Piuma Original

The Original Piuma is the quietest version and the most suitable as a first build. The steel landing gear, with rubbers shock absorbers, tolerates the hard landings of beginners. The 2005 plans have the option to build a steerable nose gear, as shown in the photos. This improvement also increases the top speed by 5 km/h (3 mph).
The author's Original Piuma during the year 2014, in addition to a major overhaul of the engine and mechanical parts, underwent a new restyling, consisting of various modifications not yet described in the plans but visible from numerous photos eventually available to builders; major updates were:
  • Formation of a new rounded fairing under the fuselage
  • Cowling droplet profiles Carbon Fiber and Epoxy main landing gear and fairing rubber band
  • Rounding and profiling the new part of the rear fuselage under the engine
  • Remake rounded fitting the tail boom of the Fin
  • Makeover with the new shape of the top of the Fin and Rudder
  • Creation of new fairing rounded tail wheel
  • Replacing old drum brakes with new disc brakes and replacement 3 tires
  • New trim for the tailplane
  • New dashboard in carbon, with sun protection and new support for the radio
  • Cowling for the engine and new electric start, now with LiFePO4 battery

With these improvements the speed is around 100 Km /h with the Rotax engine 447 to 4800 rpm.

Basic peculiarities

  • ULM single seat motorglider made mostly of fabric and wood, with an aluminum alloy tail boom with a small engine.
  • The maximum wing loading is 4,3 lb/sq. ft. This low wing loading allows the motorglider to have low stall and landing speeds. This is a safety characteristic, in the event of an off-airport landing.
  • With the glide ratio of about 16 - 17 and the minimum sink rate of 200 ft/min.; it is possible to use a little 25 HP engine with very low fuel consumption (1 Imp Gal/h).
  • The stall speed is 30 MPH and the take-off speed is normally 34 MPH, but it is possible to fly at 29 MPH, in ground effect. The normal cruising speed is 50 MPH and the VNE is 75 MPH.
  • Construction features:
    1. Conventional 3 axis control with ailerons.
    2. The tapered wings, braced and warped in the tapered portion, have a root chord of 47.2 inches and a tip chord of 21.6 inches. The strut profile is similar to a water drop.
    3. The Rhode St. Genese 36 wing airfoil is plano-convex to 16% of the thickness throughout the wing; the leading edge is very rounded, which gives it a very gentle and progressive stall.
    4. The main landing gear built with Cr-Mb stainless steel, cushioned with rubber shock absorbers, is very near (but in front of) the center of lift. The wheels have brakes and fairings. The standard nose wheel is not steerable and has no shock absorber. But a steerable streamlined option is included. The little tail wheel and the rudder are steerable. This special feature unites the advantages of the classic tricycle configuration on take-off and landing and the good ground handling characteristics of the tail-dragger configuration.
    5. The enclosed cockpit allows you to fly in winter in comfort, and improves the aerodynamics. The instruments panel is big enough for a complete set of instruments. The fuel-tank, located behind the seat, near the center of lift, contains more than 4 Imp Gal. and it is sufficient for almost 4 flight-hours (or much more if soaring).
    6. Dimensions & areas, weight & loadings, performances, engine:
      Wing span
      Total wing area
      Aspect ratio
      Total tailplane area
      Lever arm of tail plane
      Length overall
      Max height
      Empty weight
      Max take-off weight
      Max wing loading
      Recommended load factors
      Ultimate load factors
      Max level speed
      Normal cruising speed
      Stalling speed
      Never exceed speed
      Best glide ratio with power off
      Max climb rate at sea level
      Min sink rate (at 36 MPH)
      38.4 ft
      125 sq.ft

      17.2 sq.ft
      10.7 ft
      19.4 ft
      4.6 ft
      320 lb
      518 lb
      4.14 lb/sq.ft
      + 3.4 - 1.2
      + 6.8 - 2.5
      59 MPH
      50 MPH
      30 MPH
      75 MPH
      330 ft
      330 ft
      390 ft/min
      200 ft/min
      25 HP

Construction plans

The plans have been revised and updated, with several improvements and changes to the prototype (that has flown very successfully since 1990). They include plans for the steerable nose wheel. The tail boom, of 6005-T16 aluminum alloy, is available from the designer: diameter 127mm - thickness 1.5mm - length 5.2m. A complete list of materials is in the handbook (birch plywood, spruce, aluminum, steel, fabric, etc.).

The 14 pages of drawings include notes in English and a new 39 page construction handbook in English, with more than 50 photos and some explanatory drawings.

The material cost, without engine and instruments, is about 3500 euro, at the 2017 prices.

The time of construction is about 900 hours.