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Adapting the Mignet configuration to other categories

cluttonfred

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Especially in France, there have been a number of amateur builders inspired by Henri Mignet's example to design their own stall-and-spin-proof two-control tandem-wing aircraft in the spirit of Mignet's Pou-du-Ciel (Flying Flea). Croses, Landray and others followed in his footsteps, and many of these homebuilts are still flying or still being built today.

Projects or prototypes that attempt to adapt the Mignet configuration to larger aircraft are few and far between, however. So, after coming across Hesham's post on "Handley Page Bulletin amazing airliner", here's my question: does anyone know of any other attempts to adapt the Flying Flea planform to anything larger or faster than a 2-4 seat light aircraft?

I know of only one, the one-off Croses Paras-Cargo light utility aircraft:



You can learn more about this very efficient little hauler at Emilen Croses's son's web site. The page is in French, but the specs are self-explanatory and there are great pics and a video clip.

So, dig around in those archives...Mignet-style fighters, bombers, cargo planes, jetliners? Let's see what you've got!

PS--I noticed an old request for an annotated designation list of Mignet designs...I'll get on that.
 

shaba

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So, dig around in those archives...Mignet-style fighters, bombers, cargo planes, jetliners? Let's see what you've got!
the aresenal-delanne 10c2 fighter is based on the mignet concept thou i doubt the estimated performance stas So, dig around in those archives...Mignet-style fighters, bombers, cargo planes, jetliners? Let's see what you've got!
there is also am ore advance project studied during the occupation that put the cockpit ahead of the upper wing with a midmounted engine.[pre]
[c​
 

cluttonfred

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the aresenal-delanne 10c2 fighter is based on the mignet concept

The Delanne tandems are related, to be sure, but all the Delanne and Delanne-inspired designs I know (like the "turret Lysander" that was said to fly very well) are basically conventional monoplanes with oversized horizontal stabilizers--they are still controlled in pitch with a rear elevator and have (and need) full three-axis controls including ailerons. The "slot-effect" is far less than in the Mignet designs, thought it's hard to say exactly where one leaves off and the other begins.

The key elements of the Mignet configuration as I understand it are the slotted wing arrangement, two-axis controls and the pivoting forward wing. Pitch control is via the pivoting forward wing and directional control from the rudder, lateral control comes solely from strong effective dihedral (high-mounted, low-aspect-ratio wings and upturned wingtips). Presumably, a fixed forward wing with an elevator could be used, though I've never seen that, as most Mignet "disciples" accept the benefits of powerful control authority and gust alleviation that the variable incidence brings at the expense of some sensitivity.

Here's a pic of the cockpit of the Paras-Cargo. The only primary flight control is the wheel--fore and aft for pitch, rotated for yaw. The two levers in the roof are for a pair of trim tabs on the rear wing. They are used together for pitch trim or differentially to dial in a fixed amount of "aileron" for crosswind operations.



I have personally flown in a Mignet HM.1000 Balerit (a microlight designed by Mignet's sons) and it all works very well. The slip/skid ball tracks normally in slight to moderate turns, or corrects quickly after sharp turns, and a jab of rudder brings up a wing briskly when needed.
 

flateric

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Very charming bird and a story.
 

Jemiba

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Mole is quite right, I think, that the main characteristics of Mignets
flying fleas was the tandem design with relatively narrow vertical
separation, pivoting forward wing and flight control without rudder
pedals. All the others are "just tandem wings" ! ;)
So, chances for finding real Mignet style fighters probably are very low,
but that never was Henry Mignets aim, but "an aircraft for everybody".
An interesting site can be found here :http://www.nestofdragons.net/flyingflea/index.htm
BTW, the "slot effect" in mignets original design, with less longitudianl
separation between the wings, is said to have been the reason for several
fatal accidents !
 

cluttonfred

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BTW, the "slot effect" in mignets original design, with less longitudianl
separation between the wings, is said to have been the reason for several
fatal accidents !

Thanks for your comments, Jemiba, though I would add that the problems with the original HM.14 were related not only to the "slot effect" but also to an antiquated, pre-WWI-style pointed airfoil and a bungee-return control system. Subsequent Mignet designs and those by others since do not exhibit the dive to inverted at high speeds which caused a few deaths before corrective measures were taken, but unfortunately the damage was done--then, as now, the press will focus on a handful of accidents, not thousands of successful flights.

Already in 1936, Mignet had moved on to much more sophisticated designs. Attached is an original 1936 brochure from la Société des Aéronefs Mignet (S.A.M.) detailing the single-seat ultralight HM.16, the enclosed-cabin single-seat HM.18 and the side-by-side, dual-control HM.19. A modified HM-19, called the HM-19C after it's amateur builder, Swiss Pou-du-Ciel pionneer Louis Cosandey, was still flying a decade ago but no longer appears on the Swiss civil aircraft register.

Source: Henri MIGNET et le Pou-du-Ciel : VARIATIONS SUR UN THÈME
 

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cluttonfred

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Mole said:
Projects or prototypes that attempt to adapt the Mignet configuration to larger aircraft are few and far between...I know of only one, the one-off Croses Paras-Cargo light utility aircraft:

I recently came across a contemporary article (in French, attached) on the Croses Para Cargo as well as more recent pics of the prototype, now in South Africa. Enjoy!

Source: "Un cargo pour les amateurs" Aviation Magazine (702): 63. 1977-03-15
 

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cluttonfred

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And one more, not that anyone else seem to be following this thread. ;)

The site www.croses.fr often comes up with a malware warning, which may turn people off, so here in .pdf format is the info (in French) from that site on the Para-Cargo along with many photos. Note the performance claims including a climb rate of 4 m/s (~800 fpm) or better and crusing speed of 170 km/h (105 mph) with a 450 kg (990 lb) useful load on only 180 hp!

Cheers,

Matthew
 

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Grey Havoc

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Did Mignet do any work on artillery spotters, by any chance?
 

cluttonfred

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To my knowledge, there are only two Mignet aircraft with any military connections:

The HM-280 Pou-Maquis or "guerilla flea" (photos from here and more here) was designed by Mignet at the request of a Col. Eon to be a liaison aircraft to accompany airborne troops. It was a tiny, single-seat aircraft with quick-folding wings, small and light enough to land on almost any road and be quickly hidden. It could also be towed on it's own wheels behind a motorcyle. After the war, it was developed into the HM-290, Mignet's first post-war offering for amateur builders, which is still being built today in the slightly larger HM-293 version.

The other military flea that I know of is the HM-1000 Balerit, an aluminim-tube-and-dacron microlight designed and built commercialy in fairly large numbers in the 1980s and 1990s by Aviation Mignet, a company founded by Mignet's son and grandson, IIRC. It was used by the French Army Light Aviation (ALAT) units as non-combat liaison aircraft, particulalry an eye-in-sky traffic cop over large convoys. It was also adapted as a forest fire patrol aircraft in southern France and on the island of Corsica. I have personally flown in the fire patrol aircraft below, though the photos are both from the Mignet company site.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

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Grey Havoc

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....which is still being built today in the slightly larger HM-293 version.

Who has the production rights to that design these days? For the kits I mean. Or are the plans 'open source' as the IT industry would term it?
 

cluttonfred

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There are no kits, but plans are available from two sources, both amateur builders who updated and redrew the original plans. Rodolphe Grunberg of France is responsible for the most commonly built of all Mignet designs today, the HM-293RG. His plans are in French but very clearly and simply drawn and an English-language key is also available from Paul Pontois in Canada. Fred Byron of Australia has also come out with updated and redrawn plans and his version, too, has a great reputation. Below are examples of both versions.

There are good Pou-du-Ciel/Flying Flea discussion groups in English and French on Yahoo! Groups with the latest information on plans availability, prices, etc. For inspiration, here's a great video of an amateur built HM-293RG from the trailer to takeoff, flight and landing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itMDL-JIFfs
 

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Grey Havoc

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I seem to vaguely remember an American UAV design (USN ONR related?) from the last decade that used a wing configuration similar to the Mignet. My memory could be playing tricks though.
 

cluttonfred

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You may be thinking of Freewing Aerial Robotics, which used a Mignet-like "floating wing" cobined with a very un-Mignet variable incidence engine pod.
 

Grey Havoc

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I remember that design, but it's not the one I thinking of, unfortunately.
 

cluttonfred

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No idea then, sorry. I have often thought that the Mignet configuration would actually be great for short-range UAVs or even missiles and glide bombs. The compactness of the wings and the simplicity of the two axis control system would be advantageous. If the front wing is actually a free-floating design using a reflexed airfoil and an anti-servo tab it can provide substantial gust alleviation as well, useful in a UAV.
 

Grey Havoc

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Thanks anyway. For some reason Vought is rattling around in my brain in relation to this project, although that maybe because they were working on at least one UAV project for the ONR at around the same time.
 
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