Kanja is the result of a dream for many years, which Mitja Seršen Eman from Slovenia does not like to dream any longer, but convert it into real. An ultralight-glider of a special kind, which is not only foot-launchable and foldable, but would have with an empty-weight of approx. 35 kg, only halve the weight of an Archaeopteryx. An extremely light-weighted glider, for which one would not need a trailer for transportation, but could be easily "folded and unrigged", packed in five transportation-bags and loaded at the roof of a car.
And the idea is not even new. Also the Ukrainian Alatus was designed that way - some years ago already.
Also Peter Rundle in Sidney as already known, thinks about a similar design, whereby Mitja Seršen seems to be a few steps ahead with his project. Since the Kanja (Common buzzard / Buteo buteo) will be classified as "UL" according to Slovenian Construction-Specifications, g-limits of +4,0 g / -2,0 g (plus safety factor 1.5) are requested.
Requirements by designer:
1. Ultralight-Glider, aerodynamic 3-axis controlled
3. foldable / detachable for easy transport at car-roof
4. simple construction
5. easy to manufacture
6. use of common materials
7. low-cost / economically production
> wingspan: 11.0 m
> wing area: 12.1 m
> length: 5,2 m
> empty-weight: 35 kg (max)
Being a fascinated hang-glider pilot since years, Mitja´s main target is not to participate in competitions. His ambitions to design an ultralight-glider like this is easy to transport, easy to fly, open cockpit-design, low-cost manufacturing - fun-soaring only!
Rate of glide: 15-20
Sink-rate: ~0,75 m/s
Vs: <30 km/h
Va: ~70 km/h
Vne: ~110 km/h
Despite his very moderate targets within the range of modern hang-gliders, one can stay up in the air for hours even in weakest thermal conditions.
Flight-research with RC-Model 1:2,5
For cost-reasons, Mitja first builds a scaled down 1:2,5 RC-Model, with all parts exactly corresponding to the real sized glider, even those foldable structure-components. A very wise decision to assure a future success of his full-size construction, which is common practice by other amateur airplane-designers too. Not only Jürgen Lutz (Sky) and Andrés Chavarría-Krausser (SW-1) do test-flights with scaled-down RC-Models since some time already, but also students of Akaflieg Karlsruhe (Academic-pilots of University Karlsruhe) do researches this way for their Flying-Wing AK-X.
Computer-simulation: Carbon D-Box with foldable Aluminum-ribs
Sample-rib No. 5
Of course one can ask, why nowadays somebody builds an ultralight-glider with such "moderate performance-data" like common hang-gliders have? Would it not be better, using a common hang-glider instead?
As Mitja explains by himself: "I´ve been flying hang-gliders for the last 15 years, but now I´m getting older, I like to fly ´aerodynamicly 3-axis controlled gliders´ with the ability to sit comfortably in an aeroplane-seat, still feeling the wind in my face. In addition of all that, at the end of a flight I like to land on a wheel. And even with such moderate performances, one can stay up in the air for some hours and can do XC cross-country flights as well. Basicly, it´s very hard to compete with modern foot-launchable ultralight-gliders like Swift, Archaeopteryx and xxtherm, but on the other hand they are all together bigger in size, heavier in weight and last but not least very expensive".
Following pictures gives an impression, how the structure of the Kanja will look like
Wing-design: D-Box showing nose-ribs and Carbon/Fibre-Covering, foldable wing-section covered with Dacron-fabric
Elevator-section with folding-mechanism
Foldable parts of wings, elevator- and fin-sections will be covered by Dacron-fabric. A detailed description of the Kanja-design can be viewed at homebuildairplanes.com.
Finally we thank Mitja Seršen Eman for those informations about his project and his release for the use of his pictures at our website. From our side, good luck and success for the Kanja.