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Lakes Write Up

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Registered Users
Jan 10, 2009
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Got question? Need answers? Hey! Me too! I do thank Jerry, Bf92, jcadwell, Neil, scottly, redwitch, willv, jqnunn, and Chris McMillin for your thoughts and input. That makes for a good Forum. Hopefullyyou won't suffer as I give you my insights. Sorry if it hurts.

The Baby/Buddy/Super Lakes are, as we know, "Homebuilts" and truly scratchbuilt to boot. Factories don't pump 'em out, rather you and I slowly and meticulously construct them piece by piece. They aresimilar tosnowflakes in that no two are alike, mostly because we, the builders, are unique and wesee a picture in our mind's eye of how our Baby should (and hopefully will) look. In short, the builder incorporates changesthat caterto size, shape, cofiguration, and power, all which makethe individualmachine very unique. Even though the general blueprint is followed, it's usually the details that produce a sweet li'l one-of-a-kind toy.

All that said, let's start with YOU. Now you're thinking, "Where do I beginin order to makethis picture come to life and have it fulfill my dearest wishes?" Well first, what do you want to build, Mister? A Baby/Buddy/Super Lakes? (Awww, it's so cute!) Fine! Me too! Are you a small/medium/large pilot? (For the sake of knowing, I am 6'3" and 207-ish lbs., so you'll see my path of thought later....) The Baby/Super Lakes is generally for the pilot who is (roughly) under 5'10" and/or 185 lbs. All you need to do now is think about how much power you want to be in charge of in the business end of the critter! The engine choices do range from the A-65 to the A-90. Some have used the V.W. but those folks seem to be the lightest weight pilots (145-170 lbs. is my guess). The slightly heavier guys need a little more engine, and not only for power but weight/balance (175 - 200 lbs.). The Corvair engine is out there but, yeah, some folks do give it a bad rap. I figure the Corvairsare few and far betweenand if there is any negative connotation for so few numbers I won't be using it. One might consider the Rotec radial ifyou havemoney and love the sound of a radial.Anyway, nowthat you mentally see the engine hanging out thereyou'll need toremember all that "weight X arm = moment" stuff in order tofind out the details concerning howlong the engine mount needs to be so that the center of gravity (C.G.) stays where it should. By the way, the blueprints show you this mystical "C.G. Range", and the gurus in these type forums can help us find our calculators!

Now, if you're just a BIGpilot (not very tall),OR you are just a tall, fairly light-weight pilot who wants to show some attractive, yet unsuspecting passenger just how small the Lakes design is, then you should be building the Buddy Lakes. It's fuselage design is big enough for one BIG person, or two folks who don't mind being very close (think "pin-up"). This versionwill need the power so start your planning from there. The Buddy Lakes usually starts with the O-200 or similar. Engine mount design and type suggestionsare given in the blueprints for the specific version you plan to build. Just a thought, Rotec makes a 110 h.p. radial (Hm-m-m. That'd be sweet). Now here comes the part where you need to get the calculator again. Sucks but ya gotta do the math!

Last but not least, for the tall (think 6' to6'6" and weighing in around 200 - 220 lbs.) you are left with theSuperBaby Lakes which has the stronger empennage of course, but now incorporates the6" fuselage extension given in the blueprints so you'll get the length you need, you'll get to recline so you're out of the wind andnot staring at the trailing edge of the upper wing, and you'll even get to build in some shoulder room across the top! Did you ever see a 6' 3", 207+ guy who didn't want some shoulder room? Me neither and that's the reason why I like that it's already in the plans for me. I didn't have to do the redisign myself!

Now here's the fun part: I have to recline, right?All of the weight isway back here with me so now I get to play C.G. games with the calculator again and realize that for proper balance I can put an average powered engine waaaay out front making this critter look like a proboscis monkey (no offense to those at the zoo) or I can get a big engine with lots o' power (Augh,-augh!!) and snuggle it right close to the firewall where everyone else's goes! I'm thinking about finding a shoehorn to slip a ContinentalO-300/145 h.p. under the cowling, or maybe...the Rotec R3600/135 h.p.? Nah, I like the Conti. More available parts, it's not too expensive and itcan sithigher on the thrust line and give better prop tip clearance over the ground. Whoops! Regardless of my engine choice, my calculator tells me the C.G.'s right on, but the added weight is getting a bit much. All things considered, this is "homebuilding" and these things are "experimental". It's been built this way before, I know, but just to be sure, I can make querries andlearn more about design strength for the max weight allowable and get it just right, finding peace of mind. My Baby might not be a "Long-Hauler" and have 18+ gallons of fuel stashed inside like some Babys, but it willhave plenty to make the local pancake fly-ins.

Well Folks, that's my post and I hope you get something more out of it than a new respect for monkeys. I do have a dream and want so badly for it to become my reality. I want to start the wingsthis Spring. The N-number is already reserved for me. The paint will be similar to those used ona Yuengling beer can (go figure, I'm from PA). I can "see" it clearly but I will depend on your input and ideas so keep up the Forum chatter and keep dreaming and building! I will!

Blue Skies!



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