Greetings from Rainbow Aviation for 2018.
It is been quite some time since we did a progress blog and the typical “Shop Notes” update. So I thought it’s time to just bring you up to speed on everything that’s going on here at Rainbow Aviation.
With all of the setbacks this year, we have still hit some fairly significant milestones for the EMG-6 project.
YouTube: 3300+ subscribers, 500,000+ views, 109 Videos
Web Site: 1000+ subcribers, 264 Posts
Activity: 17 Registered Builders, 8 active builders, 3 Prototype aircraft
Thank you to all of you that follow the project on a regular basis. And let me get a plug-in once again for all of the comments, likes, and shares for both the website and the YouTube channel. The revenue that we generate from the ads on these outlets helps to subsidize all of the time and energy that we put into creating both the blog posts, as well as the videos. It’s always nice to hear your positive comments, and it does make a difference when you take the time to promote our website and YouTube channel. So please, keep it up in 2018.
Rainbow Aviation continues to see success in several areas. 2017 was a great year for our Light Sport Maintenance Courses. If you’re unaware of the significance of this, it’s important to understand that the primary source for revenue that allows us to continue development of the EMG-6 project comes from all of the work that we do with the maintenance courses as well as the maintenance shop. With now having invested nearly $300,000 dollars In the EMG-6 project. Less than 5% of that is paid for by net profit from sales of components for the EMG-6. This year, our maintenance courses, our standing in the aviation community, our work with the EMG-6, our work with EAA, and our monthly article in Sport Aviation magazine, garnered us the 2017 Aviation Maintenance Technician of the year. This award was very much appreciated as it reinforces all of the hard work that we do as a team here at Rainbow Aviation on a daily basis to move the sport aircraft movement forward.
Progress on the EMG-6 has been slow but steady. After the break-in a couple of months ago, that kind of set us back on our heels. Over $40,000 worth of equipment and supplies were stolen. Initially we didn’t even know how bad it was because you don’t know something’s missing until you go to look for it. Our insurance company found a loophole that avoided them paying for anything whatsoever. We have since installed a very sophisticated security system with over 20 cameras watching over the entire facility 24 hours a day. That also cost a boatload of money and time. And of course this is all money that we don’t have and money that could have gone towards the EMG-6 project. As a result, we been putting more effort into other projects to generate revenue. To add insult to injury, all four of our permanent staff have been out with the flu for the past three weeks. Everyone is just now starting to show signs of recovery. Because time and money are different ends of the same stick, one of the first things that takes a hit when we get behind the power curve is our ability to spend time blogging. And although, many of you used to really enjoy the daily updates, in order to streamline things we are changing our format from the typical daily blog to blogs about specific activities and tasks associated with the EMG-6. As things proceed into the spring we should see some significant improvements and we look forward to the exciting few months ahead as we start the next phase of the development utilizing the new MGM Compro electric power system.
MGM Compro Power System
Now for some good news. We have recently received the outstanding order for the MGM Compro power system that will be installed on the EMG-6. We now have to take all of these components and create mounting systems to integrate them into the EMG-6. We are currently solid modeling all the components in order to accommodate this process. We have prototype number 2, disassembled and have started the installation. Our goal is to create a system where the battery pack with all of the associated components like the contactor relay, and the BMS (battery management system) are in a module that can be easily removed and reinstalled in the aircraft.
We have also received 1/2 the prototype set of sails for the EMG-6 from ultralight sails of Canada. We have been waiting quite some time for the sails. We can now begin the process of trial fit, and then we may need to make some adjustments to the templates. But at least were making progress. We hope to have the prototype templates installed and tested within the next week so that we can begin the process of making the full set of sails.
We would also like to introduce you to Samuel Newcomer. Sam is our “aerospace engineering” intern. Sam became interested in the EMG-6 project quite some time ago and has been with us now for about three months. Sam has been working on a lot of the SOLIDWORKS files for the EMG-6, as well as helping out in the shop with different projects. Sam is a student pilot, as well as a college student working on a degree in aeronautical engineering. Sam’s newest project is 3D modeling all of the components for the MGM Compro electric power system that will go on the next generation of EMG-6 aircraft.
We recently been doing some testing on the different fittings for the EMG-6. We have completed all of the load tests on both the wing struts and the horizontal stabilizer lift struts. We are currently working on a video to show the results of those tests. What we ended up building was a test fixture with a 10,000 pound digital load cell and a hydraulic system capable of nearly that same capacity. We placed all of the different types of components into sample struts in different configurations and pulled until failure. The primary purpose of this is just to check for any anomalies in our design process and to achieve some baseline data for each of the components. Currently we were only testing in tension. However with some modifications to our system we will be able to also test in compression. I think you will find the video interesting. We certainly did.