Welcome to my SD-1
Hopefully, one day it will look just like this one
SD Planes - the really light ones
The key specifiations
This aircraft is very light and has excellent performance with a simple industrial 4-stroke engine.
The factory demonstrator
Early in 2015, the new bubble canopy was presented as an option to the standard canopy
The SD-1 Minisport
6m wing span, 4.4m length, 240kg (255kg in Australia) MTOW, cruising at 85-90kts with 33-35hp up front, sipping around 5lph of fuel - doesn't get much better than that.
Building the fuselage
The box has arrived
The 51% kit is shipped in a sturdy box, no damage to any parts on the long trip from the Czech Republic to Australia. It arrived in March 2012 and construction started shortly after.
Re-skinned the fuselage
Due to the extreme climatic conditions here (tropical with very high humidity), I had to re-skin the fuselage with epoxy-sealed ply sheets
Levelling for the fin installation
Setting up the fuselage square and level prior to installing the fin
Fin installed, fairing into fuselage
With fin installed, the next step is to add the leading edge foam and fin-fuselage junction. Lots of sanding and eyeballing, the covering with a few layers of glass
The first time in the open
With the wheels installed, it was time to roll it around a bit
The SD-1 and P92 Eaglet at the Mechanos Wings & Wheels
I was able to present both of my planes to the general public during this years Mechanos Wings & Wheels event in Mackay (August 2016). Many people couldn't believe that you can build your own plane and the size of the SD-1
The fuselage has moved into the house
To finish off the electrical wiring and make room for working on the wings and engine, I have permission from my better 1/2 to bring the fuselage into the computer room. As long as it doesn't interfere with her washing line, I'll be OK.
Windscreen cut and temporarily installed
2nd time around, the Lexan screen is cut and temporarily installed. Final installation will be done after painting of the canopy frame.
Instruments & controls
Cardboard mock-up #1
First version of the instrument panel layout, several iterations followed
Moving the electrical switches to the centre allowed the construction of a removable electrical "box"
The completed panel
Red cedar veneer over the 3mm ply sheet to give it a better look.
The adjustable pedal group
For increased re-sale options, I chose the XL canopy with the adjustable pedals. this way pilots of most sizes will be comfortable in my SD-1.
The SD-1 has flaperons, so the input from the flap lever and aileron controls are mixed into a combined movement through the mixer shown here (in bue).
Mechanical trim acting on a spring on the elevator push-pull rod
3-position flap lever operating the mixer
LED tail light
A small LED tail light has been installed in the trailing edge of the rudder. Better forward planning would have made that a lot easier (cable!)
Instrument panel wiring
Nearly done with the wiring of the instruments. After a number of changes (improvements) to the original circuit layout, I'm quite happy with the outcome.
Minimum number of CBs and switches
Current levels well withing CB ranges (3A and 5A)
Complete instrument panel can be removed by unplugging a series of connectors and the air lines
Elevator main & front spar with foam ribs installed
Installation of the rear spar and ribs (rear spar is for the anti-servo tab)
Elevator skins installed
Fibre glassing of leading edge foam
Ply ribs for the flaperons (ends and centre)
Flaperon before installing second skin
I finally removed the main wings from the storage floor and guess what? Some critters (mice) have chewed out the holes in the foam ribs. Luckily, there is no damage to the surface where the ply skin will fit so I will only need to clean-up the damaged holes
The top wing skin suffered the same problem as the fuselage, the high humidity here in Queensland caused deformation of the skin. As this surface is always visible, I have decided to cut the ply off and replace it with a new skin. This picture shows the LH wing with the original skin removed, leaving the ply just on the spar, ribs and walkway. The new skins are sealed with epoxy prior to installation.
Choice of engines
The ideal power for the SD-1 is 33-35 hp: enough for decent take-off and climb performance and small enough to be light and economical.
A number of engines meet this criteria, like industrial V-twins (Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, Subaru etc). To reliably produce 30+ hp, the engine needs a displacement of 750cm3 or more. Spacek s.r.o. has converted & installed 3 different industrial engines so far:
630cm3 24hp V-twin (SE24)
750cm3 31hp V-twin (SE31
810cm3 33hp V-twin (SE33)
Note: due to legal threats from one of the engine manufacturers, we can't name them anymore.
On the left: SE-33 from Spacek installed on the test stand
Another option is the Hirth F-23 (50 hp 2-stroke), very powerful but a bit pricey.
Please go to my engine build site for more info, link on top (TiPi's UL Engines)
My other plane
We bought this plane in March 2014 as a low-hour second-hand unit. It has been a lot of fun travelling up and down the Qld coast.
The Eaglet is also part-reason for the longer than planned build of the SD-1.
I also have an RA-Aus L2 Maintenance Authority so I can complete most work on my Tecnam and other people's RA-Aus registered planes
An early morning trip to work, winter time and fog over the Blue Mountain Valley