An update from Abe Leket on his progress building Israel’s first FRED!

Hi Matt,

As you can see from my builder’s log, we are doing OK.  As usual, things get delayed every now and then due to low stock, mainly for major items like wheels, gas tank fittings and most of all aircraft plywood.  Every order takes three or four months to arrive, so I’m doing the metal work and all sorts of little tasks.  If I lived in California, the aircraft would be 80% done by now.

Between you and me, the whole landing gear assembly of FRED is an engineering nightmare, actually its almost impossible for the A-frame to fit the fuselage’s double taper.  Some, like the one in NZ, have modified it totally (out of sheer despair, I guess).  Another issue is getting in/out of the cockpit, it looks like 24” (2” more than the plans) is the absolute minimum required. Other than that, a fun aircraft this FRED, simple and easy to build.

Total cost so far for fuselage, tail, wheels and all the metal is about $3,800.  The wing will be another $1,200 and it looks like with an 1835cc VW we’ll get up to a total of about $11,000.  Maybe $12,000 is a better estimate since we need instruments and a radio.

Attached are four pictures that represent about five months of work or around 400 man hours:  two hours every evening (instead of watching infantile reality shows) and twelve hours every weekend (six hours per day).  As I said, the fuselage would be standing tall on its landing gear already, but here in Israel I have to wait three months to get the wheels from California.  Right now, a delivery of AN bolts is due in two weeks and with it a fresh supply of T88 epoxy.  Yes, summer is here and I’ll start on the wing center section.  If you purchased all the materials in advance you could build FRED in twelve months in a leisurely fashion.

We will talk some more, Matt!


Photos & text courtesy of Abe Leket

#flying runabout experimental design#fred#clutton fred#homebuilt#aircraft#airplane#aeroplane

Happy birthday, Eric!

FRED creator Eric Clutton is 86 years young today.  In honor of the special day here is little video clip of Eric discussing FRED’s ground handling after a brief demonstration hop.



#clutton fred#eric clutton#flying runabout experimental design#fred

What does an airplane geek do on a rainy and cold layover in Paris?  Go to the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget, of course!  Here are a few highlights from the visit:

  1. Memorial honoring the French and Soviet members of the Normandie-Niemen fighter squadron;
  2. Caudron Luciole, Mignet Pou-du-Ciel and Farman Super Moustique lightplanes;
  3. Another view of the Super Moustique, a favorite of mine;
  4. The unmistakable hand of Marcel Riffard in the artistic lines of a Caudron Simoun;
  5. Train four-cylinder inline light aircraft engine;
  6. Salmson nine-cylinder radial light aircraft engine;
  7. The bullet-deflecting wedges that made Roland Garros the first true fighter ace;
  8. An unidentified backpack VTOL system;
  9. An early Hurel-Dubois high-aspect-ratio demonstrator;
  10. The tiny Payen Katy delta wing jet research plane.



1 note
#le bourget#musee de l'air#clutton fred#flying runabout experimental design