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Constructor's Corner

John Everest's Alpin project


John Everest built this beautiful TST-3 Alpin TM wood and composite single-seat ultralight motor glider with a kit imported from the designer/manufacturer – TeST s.r.o. of Brno, Czech Republic (www.test.infoline.cz). The actual build time was 2000 hours over 2.5 years against the estimated time of 800 hours over one year.

The aircraft is designed for self launch and climb to height and then, if atmospheric conditions are suitable, soaring with the retractable engine and pylon stowed within the fuselage. The engine may be redeployed and restarted in flight. One wheel main undercarriage.

      •   Span: 13.8 m
      •   Length: 5.9 m
      •   Aspect ratio: 17.95:1
      •   Aerofoil: Wortmann FX 61-184
      •   Empty weight: 250 kg (actual weight of 19-3870 with engine)
      •   Stall speed: 37 knots
      •   Glide ratio: 33:1 at 46 knots
      •   Minimum sink rate: 150 ft/min at 40 knots
      •   Climb-out (at 6400 rpm): 500 ft/min
      •   Cruise (at 5500 rpm): 55 knots
      •   Vne: 97 knots
      •   Engine: Rotax 447 fan cooled
      •   Fuel capacity: 32 litres
      •   Fuel consumption: 6.1 l/hr (242 litres used over 39.8 engine hours, mainly in climb)
      •   Take-off distance to 50 feet: 350 m (as quoted)
      •   Landing over 50 feet: 200 m (as quoted)

Alpin – motor extended

John wrote: "The silver patches on the wing and fin leading edges are an aid to being seen. I read about a couple of trials conducted in the UK recently which found that a motor glider with 3M Mirror film attached to the leading edges and all control surfaces was consistently spotted at greater distances than any other colour or pattern used in the trial. Although I am not using the 3M Mirror film, just a cheaper silver alternative it still seems to give a good reflection ( the top photo demonstrates this nicely). I am actually conducting a sort of unofficial trial myself in that I have asked members of the Caboolture Aero Club to let me know if they get a good visual from my glider whilst flying. If it does prove to be effective and beneficial then certainly I'll be putting silver patches on my Boorabee ultralight and recommending that other pilots do the same on their aeroplanes."

Alpin – motor partly extended

The lowering/ raising mechanism for the retractable power unit is electrically operated. The turtle deck doors open only during the raising/lowering operation and the propeller is held in the vertical position.

The images below record the construction progress from receipt of the trailer containing the kit.
The TST-3 trailer containing the kit
The unpacked kit



Some components from the kit
Wing
Fitting wing spar brackets                                 
Wing
Wing assembly
Cockpit
Fitting control column
Cockpit
Fitting rudder controls
Cockpit
The cockpit shell with controls installed [plus the assembled wing]
Wings
Mounting the wings
Wings
Mounting the wings another view
Wings
Installing the airbrakes
Engine bay
Installing the engine pylon brackets
Cockpit
Airbrake control installed                                 
Fuselage
Under wing fillet
Fuselage
Fitting turtle deck
Canopy
Moulding canopy frame
Canopy
Moulded canopy frame
Canopy
The steel canopy support frame
Canopy
Steel canopy support frame hinge
Engine bay
Cutting engine doors in turtle deck
Engine bay
Preparing engine doors in turtle deck. The red object that intrudes into some photographs is the nose of my Boorabee.
Engine bay
Engine mounting pylon extended
Engine bay
Preparing engine bay door stiffeners
Engine bay
Fitting engine bay doors
Engine bay
Installing engine bay doors
Engine bay
Turtle deck with engine bay doors installed
Cockpit
Engine doors operating lever

The photo history of John Everest's Alpin project continues in part 2.




Copyright © 2003 John Everest