As a source of this project I have taken Moscow trike created by the first hangglider champion of USSR, Russian ULM Federation instructor and safety inspector Andrei Karetkin.
These trikes are being produced by some small Russian companies and ULM clubs. I flew these trikes and appreciated their relatuvely simple but well considered design. My experience as a trike designer and pilot, and my acquaintance with American trikes and materials allowed me to modify, improve this design and create "Eagle" project.
This project has a lot of advantages comparatively with trikes existing in the North American market.
More strength Europeen-style triangle structure of the rear suspension comparatively with classical American trikes.
Folded mast makes the wing installation easier.
Possibility to install shock-absorbers for all wheels that make takeoff and landing more comfortable and safe. Lower position of the pilots allows to get lower center of gravity that reduces possibility of overturn during ground operations. Even two heavy pilots could fly from unprepared fields.
The compact layout provides excellent aerodynamics and keeps enough space that allows the installation of BRS, extra fuel, or luggage behind the pilot without aerodynamic penalties. Possibility to make and use it as a mono (legal FAR-103 ultralight) or two-seater (Light-Sport plane) layout, using different wings, powerplants, gas tanks, wheels etc., it is adjustable to all your wishes. Standard components from the US market (tubing 6061T6 and 7075T6, sheet metal, bolts and nuts), well thought-out design allows to modify, repair, or easy built it at home from plans or a kit, and also keep reasonable cost comparatively with European trikes. Excellent trike for beginners, low-and-slow flying fans, cross-county pilots and instructors.
Three different prototypes were built and tested before "Eagle" commertial production:
Soaring solo version with a light engine. Even a hangglider wing with appropriate pilot weight (or enforced) can be adapted for this trike.
Universal version with long seat base and shock-absorber wheel suspension can be made as a legal FAR-103 ultralight with cargo bag installation behind a pilot and any existed 2-stroke ultralight engine. The weight of my prototype (fork with suspension, wheel fairings, Rotax-503 with original belt redrive, 3-blade composite prop) is only 190lbs without a wing (80-90 lbs rolling shassis only). It can be easy converted (with passenger seat and belt installation) or built as a 2-seater (ultralight trainer, sport-plane, canadian basic 2-place ultralight).
Another 2-place version of this prike especially calculated and designed for GEO-Suzuki 1liter engine installation. Full wheel suspension, hydraulic brake, wheel fairings, big beautiful instrument pod with a lot of space for gauges, 12 galloon light fiberglass gas tank, reliable 4-stroke injection engine with low gas consumation, possibility to install big (up to 72") diameter prop and instuctor's steering, and still very attractive price - main features of this trike. I didn't test but really enjoyed high performances and easy handling of this machine with my favourite X-14 wing.
I displayed Eagle at different aviation show in the US and Canada, flew them solo and with students, worked to make them more attractive visually, sold a lot of plans, some kits and trikes. Now I can sertanly say: trike pilots like its excellent performances and handling; my clients like its reasonable price; plans and kit buyers appreciate its plans' and parts' quality, homebuilder-friendly design. Click HERE if you want to see the picture of one nice Eagle made in Italy from my plans. Look at more detailed pictures of different Eagle trikes from Air Trikes below.
This Eagle with wide tires and 1300CC Suzuki engine is made and tested spring 2005 The trike is easy in flight, landings are extremely soft, the chassis and my favourite X-14 wing easy handle some additional weight. Even more performanced setup. Available for your order now.
I use Eagles not only as "fun fly" and "school" trikes but also as "test platforms" for different engines. Trike with X-14 and G10 Turbo was tested Summer 2006. Engine – standard Turbo 1L (Canadian), not modified. MPFI with computer control system. No intercooler. All “modifications” I did – drilled ¼” hole in the intake collector to lower max boost. SPG-2 conversion system with 2.5 RR. 69” KOOLprop. I decided not using all available power so overpitched the prop +4 degrees together with boost decreasing.
Now about flying performances I got. I can feel the difference from the first second of giving full throttle. Takeoff is very short, climbing with extremely high angle.
I could see only my feet and sky, I felt - a little more and I would perform a loop. Some numbers:
Cruise RPM 3300-3400 (boost about 3.5 psi) cruise level speed about 55mph
“Normal” climbing RPM 4300-4500 (boost about 7 psi) about 800FPM
“HOT” climbing RPM 5000-5200 (boost about 10 psi) up to 1500FPM
This engine is the best from Suzuki family regarding power/weight ratio. I didn’t do static thrust test but I think I have something between 450 and 500 LBS, the power is around 85HP.
Its extremely low cruise RPM makes this engine even more reliable and fuel efficient. I also expect higher TBO than a standard naturally aspirated G10.
This 3-seater Eagle was built in 2005 in Mumbai, India from plans. X-17 wing and 1.3L Suzuki engine with D-prop were used
for this project. This trike was successfully tested at National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla. In 2006 they bought some SPG-2 conversion systems for Suzuki,
propellers and wings to make more trikes.
Redesigned new Solo and GEO 2009 year models
Almost 100 trikes has been built by Air Trikes and our clients over the world to the end of 2008. Different engines, materials and components were used.
There was even a small “factory” in India building Eagles there, including 3-place version.
All this experience clearly showed - Eagle trike was a really successful project, useful for many trike builders and pilots. But there are ways
to improve even a good aircraft. Solo trike was redesigned first in 2008, and the new chassis was made in 2009. Now Eagle-GEO (for Suzuki G10 and G13) is done.
It is more “builder friendly”, plans are more detailed and précised. Big tires, 100HP 4-stroke G13BB engine are standard. Testing Eagle trikes with G13BB,
most of trike pilots said It was flying like a trike with 912S with better fuel economy and faster throttle responce. Yes - Fuel Injection system works more efficient than
carburators on most "real" aviation engines. If you have 2-3 week time,
basic tools & skills - spend about 10-12K$ and build E-AB trike flying like 50-60K$ 912-912S trikes. Sounds too good to be true? Try! My builders'
support is included, parts available. Plans are made with AutoCad system and can be sent printed by regular mail with description (used materials, hardware etc).
3 different set of plans - Solo 2009, old Universal model for light engines (Rotax type), and new Eagle-GEO 2009 are available + 3-seater supplement.
Some pictures of Solo chassis. Click on thumbnails to see them:
Eagle-GEO G13BB Deluxe 2009 model
Specifications U.S. Metric
* Maximum Speed 80 mph 130 km/hr
* Cruise Speed 45-65 mph 80-110 km/h
Engine Suzuki G13BB, 4-stroke, 4-cyl, 100 hp
Fuel 12.5 gallons 48 liters
Fuel consumption (cruising) 1.6-1.8g about 7 liters
Propeller Three-blade KOOLprop, diameter 69-73 inches
Empty Weight (no wing) 385 pounds 175 kilograms
* Empty Weight (with wing) 495 pounds 225 kilograms
* Maximum Gross Weight 968-1100 pounds 440-500 kilograms
* Useful Load up to 600 pounds 270 kilograms
Length 9 feet, 2 inches 2.8 meters
Wheel base 69 inches 1.75 meters
Height 93 inches 2.36 meters
*Depends on the wing used with the trike
This trike is the last genertion of Eagle-GEO trikes. The reinforced structure (2.5"x 1/8" main tubes with
inside & outside sleeves) + 4 hydro-pneumatic shock absorbers. Large tires on solid aluminum casting rims with precise bearings. Chromoly steel front fork.
This chassis is able to sustain very bad landings and rough field runs! The trike is more compact, has higher clearance and looks taller than older Eagle model, but it has
exactly the same low height and CG. Fully loaded: hydraulic disc brake, gas shocks, foot and hand (cruise) throttle control,
full electric package (ignition lock, light battery, alternator and starter), 12.5 gallon tank with fuel pump inside, clear level tube and electrical
level sender, soft seats, side bags, trike + engine soft cover and prop blade covers.
Instructor steering can be added easy. Very soft and comfortable AEROS seats. 2-point adjustable aviation seatbelt system
can be easy conveted in 4-point system if necessary.
The engine is 4-cylinder 4-stroke GEO-Suzuki G13BB engine with Multi Point Fuel Injection and Computer control,
converted with new design SPG-3 2.5RR gearbox. About 100 HP. Its "excessive" power is very useful for STOL performances, long
fast cruising with full loading. Very safe engine. Even if something happened with one cyinder (spakplug, wire, injection etc), it has enough
power reserve to fly and even climb with 3 cylinders with full loading. Look for more info
about these powerplants here Low noise and efficient 3-bade KOOLprop with solid stainless steel LE, blade covers
and spinner installed.
Original alien-head instrument pod with engine control instruments: water temperature gauge, voltmeter, hourmeter, oil pressure, fuel pressure, tachometer,
fuel level gauge with warning light. Alternator control warning lights + 12v power supply socket. Navigation
instruments: Stratomaster ASI, altimeter+VSI. There is a free space to install additional instruments (GPS, radio etc) if necessary.
The structure is powdercoated in red and back for corrosion protection and excellent looking. Light wheelpants are used to increase high speed stability
and decrease aerodynamic drag.
The trike was tested in flight with different wings. I'm proud to say this is definitely the best Eagle I have ever had. It is stable and solid as a rock on the ground,
soft and gentle in flight, handles well and predictable in windy condition and turbulence.
More detailed pictures below. One wheelpant was removed to show the wheel but the trike comes with 2 of them.
Can be made with X-14, X-155, X-17
(Look for more info about these wings here), RW-17, Apogee, Aeros Profi, Profi TL (with trimmer mechanism), Stream, Still wings.
BRS 1050 can be installed.
Excellent cross-country flyer (can cruise about 6 hours without refueling, land on short rough field), perfect for instruction flights,
aerial surveilance and photo. Can be sold with a special trailer. "Air Trikes Enterprises" sells plans and parts for Eagle trikes so such trike can be built and legally registered as E-AB in the US and Canada.
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