Pilot weight

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rideflhtc

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Oct 9, 2014
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The Sonerai has been a classic home built since early in home building history. Now, many of us no longer weight 170 pounds which was more normal in early home building years. What is the best method of adapting a 2LS to be safe for a 6’4” 220 pound pilot? Their are more of us out here than when this plane was designed.

Thanks for all thoughts, comments, suggestions
 

Soneraifred

N99FK and me at OSH
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Pilot weight is not a problem. I weigh around 230 lbs, and I’m 6’-0” tall. My IIL has no problem with that. Your concern should be dealing with you 6’-4” height. You will have to raise the turtle deck and vertical tail height so that you can sit in it with the canopy closed.
 

mhflyit

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Jun 2, 2012
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Jupiter, FL
685L (low wing) has a 3 inch raised Turtle deck and at 6' 4" I fit snuggly.

There are several pictures in my gallery showing a line up of pilots standing beside the Sonerai and also sitting inside with the canopy closed. This may give you a better idea.
 

rideflhtc

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Oct 9, 2014
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OK, thank you very much gentlemen. I appreciate that info. I’ll go have a look at the pics. I am 43 inches from seat to top of my head...don’t know if anybody takes those kind of measurements. It does sound like their is hope.
 

Helopilot99

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Detroit Michigan
Pilot weight is not a problem. I weigh around 230 lbs, and I’m 6’-0” tall. My IIL has no problem with that. Your concern should be dealing with you 6’-4” height. You will have to raise the turtle deck and vertical tail height so that you can sit in it with the canopy closed.
I own a 2LS and weigh 235 at 5'10"......I'm not very agile and really have a tough time getting my left knee under the throttle area bracing when crawling into the airplane. Anyone else, or just me? I was a weight lifter and I don't bend very well I guess lol
 

bboss74

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Apr 14, 2007
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Location
TN
Along with being able to shimmy into the airplane, something I have thought of often, is the ability to get OUT quickly. On my IIL, it's pretty snug, as I am like Helopilot99. I had thought of carrying a set of sheet metal snips to cut tubing along with a survival knife in case I needed to get out time now! I figured if I needed to, I'd bust out of that thing like Kool-Aid Man!
 

Bil438

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Oct 17, 2007
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I;m also 6.4" I weigh 245 now but weighed 305 when I bought my S2. Because I wanted speed and pax, I went to the J3300 engine at 125 hp.
Even so I can still take a pilot of 295 lbs. That's why people buy Sonerais to begin with: load exceeds empty weight. Does a considerable list of aerobatics,P37. Very light controls. Alone I can get it between 180-200 kts.
Bill E

Pilot weight is not a problem. I weigh around 230 lbs, and I’m 6’-0” tall. My IIL has no problem with that. Your concern should be dealing with you 6’-4” height. You will have to raise the turtle deck and vertical tail height so that you can sit in it with the canopy closed.
 

Pttim

I thought this would only take a year!
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I was 6 feet and 220 lbs, Raised the turtle deck 4 inches and the fin & rudder 6.5 inches. Worked wonderfully. You want to cut tubing to get out quickly you better have a battery powered Dewalt grinder with you!
 

Bil438

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Oct 17, 2007
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804
Instead of a knob that pushes a cable, I made up a lever(class A) with the knob at the top, The rest is flat along the sidewall. Thus that knob is adjacent to the canopy frame.
If you want a photo just ask.
Bill E

I own a 2LS and weigh 235 at 5'10"......I'm not very agile and really have a tough time getting my left knee under the throttle area bracing when crawling into the airplane. Anyone else, or just me? I was a weight lifter and I don't bend very well I guess lol
 

Arron25

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Jan 17, 2006
Messages
4
Hi Fred, I have a 30 year old built to plan square tail that hasn't been used in a while, that I am refurbishing a little.. Intending to put a Jab6 in the front.
Would it be worth raising the tail fin to improve stability with the more energetic power? If so how much?
How is CoG altered with the extra pilot weight?
Thanks Lyle

Pilot weight is not a problem. I weigh around 230 lbs, and I’m 6’-0” tall. My IIL has no problem with that. Your concern should be dealing with you 6’-4” height. You will have to raise the turtle deck and vertical tail height so that you can sit in it with the canopy closed.
 

Soneraifred

N99FK and me at OSH
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Hi Lyle,
With an engine like the Jabiru 3300, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to increase the vertical tail size 15 to 25 percent. I’m not an aero engineer, so that is a bit of a SWAG on my part. John Monnett would have better insight.
Because the pilot sits in the rear seat, which is aft of the CG, as his weight goes up, the CG moves aft. It’s generally not a problem with Sonerai II’s because they tend to be a little nose heavy.
 

Bil438

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Oct 17, 2007
Messages
804
Yes I did that raised the tail 6" (fin and rudder) Brought the 6" forward 3-4" to lengthen the fin and the 6" aft to make the rudder trailing edge 3" further aft.
Before I did that If you pressed a rudder pedal to floor is would yaw 20 degrees at 115 mph and stayed there when you released the pedal. At 20 degrees yaw it was in prestall buffet at 115 mph.
ALSO in reversing turns it was divergent in yaw.
After the 6"X3" are increases, the yaw changed. When I released the rudder pedal, yaw reduced to 5 degrees and buffet stopped.
200 hours since then, no problems with the fin or rudder.
Bill E

Hi Fred, I have a 30 year old built to plan square tail that hasn't been used in a while, that I am refurbishing a little.. Intending to put a Jab6 in the front.
Would it be worth raising the tail fin to improve stability with the more energetic power? If so how much?
How is CoG altered with the extra pilot weight?
Thanks Lyle
 

Bil438

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Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
804
I have the rudder fin drawing in my records, send me your email, and I'll sent it.
Bill E

Yes I did that raised the tail 6" (fin and rudder) Brought the 6" forward 3-4" to lengthen the fin and the 6" aft to make the rudder trailing edge 3" further aft.
Before I did that If you pressed a rudder pedal to floor is would yaw 20 degrees at 115 mph and stayed there when you released the pedal. At 20 degrees yaw it was in prestall buffet at 115 mph.
ALSO in reversing turns it was divergent in yaw.
After the 6"X3" are increases, the yaw changed. When I released the rudder pedal, yaw reduced to 5 degrees and buffet stopped.
200 hours since then, no problems with the fin or rudder.
Bill E
 

Bil438

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Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
804
I'm not sure who wants the tail Drawing for the Sonerai II but it's attached. I made the vertical fin 6" taller and both are rounded at top. I also added one more hinge also at the top.
Good Luck Bil438
Have you gotten any response from Bil438 on the rudder drawings? I asked serveral times with no sucess.
 

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