Highlander Extreme

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Highlander Extreme

Postby stede52 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:31 pm

Dick,
Jim is obviously a very talented designer/builder and has built numerous Highlanders and Kit Foxes and he just want to try something different. He liked the Highlander fuse but he wanted to try something different in wing design. Jim’s Extreme is a real Highlander highbred. He put a completely different wing design on a Highlander fuselage, but he couldn’t leave the fuse along either and redesigned the landing gear, horizontal and vertical stab. Based on the Highlanders he's built and flown the design gave the airplane a 5-7 mph slower landing and 10-15 mph high cruise, however, he did confide in me that the performance wasn’t worth the 2500 hours of building time it took to achieve those results. If he did it all over again he would build at standard Highlander and fly those additional 2000 hours he spent on the designing and building the Extreme. Here are some of the design specs and pics of the Extreme:
GA-30 613.5 wing, 150 ft. square feet
"I" beam wing spars (like a Cub) with aluminium ribs
44 gallons of fuel
Retractable leading edge slats
Full span flaperons
Cantilevered symmetrical horizontal/elevator
11" full canstering tail wheel (not connected to the rudder)
Wings do not fold, the lift strut attachment point was moved 12 inches forward
No "V" brace for the landing gear

Steve D
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landing gear.jpg
Horizontal stab.jpg
flaperons.jpg
finished leading-edge.jpg
extreme.jpg
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby stede52 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:34 pm

More Extreme Highlander Pics

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wing and tanks.jpg
wing tanks.jpg
slats open.jpg
slats closed.jpg
panel.jpg
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:31 pm

Wow, Steve, thank you! This is fascinating stuff. I agree -- Jim is very talented. And I agree that 2000 hours of extra build/design time is a lot -- especially since it's 2000 hours with all of his experience.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if a kit with at least some of these changes were offered -- perhaps incorporated into a more advanced model. I'll be the first to admit that losing the folding wing would hurt, but maybe there's a way around that. The slats and flaperons sound pretty interesting, despite the added complexity.

I'm not sure I need to haul 18 gallons more fuel. Even at 5.5 gph, 44 gallons is 8 hours flying time (without reserve), which is way longer than my personal tank can last. To use bigger fuel capacity, I'd have to build in a relief tube or carry a C-clamp. :-(

I've wondered what aerodynamically-shaped tail surfaces would do for speed; it seems as if our flat ones have to be draggy, but I that's just a gut reaction, not a fact-based opinion.

First question: did the cleaned-up gear come at a loss of interior space, or was it just from added strengthening below the floorboards?

Second question(s): What effect do the fences have on speeds at both ends of the performance envelope? Is it possible for a first-time builder to incorporate them, or should I wait and put them on the second one?

Pretty neat stuff, Steve. Thanks for putting all this here.

Dick
Last edited by SheepdogRD on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby stede52 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:20 pm

Dick,
He didn't loose any cabin space due to the gear mod, however, he did reinforce the area for the mod.
He also said he would probably go to convention flaps and ailerons due to the complexity and andditioal weight of the flaperon mechanism which resulted in little gain.
The reason for the fences was primarly due to the fact he hadn't made his wingtips yet, however, the fences are better then nothing and do help in keeping the air from spilling out the end of the wing in slow flight, not sure about high speed performance. I think his intent is to build wingtips eventually, he just didn't have time before the Arlington Airshow.

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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby Lynng » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:06 pm

Who is this JIM of which you speak? I must go and seek knowledge from the master. :D
He has a lot of the same ideas I would like on my next Highlander
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space"
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby stede52 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:53 pm

Lynn,
Jim Pekola has been friends with Troy for many years and lives in western Wa. near the coast. I'll get back to you.

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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby SheepdogRD » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:13 pm

Lynng wrote:Who is this JIM of which you speak? I must go and seek knowledge from the master. :D
He has a lot of the same ideas I would like on my next Highlander

Lynn, this conversation about Jim's work started down toward the bottom of Page 2 in the For Sale and Accessories and Upgrades thread at http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=218&t=18412. A couple other neat ideas are discussed there.

Dick
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby moving2time » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:40 am

Lynn

I'm curious what it was that you liked about Jim's ideas. I have been looking into alternatives to the Highlander wing similar to what Jim did but I am not an aeronautical engineer so my research has been purely curiosity. My motivation isn’t driven necessarily by performance but still I would like to build a metal wing for the Highlander that would increase the top speed and still provide the benefit of short field performance. Many of the things that Jim did to his aircraft were good improvements but I am not terribly excited about the full length flaperons. From the information I found on Jim's aircraft Jim even said himself that he would go back to a more conventional arrangement. Another thing I am not willing to discard is the folding wing. I really like the idea of being able to trailer my aircraft. Although I may never fly my own aircraft out to visit Steve and see the great state of Washington from the air in a Highlander I would trailer it out to fly the area in a heartbeat! I would love to hear why Jim discarded the folding wing function.

What were you looking for in your next Highlander?

As much as I love the Highlander I don't see myself finding the 60K necessary to build a Highlander kit even though I think it is the best kit built aircraft out there. I would love to scratch build a Highlander if there were plans available. One thing I know for certain is that I definitely want to build an aircraft with the flight envelope of the Highlander.
The only way I see that happening will be to build something that I can scratch build and since I can scratch build a metal wing much quicker and more accurately than any other construction type, with the proper engineering drawings, that skill will be a key decision factor in my choice of projects. If there were some way to get my hands on the proper engineering drawings for the wings and tail feathers for the Highlander I would start that project tomorrow.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:54 pm

moving2time wrote: . . . One thing I know for certain is that I definitely want to build an aircraft with the flight envelope of the Highlander. The only way I see that happening will be to build something that I can scratch build and since I can scratch build a metal wing much quicker and more accurately than any other construction type, with the proper engineering drawings, that skill will be a key decision factor in my choice of projects. If there were some way to get my hands on the proper engineering drawings for the wings and tail feathers for the Highlander I would start that project tomorrow.

I've never heard of plans for the Highlander/Avid/Kitfox being available, but there was a plans-built aircraft called the Raven that was supposed to be similar to the Avid, from which all of these designs sprang. I located this source: http://www.plansforu.com/content/raven-kitfox-replica-plans. I don't know how much like the Avid it actually is, but it may be a start for you.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby moving2time » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:22 pm

There are all kinds of single seater plans built aircraft out there. Unforutnatly I haven't come across one that is equal to the Highlander and certainly not a two seater but thanks for the info. Since Steve knows the guy with the Extreme Highlander, maybe he can get a phone number. I would like to find out what Jim might have in the way of plans for his mods. Part of what I have read was that Jim used a Kitfox wing but I believe that was speculation from one of the other forum contributors. Besides, I don't believe Kitfox uses metal ribs. Another document I read was written by Jim and apparently he also modified the location of the wing. That takes engineering. I would never try to modify the design of an aircraft. I just don''t have the training. However, if I had real engineered plans I would begin construction as quickly as I could get material together. I'm considering the Zenith 750 which can be built from plans but it is not nearly as good looking as the Highlander. It does have similar performance. My flight in a Highlander this summer sold me on the Highlander. I just don't think the 60K price tage is going to be in my near future so I need to find a way to reduce that investment. Sucks but that's my world! I love this forum. I'm learning new things all the time.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:06 pm

moving2time wrote:There are all kinds of single seater plans built aircraft out there. Unforutnatly I haven't come across one that is equal to the Highlander and certainly not a two seater but thanks for the info.

The Raven is a two seater. Here's what it says on the link: "The Raven is very similar in construction, performance, appearance and dimensions to the Kitfox and the Avid Flyer. It is a high wing 2 seater, of tube and fabric construction. It has simple fore and aft aluminium tube wing spars and the wings can be folded back for trailering or to save hangar space."

I don't know what airfoil is used, and the airfoil is critical to the Highlander's STOL performance. I'll admit that the specs they provide don't sound like a Highlander.

moving2time wrote: . . . I'm considering the Zenith 750 which can be built from plans but it is not nearly as good looking as the Highlander. It does have similar performance.

The CH750 was what originally drew me back to building a plane. It's similar to the Highlander in some ways, but it's all aluminum. When they were passing out beauty, the CH750 was off asking for a second helping of shiny.

When I looked at the Highlander, I couldn't go back.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby stede52 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:39 am

I've had many conversations with Jim about the extreme design and he's told me (in no uncertain terms) he would not be intersted in building wing mod kits for the Highlander and expecially his extreme wing because the performance gains were not worth the effort. Believe me, just the welding modifications that were required to the fuse and flap design would not make a kit affordable.:shock: Also the extreme wing is nothing like the kitfox wing, the only similarity is the fact it has a full span flaperon, which he would never do again either

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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby xpflyr » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:00 pm

stede52 wrote:I've had many conversations with Jim about the extreme design and he's told me (in no uncertain terms) he would not be intersted in building wing mod kits for the Highlander and expecially his extreme wing because the performance gains were not worth the effort. Believe me, just the welding modifications that were required to the fuse and flap design would not make a kit affordable.:shock: Also the extreme wing is nothing like the kitfox wing, the only similarity is the fact it has a full span flaperon, which he would never do again either

Steve D


In case anyone cares, I posted this some thread before but can't find it, so.
I got my hands on a stencil of a Kitfox 7 wing.
Now the Kitfox 7 or 5 for that matter with a 100 hp engine can cruise at 130 to 140 mph. It does stall a little bit higher.
This is the trade off for any aircraft, as you all know. Vno vs. Vso.
The wing is virtually the same with one major difference.
It's flat on the bottom and we know the Highlander is concave.
So I thought about adding some foam to the wood rib to make it flat. It was only about 3/4 of an inch difference. Then thought better.
But it sure would be interesting to have flaps (I don't like flaperons) and the simple wing fold of the Highlander with a little higher cruise.
About a 24 inch long piece x 3/4 inch, tapered off, on every rib.
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Re: Highlander Extreme

Postby moving2time » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:49 am

XPFLYR

I believe your choice to leave the Highlander airfoil alone was a good choice. Changing the Airfoil is a significant change to an aircraft and filling in the undercamber of the Highlander airfoil would be a bad move. It would affect so many different specifications I wouldn't want to try it myself. Not without proper training. My interest in changing the airfoil on the highlander is to change it to something that can be built from metal. I can't fabricate the Highlander wing with its undercambered airfoil from sheet metal. That is the real value to me in the wing that was used on the Extreme Highlander. As you can see from the photos posted not only was the airfoil changed but the wing was relocated on the airframe. All that affects balance, ;loading, and performance. That is why I would want a set of engineered drawings to make modifications like that.

I would love to build a Highlander with metal wings. That way I could buy the tube frame for the fusalage and scratchbuild the wings. I'm not necessarilly looking to increase the top speed. I like the flight envelope as it is although a little faster would be nice for traveling. I'm sure there is an arifoil without undercamber that could be engineered to fit the Highlander without changing the balance and loading of the aircraft. It would just take someone with the capability of checking the calculations. Obviously Jim had the expertise to engineer his changes on the Extreme or at least he new someone that had the expertise. If my stall speed suffered from changing the airfoil I would not be happy so if that performance figure suffered I would not be interested. I still want a STOL capable aircraft. Perhaps moving the wing forward was a reqirement of the new airfoil on Jim's Extreme to inhance the STOL performace?

The Highlander is an awesome aircraft as it is. I would just like to find a way to scratchbuild it and metal wings would be easiest and desirable.

Just my two cents.

Joe B
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