After the Piuma flex-wing last month, we continue our tour of financially accessible ultra lights. Here is the Zigolo built by Aviad … An appealing bird
The ground temperature is 26°C and the takeoff weight 192 kg. Our test machine has an empty weight of only just 105 kg. Wing loading is therefore low at an interesting 12.15 kg per square meter. Taxiing does not require special skills just a bit of practice. All the same, the Zigolo is centered slightly to the rear when on the ground and it takes a bit of speed and power to lift the tail. With no headwind and without pushing it, takeoff happens after a 60m roll with climb rate of 1.7m/s. Engine (propeller) torque is virtually nonexistent. The initial climb at 55km/h is uneventful. Level flight is significantly improved with this new wooden GT propeller. The original prop was used by motorized Para gliders and its pitch was unsuitable for the flight envelope of the Zigolo. The cruise speed has changed significantly with this version The general stability of the microlight is positive with a phugoid period of 20 seconds and 2.5 cycles. Yaw stability has been improved, but although the new springs are already doing their job, this axis still needs to be fine-tuned. In a roll, the ailerons with their new Teleflex commands have gained in efficiency and accuracy. Although the stall occurs without real warning signs at about 45 km/h, its gentleness is only equaled by the ease of recovery. At 50 km / h, the Zigolo always has full authority in flight with controls maintaining efficiency and retaining good defensive leeway. AND GLIDING? Engine off, the Zigolo turns into a nice little glider for local flight. It does very well and it's a real treat for climbing thermals. Relative wind noise around the cockpit is an excellent indicator of the mass of the air! In this engine-off configuration, the Zigolo keeps all its authority with efficient control surfaces. Piloting round the center of thermals or keeping on top of a ridge dynamic with absolute precision is childishly simple! The efficiency (?), the minimum weight of the unit (192kg for our test) allowed us to calculate a glide ratio of more than 10 at 59 km/h with a min Vz around about -1.4 m/s at this speed. These figures are certainly not the best around for a glider but for an ultralight at less than 8000 euros it's not bad ... and I assure you that it is perfectly possible to learn to glide this way! Some training centers are already thinking of equipping themselves with this machine to introduce soloed students to this type of flying.
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