Category Archives: flight training

Handy Home Building Tips


Today we’d like to feature some handy homebuilding tips from the team at Australian LightWing.

We spend our waking hours focused completely on handcrafting and manufacturing Australia’s Safest Light Sport Aircraft, so we’d like to share our TOP TIPS on the subject!

Enjoy! And please feel free to share with us your best tips.

Tezza’s Top Tip regards drilling holes. If you take a small piece of fabric and place it between the drill bit and the alloy you’re drilling, it will give the hole a perfect even circle. Without the rag you’ll find the drill bit can catch and leave a ragged edge. Not what you want for the perfection required in building a light aircraft.

Rag Drill Drilling

Nick’s Top Tip: Nick recommends you line all the parts up, neat and organised, in a clean working environment. Keep the area and the tools clean and respect your shed! This ensures the tools don’t go missing, things don’t get lost, and parts don’t get damaged.

Hinge Parts and Tools Bolts Ready Wheels Bolts

Andy’s Top Tip was short and to the point. R.T.F.M.Parts Manual Thanks Andy 🙂

Bruce’s Top Tip is to ensure the hinges and pins on the control surfaces remain well lubricated. Don’t let weather or wear leave your moving parts in any kind of disrepair. In the air, your control surfaces are you’re best friend! (Bruce suggests using Wurth 2000 Spray  Grease, but this is in no way a sponsored tip. That’s just his two cents).

Control Surfaces

Shelly’s Top Tip is to organise your photos on your computer in folders. Under the parent folder of aircraft, then folders by aircraft type, into which the folders are named by date. This makes finding the SP2000 photo easy, as well as the GA 55 – 912.

Australian LightWing SP Tail Dragger GA-55 912

Howie’s Top Tip is drink good coffee, buy a printer that works and invest in the Standard Practices Manuals. But that’s just today’s tips. He’s got plenty. That’s what our various Blog’s are all about!

Thanks for reading. Please do share your homebuilding tips – we’d love to hear them!

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Press Release GR-912-LSA


The NEW Australian LightWing GR-912-LSA

Heading into our 29th year of designing and manufacturing the Australian LightWing aircraft, we cannot help but reminisce as we embark on the exciting new aircraft design currently under construction at the Hughes Engineering Factory in Ballina. The inspiration comes from a very satisfied and keen repeat customer who has owned and used an Australian LightWing on his expansive property in the outback, where paddocks are measured in the tens of thousands of acres. After two decades of good and reliable use, this customer wishes to upgrade his outstanding (and of course, still flying) industry workhorse, the GR 912. This aircraft signifies where our aviation roots took hold in the days of flying a simple two stroke powered aircraft along the beaches of the Northern Rivers.

Looking forward, the brand new High Wing/Tail Dragger GR-912-LSA is designed to integrate the features of the tried and true high wing GR LightWing aircraft, with the new low wing Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) SP Range design and innovations. With superior design and high anticipation, the new High Wing/Tail Dragger GR-912-LSA will take to the air this month (March 2014).

The new GR-912-LSA aircraft is focused around our initial concept of design of super strong and super light “rag and tube” fabric covering, keeping the pilot protection frame at its strongest and lightest. This provides maximum benefits for safety, maneuverability, upkeep, style and the all important paint job. We never forget that aesthetics have their place in the Australian sky.

This traditional method of aircraft design is expertly combined with our technological innovations: The Glass Cockpit; the VIP In-flight adjustable prop; the ALW Heli-vue windows and dash; bigger flaps; optional amphibian floats; and big clear bubble doors which can be easily removed for great observation around the paddocks or flying school.

GR912LSA

Looking back over our initial design concept, we can’t help but enjoy our rich history within the Australian aviation community. Our signature tail wing has graced many a Narromine airshow, Great Eastern Fly-In and Mangalore event as well as many, many more. Happy ALW customers may find our Australian LightWing Aircraft Database an interesting place to explore and contribute to. Visit it at http://australianlightwingdatabase.wordpress.com/

We plan on focusing on the tail dragger undercarriage option as the mainstay of the GR-912-LSA high wing aircraft range. Under the hood is the Rotax 912-ULS and optional turbo 914, with options for larger power plants on the not too distant horizon as we consistently strive to compete with the import market on price and power; but in style, we’ve got them beat.

Our long line of valued and happy customers, who we believe have come to be some of our very good friends, remind us that our company and aircraft have been built from the ground up. We are appreciated not only for offering the best customer service, efficient ordering and delivery of supplies and the ever-available complete nose-to-tail aircraft expert advice, but on designing and manufacturing the safest light sport aircraft in Australia. We intend to stick to our roots.

We at Hughes Engineering are proud to consistently design and evolve our stunning aircraft in response to the ever-increasing need to be bigger, better, faster and greener, as well as stepping our company into the digital age of interactivity.

One of the ways our company steps towards a greener future is through our ever evolving website. Here you are able to download your airworthiness requirements as well as service, flight, parts and kit manuals. We’re also proud to share our current design and manufacture activities with you via Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, and various Blogs designed to focus on different aspects of our processes. All of these are easily accessed via our website at lightwing.com.au. Also, visit our website to check out our very new and exciting two axis Flight Simulator featuring superb visuals and realistic action, and soon, the option to flight train in a simulation of our very own ALW SP2000.

alwLOGO

 The Australian LightWing is a solid investment in safety. Purchasing the new GR-912-LSA means your Australian dollar goes towards this passionately created, hand sculpted and enduring emblem of Australian Aviation.

alwGR912

Pictured: The GR 912 in flight

 

What’s Happening Today?


Before we tell you anything about anything – we need to let you know about a truly great deal available at the moment – We have a Factory Demonstrator SP2000 – two seat aircraft available for sale RIGHT NOW. This stunning aircraft is available for the amazing price of AU$120,000.00 OR NEAREST OFFER – All offers will be considered. This deal will not last long. The SP2000 Features: Autopilot, Odyssey Glass Panel, VIP Prop, 4 point Harness, Microair Transponder, ICOM VHF Radio, Optional Cert. of Airworthiness. This aircraft has 60 hours flying time. Please contact us immediately! fly@lightwing.com.au or call (02) 6686 8658

The Blue SP2000

 

Blue SP2000

 

Blue SP2000 Cockpit

2014 has taken off like a rocket here at the Australian LightWing Factory.

Today in the Australian LightWing factory we are focusing on the wings, fuselage and power plant for the new aircraft currently under construction for our excited return customer in Central Queensland, inland from Longreach.

The new aircraft is a combination of technologies developed here at Australian LightWing. It will feature the strong and light weight fabric fuselage of our original aircraft design principals – the ALW GR and ALW Sport models, combined with the more spacious fuselage (and therefore cockpit) of the newer models- the complete ALW SP Range. This new aircraft design features a high wing, large baggage area, the Rotax 912 100hp engine and is a tail dragger, which is all focused on combating the harsh, unforgiving and beautiful Australian outback.

This aircraft was to be called the Tapis – but the original Tapis design has a nose wheel! So we are currently workshopping the name of the new aircraft- Do you have any ideas or suggestions you feel we should consider?!?! We’re brainstorming ideas that hope to define the fusion of our tried and true design principals of the ultra light fabric body, with the strength and power of the new airframe and power plant. We appreciate and look forward to your ideas! Please share them either in the comments below, via email (fly@lightwing.com.au), or with us and our aviation community on the Australian LightWing Facebook page.

The fuel tanks are currently being pressure tested and fitted to the wing main spar, whilst the rear spar is also being prepared. The Fuselage is being fitted out with the ALW foot pedals, wood paneling and upholstery. The power plant is also being prepped for attachment for to the firewall. You can take a closer look at the progress on a factory walk thru video (“Australian LightWing: New Fuselage” Monday 20th January 2014) at our Youtube channel and also on the Australian LightWing Instagram page, which hopes to provide some beautiful shots of the extreme attention to detail we take with our aircraft design and manufacture. We’re proud of our aircraft, and we want to show and share it with you!

Australian LightWing Fueslage Australian LightWing Fuel Tanks Australian LightWing Rear Spar Australian LightWing Fuel Tank Pressure Test Australian LightWing Fuel Tanks to Main Spar Rotax 912 uls 100hp Australian LightWing

In other news, The Australian LightWing Team were delighted to attend the Great Eastern Fly In at Evans Head last week. The Fly In was captured by the awesome crew at the Byron Bay Echo DailyNet Team. You can view the video here. You’ll catch an interview with our very own Nick Hughes at about 6.30mins! Onya Nick! You can sign up to their daily email send out of news and entertainment for the North Coast.

Also in the Factory, we are working on the Australian LightWing Flight Simulator.

And, we have invested in a new coffee machine for Christmas. So expect updates on our passionate, friendly and efficient work as quick as you can say caffeine high.

Thanks for reading our Factory Update, if you would like any more information, please contact us, or sign up for our newsletter!

Many thanks, and we hope to see you soon,

The Team at Australian LightWing.

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

Second Biennial NORRA-AUS Monto-Fly-in


Hey there! We hope to see you at the Monto Fly In September 29 to the 1st October.

 

Hughes Engineering will be taking along one of our superb SP2000 aircraft to view and experience.

We love a good fly in and this one will be great!

We hope to see lots of other aircraft from the Australian LightWing family there so come along and check out these great aircraft.

 

Monto is located in Far North Queensland near Gladstone and Bundaberg. It’s going to be a beautiful trip. Here’s a few airport details in case you’re going to be flying in http://www.flightstats.com/go/Airport/airportDetails.do?airportCode=MNQ

 

You can find out more information about the event at the RAA website here: http://www.raa.asn.au/norra-aus-2012/

 

See you there!

 

The Australian LightWing High School Fly Program lives again


 September 2011

 In early August 2011 an eager group of  20 high school students and teachers from Ballina High School and Alstonville High School’s aviation studies course (years 9 to 12)  made an excursion to the Australian LightWing Aircraft factory on Southern Cross Drive, in North Ballina, to mark the beginning of this areas second aviation project where local high school students will build, complete and learn to fly an Australian LightWing  SP-2000 low wing Aircraft.

 Students at Ballina High School have previously completed their own Australian LightWing aircraft, a  GR-912 as part the “School Fly” aviation program in 1992 to 1995. This course was a complete success as many of those students have now gone on to gainful employment in the aviation industry. Barry Skinner  for example, now is an instructor teaching flight skills in some of the worlds most sophisticated military aircraft. This new School Fly Project will be building a much more complex aircraft, as the Australian LightWing SP2000 features a glass cockpit, a variable in flight pitch propeller, low wing, gull wing doors  and many more state of the art features not present in the older GR range of LightWing aircraft.

Australian LightWing will initially be sponsoring the aircraft build which will involve students from  a number of nearby high schools, giving students the opportunity to learn how to develop both their hands-on building skills and later on, their flying skills. These skills include:  2 and 3D CAD drawing, generating G codes for computer manufacture, metalwork, spray-painting, general assembly, the hands on aspects of wing design, cockpit safety and active design aspects of this,  basic stress analysis, upholstery; styling, computer aided navigation and much more. Its worth pointing out that the School Fly course at Ballina High,  has been running in both a flying and non a non flying mode (2 students have independently attained RAAus solo status) since 1992.

The project will take shape this coming term with completion due in 2013 giving the maximum number of students the opportunity to interact with the course over the next two years. In the final stage of the School Fly project, the high schools involved will be able to sell sponsorship in the form of advertising on the aircraft itself, use the aircraft for flight training or to sell the aircraft.

Hughes’ initial motives were to ensure an endless supply of bright-eyed additions to the aviation workforce, which was definitely not the case with the previous project as students have gone on to work in the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Virgin Blue Airline etc. The LSA category has been a breath of fresh air in the stuffy world of aircraft design and manufacture making it even more important to introduce a new breed of young and empowered aviation enthusiasts into the RA-Aus and GA fraternity.

 “We have to do everything possible to encourage young people into RA-Aus membership”, says Hughes, “As we strive for an evolving and safety focused future of light sport aircraft and aviators in Australia ”.

Through the School Fly program and also thanks to forward thinking teachers like Ballina High’s Mark Willacy, Australian LightWing is actively  spreading the word about the benefits that flow on from this innovative course. In the past, schools including Kent st High in WA, Moruya on the NSW south coast and others have all built LightWing aircraft  and simply using the RAAus syllabus, hundreds of students have experienced some if not all of the excitement of flying in an aircraft they have helped build, Nick Hughes puts it this way “ its just one big win, win situation” and as Nick was a student at Ballina High when the first GR-912 was built, no one knows better than  he does, how many skills can be learnt from the School Fly program.

Sp2000