Gekon – ten szybowiec waży 69kg #Zabytki_Nieba
Hi. We’re on our way home from light aviation fair in Kielce. This in an episode about Polish prototype glider – Gekon. It’s a little, lightweight craft. It is meant for everyone to fly for pleasure. It’s easy to rig, and safe in mid air. Law permits to fly such a light glider or plane with no certification or license. It’s so light and easy to fly, that if you want give it a try at your own responsibility. The glider is designed in such way that it’s very unlikely to be dangerous. Gekon is fully composite. The wings are it core part. They weigh under 20kg each and are capable of keeping up to 300kg aloft. This means either an ultralight airplane or twin seat glider. Gekon’s empty weight is under 70kg. It requires “1,5” person to rig. One rigs, other gives a hand. Two people can rig the glider in less than 20 minutes with full precausions. Speed-rigging takes 6 minutes. We haul Gekon to airfield, or not even a certified airfield, but any other “meadow”, and rig it quicker than it would take us to get to our glider in typical glider-loaded hangar. Usually havy twin-seat trainers are the first to roll out. Here is the cross section of the tail boom. This is not the exact boom but a model to show composite construction method. The glider is so lightweight that the disc brake it uses comes from a sports bicycle. The tow hooks (two) are titanium and weigh 30g. Despite fight for lightness the build quality is reassuring, even this prototype has custom made canopy. Low weight creates an issue of weight distribution. In 1950’s Jastrząb the problem required adding weight to the nose. Gekon needs weight at the back. Here, underneath the silngle part elevator is the place for screwing in balancing weight. If there is one user this just stays in place. This should be the case in private recreational glider. Version presented is a motorglider with brushless motor and 20kg battery pack. This battery has significant weight for Gekon. The engine has electrical retracting mechanism. Propeller needs no positioning sensor, it folds aerodynamically. See how it retracts. With widely used battery type Gekon can reach 300m altitude and continue flying for an hour at about 60km/h. You can also reach 1000m AGL and go on to thermal soaring. I had a chance to sit in Gekon. At a glance you notice the stick on right hand. There’s a jet-like stick with elbow support. You use only roght hand. There’s no trimmer. You can just let the stick go and the glider keeps the angle. The forces on the elevator are so low. When the ailerons are locked with metal piece, the stick prevents you from getting aboard. You’ll never overlook the locked ailerons. You have to move the stick to comfortably get in. Yaw steering is by rudder pedals which have sprongs retracting them to neutral position I love this feature. We have flaps. Currently they have many positions. The spoilers are on top wing surfaces. They move up on hinges, like in Blanik glider. There are few instruments: only airspeed indicator, and the slip indicator. Apart from that an LCD engine monitor. Obviously we can add any other instruments, climb/decent meter for example. This is a glider which (i my opinion) despite the category it represents, will be most popular among intermediate/experienced pilots’ private craft. Soaring with no instrumets is nothing new. We see the angle, we feel thermal “bumps”, the lighter the glider the easier. But still you have USB ports for any electronic avionics. If you prefer to see data – no problem. This is the concept. Gekon is registered, it performs test flights with Dariusz Lewek at the helm, various takeoff types were made. The glider is forgiving, hard to stall, it needs effort to enter tailspin. It is aerobatic capable. It exceeded 170km/h. Obviously the glide ratio goes way down at such airspeed. Gekon may be sold as a kit where the wings (crucial for safety) are delivered assembled. They fit into fuselage on composite bayonets. The fuselage would be made of two main parts and separate nosepiece. Owner would assemble and fit it with equipment to make a complete glider. These wings can carry a different type of fuselage also. A three-point motorglider, an ultralight plane or a push-propped plane. Various layouts were designed. I hope this open-source project will be available eventually. One trivia: the geckon picture on the fin may seem faded, but it shows the lightness, one side showing the front, other the back of geckon. It’s not faded, it climbs from starboard to port. Main constructor – Dariusz Lewek and composite expert Norbert Borowiec showed as all details of Gekon, we are trulu grateful. I hope to sit in Gekon again, this time not on exhibition, but on the runway and fly it one day. I’d love to initiate my glider collection with this cute glider. All the best for Gekon project team, follow them on their YouTube channel, and see the development and test flights. This would be it about Gekon glider. See you in future episodes, and on other occasions, we head for Kraków. Beautiful autumn. Take care!