Q. What pilot’s licence do I need?
A. In the UK, it is classed as a microlight. In the US it will be a Light Sport Aircraft. Each come with associated pilot licences and medical requirements that are less than full PPL requirements. If you already have a PPL, then a simple check with a microlight instructor on a three-axis microlight and you can gain the necessary microlight differences endorsement.
Q. Can I get it insured?
A. The British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) have a block membership insurance policy which covers single seat microlights (currently sub 115kg SSDRs). So by simply being a member of this association you have third party cover. Other aircraft insurance companies are now willing to quote for factory built SSDR aircraft at very reasonable rates.
Q. What is the construction?
A. Mainly lightweight carbon fibre. In the wings the carbon fibre material is wrapped around foam cores.
Q: Are there any rules e-Go must meet?
A: Single Seat DeRegulated (SSDR) aircraft is deregulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – but to meet SSDR the aircraft must have a basic empty weight of less than 115kg, have a wing loading of less than 10kg/m2 and a minimum handling speed below 35kts. Also, it must have third party insurance and carry a registration. The CAA are currently running a consultation on broadening de-regulation to all single seat microlights. However, this change is not yet implemented.
Q: What does e-Go aeroplanes think of the CAA consultation on deregulation?
A: We are very pleased that the CAA has listened to the requests from industry, including us! The115kg de-regulation opened up the possibility for innovation and we see this increasing as the category is broadened. The reality for the e-Go is that we can consider raising the MAUM from 243kg to 300kg and we may consider this next year in preparing for production. Starting from a low weight, it is far easier to add a few items to an airframe than it is to remove weight!
Q. What about flying the e-Go abroad?
A. As an SSDR, the e-Go os not yet covered by any bi-lateral agreements with partner national aviation authorities. Any flight beyond the UK flight information region (FIR) will require permission from the aviation authority involved. In practise, SSDR aircraft have travelled quite widely in Europe.
Q. What about seat adjustments?
A. The seat is fixed (it doubles as a fuselage frame to minimise weight). Leg length is accommodated using the adjustable rudder pedals and pilot height by using different seat cushions. Seat cushions, being pilot-supplied, are excluded from the 115 Kg maximum weight.
Q. What about storing it in a trailer at home?
A. The e-Go is designed to have the wings demounted and the aircraft loaded into a trailer for storage. This will help remove any hangar fees from the operating costs. We are planning a trailer to go with the aircraft.
Q. Will it be fitted with a ballistic recovery system?
A. Not on the SSDR version. With the basic empty weight being just 115Kg the ballistic chute would be too heavy. This is one of the reasons for the CAA considering the broadening of the deregulated category.
Q. Why a Wankel engine?
A. Above all, they can be very light and compact. The new breed of Wankel engines are proving to be very smooth and reliable. Together with our very low drag, we get excellent mpg.
Q. Can a large pilot fly it?
A. The aircraft has been designed to accommodate pilots to just over 6ft tall and up to 100kg / 220lbs. The height allows for a headset. The hip width is 17.8 inches / 453mm.
Q. What is the field performance?
A. We plan that the aircraft will operate out of a good quality 300 metre grass strip.
Q. What about a two-seater?
A. With a name like alter-e-Go available, who could resist? However, this is in the future and subject to the company gaining certification of the design.
Q: What are the estimated ownership costs after purchase?
A: Very low. The aircraft runs on regular petrol from a local garage. There are no certification or aircraft licence fees. Insurance costs can be minimal and the maintenance schedule is very light.
Q: How do I get training to fly it?
A: e-Go aeroplanes will work with each new owner to prepare a suitable familiarisation programme. This can include classroom training with our test pilots, work with a simulator and flights in a two-seat canard aircraft.