wings are faster, I think your customer in the UK should have similar results. Your sails have a better wing shape. If you remember the first sails you made for me, we changed the fence (the narrow piece of sail cloth joining the upper and lower surface at the Wing tip) it made for a smoother transition from the root airfoil to tip airfoil. Your sails also have a better leading edge shape, with fewer flat spots and wrinkles in between the inboard battens. All my Prowler guys that have flown the wings agree that they fly better.
          G-KEVA
          BMAA 5696

          "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

          R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire

          Comment


          • #35
            Low priced Sails for SSDR

            It all comes down to the fact that a pattern sail may fit an existing airframe, but its not the same sail. It might be better or it might be worse. It might even be the same sail, but without access to the original design you can't be sure - they may have taken a pattern from an example at one extreme of the design tolerances.

            A pattern sail maker could load and flight test their sail to show their own Section S compliance if they so wish. They should still be competitive with offshore manufacture.

            But currently, they haven't, so for 2 seat you have to stick with the originals. Single seat, up to you, try one and see!

            It's good there is an option, but you can't really complain if your 20-25 year old aircraft is now so cheap second-hand that its hard to justify new parts. How many of you are driving 20-25 year old cars, and how many would fit a brand new engine to one if they kill it in the floods?!

            Planes seem to be much longer lasting and better value!

            Cheers,
            Paul W.

            Comment


            • #36
              Low priced Sails for SSDR

              I believe my 'ersatz' Chaser sail referred to in my post above IS Richard's sail that was copied but ultimately he was unable to fit under the old permit scheme. (It's blue and white, which I believe he wanted when all available 'legal' stock was red and white.) It flew like a dog on original fitting, but when I returned the battens to factory original, it handled exactly like the old sail did with batten profiles that were all over the shop! My only criticism is that the top and bottom surfaces at the tips are not quite aligned, so that rotating them downwards from where they look 'right', to increase hands-off speed results in wrinkles on the top surface. Doesn't seem to affect flying characteristics and they look no worse than a QuikR...
              Dave

              Comment


              • #37
                Low priced Sails for SSDR

                Wayne Lofts wrote:

                Paul D obviously has to pin his loyalty to P&M.
                It'st ime to take the blinkers off.
                Remember the motto, "Microlighting, affordable aviation".
                That motto is is flying high and true with John and Ace Aviation.
                Hi Wayne - why do I obviously have to pin my loyalties to P&M? - take a look at their dealer list and you won't find Flylight - removed many years ago when we started selling Aur Creation! - even if we were I kind of resent the assumption that you are saying that it would make my advice any different.

                I am trying to work on a general point about the risks of buying copies that haven't been through any official verification. Aces copies may be very good. But others may not be. It's up to us to do our own research and quantify and accept what risks we are taking - it should not be lightly done.

                Hypothetically how about someone who had done a bit of work for john heading off to Africa or China and making cheaper copies of Ace sails. How would you view that if you needed a new one? - I guess you would be more comfortable with an original - but how much cheaper would attract you to going for the copy - where does the risk / cost balance lie?

                I guess I might have my caution coloured by the fact that I have had a real life sail failure. I was very lucky to get away with it - another couple of mins and it would have been curtains ( which incidentally the wings resembled after landing!) the culprit was a bit of small detail design in the stitching pattern attaching some reinforcement webbing. The workmanship was excellent but that didn't help. I had around 5000 hours and 15 years microlighting under my belt at that point and thought I knew a thing or two. After I had my perceptions rapidly recalibrated! Subsequently I have had far more respect for the details and the risks we take. Sorry if that makes me sound a bit if a nanny - but we all live and learn and have our perceptions developed from personal experiences / frights!

                Paul

                Comment


                • #38
                  Low priced Sails for SSDR

                  Does a process actually exist that could ensure that the ace sails are made up to a suitable standard? Is there an independent body (BMAA/BHPA?) capable of auditing the standard of parts/sails. I know two seat machines would need p&m approval which isn't going to happen but for the ssdr brigade. If parts were of a known quality then people would be a lot happier.
                  I understand and sympathise with Pauls concerns 100% but wonder if a solution exists.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Low priced Sails for SSDR

                    John Kendall wrote: Does a process actually exist that could ensure that the ace sails are made up to a suitable standard? Is there an independent body (BMAA/BHPA?) capable of auditing the standard of parts/sails. I know two seat machines would need p&m approval which isn't going to happen but for the ssdr brigade. If parts were of a known quality then people would be a lot happier.
                    I understand and sympathise with Pauls concerns 100% but wonder if a solution exists.
                    I dont think its something that can be done easily at all - especially without the cooperation of the manufacturer who holds the design information, and with it being SSDR the BMAA dont really have a format for any sort of 'approval'.

                    We were involved with a project last year through the regulated system for a new sail for Fun18's - as its an orphan type with the original is no longer available. it was done fairly pragmatically with tech office being very helpful, and using Top flight sails (the very capable and genial Nigel Sandercock). An old sail was carefully dismantled and patterned. It was very carefully inspected against another original to make sure detail design of seams etc was faithfully replicated. The first go threw up a few problems, but these were rectified and the wing was then flight tested against another example to ascertain comparability. The job was made easier by the Fun18 being a single surface low sail tension type. I was very impressed with how helpful Ben Syson was and how he took the time to have a really detailed look himself and spotted a few valid things we didnt.

                    For SSDR I think we just need to be sensible - if someone is churning out sails in sufficent quantity that the 'cognisenti' are happy with and they have a track record then it should be safe enough to use them. But being a guinea pig for a new copy or a new sailmaker requires bravery and maybe working with someone you can trust to do a version of we did above to try to verify it as best as possible. it may be the only option for a type out of production to keep flying, but if the original exists for purchase you have to ask yourself where the true value decision lies...

                    Paul

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Low priced Sails for SSDR

                      Bob Hood BMAA 3300 wrote:

                      As an aside on this, I remember listening to Brian Milton one day telling a group of us about how the Brits beat an American team of HG pilots back in the late 70's. He said he managed to get hold of one of the American wings, and told his HG sail making friends here to copy it if our team was to have any hope at all of matching the performance of the American team. They did, and our team won, so in that particular instance, the copy beat the original design on performance. Food for thought eh?

                      Best regards,
                      Bob I think you will find that it wasnt a sail copy thing, so a bit of topic, but interesting nontheless - it was the step change to CFX (concealed floating x tube) which first appeared with the american UP comet. so a new frame system and sail technology. It was a revolutionary moment and suddenly everything else was pretty much obsolete, so everyone went back to the drawing board to make wings using this new technology - the Lightning and Typhoon were I believe the first UK versions.

                      Of course everyone knows that R&D stands for 'rip off and duplicate'

                      Paul

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Low priced Sails for SSDR

                        Years ago a friend bought a non original XL sail to take abroad......flapped and was terrible - I think he returned it to the manufacturer. It was built well (in terms of quality of sewing etc) but it was not quite the right shape....

                        l had a HG sail rip in two with HG Guru Gordon Rigg flying it in a high g turn at Stanage. The seam above the keel tube let go. It was an early version of the HG. The sail design was then modified. Later gliders were fine.

                        I flew today on my GT450 in quite strong conditions and felt secure on a sail that I knew was properly manufactured.

                        A customer with a Quantum 912 had an increasingly strong turn over a few hundred hours - P+M moved the undersurface on one side a few mm and the turn went. That is how accurate sails need to be made.

                        Sail making is an art as well as a science. It is a skill developed over many years and I have a respect for those who design and make our sails. The manufacturer has the patterns, materials and the expertise to make them right. Others may copy them with the best intent but they will always be copies. So if you buy a copy, good luck.

                        Original Ray-Ban Aviators cost around 100. In Nepal I could buy good looking copies for 20....but did not. Why?

                        AndyB

                        Edited to add:
                        I think the HG wing Bob was referring to was the Comet which was an American design - which became the basis of the Airwave Magic I. One of the very early CFX wings and as Paul D said, a step change from the single surface wings that were before it.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Low priced Sails for SSDR

                          Ahh, the UP Comet. I have one of its sisters, a single surface Gemini, hanging in my garage. Didn't want to risk a limb landing a Comet at 9000' amsl, but broke an arm anyway. :-)

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Low priced Sails for SSDR

                            I dont think its something that can be done easily at all - especially without the cooperation of the manufacturer who holds the design information, and with it being SSDR the BMAA dont really have a format for any sort of 'approval'.

                            We were involved with a project last year through the regulated system for a new sail for Fun18's - as its an orphan type with the original is no longer available. it was done fairly pragmatically with tech office being very helpful, and using Top flight sails (the very capable and genial Nigel Sandercock). An old sail was carefully dismantled and patterned. It was very carefully inspected against another original to make sure detail design of seams etc was faithfully replicated. The first go threw up a few problems, but these were rectified and the wing was then flight tested against another example to ascertain comparability. The job was made easier by the Fun18 being a single surface low sail tension type. I was very impressed with how helpful Ben Syson was and how he took the time to have a really detailed look himself and spotted a few valid things we didnt.

                            For SSDR I think we just need to be sensible - if someone is churning out sails in sufficent quantity that the 'cognisenti' are happy with and they have a track record then it should be safe enough to use them. But being a guinea pig for a new copy or a new sailmaker requires bravery and maybe working with someone you can trust to do a version of we did above to try to verify it as best as possible. it may be the only option for a type out of production to keep flying, but if the original exists for purchase you have to ask yourself where the true value decision lies...

                            Paul[/quote]
                            Thanks Paul.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Low priced Sails for SSDR

                              Ace Aviation customer wrote:
                              This is a good Q2 replacement sail. There are a number of areas where the sail maker / Ace Aviation has used his experience to improve the original sail and the quality of work is generally very high.

                              The wing tip stitching has been cleverly covered up by the addition of a sewn-on patch on the leading edge tip. This has the advantage of protecting the stitching from UV. ( Me - - - - - What ever anyone says you DO NOT want this critical anchorage point of the wing tip to have any UV degradation at all. Reason why we always protect the critical wing tip webbing stitches with a separate cloth cover that makes sure the UV rays have little effect on the stitches. P&M`s sails at this high stress point are exposed to the sun - - - what hope have we got? ).
                              That's a load of rubbish. The wing tip webbing stitches on my 1997 Q2 were UV protected by a removable mylar cover.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Low priced Sails for SSDR

                                Paul D and Andy B,

                                When Brian related the story he said he presented the American wing to his sail making buddies and they spent ages trying to understand how it worked. At which point he commented "Don't try to understand it, just copy it!" The rest, as they say, is history!

                                Best regards,
                                XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well :-)

                                Comment

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