Legal Eagle XL ORV

Legal Eagle ORV in Monument Valley Utah

This blog is about flying adventures in a Milholland Legal Eagle XL named ORV, or off road vehicle forbthe long version. It is a Part 103 Ultralight Vehicle by FAA standards. That means less than 254 pounds, max of 5 gallons of fuel, max speed 63 mph with stall under 27 mph.  Powers is a 1/2 VW of 45 hp.

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Bolts and Bolting

When building your Legal Eagle, any model, make sure you use aircraft bolts on all structural connections. There are all that many bolts in a Legal Eagle and using anything but Aircraft bolts is taking a needless risk. Using hardware store bolts to hold something in place like instrument panel, or instruments may be permissible but lift struts, wings, tail feathers, never permissible. Over the years I have seen hardware store bolts and screws used in places where a failure would mean the end. Lots of people use hardware store bolts for fit up and alignment, but they change all to aircraft bolts before final assemble and double check before flight. I have concerns about this because if bolts that are not easily seen, such as on wing fitting, inside wing, get left as hardware store bolts, they can break as easy as those exposed. Most hardware store bolts I have seen are the cheap all thread kind, they may be cheaper than aircraft bolts but the shear loads are less than 1/4 of an aircraft bolt and with the threads will crack at route and break. The better, non-thread bolt hardware store bolt is better but is very close in cost to aircraft bolts. Aircraft bolts are all inspected and make of materials to provide strength and toughness.

When you make that first flight somewhere it will cross you mind every bolt and nut and fitting installed and keeping you in the air. Make it a good thought and do not be wondering which bolt is gonna break and leave you in airborne flying mess.

3D Printer printing

I have been wanting a 3D printer for some time, finally took the step. I believe 3D printers were like computers when they first come out, first ones were clunky, expensive and did not do much but after a while they became user friendly, costs went down and what they are capable of it amazing. Found a printer in my price range with lots of good reviews and took the step. I am might say the learning curve has been considerable and with lots of internet searching and exploring youtube videos believe i am getting to the better side of making something. I use autocad all the time but needed to learn Solid works, still learning but making good progress. This is an Ender3 Pro. It is kind of like the early computers, you get everything in the box but some of it needs to be upgraded before much use. Lots of new things to learn, I now know what a slicer is. In college i worked around injection molding equipment so the concept of the extrusion part I am familiar with.

This was the first part I designed and built of my own design. One of my goals is to build some parts lighter and or more aerodynamic.

First Flight of First Legal Eagle XL and the video that started it all

Long Ago this was the first flight of Legal Eagle XL P-81. I built the engine myself, it is a 1/2 VW, 94 mm bore and 86 mm stroke, and bicycle wheels and brakes. This flying machine is not in Rio Vista and still flying regularly. I had a fiberglass seat. I rebuilt it after I got ORV flying. Wanted to correct a few things, one of which was i glued the fabric to the ribs before heat shrinking, make nice curved rib lines. You may notice the take off run was long and climb was not very rapid. There is a reason for that, weight of pilot, way north of 300 lbs, the reason I built the Legal Eagle, started as a UL but the plans for the XL wings got released accidently one day on the eaglersnest, just before I ordered the wood, so i made my wings XL. My plan was to use the Legal Eagle as motivation to get on with life and loose weight. I eventually got down to 218 pounds and in lots better health. Of course over the years i have gained weight and am again loosing weight. Legal Eagle XL ORV climbs at 500 fpm easily with a 260 lb pilot on board, a friend of mine, weights 160 lbs, in ORV climbs at 1,000 fpm. What a great motivator to loose weight, build light and stay light.

First Flight 2021 with Legal Eagle SR 7-1/2

This year i was determined to get airborne on the First, last year it was the 25th before i was able to fly and look at how 2020 turned out. This year should be better. It was very cold and we stayed in the air longer than I had intended, Following a Cessna 150 that was flying a big pattern. Be Glad when i can get back on ORV and turn the electric motor cycle jacket on to warm up on those cold days.