Welcome to Sam Buchanan's Legal Eagle XL project web page! This site includes construction details of the fabrication of my Legal Eagle ultralight aircraft (serial number XL-58). This plans-built aircraft is designed to be easily constructed with conventional aircraft techniques and is powered by a half-VW engine. The Legal Eagle was designed by Leonard Milholland, and plans are available from Leonard in Brookshire, Texas. The Eagle XL is the latest version of the single-place Legal Eagle and represents a subtle upsizing for larger pilots while remaining in the realm of legal ultralights.
You know you've achieved perfection in design, not when you have
nothing more to add,
Why We Fly (a video featuring XL-58)
Flying XL-58 (operational notes including the following updates)
Construction and Flying XL-58 Featured in EAA Webinar
The Legal Eagle is not my first shop project. The past two decades have had my shop busy with three airplane projects, a Stalker V6 kit car, two VW restorations, a custom truck, and the occasional cedar strip canoe project. The RV Journal is the detailed website that details the construction of my RV-6 which has been flying since September, 1999. I also serve as a Technical Counselor for the Experimental Aircraft Association and a moderator for the largest Vans Aircraft online community.
So...if there is an RV-6 available to fly whenever the mood strikes, why the desire to build a pokey little ultralight? The answer probably revolves around an interest in returning to my aviation roots which were R/C and light aircraft. My first full-scale aircraft project was a Fisher Flying Products Super Koala, and that was quickly followed by a TEAM Minimax. Both aircraft were a delight to fly, but two-hundred hours was deemed all the two-stroke engine experience I wanted.
These aircraft were the precursor to a restoration of a 1940 J-3 Cub which delivered an enormous amount of flying enjoyment. It is the desire to recapture some of the Cub experience with minimal cost, very little operating expense, and freedom from the regulatory restraints of certificated aviation that is the motivation for this project. The fact the Legal Eagle has a steel tube fuse pushed me into adding gas welding to my shop skills.
I hope you enjoy following the construction of my little plane. Low-n-slow flyin'.....we're back!