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Just got a good look at "Light Eagle" ...(11 posts)

Just got a good look at "Light Eagle" ...Humma Hah
Dec 2, 2002 3:13 PM
... As I've mentioned here before, in the back of the hangar where I work, the Michelob Light Eagle is stored. This was the training aircraft for the Daedelus 88 human-powered aircraft flight from Crete to Santorini, about 77 miles over the Med.

The vertical stabilizer was out for a dog and pony show today, and the trailer was open so I got a chance to see the rest of it. It needs some repairs, but could probably be made flyable. Mostly it has some torn skin and bits of damaged Styrofoam. Its incredibly light (the whole aircraft weighed about 80 pounds), but is porky compared to Daedelus (which was built to be flown only once). The most distance Eagle ever covered in one flight was around 25 miles or so, but it did many flights.

A student pilot and cyclist, my ears prick up every time someone here mentions maybe putting Light Eagle back together and flying it. I'm definitely interested.

To qualify for the Daedelus flight, you needed to be capable of producing 3.3W/kg for 5-6 hours, and you needed a VO2-max of 70-something, world class numbers. Eagle was harder to fly, but even I could probably get it airborne for a mile or so in a straight line.

Where's my roll of Scotch tape?
something for Lance to do?trekkie1
Dec 2, 2002 3:30 PM
Maybe Lance should train in this thing. I take it flying it is similar to doing a time trial over that distance, you need max average power output, and you don't get to "coast" at all. Any photos of this thing?
A link ...Humma Hah
Dec 2, 2002 4:06 PM
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/Daedalus/HTML/EC87-0014-8.html
what do you do at said hangar? NMstik__boy
Dec 2, 2002 4:06 PM
I teach a little gold box to fly airplanes ...Humma Hah
Dec 2, 2002 4:12 PM
... My company builds a little flight control computer/instrument package that can fly unmanned aircraft or act as a full-control autopilot. Stripped down, it would make a heck of a nice cyclocomputer (for about $14,000 for the cheapest current model).
Wanna see a unicycle drive itself?Humma Hah
Dec 2, 2002 4:23 PM
Our controls system guru it a guy named Dave Vos. His PhD disertation was on a unicycle he rigged with a dynamic control system. This is not just a unicycle stabilized with gyroscopes -- he figured out how humans do it and designed a set of sensors and a computer that did the job. There's a video clip on the link below.

http://www.athenati.com/frameVideo.html
That's too cool! nmjeff27
Dec 3, 2002 4:59 AM
cool, but could it jump the Great Wall? nmtrekkie1
Dec 3, 2002 6:41 AM
No, but Light Eagle could! (nm)Humma Hah
Dec 3, 2002 7:43 AM
nm
lengthwise?! nmtrekkie1
Dec 3, 2002 7:58 AM
We'd need to get Armstrong to ride it ...Humma Hah
Dec 3, 2002 9:51 AM
... and come up with a new model that weighs about 20 pounds. Daedelus 88 weighed in at around 67 pounds and broke up as it approached its landing site when it was hit by a gust of wind.

What's the length of that thing? About the distance of the whole TDF? I wonder how many hours a guy can keep his legs turning at 250 watts? These aircraft fly at about 12-14 mph.

We need a name for this project. How about Ghengis 2003?