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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Legal Eagle XL ORV with the BSV23, (Briggs and Stratton Vanguard 23) with Ace Aviation Redrive and Culver wood prop. Friend Burt from California dropped by and put 3 hours flying time on the BSV23. I had not heard it run from ground before and was very impressed with how quiet it is.

Ground loop of Legal Eagle XL SR 7-1/2

Long story but my right foot slipped off rudder pedal and it was not easily, (quickly) going back in place and because of cross wind and left rudder pedal still working a turn to left had started and my hand was not on brakes yet, Time and distance was running out from aircraft and house and path to best outcome was ground loop to left. It worked. I have a second video about changes to machine to prevent this from ever happening again. I was intent on saving weight and mounted battery on floor board behind firewall, between rudder pedals. Seemed to be enough room for my fat feet. This proved me wrong. I am moving battery behind seat, installing longer battery cables, redoing rudder pedals, lower, longer and installing anti-slip material on metal floor boards to keep feet from sliding.

LEXL ORV landing at T25 with 360 degree camera.

Working on how to mount and use camera and how to edit the video. Working with the insta360x3 opens up a new world of taking video and the 360 provides great oppertunity to express on-self. I have been wondering how my landings look up close and this provides the shot, not bad landing even if I say so myself. In case you are wondering most of my landing are wheel landings, not full stall, I cannot consistently get the correct height above runway to let it stall.

Legal Eagle XL ORV taking off for first flight of 2023

Testing new insta360x3 camera and mounting. Need to learn where and how to mount and what vibrations, movements camera will allow without effecting video. Processing the video is a lot different than with the Gopro also so have a lot of learning to do in this area also. For more information on the engine check out Leonard Milholland’s website at or his youtube channel. Bet you have not seen a U shaped runway before, all kinds of neat things can be done with the 360 degree video and I have a lot to learn.

ORV and I made our first flight of 2023

We were trying a new camera and some video using the gopro 10. Beautiful calm day for flying. We dod not fly very long, two trips around the pattern. I am setting here in hanger door watching the clouds with a short sleeve shirt on, couple weeks ago record cold. Now record warm. LEXL SR has a bent tailwheel pivot that I need to replace before I can fly him. I believe it was made out of 5/8 x .028, will need to dissemble and find out. Will replace with next size wall thickness. Happy New Year to all that follow our blog. Videos will be coming up in next few days.

Flying Two Legal Eagles on a cold December morning.

I had been watching the weather and it held true for Thursday, December 15, 2022, Clear, Calm and Cold, 34 degrees when I started the First Legal Eagle. My goal was to fly both Legal Eagles and test out some new clothing to keep me warm when flying in the Winter. I have been wondering why motorcyclist can ride on these cold days and stay warm, thru my son-in-law I have met someone in the Business that knew what I needed. I have spent money in the past with little success in keeping warm. This time we hit the jackpot. I was wearing a Block jacket and pants and glove liners. Block is made to block the wind and insulate. It works. I did not fly for a long time but I was warm and the wind and body temps were great. I wear a long tailed windbreak when it is cool outside, it has good pockets to hold things and provided just the right finishing touch to keep me warm. Block is sold thru Cycle Gear and is well work the cost, not any different than thermals except it blocks the wind and keeps you warm.

The other thing I learned the hard way this morning, I was shooting video with a Gopro Hero 10, Love the camera but the battery life is not very predictable or reliable. Normally I get 45 to 50 minutes of recording time and since these flights were so short was sure the battery would do it. I did not replace battery with a fresh one after the first flight, like I should have and second flight stopped recording shortly after starting to taxi out.

The other item I am learning is Lithium batteries work great when they have proper charging system attached. I had a large lithium battery in ORV and with the testing we have been doing one the Briggs and Stratton, to save weight removed the Charging system, cannot use with alum. Flywheel. I started the engine 50 to 75 times with no problems, then charged it with a standard 12 volt car battery charger, forgot and left the instrument switch on and did not check for a few days, battery volts went down, way down, and it did not work so went to new small, very small lithium battery and got the correct charger for lithium batteries. This morning in the cold it cranked a bit longer than normal and voltage went way down, thought the battery was a goner but it took a charge and later in the day seemed to take loads with no problems, time will tell. Lithium as I understand needs about 13.5 volts to charge and should never go below 11 volts. The should not be in location where temperatures are high or low and do not like vibration. I question what these conditions are, if they are made for motorcycles and cars in the real world don’t temps and vibrations, pumps ETC. enter into what happens?

Legal Eagle XL SR 7-1/2 flying on cold November Day, the 22nd to be exact. Note the lack of fall foliage below and be on the lookout for today’s flight in ORV and the fall foliage colors below. Amazing difference.