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Bowyer BW-1 « Challenger » homebuilt flying wing

Retrofit

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Searching on "Aerofiles" website for something else, I found the following description:

Jack B Bowyer, Wichita KS
BW-1 19?? = 1p flying wing; 65hp Franklin 4AC; span: 26'0" length: 21'0". Not much is known about this remarkable pure flying wing designed and built, possibly in the 1960s, by a Beech Aircraft Corp engineer. Judging by photos, it flew.

Unfortunatly, no photo available on the site.

Sorry, it is perhaps off-topic (or even off-forum) but does somebody have more details on this particular aircraft?

Thanks in advance,
 

walter

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Dear Retrofit,
Remarkable find that Bowyer BW-1. Attached a picture, but bad quality and I was never able to find a better one. I understand the BW-1 was named Challenger and it first flew during 1964. Engine was a 65hp Franklin 4AC-176B and the aircraft was damaged in a landing accident and not rebuilt. I have also seen wingspan given as 36ft. Registration of the aircraft was N5401E.
Regards Walter
 

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Retrofit

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And her registration is still valid!!!

-----------------------
FAA Registry

N5401E is Assigned

Aircraft Description

Serial Number: 1
Type Registration: Individual
Manufacturer Name: BOWYER CHALLENGER
Certificate Issue Date: 05/07/1971
Model: BW-1
Status: Valid
Type Aircraft: Fixed Wing Single-Engine
Type Engine: Reciprocating
MFR Year: 1963
Engine Manufacturer: FRANKLIN
Classification: Experimental
Engine Model: 4AC176B SER
Category: Amateur Built
A/W: Date 12/16/1963
--------------------------
 

Jos Heyman

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But you don't believe everything the FAA registration register tells you. Overtime I have encountered many aircraft that, based on the FAA, are still current whilst it is clearly known that the aircraft do not exist anymore. It seems that there is no annual charge for a registration so... why bother telling them yhou don't own an aircraft anymore.
 

Bodmas

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Interesting reply Sagallacci - i consider myself duly corrected :-[
Oh, and Thanks... now i may have to do some more digging - which is FUN :D
 

walter

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Jos is correct concerning the FAA register. I experienced the same. I understand, the registered owner of an aircraft has several choices when his/her aircraft is no longer active, for whatever reason.
-Inform the FAA and the registration will be cancelled in due course.
-Do nothing and the N...number will still appear in the register
However, AFAIK an owner must inform the FAA of change of address within 3 months and also the FAA send out the so called Tri-annual survey which owners must complete and return. If this form is not received by the FAA the registration still appears, but with the remark Undel Tri (in red) and before you get details of the aircraft the screen will say "The aircraft registration may not be suitable for operation"
(and I know from experience that you have big problems if you fly that aircraft and something happens).
My guess is that Mr. Bowyers (or family) has the aircraft stored and did complete the Tri annual survey forms over the years, so technically it is a registered airplane without being flown.
Any of our US friends can confirm/correct this?
Walter
 

Racefan 33

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I can give a little information on the above mentioned Flying Wing. Construction was completed on the machine in late 1963 or early 64', it flew several times out of an airport in Newton, Kansas. It is now in a hanger in southwest Missouri where my dad is working once again on restoring it to the original condition, although at the current time he has no plans to fly it. I know the above information because the Beech Engineer who built the bird was my dad! He drew the plans and along with my mother who bucked a vast majority of the rivets built it in our shop on weekends and evening while he worked at Beech. He also designed and constructed the prop. He has quite a few pictures I will try to get some an post them here.

I hope that information was helpful.
 

Stargazer2006

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Welcome Racefan 33, and thanks for shedding some light on this little-known prototype! Of course it would be very interesting to see more pictures of your dad's aircraft. Besides it will make his work recognized, seen and never forgotten thanks to this forum page, which I think is a nice side effect too... ;)
 

Racefan 33

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This is Racefan 33 Dad- Still alive and well but older. I do have a lot of pictures of the wing, (videos and still). At present a friend is processing them in order to put them in the Smithsonian Archives. Also a fellow in Norway is preparing a book on flying wings and it should be in it.
 

Stargazer2006

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Great news! Flying wing designs are so rare, even now, that your prototype just HAS to be in that book.
 

Racefan 33

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Here is another picture of the flying Wing. This was taken in Sept of 63'. The tall hansome fellow setting on the leading edge is my Dad, Jack Bowyer. I don't know who the little guy is in the foreground. I have some more photos, but want to try to upload this one first to make sure it works. Enjoy.
 

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Racefan 33

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Here are a few more pictures of my Dad's Wing. I will see if I can upload a few more at a later date.

Enjoy..
 

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Racefan 33

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One more of the flying wing
 

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Skyraider3D

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Great to see you made it here Kim, and thanks ever so much for those highly interesting pictures! Looks like a wonderful bird! What were the flying characteristics like?
Also great news both your dad and the plane are alive and kicking! Please keep us updated on how the restoration goes.
 

mz

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Hello, thanks for the great information! Do you have aerodynamic information like wing profiles, twist/washout distribution, sweep, taper, dihedral etc?
 

Racefan 33

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Good Afternoon,

I am trying to get some more information about the Flying Wing so I can post it here. Not that I was not interested at the time, but I was only 5 when it first flew. I had been around airplanes all my life so figured everyone's dad had a plane in the garage!!! Attached are two additional photos. One doing a flyby with the gear retracted, both of these were taken in 64 as well. I will try to get my dad to post some information about this project soon.
 

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markt

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Apologies for coming to this party so late, but I have been trying for over three years to get this achievement recognized and documented by the National Air and Space Museum - stay tuned. In the meantime, I finally got around to creating a new Picasa photo album for Joe Bowyer's flying wing - just as Google deliberately crippled that handy service, in favor of a far less useful (to me) photo album site. Although I was able to upload the Bowyer photos to my existing account, the "add caption" feature is broken.

In any case, all of the photos in this album relate to the flying wing, except the last one, whose caption *should* read:

"Wilbur Staib (back to camera), of Diamond, MO, making an adjustment to one of the chain saw engines powering his home-designed and -built "Airy Plane." AFAIK, he never made more than short hops with it, over the runways of the Carthage airport (H20, now defunct)."

See: http://tinyurl.com/Jack-Bowyer-Flying-Wing
 

Motocar

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I would like to make a fairly simple schematic cut because of the lack of data of its construction, which was valid to make known the complexities of the design of "flying wing", I wish I could know the location of the main crossbar, but I will have to look at many rivets .. .! Greetings from Maracay, Venezuela
 

avion ancien

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Would this topic not be more appropriate to the post-war forum, bearing in mind that this aeroplane dates from as late as 1963/64?
 

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