Technical Matters

The Design

The trike, engine and wing are standard production items.

The Alize trike is a honey. The base tubes are aluminium, while the rear tubes which support the enging are steel. G-CFDZ has no brakes and only a hand throlle. Newer Alize trikes have a brake on the front wheel and a foot throttle fitted as standard and 30cm wheels (G-CFDZ has only 26cm wheels).

The 2-stroke Solo 210, which was fitted to the Alize trike provided only just sufficient power. It was rated at 14.5hp and despite my efforts to improve the performance by fitting a tuned exhaust system was never totally satisfactory. In April 2010, it was replaced with a 4-stroke Bailey 4V-200 paramotor engine.

The Exxtacy wing has an aluminium keel tube and control frame but the wing is entirely composite with a carbon fibre D box section leading edge and carbon fibre ribs.

Weight shift is used for pitch control while turning is effected by the use of spoilers.

The Build

The build was fairly straight forward. A hang block was machined from a block of nylon and is split horizontally to facilitate fitting around the base tube of the Exxtacy's keel. The bracket and hang block from the original Ellipse Fuji wing were used for patterns. This square hang block touched against the inside of the sail and was replaced in 2012 with a new U-shaped hang-block.

New rigging wires were made up to reposition the control bar within reach of the pilot. Without these, the pilot would have had to sit bolt upright, rather than adopting the recumbent position that is a feature of the Alize trike. It was also necessary to lengthen the cord rigging to the spoilers.

The battery is a YTX4L-BS, rated at 4AHr, 50A cca.

Instruments

The engine is equipped with a small digital tachometer, otherwise there is only what the pilot chooses to carry.

Assembling wing on trike

On a conventional flex-wing microlight the wing and trike are attached by standing the wing on it's nose and bringing the trike, without the front strut in place and the pylon lowered, in from the rear to attach the pylon to the hang block. On G-CFDZ I found this impractical to do as it was not possible to lift the wing and insert the front strut while keeping the trike on the ground. I stand the wing on it's tail and bring the fully assembled trike in from the front. In order to attach the hang-block it is necessary to tip the trike back until the propellor is almost flat on the ground the slip the hand bolt in place. To right the assembled aircraft, I use a rope to stop the trike rolling forward as I push the wing up and over the trike from behind.