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What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 2nd 21, 10:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Scott
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.
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  #2  
Old February 3rd 21, 12:43 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:26:10 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:
I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.


I assume that you are talking about a glider registered experimental. The major obstacle beyond design, implementation and testing, is to get an AI to sign off on a conditional inspection. I would consult with that AI before you start modifying the glider. You may also have to hire a DAR (designated airworthiness representative). Again, doing this before modifying the glider is highly advisable. Another resource is the EAA. Look up this webinar (https://www.eaa.org/videos):
Webinar- Building an Aircraft - What You Need to Know
You will need to be an EAA member to watch it. Charlie Becker is the presenter and he is presumably building an electric glider, so he could be a great resource.

Tom
  #3  
Old February 3rd 21, 01:53 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Sinclair[_5_]
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Default What is involved ulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:43:09 PM UTC-8, 2G wrote:
On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:26:10 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:
I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.

I assume that you are talking about a glider registered experimental. The major obstacle beyond design, implementation and testing, is to get an AI to sign off on a conditional inspection. I would consult with that AI before you start modifying the glider. You may also have to hire a DAR (designated airworthiness representative). Again, doing this before modifying the glider is highly advisable. Another resource is the EAA. Look up this webinar (https://www.eaa.org/videos):
Webinar- Building an Aircraft - What You Need to Know
You will need to be an EAA member to watch it. Charlie Becker is the presenter and he is presumably building an electric glider, so he could be a great resource.

Tom

Probably best to start by reviewing the limitations letter that’s attached to your experimental airworthiness certificate.
Many contain a statement like, “ any major change to this aircraft invalidates this airworthiness certificate”. You will need to request a new airworthiness certificate and prove to the inspector that all is well with your new machine?
JJ
  #4  
Old February 3rd 21, 02:09 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Scott
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:26:10 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:
I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.


Thank you for your responses. To be clear I don't have a sailplane but would like to get into the sport and the answers to this question would possibly affect what glider I would get. I am smart enough to get all my ducks in a row before doing anything, and this is the first I have talked about it. From an engineering standpoint, it doesn't look too difficult, navigating the regulations is where I expect the most trouble.
  #5  
Old February 3rd 21, 03:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mark Mocho
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

AHHH! The dreaded question, "How hard could it be?" See Dave Nadler's 2020 SSA Convention presentation on motorglider reliability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R--m0NDR0j8&t=8s

Electric or internal combustion (or jet or warp drive, or....) the problem is lots more complex than it seems. I have been involved with seven jet engine/glider conversions, and everything takes a lot of serious analysis. Hint: start with a glider that already has an engine bay for a fuselage mounted power plant. Or at least check with Emir Sherbi about his Grasshopper electric conversion.

https://www.facebook.com/charlysierragolf/
  #6  
Old February 3rd 21, 03:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Shelton[_2_]
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:10:00 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:
On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:26:10 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:
I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.

Thank you for your responses. To be clear I don't have a sailplane but would like to get into the sport and the answers to this question would possibly affect what glider I would get. I am smart enough to get all my ducks in a row before doing anything, and this is the first I have talked about it.. From an engineering standpoint, it doesn't look too difficult, navigating the regulations is where I expect the most trouble.


This would be cost prohibitive to certify; possibly hundred$ of thousands and years of your life. However, there are several ways to accomplish this with experimentals. As you mentioned, you could modify a homebuilt sailplane with an Amateur Built experimental airworthiness certificate. Alternatively, you could put a factory-built sailplane into an experimental category for R&D or Racing and Exhibition.

As somebody mentioned, each experimental airworthiness certificate is issued with a list of operating limitations. Almost always, the operating limitations require you to notify the FAA of any major alterations. The FAA would most likely require an airworthiness inspection, just to make sure you didn't do anything silly. They would also require a flight test period. Usually, this is 40 hours for an amateur built experimental with an uncertified engine/prop.

I've brought numerous aircraft into experimental categories and modified the hell out of them. In every case, the FAA was super easy to work with. I'd recommend that you make an appointment to discuss this with your local FSDO.
  #7  
Old February 3rd 21, 04:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Hank Nixon
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:26:10 PM UTC-5, David Scott wrote:
I DON'T mean to stir up trouble on this forum with this question, especially being new, but have been wondering about this for some time. I am wondering how feasible it would be to do this with either a homebuilt or experimental glider here in the US?

I figure this has been asked but didn't find any threads on it.


Having done this I can provide you with the following guidance .
It can be done in the experimental category
It is a major change and will invalidate the AW certificate.
Getting a replacement certificate will requi
1) Review of the engineering and execution of the modification by a DAR. I doubt any FSDO would issue without some other entity taking responsibility.
2) Current condition inspection after modification
3) Revised flight and maintenance manual pages and proposed operating limitations affected by the change .
4) Inspection by an airworthiness inspector from the affected FSDO or MIDO.
5) Issuance of a new AW certificate and operating limitations including limitations for phase 1 flight testing.
6) After completion of phase 1, and pilot certification of normal characteristics, it should be able to be flown in accordance with the "usual" operating limitations that are issued for the category.
As to the issue of feasibility, it is very much affected by the knowledge and experience of the person doing the modification nand resources available to that individual .
To my knowledge this has been done once so far in the US .
If you want an electric sailplane- buy one.
FWIW
UH
  #8  
Old February 3rd 21, 08:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Kuykendall
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:26:10 PM UTC-8, David Scott wrote:

Others have pointed out that this is easier for an Experimental glider. It is easiest for an experimental, amateur-built glider. For E-AB, depending on the operating limitations, you might have to notify the FAA and repeat Phase I testing. But nobody wants to see your engineering validation, and only the person signing off the annual condition inspection needs to review your workmanship. The FAA or DAR only wants to see that the paperwork is correct and that placards and operating limitations are correctly spelled out. A good DAR will look the airplane over to make sure it doesn't look particularly dangerous, but they aren't required to.

We have FES going into one of our glider kits right now, and are preparing for the installation of electric self-launch systems in future models.

--Bob K.
  #9  
Old February 3rd 21, 09:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ackerson Eyecare
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Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

I really would love to do this to my DG-800S with a fixed mounted 400N Swiwin or PBS ​Turbine. Fixed mounted for simplicity and less cost accepting the few points in loss performance. If I could do it for $20K, that would be cool. When you push the price to $40-$50K, then it's just better to buy a sailplane with a motor. Remaking the AW certificate seems daunting. Maybe if I found a DG800C with a bad motor I could do a engine swap from two stroke to turbine without a major modification affecting the AW. 17gallons per hour is still a lot of gas compared with the solo 2-stroke motors. I wish electric duct fan's were more efficient. The best 120mm commercial RC product only produces around 10kg of thrust on 150 amps. I can't wait for future tech to catch up to our propulsion needs considering the future loss of tow planes. Two stroke motors seem so problematic/finicky and antique considering all our modern inventions. The sound considerations comparing a turbine to a two stroke motor are not even close in the cool factor. Bring on the warp drive please that runs off my cell phone battery.
Walter Mitty
N800XX
  #10  
Old February 3rd 21, 10:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Scott
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Posts: 12
Default What is involved regulation wise adding an electric motor to a glider?

On Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 12:53:44 PM UTC-8, Ackerson Eyecare wrote:
I really would love to do this to my DG-800S with a fixed mounted 400N Swiwin or PBS ​Turbine. Fixed mounted for simplicity and less cost accepting the few points in loss performance. If I could do it for $20K, that would be cool. When you push the price to $40-$50K, then it's just better to buy a sailplane with a motor. Remaking the AW certificate seems daunting. Maybe if I found a DG800C with a bad motor I could do a engine swap from two stroke to turbine without a major modification affecting the AW. 17gallons per hour is still a lot of gas compared with the solo 2-stroke motors. I wish electric duct fan's were more efficient. The best 120mm commercial RC product only produces around 10kg of thrust on 150 amps. I can't wait for future tech to catch up to our propulsion needs considering the future loss of tow planes. Two stroke motors seem so problematic/finicky and antique considering all our modern inventions. The sound considerations comparing a turbine to a two stroke motor are not even close in the cool factor. Bring on the warp drive please that runs off my cell phone battery.
Walter Mitty
N800XX

I rode 2 stroke dirt bikes for years and found their reliability to be stellar so I don't understand why they are considered finicky or unreliable. Granted the idea of not having a throttle and running them at 1/2 throttle only is nuts. I did ONE cold seizure early on and that taught me to do a proper warmup.

 




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