achean wrote: Of course, it's not feasible to have a 250 kt cruise on a VW for a £10,000 aeroplane,
Wasn't this the Rand KR-2's claimed performance
On a more serious note, this sounds like an excellent project. I've long been interested in building an aircraft, but the major cost of a kit is a major deterrent. On the flip side, something like the Gaz'Aile 2 would be perfect, right down to its innovative powerplant, but its a major, complex plans built epic, with an (honest) claimed construction of 5,000 hours.
If the combined efforts of a group of LAA members could produce a plans built/open source aircraft with similar performance and much simplified construction then it could well be a 21st century success.
Crucially, the ability to do batch runs of bits and pieces could well help those that would find it difficult or impossible to fabricate some elements (I'm thinking engine mounts/welded assemblies).
For me, something that is relatively easy to construct and flies reasonably quickly and can lift 2 people would do the job.
Ideally it wouldn't need hangarage and have removable wings.
After all, the cheaper the aircraft is to build, the more likely you are to have sole owner/operators, which in turn means the hangerage become prohibitive.
The reason most Europa's never have their wings removed is because they're so expensive most end up syndicated, or with a wealthy owner is fortunate enough to have hangarage.
I'm a bit disappointed that nothing came of the LAA's engine initiative, but I suspect a large element of that is because the twin ignition requirement pretty much rules out any modern auto conversion instantly.
Realistically, no one is going to start drilling another hole into any modern overhead cam 4-valve-per-cylinder auto engine successfully. Will the LAA accept dual ignition systems on single-sparkplug-per-cylinder engines like the new Viking Honda conversion in the USA? http://www.vikingaircraftengines.com/
And any new home made engine will be exorbitantly expensive due to the tiny production runs.
The Gaz'Aile successfully makes the most of a diesel engine by making up for the engine's deficiencies (weight, low power), by having an optimised aircraft design (light and able to operate on low power successfully). Best of all the Peugeot diesel engine can be bought from a scrap yard for about £600 and has no complex electronic control system.
To me the engine is a fairly critical part of the design as its fair to say that aircraft are designed around the engine. The cop out route is to design around the rotax 912, but these are very expensive.
Even a new VW conversion from a proper aero conversion company like AeroVee or Sauer would be a large chunk of the budget for a low-cost aeroplane.
I've asked this before (in other places) but why is it the French are so far ahead of us in this respect. They've got the Gaz'Aile 2, and the Luciole, both innovative aircraft taking advantage of low cost engine technology.
As clever as the e-Go is, short of using a jet engine, they couldn't have found a more expensive power plant if they'd tried.
Which brings me to my last point. If I had a money-no-object choice between a Luciole and the new e-Go, I would take the Luciole every time.
Why? Wing Loading.
The e-Go is going to be incredibly susceptible to turbulence both because of its huge wing area (unavoidable) but also because of the positive feedback issue as its a canard.
The Luciole with its "proper" wing loading will have a much better ride, and have better utility as a result.
Any LAA aircraft, should aim not be a "floaty" type aircraft like, say, a Evans VP-1, but a utility style aircraft like a DynAero MCR-01.
Anyway, hows this for some inspiration: