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Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:06 pm
by joe49
Couple of questions from a newb. 1) What gross weight can you have building to AB? 2)Any mods to standard kit to do this? Like to hear about this from those who have gone this route.

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:04 pm
by FlyerChief
Hi Joe,
I originally registered mine at 1320 lb. to allow it to be imported into the US as an LSA if by some unfortunate stroke of luck I had to sell it. Since that time I went through the process to change the registered gross weight up to 1550 lb. If you are in Trumpland I'm not sure of the process, but I am guessing you may be in Canada because you are calling it an Amateur Built rather than an Experimental. In Canada, changing the gross weight required another climb test and a letter from the factory stating that the aircraft was tested and approved to fly a that weight, but no mods. I believe there are others who have gone higher, but last I heard, 1550 lb. was the highest weight that the factory (Troy) would approve. If you have no intention of selling it or want to put floats on it, I would ask for a copy of the letter and start at 1550 lb. right off the bat, building the lightest Highlander you can to give you the highest payload possible! That way, even on amphibious floats, you can still have a 600 lb. payload.

Increasing the wing area will lower the wing loading and may allow a higher gross, but that is not a factory approved mod, so it would be difficult to get a letter to from them approving a higher weight than 1550 lb.
Highlander # 241

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:06 am
by joe49
Thanks for the reply. I'm in the US. What got me asking was this video at 1:03 useful load of 1000#.
The video is of a Superstol, but got me wondering about the Highlander gross weight.
Anyone else with info please chime in.

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:47 pm
by danerazz
In the US (or Trumpland per the canuk, which is far better than "Clintonville"), you would most likely build it as E-AB. If you want to operate it as "LSA" you just have to make sure it also meets those specifications from day one. Once you take it out of conformity of the LSA standards (GW, speed, inflight adjustable prop, more than 2 seats, etc.), EVER, it can no longer be considered LSA for operational purposes, EVER.

You can only build it as E-LSA if the factory has a conforming model, and you build it EXACTLY as that model. Really no point in the long run of ever doing that.

So back to E-AB. If you build it at 1320lbs GW and want to fly it without a medical, then great, do that under LSA rules.
wait for the FAA to fully implement the new medical reform and comply with that and don't worry about the weight.
just build and test it to whatever weight and use a third class medical. Later you can operate under the medical reform rules with no aircraft changes.

If you build it to 1320lbs and then later want to up the GW, you put it back into Phase I and test it at that new gross weight in all phases of the performance envelope just as you did (you did, right?) at 1320. Then put it back into Phase II and go about your business.

I have been told by the factory they have tested the highlander to 1550lbs, but I have also heard it doesn't fly "great" at that weight, but does it. Then again, any plane at absolute gross weight is generally marginal.

Also, you can build and test it to ANY weight you want, but if things go wrong you may have to prove that anything over the designer's max weight was justified by some reasonable design changes or fancy math showing it should have worked. As the builder, even of a kit, you determine all of the specifics of systems, performance, limitations (to include max gross weight), etc.

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:09 am
by joe49
Thank you for the insight.

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:58 pm
by av8rps
Dane, That was some great advice, and great information. I agree completely with what you suggested.

In the late 2000's we flew a Highlander amphib with two of us and lots of gear at approximately 1500 lbs from Wisconsin to Florida and back, and it flew exceptionally well at that weight. Yes, any plane at max gross is less fun to fly than when lighter, but the Highlander handled that just fine. In fact, considering tbe small wing area, the heavy amphib floats, and only 95 hp, it does amazingly well. Even runway takeoffs were still under 500 ft. Water...well, plan for about twice of normal. But even that is impressive as many 700 lb seaplanes will not even fly 800 lbs off the water at all...

Oh, and here in Wisconsin we actually do have a town called "Clintonville". How funny is that?

Paul Seehafer
680 lb 912uls Highlander

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:40 pm
by SheepdogRD
av8rps wrote:... Oh, and here in Wisconsin we actually do have a town called "Clintonville". How funny is that?

That's downright Hillaryous. :D

Re: Highlander built as a Exp AB

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:56 pm
by FlyerChief
Good one Richard!!! Can't Trump that...