Instructables

how to make a electric powered 1-2 seat trike hang glider on cheap?

What cheap materials would be best for making the wing (the frame and wing skin) and the trike part? also, i must know about the balancing of the 2. at some point i'd like to add 2 extra (adjustable) propellers to aid in hovering.

Any info directed towards achieving this is greatly desired.
Pics and detailed schematics are greatly desired.

I'd like to be up and flying within 2-3 months maybe 4 if not sooner.

Thanks.

kmartin-12 years ago
Find yourself a mid-to-low sloping sandy hill. Preferably in a place with cool temperatures and most importantly slow but consistent wind, like you find on the coast. Make something. Any design you can think of, that would be good for hanging from as you are borne upon the wind. Take it to the top of the hill facing into the wind and walk, then run down the hill. As you do this you will start to feel something (it may your wings lifting you to the sky and may be the sandy hill smacking you in the face as you tumble down it) whatever it is you feel, be it lift, drag or cold hard reality, it will teach you about what was wrong and hopefully what was right about your design. Learn from these runs and build another one. Repeat until you are satisfied with your design. Then you can think about motors and passengers and coffee makers and all the add on's that make flying great.
Building a flying machine is not a so simple as can be answered here on a comments section, you must go out and do quite a bit of leg work(no pun) weather that be in a university, a library or through tenacious backyard experiments(probably all three). Good luck.
canucksgirl2 years ago
I agree with Steve.

You are asking for trouble. Not only does the engineering of a SAFE hand glider need to be precise, but adding a passenger AND a motorized propeller system requires a whole lot more skills than just reading schematics.

Factor in how much your life is worth, multiply that by the life of your passenger and then compare that figure against buying one that's safe.
freenergyfuture (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I asked for helpful information, not ridicule from someone who gives not a single thought concerning the possibility that i might have already taken into account several factors regarding safety.
Your assertion that we ridiculed you is misguided. Nothing in your question suggested that you had taken into account any factors regarding safety or for that matter common sense. Your question asks "how to make a electric powered 1-2 seat trike hang glider on the cheap?" The word "cheap" suggests some ignorance. That omission of information, research and knowledge prompted our comments and you were given sound advice and concern as a result. Taking on such a project requires a great deal of knowledge for which you have not demonstrated, suggesting otherwise would be reckless.
freenergyfuture (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
That does make sense. Though I wasn't aware that I had to signify any amount of research done.
I may indeed be some what of a novice, but not completely. I high school, I took JROTC for aeronautics. you can disregard the J'C thing, I cared less for it then most things in life (military suits.....).

I do understand more or less the basics of aerodynamics, but that's not the point, the point is my desire to build a hang glider trike capable of supporting at least 300lbs out of the cheapest lightest materials available to myself. I asked to question to gain info from those who know about materials and design patterns so that I could chop the errors part down as much as possible.
I don't currently have an income, but I do have lots of materials available. I'd prefer other stronger lighter materials, but I must make due with what I have.
Well I hope there are no hard feelings about the comments left for you. Its rather difficult to gauge a persons level of knowledge from a question alone. Its not that we're unwilling to help, I just think its unwise to advise someone to do anything that is unsafe. That being said, you are a grown man and can take responsibility for your decisions.

I found you a forum with some information that should get you started. The very first post includes a link to plans in a zip file. If you read through the posts, you'll notice that there is another file detailing part of the plans that were omitted. The person who posted the files says the design was made into a single seat trike hand glider, but as they said they assume no liability for any risk you take in constructing something from those plans. There is some discussion on materials, but I'm not certain it goes into any great lengths, but in the zip file are notes, and contact information to the designer. It might be worthwhile to contact the designer and/or sign up on the forum site to ask specific questions as they are all about 'home built planes'. 

Let me know if you need anymore help. 
freenergyfuture (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I have been to the site already, although I was not aware that there was a second file. most of the research admittedly is from intensely watching videos and looking at pictures with the best views for the wings and frames. i managed to comprehend from 2 simple pictures the balance point is in the middle of the wing.
unfortunately, i have still yet to think up a material that will be suitable for the material of the wing.
I have notice extensively, many of the wings contain some kind of reinforcement extending from front to back of wing edge.
I couldn't find that other file you mentioned. there is a link, but i will have to go to the library to access it.
I am thinking of using thick walled pvc pipe and maybe bubble wrap for the wing. nothing is set in stone just yet, I must first have an electric power source. that source will be designed after 1 of Don Smith's Tesla Coil generator schematics. third chapter of free-energy-info.co.uk/ the downloaded pdf for some reason is a bit different from the site itself....

if i had an income, i could make things go much quicker.

what do you think of combining high gear ratio to the propeller? i will have to use a large fan in place of said propeller though.
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I've given this a lot of thought before replying to you. I still have a number of concerns and I would think your best, and safest bet would be to get involved as much as you can with the hand gliding community. Find people within your area that fly and even volunteer with a company that offers hand gliding to gain some knowledge and experience. They would be better informed to give you advice about construction and the materials you should be using and may be able to put you in touch with people that can provide you with those materials at a better price. I would hate to find out that you took some bad advice and used materials that did not have the strength to support the frame, the motor and your weight along with the force that wind can exude on the design. There is really no substitute for expert information, especially when your life is on the line. Although I'm sure you could create something worthy of flight, I just think you'd be better off getting this kind of information from the experts.
Forget it.

Building your own hang glider is a pretty sure fire way to aquire (angel) wings.....

Cheap and safe do NOT go together, ever.
freenergyfuture (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
I asked for helpful information, not ridicule from someone who gives not a single thought concerning the possibility that i might have already taken into account several factors regarding safety.
You are quite mistaken. I am a professional engineer, I LIVE AND BREATH safety factors, and clearly I have considered more of them than you have. If you have to ask the question about building one, you are not going to be able to do it.

There are NO FREE PLANS for "making your own hang-glider" - why do you think that is ?

Hang gliders can't, by the definition of their flying principles, hover.

Don't invite "ridicule" and you won't perceive it.

Steve
freenergyfuture (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
hmm, well in that respect i apologize. yes i do fully understand the fact that an ordinary glider does not hover, it is for that very reason i desire to modify the basic design so that it will allow for that to happen. vertical takeoff and landing.
I have done much research the learn the basic wing and trike design, at some point i desire to add 2 motors to allow for the hovering effect. I am asking questions to further acquire any info i have yet to gain.

from observing videos and pictures, i have gained a relative understanding of wing and trike design, but require certain specific info on balance point.

the entire structure would be designed to support at least 300Lbs. lightest cheapest materials while at the same time not compromising integrity. if money was not an issue, perhaps i would just buy 1.

but hey, innovators never got anywhere by simply sticking with what was already available, right...?
but hey, innovators never got anywhere by simply sticking with what was already available, right...?

Ask Daedulus' son about the merits of flight innovation.....
freenergyfuture (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
how do i contact? under user accounts?
Merits of flight innovation...... don't quite know what it means....
I take it you enjoyed that last little bit?
No, Daedalus is not a member, nor will you have any success in contacting him or his son...

Here's a link if you want to learn.
Nice one. ;)
+1

Btw: It may be illegal to enter the air space with a non registered, non insured vehicle - depending where you live.

Although I guess that legal problems will be the least of your concerns _if_ you make a flight with your construction....
freenergyfuture (author)  verence2 years ago
Sorry, i am asking for information on building a motorized hang glider, not personal thoughts on legalities.
As far as i am aware of, most forms of ultralights do not require any type of permit or insurance.
Mm. No, certainly not in the UK, you need type approval, or an experimental certificate to fly - otherwise, its illegal.
freenergyfuture (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
USA, I suppose I'd have to have some sort of passport type thing if I were to fly with it over there. Any actual info on materials and design shapes? must support at least 300Lbs.
+1
rickharris2 years ago
Your evident lack of experience bothers me in this project.

First think I did was search for Hang gliders - there are 0ver 200 hits from this site alone.

Before we get into the "I asked for helpful information, not ridicule from someone who gives not a single thought concerning the possibility that i might have already taken into account several factors regarding safety."

I am also a professional engineer with a degree in design & associated technology , I also am a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance and a senior Educator (retired)

This isn't going to happen for you as you describe your intentions any way

Even the hang glider is more than likely beyond your current reach. You need to examine aerodynamics, Materials science, Structural science and have a more than good look at commercial designs. Some electrical knowledge so you can calculate the power requirements and resolve the electrical supply issues.

You then need to start modelling to get a feel for what your dealing with without ricking your neck. Even George Caley (father of the hang glider) used his footman as a test pilot.

You need to go to a reputable flight school to learn to fly the beast then you may be less inclined to design and build your own.

Not sure if you can see this in the USA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLBBTcT0wKc

Just to show the internet is an easy place to research ideas although I doubt any of these come in cheap.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DIY+Hang+glider&oq=DIY+Hang+glider&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1275l4316l0l4427l15l15l0l6l6l0l222l1575l0.7.2l9l0

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=electric+plane&oq=electric+plane&aq=f&aqi=g8g-m2&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=33784l36932l0l37164l14l13l0l3l3l0l212l1685l0.8.2l10l0

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=basic+aero+dynamics&oq=basic+aero+dynamics&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=13569l18242l0l18434l19l19l0l10l2l0l232l1520l0.5.4l9l0

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=electric+helicopter&oq=electric+hel&aq=0&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=50514l53798l0l56037l12l12l0l3l3l0l211l1069l4.3.2l9l0

freenergyfuture (author)  rickharris2 years ago
I spoke of the ridicule simply because those who posted provided no answer to question.
I do have an understanding of some aerodynamics, i wont claim to know everything about it.
as for the search terms, it does help to know what words will work.
any info used to produce glider will not be used against any person providing it, i am the 1 who is at risk, not the person who writes the book on it.

most specifically, i require info on wing design and balance mounts. once i've completed the glider, i will post my results.

if you are using a different name, i've already apologized for the "ridicule" comment.