Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Panel layout

This is version one, I'm sure there will be many more...

It's a slightly different shape from standard - the knee cutouts are a little higher and the central part is wider at the top to accommodate my long legs and the width of the GPS.

The Dynon EFIS is the heart of this panel replacing lots of engine gauges as well as the traditional flight instruments. It cuts down on pilot workload by monitoring lots of parameters and giving an audible alarm and displaying a warning when something goes out of 'green'.

The 3 'steam' gauges are the ASI, Altimeter and Compass which are required by law in the UK as a backup.

I know it's early days to be thinking about the panel but I still have a month to kill till I go pick up the kit so I'm reading the manual again and thinking about this layout before I have to start buying the expensive stuff that's going to go in it.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Most composite planes are white - this is usually to reflect as much heat as possible from the sun as too much heat can damage the underlying structure. Whilst white is the best colour to do this it also makes for a boring looking aircraft.

One of the kit designers has his painted yellow and dark blue - which looks very nice. The yellow does almost as good a job as white at reflecting heat.

I have decided on a similar paintjob for my kit and will hopefully be able to use orange and black. (The black is used in places where the sun will not be directly on it and on non-structural parts like the engine cowling). For the orange I hope to use a candy type paint with a lot of metallic flakes in it to reflect as much light as possible.

Some of my inspiration.

Bloodhound SSC - Land speed record car and McLaren M6

And below is version 1 of how it could look.

First signature from Inspector

On Tuesday evening my inspector, Rex came around to view the workspace I will be using.

He seemed happy enough, so I have my first part of this long process signed off.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Engine choice

The LAA are only considering 2 types of engine for the Twister.

The Jabiru.

And the UL Power 260.

I've heard enough horror stories about the Jabiru over the years to make this decision easy.

The UL Power is an advanced engine - offering fuel injection (so no carb icing) FADEC (single lever control and auto mixture). But is still a direct drive and air cooled design which makes things simple and reliable.

The iSA version offers a fully inverted oil system as standard and puts out 107hp plus a lot of torque - 240NM (a lot more than the 100hp Rotax 912S - which puts out 128NM).

It's not cheap - but then quality never is.

More about the engine can be found here:

Friday, 3 June 2011

Factory update

I emailed the factory and they gave me an update on progress with the kit.

The wings and some small composite parts are done and they are starting on the fuselage this week.

So the pick up date of mid July still looks okay.

I will be driving over to Dortmund in Germany to pick it up.

Inspector sorted

Last night I phoned Rex Coates who agreed to oversee the build as my Inspector.

Rex is highly qualified and a composites guru - actually just an overall guru it seems as he used to run the PFA engineering a wee while back.

I'm well chuffed that he has agreed to be my inspector as he lives just a 10 minute drive away - the next closest inspectors are outside of London so it would have been quite a hassle to have to use anyone else.