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Harper Aircraft Lil Breezy
 
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Harper Lil Breezy- B single seater
 
The Lil Breezy was inspired by the similar RLU-1 Breezy and designed by Jack Harper to comply with the United States FAR Part 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules in its single place version and also the US light-sport aircraft rules. It features a strut-braced high-wing, a single-seat or optionally a two-seats-in-tandem open cockpit without a windshield, fixed conventional landing gear and a single engine in pusher configuration.
                                  
The first flight of the prototype was in April 2002.

The early Lil Breezy-A, available as a kit, is made from welded steel tubing with its flying surfaces covered in doped aircraft fabric. The later "B" model, available as a kit or later as a complete aircraft only, is of aluminium construction, with flying surfaces covered with Dacron sailcloth. Standard engines available included the 50 hp (37 kW) Rotax 503 two-stroke powerplant.
 
The first Lil’ Breezy – effectively the “A” model though Jack Harper didn’t call it that – started out as welded steel. Later, he went to the newer stressed skin triangular truss construction, which is composed of aluminum angle on the upper sections of the aft fuselage (and elsewhere), square aluminum tube on the lower or ventral side, and laser-cut sheet metal webs. Aluminum angles are also used as stringers.

The only components contained inside the triangular boom structure are the push rods for the elevator. A direction reverser is located just aft of the tower structure to translate the stick movements to the correct action at the elevator.

The front portion of the fuselage structure houses the throttles, which connect between the two seats.

The Lil’ Breezy B’s wing construction did not change. The wing is made from fiberglass and epoxy resin over a solid foam core incorporating aluminum stringers. Each part of the wing is vacuum molded at the factory and assembled in an alignment fixture. The wing is covered with polyester heat shrink fabric and then painted. The leading ledge uses a solid core foam leading edge with aluminum caps top and bottom. Each wing half weighs 40 pounds completed, 80 pounds total. Without the engine and its component parts prop the Lil’ Breezy B’s airframe weighs about 275 pounds.
 
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The Lil’ Breezy B’s main gear is solid wood core with fiberglass over it. It is a single piece structure weighing only ten pounds (without wheels and tires). The wood core is composed of three layers of bidirectional grain with ten layers of unidirectional on the lower side to absorb the landing loads.

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To adjust for trim speeds there are four positions on the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer, which can accommodate different weights of pilots. The minimum weight of a front-seated pilot when flying solo is 150 pounds. If you have a 250-pound pilot up front (and no rear seat occupant), that pilot will need to drop the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer down by one hole.

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The Lil’ Breezy B’s pull starter is located just above the aft seat, where a primer pull knob is also mounted. The pull handle can easily be reached while in front of the strut. A small remote choke lever made of angle aluminum is located above the word “Experimental” on the aircraft’s right side.

The 2005 Lil’ Breezy B has a new nose cone that is much larger. The former one was also further out front “Drifter-style,” and you couldn’t reach the instruments. The rudder pedals were barely inside the old pod where now the pedals are well recessed. With the new pod, all knobs and switches are in close range and the larger pod with its windscreen will keep the breeze off the Lil’ Breezy pilot (“except for his knees,”).
 
The rear control stick is shorter than the front for a very good reason. When you have the stick full forward and off to one side or the other, it comes close to contacting the aileron push rods leading up to the control mixer. The short stick prevents this but it will bring slightly higher stick forces.
 
The two seat version cost US$21,000 in 2011. The standard features were all component parts for kit, pre-assembled wings, all hardware, covering materials, wheels and brakes with shock absorbing gear, remote choke and primer, steerable tailwheel, pre-assembled wings. Options were Dual controls, second seat, and nose fairing. Construction is aluminum stressed skin airframe using 2024 T-3 aluminum sheet and aluminum angle and square extrusion, fiberglass nose fairing, fiberglass gear, heat-shrink polyester fabric wing coverings.
 
For those who prefer not to fly the Lil’ Breezy as a 2-seater, you remove the rear seat rudder pedal box off the fuselage, and remove the rear seat and controls. Now you have some baggage area and single-seat performance.
 
A Rotax 582 model with electric starting was available with a single-piece radiator then located behind the “tower” structure. The tower structure is the stressed skin construction aft of the rear seat. It provides airframe rigidity that eliminates the need for wing bracing wires. The way the muffler is mounted above the exhaust port requires Harper Aircraft to supply special aluminum parts. Muffler clamps and the vibration isolation parts are obtained from Lockwood.

You shouldn’t push or pull the Lil’ Breezy B by its tail surfaces. For even tighter maneuvering, pick up the tail by hand with the tailwheel from behind the rudder. Push or pull the aircraft with the tailwheel or the wing struts at their attaching ends (never from the middle).
 
Ailerons and elevators are controlled using push/pull tubes. These are connected with rod-end bearings making for generally smooth operation. Bell cranks pivot on polyethylene blocks and therefore require little or no service. The rudder is controlled using flexible cables inside of nylon tubing held in place with plastic fair lead blocks. Throttle and brakes are controlled with cables inside of a flexible housing.

The wings can be removed in 10 minutes per wing, 20 minutes total, and placed in a trailer for easy transportation and storage. The tail surfaces have the normal gaps but Harper mostly seals these air-bleeding points with narrow strips of aluminum.
 
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Build time is 150-200 hours, but that includes putting the Dacron on and painting. The wings come fully assembled by the factory but customers add the covering and finish. The rest of the kit is mainly a selection of laser-cut aluminum angle and sheet metal parts that you then assemble.

Fast-build kits and ready-to-fly aircraft were available. None of the B models can be built light enough to meet Part 103’s 254-pound requirement.

The kit comes complete with all the sheet parts cut out and ready to assemble. Rivet holes are located and punched. Welded parts such as the landing gear and control sticks come finished and ready to paint. Wings come mostly assembled needing only installation of the wing tip bow and trailing edge unit. All hardware is included along with the covering supplies for the wing and tail surfaces. You will need to buy the paint of your choice locally.

The basic airframe kit, in single-seat form and without the nose fairing, less engine, prop, and instruments sold for $7,795. A full airframe kit with the second seat and nose pod is $8,545. The engine, prop, and instruments are sold separately, drop-shipped to the customer from Lockwood Aviation Supply.The total price would be about $12,500 including engine, instruments, and paint finish work. You can start with a fuselage kit for $3,500 and add the wing kit ($3,500) and tail kit ($795) when ready. The new large nose fairing is optional at $500 and if you want the second seat and rudder pedals, add $250. All costs are effective in early 2005.

The Lil’ Breezy B is not particularly quick rolling but is a little quick in pitch. Your left hand is used for the throttle under your left knee. Some pilots don’t care for that so Harper planned to put the throttle on the instrument panel where General Aviation pilots are used to finding it.
 
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Harper Aircraft’s Pilots Operating Handbook recommends you climb at 40 mph or greater. The Lil’ Breezy B can leave the ground in as little as 100 feet. At 700 pounds of load, takeoff is reported to require 150 feet. Best climb angle (Vx) comes at 50 mph and best rate of climb (Vy) is done at 60 mph. Flying the aircraft solo with the Rotax 503, should see about 1,000 fpm of climb. Dual operations with the same engine produce about 600 fpm of climb. Sink rate is about 500 fpm. Cruise speeds range from 40 to 60 mph though you can lower the bottom figure with practice or push a little faster so long as you remain less than Never Exceed speed (Vne) of 90 mph. Landing speed can be as slow as 35 mph if the plane has a lighter load.

The Lil’ Breezy B is rated for +6/-3 Gs at 550 pounds. However, given its 350-pound empty weight (when simply equipped) and assuming a full load of fuel (60 pounds), pilots over 140 pounds will have less margin. In an effort to save weight, the test Lil’ Breezy B had shoulder belts only. But as customers prefer 4-point security those restraints became standard.

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Two-place stalls come at 42 mph with power reduced to idle thrust. Stall solo is about 38 mph. All stalls were identified not by a nose break through but by a wallowing of the wings. They walked back and forth in an easily identified fashion. Adverse yaw was very modest in either direction. When adding power to an engine mounted up high relative to the center of mass, the Lil’ Breezy noses over significantly. When checking longitudinal stability with the power at cruise, a reduction in power without stick movement produced a nose over and recovery in just two oscillations of decreasing amplitude. The Lil’ Breezy B leveled out to normal rather quickly.
 
The center wing fuel tank capacity is 10 gallons, which will provide about two hours of active-throttle operation or perhaps three hours of cruise at a lazier pace. On lateral and longitudinal CG, fuel use has little effect on weight and balance. The sight gauge can easily be seen from the front seat in its lower range.
 
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The Harper Lil Breezy was produced by Harper Aircraft of Jacksonville, Florida. While the company was in business the aircraft was supplied as a kit for amateur construction or as a complete ready-to-fly-aircraft.
 
Production had ended by 2012.
 
 
Lil Breezy-B
Engine: 1 × Rotax 503, 50 hp (37 kW)
Empty weight: 441 lb (200 kg)
Gross weight: 677 lb (307 kg)
Maximum speed: 65 mph; 57 kn (105 km/h)
Cruise speed: 50 mph; 43 kn (80 km/h)
Stall speed: 28 mph; 24 kn (45 km/h)
Seats: 2
 
Lil Breezy-B
Engine: Rotax 503 DC, 50 hp
Wingspan: 30 ft
Wing area: 125 sq.ft
Length: 18 ft
Height: 7 ft
Empty weight: 351 lb
Gross weight: 800 lb
Fuel capacity: 10 USG
Never exceed speed: 90 mph
Cruise speed: 40-60 mph
Stall: 42 mph
Rate of climb at gross: 500 fpm
Landing speed: 35 mph
Endurance: 2-3 hr
Takeoff distance at gross: 200 ft
Landing distance at gross: 200 ft
Loading: +6/-3 Gs at 550 lb
Seating: 2, tandem
 
 
 
 


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