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Victorski Langkawi In The Sky

October 2015

In this economic climate of manufacturing business closures locally and getting them moved off-shore, it is most encouraging to see a new manufacturing business starting up in Australia. The Victorski Manufacturing Limited was formed by Victor Lai in the South East suburbs of Melbourne to design and build aircrafts as a start. This may develop into the manufacture of other forms of contraptions. The owner had been tinkering with various aircraft kits and finally decided to design and build its own Victorski brand of aircraft. For a start, the Victorski Langkawi is a high wing trainer with a tricycle undercarriage designed from a clean sheet of paper.

On 24 October 2015, the Victorski Langkawi taxied onto the runway for its maiden flight piloted by Gold Wing pilot and instructor, Alex Zattelman. Builder and owner, Victor Lai acted as co-pilot and was in constant communication with Captain Alex through a buddy cable. Langkawi took off without a hitch under the watchful eyes of Michael Best, another Gold Wing pilot and instructor. Michael was at the control tower to ensure all air traffic provided a wide berth for the Langkawi to be taken through different tests and manoeuvres. The high wing trainer performed as expected after some in-flight tweaks and trims. Captain Alex made note of a few adjustments that were needed to be carried out before the second test flight and then landed it without any drama.

Required adjustments were noted during the maiden flight. Adjustments were then made before a second test flight was made. More adjustments will be made according to the recommendations made by Captain Alex before further test flights in the coming weeks. Once the initial set-up issues had been ironed out, the plane will be piloted by Belinda on a full time basis. There is no doubt that Belinda will follow the good example set by Beverly who is now piloting the Wingman R (Reincarnation). Captain Alex summed it up in a few sentences, “It performed as expected of a high wing trainer and flew very well for its weight. It is stable and slow. It just needs a few more tweaks.”

The idea of building aircrafts came about when Alex gave and helped Victor to assemble his Wingmakers Wingman 1 kit. He also provided flying lessons to Victor. From then on, Victor had always wanted to build his own aircrafts. A safe bet for a first one was to build a high wing trainer like the Wingman 1. Hence the birth of Victorski Manufacturing Limited. A lot of assistance was provided by Captain Alex and Gold Wing Instructor Michael over the beginning months of design. Other members in the club were also consulted.

Development of the concept started in the Winter of 2014 with the first concept drawing completed in November. The various components, parts and materials were selected and detailed design drawings were produced according to the selections. The design took on very conventional dimensions such as wing area, dihedral angle, angle of incidence and wash-outs. The fuselage was designed to have sloping sides instead of the conventional vertical sides. The sloping sides give it a more modern identify and provides a wider bottom for all the different components while still appearing to be narrow. Manufacture of Langkawi started in March and was then delayed due to a major crash of the existing Wingman 1 and repairs of the Wingman 1 took priority which became the Wingman R (Reincarnation). Work on Langkawi then continued after that.

It had been decided during the design phase that flaps will be built to assist in landing manoeuvres. This then shortens the length available for the ailerons instead of taking the length of the wings like most of the other high wing trainers. The depth of the ailerons were increased to maintain the aileron areas to effectively bank the plane. Wash-out was designed and built into the wings instead of twisting the ends of the wings with a heat gun after the build. The amount of wash-out was set at 1 degree, starting at the inside edge of the aileron and then progressively increases to the edge of the wing along the length of the aileron. The wingform was developed from NACA four digit series formulae. Two formulae were used instead of one: one for the top profile and one for the bottom profile. Both profiles were made to have a straight chord instead of a curved chord in a single NACA formula. The use of the two formulae approach provided a flexible method for deciding on the shape of the wingform and the maximum thickness of the wing. The amount of asymmetry between top and bottom can also be manually adjusted to provide for functional and aesthetic purposes. 
The manufacture of the plane adopted some high tech methods such as laser alignment of the fuselage on a jig to ensure that all parts of the fuselage and wing alignments are as designed. The fuselage and wing were manufactured from a combination of balsa and plywood. Jigs were used in the build to ensure accuracy in their shapes. The vertical structures on both front and back of the wing mount were also glued and pinned to the sides. All critical stress areas were painted with Araldite glue for increased strength.

The bulkhead was manufactured from 6mm plywood to be glued and pinned from both sides. The bulkhead was positioned at a slight downward angle for the prop downward thrust angle to be built in. The motor mounting holes were offset to the left to allow the prop shaft to maintain a central position when the motor is angled to the right for some prop thrust offset. This was also built in by angling the bulkhead towards the right.

As far as practicable, material with the smallest environmental impact footprint were used. An example is the cockpit canopy being manufactured from a recycled 2 litre Coke bottle and the cockpit was made mainly of discarded paper and cardboard material.

At different steps of the manufacture, non-destructive tests (NDT) were applied to different areas. The main tests were stress tests applied on the wing and the wing mount. Calculations were made on the g forces that the plane will be subjected to and then tested to ensure the components will handle these stresses plus a safety factor. The wing mount was tested with the wings supported on shaped pylons and weights suspended from the fuselage. The weights were sand bags placed in the suspended gondola to represent the forces trying to pull the fuselage away from the wing. The sand bags were then placed along the length of the wing according to the calculated shear force and bending moments acting on the wing to test the integrity of the wing.

The whole plane was then covered with iron-on film. The colour scheme was mainly red on yellow and the theme tended towards the Oriental look. This may change in time. The fuselage bottom was of a dark colour for a visual differential factor from the main yellow colour of the top. Black “piano key” stripes at the bottom of the wings also help to differentiate top and bottom when in flight.

When interviewed about Victorski Manufacturing Limited, Victor volunteered some insight into the future. “We have a business plan for the next 20 years. Langkawi will put us in a good position and had thought us a lot during the manufacture of this plane. We already have sketches of our next plane with design and material selection to begin in the new year. It will be a low wing twin engine plane and its success is important for launching us into the next debt free decade. Lessons learned from Langkawi will help us make this next plane relatively lighter and more agile. As more and more pilots are now looking for modern bi-planes for some fun flying, its viability will definitely be reviewed in our coming business plan.”
 

FINAL SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer Victorski Manufacturing Limited Brand Victorski
Model Langkawi Type High wing trainer
Wingspan 1640mm Length 1300mm
Height 360mm Take-off Weight 2880gm
Construction Balsa and Plywood Covering Hobbyking iron-on film
Wing Area 45.1 sq dm Wing Chord 275mm
Wing Thickness 37mm Wing Loading 63.8 gm/sq dm
Ailerons 430mm x 50mm Flaps 275mm x 50mm
Incidence Angle 1.5 degrees Dihedral 1.75 degrees
Washout 1.0 degrees Motor Turnigy G25 – 710Kv Outrunner
Power 600 Watts @ 14.4V & 44A Propeller JXF Poly Composite 12x6
ESC Hobbyking 60A SBEC Blue Series Power Source Turnigy 4S 30C 3300mAH
Receiver Spektrum AR610 full range Aileron Servos Corona CS282MG 4.6kgcm
Flap Servos Corona CS939MG 2.5kgcm Rudder Servo Turnigy TGY-S3317M 3.0kgcm
Elevator Servo Turnigy TGY-S3317M 3.0kgcm Landing Gear Tricycle undercarriage
Wheels Diameter 64mm    

 

When interviewed about Victorski Manufacturing Limited, Victor volunteered some insight into the future. “We have a business plan for the next 20 years. Langkawi will put us in a good position and had thought us a lot during the manufacture of this plane. We already have sketches of our next plane with design and material selection to begin in the new year. It will be a low wing twin engine plane and its success is important for launching us into the next debt free decade. Lessons learned from La

 

Construction of fuselage on a jig.

Laser alignment of fuselage during manufacture.

Construction of mold for canopy.

Shaping wing ribs according to drawing.

Wing construction in a jig.  Jig was designed for the completed wing to be removed by lifting up and forward to release from the jig.

Wing being covered.  Completed wing will be removed from the jig for shaping the leading edge.

Static Non-Destructive Test (NDT) of front and rear wing mounts.  Sand bags are used.

Wing load test according to calculated shear force and bending moments along the wing.

Crack inspection is carried out after testing.

Testing and installation of electrical components.

Cubby hole on right side for receiver and storage area below the receiver.

Langkawi with call sign VKL-010 ready for maiden flight after scrutineering and range test.  Belinda waiting nervously in the cockpit.

 

 

Victor Lai

PDF version here

 

*** 31 December, 2016 11:36 PM +1100 ***

Last updated 31 December, 2016

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