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Edgley Sailplanes EA9 Optimist


Eighty per-cent of the 300-odd components are made from 6 mm and 10 mm fibrelam board. It is a very lightweight pre-cured composite sandwich board, with cross-plied glass fibre skins over an aramid honeycomb core. The same material is used in many airliner floors. It has a better strength-to-weight ratio than wood and the end result is a strong yet lighter aircraft than an equivalent in wooden or metal build. The material is not easy to cut accurately by hand, so computer controlled routing machines are used to cut parts to size. This is important for accuracy because the aircraft is only available for home-building from a kitset. Indeed, you can choose the amount of pre-finished components you have in the three grades of kitset. The basic kit consists of the fibrelam components ready to assemble. While it includes the preformed hard skins for the wing D box, fin and tailplane, the wing spar has to be assembled and no hardware is included. The intermediate kit includes the hardware and the wing spar is assembled, but considerable fitting is required. The deluxe kit has the fibrelam structure largely complete, all that is required is to put the fittings in and set up the control runs. None of the kits include the Ceconite fabric and the finishing materials. The wing is a Wortmann airfoil.

Vne: 125 kts.
Stall: 32 kt.
Max useful load: 135 kg.
Wingspan: 15.7m.


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