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Author Topic: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...  (Read 43486 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2013, 04:09:00 pm »
The Lesher SN-1 Nomad was the brainchild of Edward Lesher, an aeronautical teacher at the University of Michigan. It was a small two-seat all-metal pusher with an aluminum semi-monocoque fuselage and side-by-side seating for improved visibility. The 100 hp Continental O-200 engine was placed immediately behind the cockpit, fed with air intakes at the wing roots. The wing was built as a single assembly with a very simple profile and no dihedral. The vee-tailed empennage and vertical fin in low position was meant to impair the Hartzell propeller's efficiency as little as possible, while the vertical fin placed below helped to keep the propeller clear from the ground.

Construction began in 1959 and the Nomad flew late in 1961. The Nomad was followed by the better-known Lesher Teal, which also remained a prototype.

More on the Lesher prototypes: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12399.0

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 04:22:00 pm »
In the late 1990s Duncan Aviation of Michigan developed its Xantus V/STOL design [N44CX], named after a species of hummingbird and designed by Terry Duncan, a lead engineer for Williams International. It featured four 80 hp Hirth F30 engines placed at wingtips fore and aft of the fuselage, and was unveiled to the public for the first time at AirVenture '99. The company predicted that the four-passenger tilt-prop aircraft would take off and land vertically, and cruise at 290 mph with a range of up to 800 nm. After receiving an airworthiness certificate from the FAA on July 7, 1999, the aircraft made its first tentative hovering flight on July 11. Its current disposition is unknown.

More on the Xantus: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=7355.0

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2013, 04:38:34 pm »
Terence O'Neill's Pea Pod [N10T] of 1963 was an odd diminutive machine in which the pilot lay in a prone position, with most of his body inside the wing. It was powered by a 35 hp Kiekhaefer O-4-35 boat engine mounted inside the vertical fin, and could be carried atop the family car. Taxi tests were performed, but it could not meet FAR 103 requirements and reportedly never flew hardly surprising considering the questionable aerodynamics and apparently insufficient wing loading of the design...

More on the Pea Pod: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,19239.0

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2013, 04:58:11 pm »
In February 1959, two former Piasecki engineers formed the Vanguard Air and Marine Corporation to design and build an executive VTOL aircraft. Their first design, the Vanguard 2C Omniplane [apparently not registered] used a 25-ft long Ercoupe light plane fuselage and weighed 2,600 lb. The round wings each housed a 6 ft diameter three-bladed propeller that was mechanically driven for vertical flight by a 265 hp Lycoming O-540-A1A six cylinder piston engine. During forward flight, covers above the rotors and louvers below sealed the wing for aerodynamic lift. Forward thrust was produced by a 5 ft diameter shrouded propeller in the tail. Elevator and rudder surfaces immediately behind the rear fan controlled pitch and yaw, while differential propeller blade pitch affected roll in hover.

Ground tests, starting in August 1959 and including tethered hover trials, were followed by NASA full-scale wind tunnel testing. Modifications to the Omniplane in 1961, including an improved control system, upgrading to a 860 hp Lycoming YT53-L-1 turboshaft engine, and 5 ft nose extension to house a third lifting propeller, led to the redesignation 2D. The nose propeller improved control in pitch as well as in yaw, through the use of movable exit vanes. The 2D completed tethered hover tests, but was damaged by a mechanical failure and discontinued in early 1962.


Source: http://www.vstol.org/VSTOLWheel/VanguardOmniplane.htm

Much more on the Omniplane at xplanes.free.fr: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

More on other Vanguard projects: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,969.0.html
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 05:00:18 pm by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2013, 05:24:56 pm »
Around 1980 Burt Rutan was engaged by Tom Jewett, whom he had known at Bede, and Jewett's associate, Gene Sheehan, to help design an airplane that would carry ease of construction and low cost to the extreme, even at the expense of performance. That airplane became the Quickie. Rutan's involvement ended after testing of the prototype; Jewett and Sheehan then marketed the tiny 18 hp airplane as a kit. The Quickie Aircraft Corp. installed itself in a hangar at the opposite end of the Mojave Airport from Rutan's.

Himself an aeronautical engineer, Jewett designed, and the Quickie Aircraft shop staff started building, an airplane called Big Bird in which Jewett intended to break the absolute distance record for unrefueled airplanes, set in 1962 at 12,519 miles by a B-52. The aircraft featured a unique landing gear dolly, which was designed to be jettisoned after the airplane took off on its record-attempting flight. At the completion of the flight, the airplane was to be landed on a wooden skid on the bottom of the aircraft. Burt Rutan thought ill of the design, and after he fell out with Jewett and Sheehan, the principals of Quickie Aircraft and RAF repeatedly sniped at each other in unseemly ways on the ramp at Mojave and in the aviation press.

After a hostile encounter on the airport camp with Jewett and Sheehan, Dick Rutan proposed to Burt that they do Jewett one better and build an airplane that could fly unrefueled all the way around the world.The Rutan brothers soon made a public announcement of their goal, reducing Big Bird to insignificance even before it had flown. Stung, Jewett quickly announced the same goal for Big Bird which he rechristened Free Enterprise [N82X] though his airplane was not really equal to the task. Jewett insisted that it was, but he never got the chance to prove it: the Free Enterprise crashed during testing, taking his life. Ironically, the goal initially set by Jewett was finally achieved by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager in Burt Rutan's Voyager.

Adapted from an article published in the February 1989 issue of Flying.

More on the crash of the "Big Bird": http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/N82X-Jewett.htm
Also see:
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1982/1982%20-%200220.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1982/1982%20-%200221.html
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 04:15:37 pm by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2013, 04:12:48 pm »
Al Backstrom's tailless WPB-1 was a powered version of the Plank sailplane which he originally helped to design and build in the 1950s. Construction of the powered Plank was begun in 1972, most of the work being done by Van White, a director of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association). It was intended originally to fit a Sachs Wanzel or OMC snowmobile Wankel engine, but as neither became available, a fan-cooled single-ignition Kiekhaefer Aeromarine 440 was installed, driving a two-bladed pusher propeller via belts.

The original tandem-wheel/outrigger undercarriage was replaced by a more robust tricycle unit in 1976. Fuselage was of tubular structure, the wings were of wood and the whole airframe was fabric-covered. A two-seat version was also planned.

Source: Flight, 9 July 1977 (an item which was humorously entitled "Flying plank").

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2013, 05:06:38 am »
The one-off Hoops SP-1 [N2149] from Anaheim, Los Angeles, on which I could find no information, besides the fact that it was built in 1978 and was for sale in 2009.

Offline walter

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2013, 12:38:57 pm »
The Geraci Jeep-O-Plane
2-seat sport
one 90hp Continental C90 piston engine
wingspan ca.8ft
DETAILS: This unusual configuration homebuilt was a design of Mr. Al Geraci and developed in co-operation with Mr. William J. Simonini and was completed in 1956. The aircraft, named Jeep-O-Plane, made one flight only and further work was then halted. The aircraft was sometimes referred to as Alliance X and it featured a pusher engine installation (one 90hp Continental C90) and staggered wings with large interconnecting end plates. The one-of-a-kind aircraft (registration N275) featured a wing configuration as later also found on several of the French Starck designs (qv).


« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 01:46:04 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »

Offline Mark Nankivil

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2013, 09:24:02 am »
Hi All -

The Backstrom WPB-1 is on display at the Airpower Museum in Blakesburg, IA - I have some print photos of it buried somewhere in a box.  I also have drawings and an article on it from a vintage issue of EAA's Sport Aviation magazine I'll dig out and post too.  It's been long on my list of "to do" R/C electric models.

Plank is the standard term for an unswept constant chord flying wing.  An appropriate moniker...

Enjoy the Day!  Mark

Offline walter

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2013, 01:37:36 am »
McWhirter Skyrider (NX40000).
This obscure light plane appeared around 1946 and was attributed to a Mister (or Company?) McWhirter. It was reportedly intended as flying ambulance and had a 185hp Continental E185 engine.
I understand a picture (and some details?) may have appeared in the September 1946 issue of Popular Aviaton, but unfortunately I donot have access to that copy  :'(
   

Offline walter

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2013, 01:40:08 am »
Here is a picture showing the registration.


Offline walter

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2013, 07:37:22 am »
The Unusual Rotor Wing Ultra-Stol (N25RW) was developed in California in the late-1970s. It was reported as the Ultra-Stol by a company named Rotor Wing System and reportedly the aircraft flew at least twice.
It had a relatively small wing and engines were reported as two Continental C85s and the rear could be tilted!.  A very similar aircraft (maybe a rebuilt of the first?) was photographed by me in 1984 at Brown Field (near San Diego Ca), but it did not show a registration and was almost certainly never really completed. It differed in having a new wings, possibly from a Cessna Ce.150 and small canards. A company named High Technology Aircraft System, Inc (also in California). may be connected with this aircraft.
The yellow aircraft is N25RW, the other is the unregistered at Brown Field.   

Offline walter

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2013, 07:39:07 am »
this is the one at Brown Field.
 

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2013, 08:31:31 am »
this is the one at Brown Field.

Wow! Looks like someone found the remains of a crashed Britten-Norman Trislander and a crashed Dyke Delta and tried to piece the remaining parts together!!! Thanks a lot for sharing these rarities, Walter.

Offline ksimmelink

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2013, 09:33:46 pm »
My all time favorite, is from the masters on one-off aircraft.  Scaled Composites / Rutan.  It is the Model 202 Boomerang.  I saw it at Oshkosh one year and its quirkiness has always stuck with me.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."