The annual microlight show at the beginning of September is the place where Aircreation choose to announce new product. This year was no exception.
The Pixel is a single seat, lightweight (90kg) trike with a new 13 square meter wing (the iFun 13). This will fit the UK SSDR deregulated category and a US lightweight category too.
The impressive thing about this little machine is that it has a maximum payload of 140kgs, and that is a very large pilot, or a normal pilot and loads of luggage! Not only that but it is tested to 6g,
Pictures as follows:
Pixel from the front
iFun 13 wing
Aircreation high standard of safety, as per all wings
Pull starter on the basic version.
- Polini engine with freewheeling prop.
Fuel tank and radiator
Comfortable footrests with brakes on the front
Full size front wheel with brakes
And finally I had to put this picture of a very nice Tanarg with a great paint job and the BioniX 13 wing.
The 13 wing on a nice coloured Tanarg
There are a few things that you need to know about selecting an engine oil for a four stroke engine. This guide is written to give an overview rather than a scientific analysis.
Multigrade oils have two numbers, as in 20W50, 10W40, etc. The first number is the thickness of the oil when it is cold, and the second is when it is hot, the higher the number the thicker the oil. Having said that cold oil at 10 will be thicker than hot oil at 40, so we need to look at the numbers individually.
When the engine is cold and we start it up, we want the oil to circulate as quickly as possible, so a smaller number is better. The life of an engine can be determined by the number of start ups, that means for the first couple of hundred revolutions, the oil has not been pumped to all lubricated surfaces, and that is when an engine wears. The oil will only stay at the cold viscosity for a few minutes, as it starts to warm it moves towards the hot viscosity (the second number). I use a 5W50 in my 912S for this reason.
The second number is the hot viscosity. At 95C the 50 will be thicker than the 40, but don’t forget that a 50 is more “runny” at 95C than the cold number is at 10C.
The ideal oil would be one where it is the same thickness cold as it is hot, but this would be a very expensive oil to make and would have numbers that have a large difference. Mobil make a very high quality racing oil that is 0W60.
A mineral oil is just that, oil pumped from the ground with things added to make it work in an engine. One of the things that are added is viscosity improver’s. These break down with use and change the viscosity of oil. That is why a car that uses mineral oil needs the oil changed more often than one used with synthetic.
Synthetic oil has other properties, one being that it is manufactured to have “long chain molecules”, in other words the oil strings are much longer than in mineral oil. To see how this works, get some hair and cut it into short 5mm lengths, put it on a table and slide your finger in it. You will find that your finger is touching the table. Now do the same with hair cut to 30mm lengths and you will find that it takes longer for your finger to touch the table – the wear surfaces spend less time touching each other. It is the case that a much thinner synthetic will lubricate better than a thick mineral.
Mineral oil will also start degrading the additives when it gets too hot (about 120C). You oil temperature gauge will not show this, but there are places in an engine where the oil will be much hotter than where the temperature sender is. Synthetic oil will not break down till it gets to a much higher temperature, (around 150C). If you want to test this then an old frying pan, a thermometer and your cooker will show this. Most car engines with turbos on need synthetic oil. You may think that your oil never gets hot enough to need synthetic, but should you develop a slight oil leak, and that in turn reduces the amount of oil in the engine, then it will get hotter.
Semi-synthetic oils are an in between.
The Rotax 912 series uses the engine oil to lubricate the gearbox too, we should therefore look for an oil with high shear properties. Those oils are used in most Japanese motorcycles, which lubricate the gearbox in the same way. In my opinion, this part is not too important as the old style Minis also used the engine oil to lubricate the gearbox and they were happy with normal car oil.
At the end of the day you must decide on what oil you want to use with reference to the Rotax guidelines. I use a fully synthetic 5W50 or 5W40.
Readers may have noticed there has been deathly silence on this blog recently, well I wish the weather had been the same. It is either very poor visibility, windy, or I am busy with other things.
I will post again when the weather improves and this UK weather goes back north.
A demonstration of the take off and landing capabilities of the Bionix 15 wing. Nil wind, pilot and passenger, 45 litres of fuel on board.
This is the same airfield where G-MYRO crashed into the trees due to pilot error (inexperience?).
I spent the day at Domme airfield (LFDS) today helping Charles change some fuel lines on his Shadow microlight. When we had finished the work, I hopped onto Judes motorbike to head for the coffee shop at the other end of the hangars. I had to stop half way as there was a German registered Tanarg parked on the grass.
After practising my German language skills with the pilot and his wife, we all went up to the cafe for drinks and to hide from the 35c temperatures today. After a few coffees for me it turns out that he is the German Aircreation agent and a flying instructor too. My German skills were not needed as they spoke very good English.
They were on their way north and were looking for somewhere to overnight and eat an evening meal, so I phoned Amanda at www.wanafly.co.uk and arranged everything for them.
At 17:00 hrs they were ready to depart.
It just happened that there were also a number of German autogyros visiting at the same time.
The second microlight in the picture is a machine with a BMW engine that was flying solo with the Tanarg, picture below.
If you are in Germany and wish to contact then their website is www.cavok.de.
They are based near Munich (Munchen).
I have to apologise for some of the pictures as I did not have my camera with me and had to use my mobile phone.
The BioniX 13 will be on show to the world at Europe’s biggest microlight show, Blois, in September. I assume that interested pilots will be able to test fly the wing by asking at the Aircreation stand as is normal.
In the meantime Aircreation have released some information at http://aircreation.fr/en/catalog/wings/bionix_13_387. Please note that the “Characteristics document” is not the final draft and the numbers in that document are likely to change as the test pilots and engineers tweak the wing.
If I get the chance to attend the Blois meeting, then I will fly the wing and report back on findings in comparison to the BioniX 15, but I would think that any test flight is going to be quite short and may not give me a chance to get the feel of it. I found that with the BioniX 15 any pilot will need at least 10 hours in the air to fully appreciate everything that the wing can do.
In my opinion the Bionix wing, with its very versatile speed range, is the best microlight wing on the market. How could it be any better? It is capable of flying very slowly (ideal for photographic work) and has a fair turn of speed too.
Wait for the Blois microlight show at the beginning of September to see the wing that should be better than the Bionix. It is, of course, another wing from Aircreation – the microlight manufacturer with 30 years experience of designing and building the best microlights in the world.
The new wing will be the Bionix 13, a 13 meter wing rather than the existing 15 meters.
This will result in lighter handling and a faster cruise speed.
If you want to know more then wait and watch the factory website at www.aircration.com.