Construction E-mail

Airframe: Conventional steel tube fuselage covered in your choice of fabric. Factory MIG or TIG  welded. All critical stress joints are TIG welded.  A more complete construction guide can be found at  SpaceWalker fuselage build up procedure .

Wings: A conventional wood I-beam spar that has been boxed in for durability.

Wood ribs with 4130 steel truss attachments between the front and rear spar. The trusses carry all flight loads between the front and rear spars. Wing ribs are routed from marine ply. The wing is covered in the fabric of your choice. The wing leading edge is 2mm plywood for a clean straight line. The trailing edge of the SpaceWalker is aluminum, pre-bent into the correct shape. The wing consists of three pieces, the two outer sections and the center section. The ailerons are constructed similar to the wing with the exception that only I spar is used. 

Towable: The outer wing panels are readily detachable from the airframe and the center section stays as part of the fuselage. In this configuration the aeroplane is easily towed by a car, either on a trailer or with a special hook that allows towing the aeroplane on its main gear.  A folding wing option is under development.

Landing gear: Taildragger, Non-retractable main and tail wheel. Landing shock is absorbed by springs in the landing gear and is built to absorb a lot of abuse. Grass field operations are easy.

Brakes: Cleveland disk with dual pedals. Independent left and right side systems.

Power plant: We supply motor mounts for Continental and Lycoming engine installations. Engines from 85 to 150 HP are approved for use on the aeroplane. Normal engine installation include Lycoming O-235's, 0-290, or Continental O-200's. Automotive installations include the Subaru or Corvairs. For that true "retro" look, why not consider the Rotec R2800 or R3600 radial engines. See the photo page for Martin Hones beautiful creation with the R3600 installed.   

Seating: Two in tandem. .. the SpaceWalker fits people up to about 6' (without modification) and will carry aloft two 220 lb. people and full fuel.

Additional Features: Cockpit elevator trim. Plenty of head room! Simple entry and exit.  Airconditioning - standard fit.

High Quality Materials And Construction: Chrome Moly 4130 aircraft tubing is used through out the airframe. The structural integrity of a steel cage is without a doubt the strongest structure available in a sport aircraft.  Aircraft grade spruce is used in the wing spars; the extremely strong wing spar will end the concern of any pilot examining structural integrity.

The SpaceWalker is one of the strongest and most structurally sound aeroplanes flying today. The aeroplane uses the same type of construction that is used on Piper Cubs, Tiger Moths, and other classic aeroplanes which are still going strong after 50 years of service.

The Tail Assembly: Wire braced for the strongest possible structure at the lowest possible weight. The tail itself is made from 4130 steel tube which is TIG welded for exceptional strength. Flying wires are used to transfer the flying load to the fuselage.

Smooth Controls: The ailerons are push pull tube activated with rod end bearings used throughout. The rudder and elevator use aircraft cable and run over pulleys to the tail surfaces. The control column itself has delron bearings for smooth precise control response.

Fiberglass: The wing tips and cowling are fiberglass parts. They are made in our molds and greatly simplify the construction process. Included in the kit as standard.

Canopy Installations: Full enclosed canopies have been installed for cold weather flying. We do not supply these parts but they are available from Todds Canopies. An RV4 canopy can be modified to fit the aircraft.

Factory Inventory of Parts:
Call us for availability.

Cruise Speed: Greater cruising speeds are possible, but the size of the earth does not warrant greater speeds. -Igor Sikorsky in 1934 

Engines: At first glance it might appear that the ideal situation would be to start your new airplane off with a new or zero-time engine. It seems a good idea until you begin to detail your first flight and you are faced with conflicting requirements. It's a good idea to ground run a new airplane and engine combination at takeoff, cruise, and descent attitudes, and to run each tank dry in the cruise attitude in order to check for fuel flow characteristics and for unusable fuel quantities. You should also taxi test the airplane for ground handling characteristics, and conduct high-speed runway taxi tests to get an initial feel for control sensitivity, and to uncover excessive out-of-trim or out-of-rig conditions.

On the other hand, the first few minutes of an engine's life are critical to its longevity. Most over-haulers recommend minimum ground run time (5-10 minutes) prior to the first flight and some go so far as to recommend towing the airplane to the runway to further minimize ground time. Some suggest a low-power first flight until the rings are seated (chrome rings on steel cylinders). Others insist on running at above 75% power for the first 10 hours or so. You should probably use whichever method will give you the most warranty protection. In any event, the requirements for initial test of a new airframe and those of a new engine are in conflict.

Flight Characteristics: flight reports from the aircraft in service say that the aircraft is sweet to fly with no major vices. Takeoff and landing is good with no visibility problems. The aircraft does not need flaps. There have been reports of turbulent airflow around the rear cockpit but this is very dependent on the canopy installation used, either 3 flat sided acrylic panels, or rounded bubble type.

Links: A builders forum can be found at www.yahoo.groups/spacewalker  

 

 

 

 
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