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I am considering putting my 701 on Full Lotus floats. Recent discussions have led me to believe straight floats are the best solution for my type of flying. The next question is.... what size floats to use? There are 1220, 1260 and 1450 floats available. All three will work but there are tradeoffs between them.
Besides the price the 1220s are lighter and shorter than the 1450s. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
I assume longer would be better for landing but I have no experience.
Buoyancy? drag? extra weight? sail-ability? All questions I am asking myself.
Maybe some 701 pilots with actual Full Lotus experience could give a little insight as to their preference and why.
Peter Cowan has a lot of experience with FULL LOTUS floats...and RANS S7 aircraft. Go to his web site and read the information he has posted. He even has a set of Full Lotus floats for sale used...cheap.
Robert, I had a set of Full Lotus floats. Don't go there!!!
-They are very draggy
-They soak up water out of the air (I kept my plane high and dry and still had to dump the air badders twice a season).
-Bladders are prone to leaks so you have to inflate them before almost every flight.
-The amphib setup is a joke.
-They take a beating. I parked my plane on a flat rock. I had a heavy sheet of canvas on the rock and could easily beach my ultralight by giving a shot of power about 4 ft from shore. The floats just absorbed the punishment. Likewise, people have often used them as skiis in the winter.
-Jeff Holomis (Full Lotus company owner) is a pretty good guy and he will try to work with you to address any issues.
Needless to say, when I get to floats for my 701, they are going to be aluminum, not Full Lotus.
Tanks for all the input.
I found a lot of information on http://www.pipcom.com/~cowcam/floatgeo.htm#d as well as http://www.ultralightnews.com/features/floatflying.htm
I understand they are not as streamlined as aluminum or fiberglass but I know they will hold up better for the flying I plan to do.
As for the problem with picking up water this is no different than having to pump aluminum floats...
and a crack or hole in fiberglass in the bush might ruin your day!
The main reason for my choice is I can use them to fly and land on lakes in the winter.
In Newfoundland we get pretty mild winter temperatures. Seldom goes below minus 10 and the ponds don't freeze real solid. (We have several deaths every year with snowmobiles going through the ice.) This being the case, I wouldn't be able to land on the lakes with snow skis for most of the season.
And that's what having a 701 is all about.
After doing a little research I think I'm going with the 1450s as the 1220s and 1260s seem a little light for the 701 with a Rotax 912.
Thanks for the offer but I bought a set of 1450 Full Lotus floats. They should be shipped today or tomorrow.
All I got to do now is get this plane finished and flying.
Yes aluminum floats pick up water too but you don't have to completely disassemble an aluminum float to get the water out. With full lotus you have to completely remove each air bag and force the water out the schrader valve. Kind of a pain.
A hand pump for an aluminum float is much simpler.
Still, Full Lotus floats are hard to beat when it comes to rough treatment. Hard to dent or crack an airbag.
Robert, i have just put my ch 750 on amphib full lotus, 1450. The performance is far too low to keep them on . I would like to discuss what your impression has been on initial set up, handling/ performance.
I am considering full lotus for a CH750, I would really appreciate you expanding on your experience with them.
Conrad. What do you mean by the performance is too low to keep them on? Is the takeoff run too long, the cruise speed too low or do they porpoise when you rotate?
When I first installed mine I had the step a few inches behind the cg and the incidence angel at 4 degrees. They were hard to get off the water and tended to porpoise really bad. After many adjustments I moved the aircraft ahead probably 8-10 inches and increased the angel to 10-11 degrees.
My cruise at 5000 rpm is around 70 mph and takeoff and landing are pretty good.
I think the 1450s are a little large for the 701 but I am a first time float pilot and the full lotus have kept me out of trouble where aluminum or even 1260 Full Lotus might have ended up with less than perfect landings.
So far I have drained the water out of the floats only once. I saved it to see how much had accumulated over a year and it was only a little over a liter.
Let me know what your concerns are and maybe I can help. It's pretty frustrating when you have to spend a day or so changing the rigging but that's the only way I managed to get my floats to where they are now.