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Simon's Ultimate 10-200 project

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Registered Users
Feb 2, 2016
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Hello Bipe-Maniacs!

I just wanted to take the chance to introduce my Ultimate 10-200 project and myself.

I’m Simon, 27 years old and an aviator for nearly 14 years now – I started flying gliders at the age of 14, attained my license just after my 16th birthday. Nobody in my family is into aviation, but me. My younger brother made his gliders license a few years later but quit flying to pursue his car passion half a decade ago. My flying reached a low when I went to university – work was hard, money short. After the end of my engineering studies I was able to get back into aviation and aerobatics. In spring 2015 I bought a Pilatus B4 PC11AF glider (the one which is allowed to do unlimited aerobatics), to train at the local flying field. Last winter I did a full overhaul: Paint, Cockpit, trailer etc. – see pictures below.
Unfortunately I had heavy rudder flutter on the first test flight after the overhaul. I was inverted with about 115 kts and wanted to do a tailslide. To fly absolutely straight I relieved the pressure of the pedals. A few seconds later I found myself shaken around in the cockpit. I smoothly pushed -4.5 g’s to get the glider into a vertical upline to reduce speed (leave the reverberation speed) and gain altitude, in case I’d have to bail out. With decreasing speed I was able to regain rudder control and landed the glider at out airfield. The fuselage skin had buckled in the tail section, see pictures. Additionally there is some damage to the fuselage rib in the area where the lateral forces of the wing are transmitted to the fuselage. (Gliders typically have one big main spar and only a small bolt at the trailing edge to transmit those forces to the fuselage.)
While doing the paintjob on the Pilatus we stripped all the paint from the wings, but kept the old paint on the fuselage to move the cg a little aft without having to use those big lead ballast lumps in the tail section. Neither the books (operator & repair manuals) nor the manufacturer called for a mass balance of the rudders. “This aircraft is built so rigid it isn’t able to flutter”. Well – I was critical about that statement because flutter is a matter of elasticity and damping and can affect nearly everything. The fact that this glider type has no possibility to be mass balanced and has been repainted over years without any trouble got me assured – regrettably. After I reported the incidence Pilatus suggested to remove the paint from the control surfaces. They didn’t do a flutter analysis with different masses in the 70’s when the airplane got its permit to fly.
Since the glider is certified and Pilatus Aircraft sold all spare parts to an Austrian guy the repair will sum up to ~20kUSD. I’m still waiting for the confirmation of cover of the insurance. Otherwise I’ll have to slaughter my first big airplane love.

Enough said about the Pilatus – we’re here for Biplanes, aren’t we? ;)
February 2016 I found the ad of an Ultimate 10-200 project on Barnstormers. I wasn’t really about to buy another airplane because I was in the middle of the overhaul of the Pilatus. Told my girlfriend about the Ultimate airframe, she replied with “Why don’t you shoot him a mail, you got nothing to lose?!” She was right of course. Three days later Jesse (Seller) and I agreed.
Jesse did a great job in crating the Ultimate in the following weeks. Even with a broken collar bone he motivated his friends and family to help with the crating. The 450 cubic ft crate went on its journey to Europe in June; two days ago I picked it up and trailered it home. The crate and the parts on which I’m not working are stored at my parents’ site; the parts in work are stored in my small garage which I converted to a workshop. For the assembling jobs I’ll use the workshop of my flying club.
Jesse is also in this forum, this is a thread from him describing some bad welds on the fuselage:
As far as I’ve been able to check the fuselage I’m going to salvage it. I’ll have close looks at every spot the pre-preowneer did to the fuselage and might also have it X-rayed. I’m not that trained in running a TIG-Welder so I’m only going to tack the pieces in place and have a professional aircraft welder do the main job.
The wings are looking really good, I’ll change the leading edges to some plywood ones and do a close check on the wings. Generally I’m aiming for a low weight Ultimate with a fixed pitch prop, clean cockpit and many small detail works. I’ll take my time with this project, so don’t except a fast progress. Anyway, I’ll keep you updated with many pictures and questions. I appreciate every comment, criticism and suggestion. Since I’m no native speaker my language might lack some technical expressions and grammar. If something isn’t clear please ask about it.

The next day’s I’ll go ahead and pull everything out of the crate and move it to the cellar or the garage. I’ve got to finish my workbench and shelves, so you’ll see some more pictures of the Ultimate parts soon.

Have a great one!

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