CAD Design
Making the Mold
The Parts

A constellation of Aries arrived at Temple, TX 23 May 2004  Winning Intermediate and Advanced

L-R: Lance Van Nostrand, Wayne Galligan, Gene Maurice, Charles Lewis, Gray Fowler, Jim Sheffield, Keith Black

The good news-

Length: 2m (78.74")  Span: 74 inches  WingArea: 1000 sq in.

Weight: The first Aries (fiberglass) is 10 lbs 5 oz.  I was pleasantly surprised when the battery had to be mounted at the back of the wing to balance.  Next time I'll skip making a battery shelf in the nose, and save another ounce or two.


The best flying Aries are the ones that come out about 10#5oz for glow power.


FAI pilot Art Wagner built this Aries II after his first AeroSlave kit (a Symphony) and this is now his primary plane (the Symphony is the backup)


Why the Aries 2?

Itís the accumulation of knowledge of prior efforts finally being documented: zero dihedral, rearward mounted stab to increase moment lost in swept wings, smaller wing area to increase loading and improve snaps, longer ailerons (to catch prop wash), lower stab mount, taller rudder for more effectiveness.  This new design snaps well, is effortless to get to drop into a spin and still retains the strong rolling capability of the original.


This airplane has been so popular that a lot of modifications have been tried.   I've had the opportunity to do many experiments to try my ideas and the best of others.  My yellow Aries above have had 2 stabs, a replaced fuse, a new chin cowl, and 3 sets of wings.  I've updated the drawings and instructions with all the ideas that worked and given this plane a 2nd wind. 


The best flying planes are the ones that started with great concepts and then evolved through many generations of improvements to get the most out of that platform.  Pattern planes are full of trade offs as we strive to make the perfect plane.  The Aries of today are so much improved that they deserve to be distinguished from all the predecessors.


AMA Precision Aerobatics Nationals (the Nats) report: the Aries places 3rd!!


Education: The Aries is an evolution of the Rhapsody design by Mike Harrison.  The changes are minor from an aerodynamic point of view.  The most striking difference is the new "look".

Mike started the process by creating fairly accurate drafts using hand tools.  I CAD'ed the design in IntelliCAD(AutoCAD) to increase the precision and to get 3-D modeling.  This worked to our great advantage.  One example was the chin cowl shape.  When Mike viewed the 3-D rendering of his original chin cowl, he completely changed it and the new one is way better.

Above: Mike Harrison (center) pointing out special design features of Lance's prototype Aries to a couple Smaragd owners - Andre Bouchard D6VP (left), Art Wagner (right).  Jetero Pattern Classic, near Houston, TX.  (Lance photo)

The many curves on this model made it hard to carve out of balsa.  I abandoned this approach and started over using large pieces of urethane foam that were bonded to CAD perfect formers.  Then it was just a matter of removing everything that wasn't an Aries.  This took several hundred hours.  I took 3 weeks from work in December to do this, but hadn't finished at the end of my "vacation".  It was then that Gray became invaluable as a partner because we were able to encourage each other and let one person take a break while the other continued sanding/shaping/filling.

Here's what some people said BEFORE they became customers:

"Has anyone flown an Aries?"

"I have flown one - with retracts. It is an exceptional plane, with
superb rolling characteristics, and a very broad speed envelope with absolute
precise control. To observer while I was flying a good bit 
of the Masters sequence just BARELY above stalling speed..."I had NO idea a pattern could be flown that slowly without the plane falling out of the
That matches my speed...S-L-O-W...deliberate...careful....with time
to fix my MANY screwups before the impact.
Hat's off to Mike Harrison - this is a winner, I think!" 

-- Bob Pastorello