Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Oil cooler modification kit

I have now received the price list for the kit from the factory. The total cost of all the bits to fit myself comes to 236.72 euro. I phoned this morning and ordered it.
As the oil temperature is a known problem with some Tanargs, I think that this kit should have been a bit cheaper, but there is nothing I can do about that, it has to be fitted like it or not.
I will make a photo blog of the kit fitting for all to see when it arrives.
The other Tanarg problem looks like it will never be sorted. That is the Flycom Focus dashboard. I have the latest software update from AirCreation but my Flycom will not update as it should. The problem with the Flycom is that it never remembers the time and needs to be re-set every time it is switched on. The other problem is that it can switch itself off in flight. This means that I loose all instruments until I re-set it. That is one reason why the Enigma dashboard mentioned in an earlier post is so appealing.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

How to fit the wing - a one man job

First of all position the wing, on the trolley if you have one, in front of the trike.

Connect the upright to the wing using a bolt and washer then another washer and the wing nut on the end.

Here it is fitted waiting for the safety pin.

Push the trike backwards till the wing keel rests on the upright. At this point apply the parking brake.

Then back to this area.

Thread the safety wire over the wing keel and through the strap from left to right.

Then take around the back of the king post and through the strap from left to right again. Fasten it on the right side with the wing nut.

I need to remove the two velcro straps that hold the base bar to the trolley at this stage.

Now fit the nose piece. You must never fly without this fitted.

Fit the front strut to the bracket.

A final check to make sure that everything is fitted and locked.

With the front strut on your shoulder lift the base bar. This bit is why you need the parking brake on.
Lift as high as it will go.

Then push the front strut into the lower bracket without fitting the bolt.

Insert the two bolts that hold the frame together, this shows the left one fitted and the right one empty. There are two micro switch levers behind these bolts that put the light on on the dash if one comes out.
Here are both bolts in with the wing nuts and safety rings fitted.

Next fit the front strut lower bolt, wing nut and safety ring. The black box on the left is the GPS aerial.

The windscreen then needs to be fitted. It is held on by eight plastic Dzus fasteners.

Last bit is to fit the engine cowling. That should keep the oil cooler warm!

Here is the very simple wing trolley that I have made. It has two caster wheels under the base bar and one fixed wheel under the nose.
This little job takes about 10 minutes when you have done it a few times.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Oil cooler re-location kit

I am still waiting for the information on this kit from the factory. It has been nearly 10 days since I emailed them asking for the kit price.
I had considered buying the Enigma dashboard for my Tanarg but would also have liked to but a new 13 square meter wing too. The cost of doing this would make it worthwhile selling mine and buying the new Tanarg 912ES. I will need to fit the oil cooler re-location mod before selling mine as I cannot sell an aircraft that has the oil temperature running over the limit all the time.
When (if) the kit ever arrives then I will do a photo blog on fitting the kit.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Some Tanarg features

Unlike many trikes these days the Tanarg has many adjustable features to make the aircraft more comfortable for both pilot and passengers. Here are a few of them.
First picture shows how the pilots footrest assembly can be moved forward or backward to a number of positions to suit all sizes of pilots legs. It takes about 3 minutes to adjust. Also worth noting is that the Tanarg has full sized pedals at the front for the feet, rather than just pegs.
This shows the rear footrests in the rear position for short legged passengers. The pin on the floor is the bit that holds it into place. Note the cable that gives rear seat steering, this is now disconnected on my Tanarg and the rear pegs are non moving.
Here the rear pegs are in the forward position for log leg passengers. The adjustment takes minutes.
This shows the access to one of the small storage compartments, they are very good for gloves, sandwiches and small handbags.
The removable panel below the filler cap is another, larger, storage compartment. This is held on by 5 or six Dzus fasteners.
You can get access to the rear storage from behind, but the access is not as good. Note that the coolant level can be seen from here.
This shows the rear suspension. The Tanarg is very comfortable on the ground and also very stable due to the long wheelbase and wide track of the wheels. The center of gravity is also very low.
In this picture the top engine cowling is removed to show the location of the oil cooler on the top of the engine. This is a problem when carrying passengers as there is not enough cooling air going through the oil cooler due to the passengers shoulders.
If flying solo, the Tanarg can also have a tailor made luggage back fitted to the rear seat.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The spoilers next to the radiator

I have just spoken to Jean-Luc Tilloy at AirCreation and found the reason for the spoilers.
My Tanarg has the oil cooler above the engine and suffers from high oil temperatures when carrying a passenger and using high power settings. To overcome this the factory moved the oil cooler to a position in front of the water radiator, this led to a slight reduction in cooling air flowing through the right side when a passenger is carried. The spoilers improve the airflow through the intake ducts and have totally eliminated any problems.
I have emailed Jean-Luc today to ask for the price of the oil cooler re-location kit.

A new dashboard (EFIS) for the Tanarg?

While I was at AirCreation last week I saw the Stratomaster Enigma dashboard fitted to a Tanarg. These pictures do not really do the unit justice as it was switched off at the time. To see more pictures of what this unit is capable of then CLICK HERE.
The unit is very versatile and has built in GPS. The different screens can be customised on a PC running windows and save to an SD card for transfer to the unit. It seems that a PC running Linux is not catered for yet.
This system seems to be a great improvement over the Flycom Focus monochrome dashboard as fitted to my Tanarg, with the bonus of not needing a separate GPS.

The picture above is one that Mike sent me of the unit with power on. On this screen it is showing flight and engine instruments, but by pressing one of the 9 buttons on the right hand side the screen will change to any of the screens shown in the link above.
This picture shows the Flycom Focus and Garmin 296 GPS as fitted to my Tanarg. With the Enigma I can get rid of the Garmin and have a full colour dashboard.
The gauge to the left is the EGT gauge and is used in conjunction with the leaning lever below the gauge. The square back thing below the dash is the radio mount.

AirCreation France.

The AirCreation factory has a website at It can be viewed in English by clicking on the flag in the top left corner of the first page.
After clicking on the British flag, you will be taken to a page with some news articles on the right hand side. One news item reads:
"New victory for Rob Grimwood and Chris Saysell in their Tanarg at the F.A.I. World Microlight Championship in Usti nad Orlici - Czech Republic, a third victory in as many years for the Tanarg 912 iXess, already world champion in 2005 and European champion in 2006. It is also the sixth victory in international competition for the iXess wing ... a perfect demonstration of its exceptional performance!".
This is the very aircraft that I now own. It has been re-registered in France with the registration 24PX rather than the old UK registration which was G-TARG.

Under the heading "Technical Data" at the top of the website you will find the service bulletins issued by AirCreation.

You will also find the phone numbers and email addresses for the staff on the website. Most of the people at AirCreation speak very good English.

Some more pictures from the visit

These pictures show the new position for the oil cooler on the Tanarg 912. The ES has the cooler fitted below the water radiator, but the older version had this fitted above the engine, causing very high oil temperatures at high power settings in warm climates.
Below is a view of the new position looking into the starboard (right) side of the air intake for the water radiator. I understand that AirCreation will offer a kit to relocate the oil cooler in this position.
Note on the picture above, that there are now some small aerodynamic aids fitted to the rear of the pod at the sides of the radiator. I am not sure what these are intended to do, but the ES model has much larger ones than the standard Tanarg. The first picture also shows them. I will contact the factory and ask.
AirCreation have a huge stock of aluminium tubing for the manufacture of the wings. The metal stock seems to take up a large amount of space in the small factory.
In this picture you can clearly see the aerodynamic bits on the side of the radiator, these are the larger ones as this is a 912 ES trike.

A visit to the AirCreation factory

We decided that we should go for a short trip (in the car) to Aubenas in the Ardeche region of France. It just so happens that the Aircreation factory is very close to Aubenas.
On Thursday morning we turned up at the factory unannounced. We were greeted by a lady just outside who I later found out was the wife of a man who I wanted to meet, Jean-Luc Tilloy. Jean-Luc has been very helpful to me in the past.

We were taken into the reception and introduced to Inma, one of the receptionists who speaks very good English. After being offered a coffee, we were taken into the factory itself and shown around. There is only a small workforce at AirCreation and the whole place has a family feel about it.

The first thing that we saw was a gold coloured Tanarg, very different to the red or yellow colours that this aircraft normally has. My eyes were immediately focused on the EFIS dashboard, and Enigma with full colour and integrated GPS. I am led to believe that this will become and option on the Tanarg instead of the Flycom Focus dashboard that is fitted to our aircraft.

A prototype wing was being tested at the time, which surprised me as the Ixess is a very good all round wing and would take some beating.

We also found that AirCreation stock a range of clothing, and ended up spending a few hundred euros.
The next area was the wing fabrication floor, where the ladies who make the wings, seats and other fabric parts were working away. All of these ladies have worked for AirCreation for many years and make every part themselves. Even the seat cushions are hand made! Due to their skills in this area, AirCreation can offer any design on the wing surface that a customer would want. There has even been one made with "missiles" sown onto the lower surface.

I went out to the front of the building to take a photo of the place and managed to catch the gold coloured Tanarg flying just above.

We ended up spending over two hours on our visit and enjoyed every minute of it. The only disappointment was that we did not get to meet Jean-Luc as he was away that week.
I have decided that I would like the new Enigma EFIS fitted to our aircraft and would also like the newer Ixess 13 wing too. The problem is that we would have to sell the Ixess 15 wing to make the change worth it. Another possibility may be to sell our Tanarg and buy a new one complete with the Enigma nad the 13 wing. We will see what happens.