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SparrowHawk owners, lets hear from you!



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 4th 04, 07:05 AM
Gus Rasch
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Default SparrowHawk owners, lets hear from you!

Ok you prepeg carbon fiber flying guys, lets hear from you! Everybody
else has chimed in but we have heard from very few actual owners of
the SparrowHawk.

Does is really perform, handle, assemble easily, fit you comfortably,
tow easily, thermal well, and impress you?

Gary Osaba could set a world record in a glider on fire, I would like
to hear from the guys who own one (SparrowHawk) that I don't know.

Gus
Ads
  #2  
Old May 4th 04, 09:43 PM
Patrick McLaughlin
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Ok you prepeg carbon fiber flying guys, lets hear from you! Everybody
else has chimed in but we have heard from very few actual owners of
the SparrowHawk.

Does is really perform, handle, assemble easily, fit you comfortably,
tow easily, thermal well, and impress you?

Gary Osaba could set a world record in a glider on fire, I would like
to hear from the guys who own one (SparrowHawk) that I don't know.

Gus


Patrick replies:

I took delivery of my Sparrow Hawk SN # 10 last two weekends ago. All
I can say is Wow!. I have been flying powered and hang gliders sence
the erarly 70s ~ 1.6K Hours total in all. I have been flying a Blanik
L-13 and Nimbus-II up til my Sparrow Hawk arrived.

If you flew any of the Flex or rigid wings, it is in my most honest
opinion that you will like the Sparrow Hawk. Simply easy to ground
handle (yes, one guy can reel it out to launch), launch, tow, fly and
land. Not the lest bit twitchy, but real responsive in all axis. Very
predictable stall characteristics and slow flight handinling. I am
hooked!

It seems I made a record for the most amount of air time for the least
number of first ever tows for a new glider. 5.25 Hrs. in two tows on
marginal high pressure day in Central Oregon. I test flew (virgin
flight) my own Sparrow Hawk with only rudder peddel adjustments and
vario calibration.

At one time on the first of May there was four (4) Sparrow Hawks up
over Aubry bute at the same time. Fun, Fun, Fun!
  #3  
Old May 5th 04, 04:44 AM
Stan
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Okay, here goes. A biased opinion because I am indeed a SparrowHawk
owner.

Flying the SH is a blast! Good roll rate, but not twitchy. Speed
control very easy. Get a little slow thermalling and looking around?
Nothing happens. No break, just a little loss of lift and all the
typical signs of slow airspeed. Reduce the angle of attack slightly
and you're back in business. All controls remain effective throughout
this regime which in most anything else I've flown would result in a
break, wingdrop or worse requiring some type of "recovery". Not in
the SH.

Before flying it I thought it would be slow to accelerate because of
its low mass and therefore low inertia. I forgot that there is also
very low drag. It accelerates just fine. It also retains speed on a
pull-up. (For example after an exuberant low, not too low please,
pass and pullup to enter the pattern for landing)

The light weight and consequent ease of assembly is a much bigger plus
than I had counted on. I almost never ask for help assembling unless
it is windy. Just roll the fuselage out on it's dolly, set out
wingtip stands, grab a wing (all 37 lbs. of it) stick the spar in its
slot in the fuselage, do the same for the other wing and then hook
everything up. Preflight, critical assembly check, and you're good to
go.

Another big plus in the light weight department is the ease of pushing
it from assembly point to launch point. It's as easy to push it as it
is to walk the wing on other ships. We occasionally have towed it
with a bicycle. (I'm looking for a strong bicycle rider to try a
launch.)

I've aerotowed behind 260 Pawnees down to ultralights. It's quite
happy on tow at speeds from 40kts to 80kts. One ultralight tow was
somewhere around 35-37 knots and the only thing I had to do
differently was to fly a little to the side to keep towline in sight
because of high deck angle.

I've had some folks express concern about it in strong surface winds.
As Eric Greenwell pointed out in an early article, that is no more of
an issue than for any of the older design ships. There just isn't
that much surface area for the wind to have its effect. Probably the
same as a 1-26 which I think was Eric's comparison. I've had it in
surface winds up to around 35 kts and yes, I was concerned, but no
more than everyone else with their much heavier ships.

One of the truly amazing things about the SH is just how strong it is.
The carbon fibre seems extremely damage tolerant to me. I've landed
in gravel with pretty good rocks and had other bangs and bashes and
there is nothing but paint scratches on the wheel fairings.

Now--the biggie--Who will and who won't tow it or allow it to be in
their sight. I have been around quite a bit of the country with mine
and I know for sure there is at least one other that has been around
much more than I have. I have had two commercial operators say they
do not want to even talk about it because they know it's an ultralight
and therefore they want nothing do with it. In one case I asked if
they would like to look at it in the trailer and was informed that he
did not want to even see an ultralight anything. (I think there might
have been a prejudicial attitude there.) The good news is that
everywhere else I've been, both commercial operations and clubs have
been happy to have it around. They have examined the FAR's and their
insurance, my qualifications, experience, etc. and have been
satisfied.

A final point. If the "ultralight issue" is an issue for anyone,
register it. Put an "N" something on it and do the legal EXPERIMENTAL
thing. It's not that hard. No more so than any of the imports that
require it. There have been all sorts of comments on RAS to the
effect that the imports may in some cases have a foreign airworthiness
cert. The truth is, "If it doesn't have an FAA airworthiness
certificate, then it doesn't have an airwortiness certificate.
Period. (Obviously I'm referring to registration under USA FAA rules.
Certainly no offense to any political entity outside the USA)

Regards, Stan Taylor
  #4  
Old May 5th 04, 05:17 AM
BTIZ
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Default

The good news is that
everywhere else I've been, both commercial operations and clubs have
been happy to have it around. They have examined the FAR's and their
insurance, my qualifications, experience, etc. and have been
satisfied.


They may not be correctly looking at FAR 91.311

Would they tow an aluminum tube cloth wing ultralight that came to the field
behind their tow ship?

FAR 91.311 says they cannot tow anything except as described in 91.309
unless they have a special waiver.. The tow pilot is also putting ticket on
the line.. to tow an ultralight.

I agree with your statement, get the experimental glider airworthiness
certification, get an N number, and remove all doubt.

With recent happenings in this lawsuit hungry world, away from your home
airport, proof of liability insurance is also good to carry with you. Some
will not tow you if you cannot show proof of insurance.

BT


  #5  
Old May 5th 04, 12:39 PM
Bob
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For the record, here are the FAR's that you mentioned. Are there any
other FAR's we should be looking at?
As asinine as it it seems, it sounds like you can tow a cloth clad
aluminum tube device(as long as it is still within the previously
mentioned definition of a glider) into the air. Whether you would want
to is another matter.


Bob


FAR 91.309 - Towing: Gliders.
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft towing a glider
unless--
(1) The pilot in command of the towing aircraft is qualified under
Sec.
|61.69| of this chapter;
(2) The towing aircraft is equipped with a tow-hitch of a kind,
and
installed in a manner, that is approved by the Administrator;
(3) The towline used has breaking strength not less than 80
percent of the
maximum certificated operating weight of the glider and not more
than twice
this operating weight. However, the towline used may have a breaking
strength
more than twice the maximum certificated operating weight of the
glider if--
(i) A safety link is installed at the point of attachment of the
towline to
the glider with a breaking strength not less than 80 percent of the
maximum
certificated operating weight of the glider and not greater than
twice this
operating weight.
(ii) A safety link is installed at the point of attachment of the
towline
to the towing aircraft with a breaking strength greater, but not
more than 25
percent greater, than that of the safety link at the towed glider
end of the
towline and not greater than twice the maximum certificated
operating weight
of the glider;
(4) Before conducting any towing operation within the lateral
boundaries of
the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace
designated for an airport, or before making each towing flight
within such
controlled airspace if required by ATC, the pilot in command
notifies the
control tower. If a control tower does not exist or is not in
operation, the
pilot in command must notify the FAA flight service station serving
that
controlled airspace before conducting any towing operations in that
airspace;
and
(5) The pilots of the towing aircraft and the glider have agreed
upon a
general course of action, including takeoff and release signals,
airspeeds,
and emergency procedures for each pilot.
(b) No pilot of a civil aircraft may intentionally release a
towline, after
release of a glider, in a manner that endangers the life or property
of
another.



FAR 91.311 - Towing: Other than under Sec. 91.309.
No pilot of a civil aircraft may tow anything with that aircraft
(other
than under Sec. |91.309|) except in accordance with the terms of a
certificate
of waiver issued by the Administrator.






"BTIZ" wrote in message news:[email protected]
The good news is that
everywhere else I've been, both commercial operations and clubs have
been happy to have it around. They have examined the FAR's and their
insurance, my qualifications, experience, etc. and have been
satisfied.


They may not be correctly looking at FAR 91.311

Would they tow an aluminum tube cloth wing ultralight that came to the field
behind their tow ship?

FAR 91.311 says they cannot tow anything except as described in 91.309
unless they have a special waiver.. The tow pilot is also putting ticket on
the line.. to tow an ultralight.

I agree with your statement, get the experimental glider airworthiness
certification, get an N number, and remove all doubt.

With recent happenings in this lawsuit hungry world, away from your home
airport, proof of liability insurance is also good to carry with you. Some
will not tow you if you cannot show proof of insurance.

BT

  #6  
Old May 5th 04, 04:02 PM
Marc Ramsey
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Default

Bob wrote:

(3) The towline used has breaking strength not less than
80 percent of the maximum certificated operating weight
of the glider

....
However, the towline used may have a breaking strength
more than twice the maximum certificated operating weight
of the glider

....
with a breaking strength not less than 80 percent of the
maximum certificated operating weight of the glider

....

and not greater than twice the maximum certificated
operating weight of the glider;

....

Four mentions of "certificated" in a single section, but the FAA doesn't
care what you tow. Gotta love these creative interpretations 8^)

Marc


  #7  
Old May 5th 04, 04:45 PM
Doug Taylor
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Gus,

I thought I ought to chime in on this one even though I have made many
posts about the SparrowHawk. I am a friend of Greg Cole’s and
have helped out with the SparrowHawk project for a number of years and
did the first flights on the prototype and am its current owner.

As everyone else has mentioned, the SparrowHawk is truly a delight to
fly. The air feel is fantastic. I let a friend fly mine the other
day and he stayed up for an hour and a half even though I was an idiot
and didn’t give it to him with fully charged batteries. They
died 5 minutes into his flight. As all I have for rate of climb and
altimeter is a Garmin GPSMAP 76S, he only had an airspeed indicator!
That said, there is no way I could have done that. He is a far more
experienced glider pilot than I am and has lots of hang glider
experience too. One thing I have learned is that hang glider and
former hang glider pilots are far better at “reading” the
air than most sailplane pilots. Maybe it’s all that flying
without all the fancy electronics. You’re comment about Gary
Osoba is absolutely correct and he definitely fits this category too.

With regards to comfort level, my friend is +6'and 220 pounds. He was
fine.

The light weight pays many dividends that are out of proportion to
what they would seem they should. Yes it is extremely easy to put
together and push around. It is even “more easier” than
heavy gliders when conditions aren’t helping you because you
have strength left over to fight the wind. If you accidentally have
the fuselage tip over, fall off the ramp and bounce off the concrete
(had that happen trying to set up someone else’s trailer for the
SparrowHawk), the low mass combined with very strong materials mean
that no damage occurs. You can change a tire in 5 minutes. Just have
someone pick up the wing and pull out the bolt and slip the new one
in. And the spare tire and wheel assembly only cost about $30. (Mine
is 2 years old now so I am in no way implying that you have to change
tires often.)

I have had the fantastic experience of flying with a lot of different
glider types over the last couple of years too. The typical comment
of other pilots is, “I can’t believe that thing is still
with me!”, or “I never got above him and I never got away
from him.” As I understand it, some of the other racers were
saying the same thing at the standard class nationals last year when
David Stevenson was flying the SparrowHawk. People who fly the plane
seem to forget to mention the performance because in that regard it is
just another sailplane. Guys like Gary can fly circles around me with
his Woodstock, but for average guys, you can fly with your buddies in
your SparrowHawk.

That fact combined with how easy the SparrowHawk is to live with on
the ground make it the only glider I would want to own. Sure, there
are others I would like to fly (I’d like to fly them all!). The
very low “hassle factor” of the SparrowHawk combined with
good performance and a very high “fun to fly” factor
should put it on the top of anyone’s list if they are
considering buying a glider.

Happy flying,
Doug Taylor


Ok you prepeg carbon fiber flying guys, lets hear from you! Everybody
else has chimed in but we have heard from very few actual owners of
the SparrowHawk.

Does is really perform, handle, assemble easily, fit you comfortably,
tow easily, thermal well, and impress you?

Gary Osaba could set a world record in a glider on fire, I would like
to hear from the guys who own one (SparrowHawk) that I don't know.

Gus

  #8  
Old May 5th 04, 06:04 PM
Finbar
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They may not be correctly looking at FAR 91.311


There has been a persistent notion among some aviation snobs that
ultralights - aircraft operated under 14CFR Part 103 - are not "proper
aircraft." They are. One would think that in gliding, where many of
us operate under the even more illegitimate-sounding category of
"Experimental" this notion would be less prevalent. Apparently not.
I too have encountered at least one gliderport where "It must have an
N Number" is a requirement for operations. Weird.

However, the FAA does not share this attitude: they consider
ultralights to be perfectly valid aircraft - gliders too. Heck, they
even think "Experimental" aircraft are okay under certain
circumstances - although they do require program letters for those
(not required for ultralights).

91.311 says that you need a waiver to tow anything other than a
glider, and if you're towing a glider it must be done in compliance
with 91.309. Going to look at 91.309, it requires that the person
towing a glider must be properly qualified, that the towing aircraft
must have a tow-hitch, that the tow-line be in a certain strength
range, that the controlling entity for the airspace (in controlled
airspace) must be advised of the towing operation, that the tow pilot
and glider pilot have a joint plan of action and that the tow pilot
must be careful where the rope is dropped. Well, nothing in any of
that about ultralights.

Perhaps BT is operating under the misapprehension that an ultralight
vehicle is not a glider? Let's go to definitions: Part 1.1 (General
definitions) defines a glider without any reference to whether or not
it is operated under Part 103 (i.e., is an ultralight): it requires
only that it be a heavier than air aircraft, supported in flight by
the dynamic reaction of the air against its surfaces, and not rely
principally on an engine.

All of the relevant sections of 14CFR follow. I've thrown in the
definition of "aircraft" as well, in case anyone thinks that an
ultralight may not be a "glider" because it's not an "aircraft." Not
to worry: it is.


§ 91.311 Towing: Other than under §91.309.
No pilot of a civil aircraft may tow anything with that aircraft
(other than under §91.309) except in accordance with the terms of a
certificate of waiver issued by the Administrator.


§ 91.309 Towing: Gliders.
(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft towing a glider unless—

(1) The pilot in command of the towing aircraft is qualified under
§61.69 of this chapter;

(2) The towing aircraft is equipped with a tow-hitch of a kind, and
installed in a manner, that is approved by the Administrator;

(3) The towline used has breaking strength not less than 80 percent of
the maximum certificated operating weight of the glider and not more
than twice this operating weight. However, the towline used may have a
breaking strength more than twice the maximum certificated operating
weight of the glider if—

(i) A safety link is installed at the point of attachment of the
towline to the glider with a breaking strength not less than 80
percent of the maximum certificated operating weight of the glider and
not greater than twice this operating weight.

(ii) A safety link is installed at the point of attachment of the
towline to the towing aircraft with a breaking strength greater, but
not more than 25 percent greater, than that of the safety link at the
towed glider end of the towline and not greater than twice the maximum
certificated operating weight of the glider;

(4) Before conducting any towing operation within the lateral
boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class
E airspace designated for an airport, or before making each towing
flight within such controlled airspace if required by ATC, the pilot
in command notifies the control tower. If a control tower does not
exist or is not in operation, the pilot in command must notify the FAA
flight service station serving that controlled airspace before
conducting any towing operations in that airspace; and

(5) The pilots of the towing aircraft and the glider have agreed upon
a general course of action, including takeoff and release signals,
airspeeds, and emergency procedures for each pilot.

(b) No pilot of a civil aircraft may intentionally release a towline,
after release of a glider, in a manner that endangers the life or
property of another.



§ 1.1 General definitions.
..
..
Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight
in the air.
..
..
Glider means a heavier-than-air aircraft, that is supported in flight
by the dynamic reaction of the air against its lifting surfaces and
whose free flight does not depend principally on an engine.
  #9  
Old May 8th 04, 08:11 AM
Mark James Boyd
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Doug Taylor wrote:

very low “hassle factor” of the SparrowHawk combined with


Well, I'm glad to see that "hassle factor" has become a
sales point and catch phrase in gliding. As a soaring consumer,
it's wonderful to see someone else talking about this rather than
the less-important-to-me performance...

Yeah, I know, but what about the trailer? :P Gotta have
a good trailer, right? :P
--

------------+
Mark Boyd
Avenal, California, USA
  #10  
Old May 8th 04, 04:42 PM
Doug Taylor
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Yeah, I know, but what about the trailer? :P Gotta have
a good trailer, right? :P



Too right. After borrowing other trailers for a number of trips, I
finally built my own. This is the 6th trailer I have had the glider
in. Still working on a few details but the ride height adjustable air
suspension works really well.
 




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