Elizabeth and I got the chance to help out potential builders Reiff and Melissa Lorenz this morning, along with our local building friends Jerry and Linda Brainard. They’re building a shop and looking for a XL/RG kit, and had located one locally in northern Kentucky. The owner was out of town, and they wanted to get an experienced eye to check out the work that had been done, estimate it’s current level of completeness, and look at the Brazilian fast-built wings. The kit was purchased in the late 1990’s just as these wings were being introduced.
The Brazilian wings were an experiment in lowering the cost of the fastbuild wings while improving the consistency of the finish, improving the strength, and lowering the weight. If you visit my timeline you’ll see that the the first set of wings was tested in early 2000, and they unfortunately maiden flight crash of “Bob1” with Brendan doing a demo flight of these wings in front of a builder’s party at the factory in early 2001. Although they found that the crash was due to the winglet spar not being properly joined to the main wing spar, enthusiasm for the wings was damped. It also didn’t help that the cost was overrunning projections, and the weight was higher than expected. The net effect was that many of the benefits were not realized, shipments were slow, and based on this and the crash many builders (including Beth and I) opted for the foam core wings. Checking out this kit where our first chance to really check out a set of these Brazilian wings.
I have to say, they were very nicely made. The winglet was not attached, and it wasn’t clear there were instructions for making this attachment, but they were very straight and true. It wasn’t clear from picking them upthat they were any lighter than mine, without the winglets, but they didn’t seem heavy by any means. And not having the winglets sure makes them easier to move around! I’m not exactly sure how you would repair one of these if you had an issue like we did, maybe the same foam core repair would work, but that was really my only concern. Otherwise the whole kit was in pretty good shape. Hopefully our friend will buy the kit, and I’ll get to play with them!
Posted By: Brett FerrellSaturday June 18th, 2011 at 11:10 PM