Category Archives: factory

Australian LightWing’s Flight Simulator


Australian Lightwing’s fascination with flight simulation goes back to the early 80’s when we dabbled in the manufacture of what turned out to be a fairground ride. It was a capsule that sat eight people and moved in sync with movies that were shown on the screen inside the capsule. This device was trailer able and could be towed to air shows. The concept being that whilst at air shows it would generate an income.

This worked quite well, however the ‘Reality Simulator’, as we called it, was sold to an Italian entrepreneur in the 90’s. We delivered it and subsequently lost track of the device.

More recently however, an actual flight simulator has been built which runs proprietary flight simulation programs such as ‘X Plane’, ‘FSX’ (Flight Simulator X) or ‘Prepar3D’.

The simulator moves in two dimensions or has two Degrees of Freedom (DOF), as the current flight sim vernacular puts it. The Simulator also features a super wide screen video projector and all in all the result is nothing short of spectacular.

We have yet to go down the CASA certification track to get the simulator approved for flight training but this is unlikely to be a very difficult step.

The reality of the flight simulator is marvellous and it’s certainly more than possible to get a basic grounding in flight training from our system.

Navigation exercises can be carried out, also instrument flying. A GPS is on the screen at all times and quite a wide variety of aircraft can be loaded into the computer and flown from jumbo jets to a simulation our very own ALW SP2000 which we are currently working on.

We plan on installing the first Simulator in our Australian LightWing Showroom at the Ballina airport in the Northern Rivers, NSW, Australia.

(Pictured, The Flight Simulator in the Workshop at Australian LightWing)

Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator Screen

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Don’t shoot the messenger


Don’t blame the executives. Or to put it another way, don’t shoot the messenger !

I recently travelled to Canberra to attend the  extraordinary RAAus AGM. I went there not expecting too much, at least Jenny and I would enjoy a weekend away and a stay with good buddy and LightWing owner George Jennings (Snowman). We got both.

The meeting presented a clearing area for some members to get their gripes off their chests. There were many motions put and much hot air dispersed. Eugene Read, for example, was castigated for being a month late presenting the accounts, he had the accounts on the day and they looked great- RAAus is in the red by a small amount, I suggested the audience look at the vacant shops in Canberra, in the street outside the venue, things are tough, but RAAus is doing just fine financially. I moved a vote of confidence in the board but no one took much notice of this.

Paul Middleton was under fire from the critics but he drew the analogy that all the various aircraft that had been picked up in the CASA audit as not complying where like rocks in a sieve, some fell through while the sieve trapped others. This suited my perception so I volunteered to be a rock in Pauls sieve.

That got a laugh and the meeting needed some humor !

Now, I did a little research prior to going to Canberra because I knew the trip was going to cost, so I wanted my moneys worth. I had found that there where “issues of governance” that the RAAus agenda needed overhauling and so on.  Call me old fashioned  but I like concrete things, things that cast a shadow,  “issues of governance “ don’t cast shadows and I have difficulty coming to terms with “issues”. I prefer  Middo’s rocks.

I described how an Australian LightWing owner who had owned a GR LightWing on a 10 sq mile property out the back of Bourke for about 25 years, had been pipped because he had a non-compliant propellor fitted to his aircraft and this had been picked up on his registration renewal. Now just have a think about this. This guy has been flying for decades, minding his own business and the CASA audit picks up this non-compliance, you could say “good job CASA” as this is pretty good auditing, but, the reason for this is simple. Back in 1985 when the aircraft was first registered the specifications showed a Catto prop. Back then there where few options when it came to props, Bolly had not been invented nor had Ivo or Brolga, so we selected the Catto. Problem was that over the years, alternatives came along. To vary a prop on a CAO 95.25 aircraft takes a lot of work. A CAR 35 engineer must be employed to do the sums, flight testing, reports etc and you can blow $5 to $10 K easy, so we never went down that path. We simply fitted mainly Bolly props and left the approvals to Bolly, which he obtained, not all strictly Cosha (that’s the jewish term meaning ok isn’t it ? it pisses me off when the spell check has no alternatives) but workable, safe and cost effective. Nevertheless, a rock in Pauls sieve.

I tried to explain all this to the meeting, the story meant a lot to me as it exemplified the situation and showed it for what it was, a storm in a teacup in this particular instance. No doubt this non-compliance was minor and there where a few major instances where imported aircraft simply and clearly did not meet the standards under which RAAus had accepted them like LSA or CAO 101.55 but most non-compliance issues were simple paperwork things and many were, and remain, the fault of individual members failing to send the appropriate photograph or form. About now the meeting is getting pissed at me and my rock analogy and I am starting to doubt the wisdom  of my weekend away in the nations capital.

I came away from the meeting with the belief that RAA was in good shape albeit with a few stuff ups to be sorted out, none the least of which appears to be a law suit over a fatal accident involving a non compliant aircraft, oops !

For the rest of the weekend we explored Canberra, the  National Museum is  a great visit and the small steam driven paddle steamer (George is one of the engineers on this national treasure)  parked out the back was a real step back in time. We lunched in the revolving restaurant  overlooking Canberra at a surprisingly low price for fantastic food. A big thanks to George for acting as our tour guide for the weekend. George has been busy volunteering many weeks of his time sorting out us rocks at RAAus headquarters… thanks George !

ALW

Ra Aus

Looking Back… Looking Forward…


Looking back over newsletters as far as 1986 ( a LightWing owner recently emailed me a scanned copy of the first newsletter we ever put out dated summer 1986! )… It read like a company history warts and all. Like the 2 cyl 2 stroke Sarich engine we planned fitting  to the GR-532, the engine never eventuated ! Float planes in, on or over the Richmond River, all great fun and nearly 30 years on, little has changed. Thanks to our new Richo colour printer, we now put out our newsletter in colour and print it in-house, but the fun is still alive and well.

We departed for NATFLY at Temora 2013 on a sad note with the death of Wayne Fisher. Wayne was a true aviation pioneer being the first to do legal aerobatics in his own re-designed Drifter. Wayne was testing a 2 seat homebuilt RV-12 when he hit the Lismore runway inverted. No reasons for the accident have been determined yet. The accident comes after detailed articles on test flying home built aircraft where published in the EAA January magazine. Wayne leaves three beautiful daughters and the same number of past wives, all of whom will miss him. No doubt the EAA saw the potential risks associated with test-flying new aircraft and sought to provide advice.

Well, a newsletter is supposed to contain news and we have this in spades. Our 6 seater progresses slowly toward its maiden flight in 2014, our Road-e electric car grows towards a very different form of sustainable personal transport, we recently tested the prototype at Evans Head airpark where a distance travelled of 90 km was recorded.  The re-design of the SP-2000 tooling, we hope, will contribute toward successful and pending joint ventures with not one but two Chinese prospective partners. Our trip to China last autumn  saw us visit Chinese start-up aviation company, Soar, located in Hebie Provence  (about 300 km north of Beijing), where their new factory was mind-bogglingly impressive.  Peter Addams  of Seabird Aviation, has signed a deal with Soar and we hope to follow suit in the  future.

Please call in at Ballina and have a look at our revamped showroom and lounge upstairs, check out our VIP in-flight prop, our CAN PC driven nav. software and soon, our latest flight school aid, our motion flight simulator. We look forward to seeing you soon and hope you enjoyed the NATFLY Temora fly-in.

at Temora 2013
at Temora 2013

The Australian LightWing Tapis


Introducing the new aircraft in the Australian LightWing Range of Aircraft –

The ALW Tapis.

The ALW Tapis is a high wing variation to the exceptional SP Range of Aircraft.

The ALW Tapis will feature a Glass Cockpit, Variable Inflight Pitch Propellor and a fully upholstered leather cockpit.

Available as a two seat aircraft, with an 8 metre wing span and feature cabin dimensions of 1.15metres wide and 1.01 metres high.

The power plant for the ALW Tapis aircraft is the Superior I0360 – 180 hp.

As with the complete range of Australian LightWing aircraft, the colour scheme and paint work is completely the customers choice.

More information can be found at the Australian LightWing Website at www.lightwing.com.au

New Images of the SP6000


You can now visit the Australian LightWing website to view some new images of the SP6000 – six seat private aircraft project, currently underway in our factory.

The Australian LightWing SP6000 will compete head to head with overseas imports offering excellence in style, comfort and most importantly, safety.

The Dream Machine

Be sure to watch this space as the aircraft project unfolds!

Australian LightWing visits Metal Work in Italia!


The Metal Work Engine

Pictured: Howie Hughes, CEO of Australian LightWing, visiting the Metal Work engine factory recently in Italy!!!

With horse power ranging from 80hp to 130hp, the ‘Metal Work’ gear drive engines promise a substantial technological improvement over the current range of Rotax engines.

In particular, the soon to be released: 130 hp engine with a capacity in excess of 2 litres.

Watch this space as more details are available after we visit the Italian factory in late march 2011.

With an equivalent weight to the Rotax, but sporting additional 30 horse power, and also a similar size package the Metal Work engine promises to be a great improvement.

Call or email us for price or availability NOW!

And Remember to WATCH THIS SPACE for more information coming soon!!

The SP6000


The SP6000 Under Construction

 

Note that in the picture shown above, the fact that the body mould for our new six seat SP6000 looks a little like a beached whale augurs well for the aerodynamic shape of this new aircraft.

Shown in this picture, is the middle and rear sections of the body, which to all-intense purposes, are a scaled down A330 Airbus.

The tail sweeps up to the oval shaped bulkhead, which will accept the rear stern spar of the vertical and horizontal stabilisers.

Current calculations indicate that large though this aircraft is, it may well be registrable in the “RA-Aus category” with a maximum take-off weight of 600 kilograms, however, this amazing development will be contingent on the new Metal Works four cylinder boxer engine, generating 160 horse power with an engine weight similar to that of the Rotax 912s.

If all of these events come to pass then it’s vaguely possible that this large aircraft will come in under RA-Aus weights. What will this mean to you the RA Aus pilot?

Firstly, a cavernous rear section to this aircraft which will be capable of carrying two bunks, or a basic live onboard accommodation or a couple of bicycles for your camping trip or even floats.

However, in order to pull this off we will need to build and extremely lightweight carbon fibre body shell for the SP6000.

No designation has been developed for the RA-Aus version of this aircraft, if we are able to produce it, but watch this space.

Don’t worry if this photo makes little sense, watch this space for further developments for this amazing aircraft!

At the Australian LightWing Factory Today!


Take a photographic tour through our factory to view Current Work underway at Australian LightWing today (May 5th, 2011!

Image # 1: You can see in this image a small slice of our Factory Aircraft Showroom. Feel free to arrange a visit to our showroom at any time to view and test fly our Aircraft!

Images # 2 / # 3 / # 4: Pictured here is the body of the SP6000 – the 6 Seat Australian LightWing Aircraft. This aircraft is currently under construction, and as you can see here, we are currently applying the fiberglass layer to strengthen the body of the aircraft, whilst also keeping it extremely lightweight. For more information visit the website at http://www.lightwing.com and visit the SP6000 Page!

Image # 5: Here you can see Nick Hughes applying the rego numbers to the Australian LightWing aircraft that is currently in the factory for some refurbishment, including a new paint job! You can see Nick here, lining up the spirit level, getting the angles correct for the numbers and checking all is perfect!

For more information or to request images of your aircraft, please visit our website at www.lightwing.com.au