EMG-5 Pulls Forward

Brian Carpenter of Tangent Aircraft Development in Corning, California is crafting one of the more exotic ultralight aircraft in the history of ultralights. Your editor visited his shop in late September, and viewed progress at that point. Brian had most of the previously clecoed fuselage disassembled, and was weighing parts and options for shaving ounces. He has now turned to producing an on-line newsletter to keep followers posted.

Brian Carpenter holds Plettenberg motor (inside spinner), propeller for EMG-5.  That’s 20 horsepower!


In his first EMG-5 newsletter, Brian provides a quick look at the rapid reassembly and refinement that has taken place since. “The month of October has been our first full month to work uninterrupted on the project. We have made significant gains on the prototype as well as tooling for the aircraft. The flight control systems are now 80% complete. The landing gear system is nearly 90% complete. The tail assembly is approximately 70% complete. The thrust vectoring system is completed with the exception of the fairings and canard. The motor, propeller, controller, batteries are only about 20% complete at this point. The fuselage is about 70% complete. The wings, flaps and ailerons have only a few components built at this point. We are in the process of buying the tooling for our 8 foot CNC press brake which is required before we begin construction on the wing components. Overall progress on the aircraft is around 55%. The rest of the motor, controllers, propellers, and spinner are still being built in Germany and should arrive within the next two weeks. This will allow us to begin the installation and testing of the propulsion system.”

EMG-5 reassembled as of November 5, 2012. Note tricycle landing gear, pivoting motor mounts


Brian was able to show your editor the Plettenberg motors that will pivot on two arms in the nose of the EMG-5, acting a bit like a vectored thrust Cri-Cri. If all goes well, and things continue “slightly ahead of schedule,” we may see test flights by next June.

Readers can see a great deal of detail and even find a link to a flight simulator for this amazing aircraft on Brian’s voluminous web site.

Different ultralight electric aircraft developers have confronted the problem of how to interpret Part 103 rules regarding “fuel” weight. Like Dale Kramer before him, Brian Carpenter has his own way of seeing this. As noted in his newsletter, “Click on this link to see the letter we sent to the FAA and the FAA’s response.”

Brian hopes to update the newsletter every month, promises innovations such as microprocessors controlling yaw thrust – and if all goes well, a future two-place EMG-6. We’re delighted to see progress on this new electric aircraft.

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