Flight Dynamics Inc. (Thomas H. Purcell) Designs

Maveric

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Hi all,

can you identify this bird???

Thanks Maveric
 

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richard

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It's the Purcell Seasprite glider : sorry , but I don't know more ...
 

riggerrob

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The Purcell Sea Sprite was a glider that was towed aloft behind a speed boat, similar to a water-skier.

Purcell later sold plans for a version that was offered in three different configurations. The first glider had a similar Princeton Sailwing, with tail feathers hung on the ends of twin tail booms.
The sexing glider had a fixed, strut-braced, constant chord wing.
The third version had the fixed wing and a 90(?) horsepower engine mounted on top of pylons above the wing centre-section. Published performance numbers were similar to contemporary Anderson Kingfisher and Volmer Sportsman 2-seater light flying boats.
I never heard of anyone competing a Purcell design from plans.
 

riggerrob

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For many years, Purcell ran a consulting firm know as "Flight Dynamics."

He seems to have abandoned the Bernulli configuration later in life.
I wonder if the flat centre-section pounded too much in waves?

Circa 2000, Sport Aviation magazine featured a conventional configuration, single-seater, twin float, wire-braced, low-wing monoplane also designed by a fellow named Purcell.
 
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hesham

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Nice Info Riggerrob,


and we can change the title into,Purcell Seasprite Glider.
 

Stargazer2006

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Just happened on this topic I hadn't seen before. Here's what I can add to the subject.

riggerrob said:
For many years, Purcell ran a consulting firm know as "Flightsail."

Actually the name of Purcell's firm was Flight Dynamics Inc., based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thomas H. Purcell, Jr. had previously worked as a design engineer for the Bensen Aircraft Corp. "Flightsail" was the name he gave to the whole series of captive glider designs he produced in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite some likeness to the Rogallo wing design, the Flightsail series were not considered strictly as Rogallo wing types because there's very little billow in the sail.

The Flightsail VII, however, was quite a different bird. It was a two-seat recreational high-wing cabin monoplane amphibian flown in 1970 and marketed as plans.

Apart from these, Flight Dynamics designed and sold plans in the 1960s for a captive helicopter, a VTOL trainer and a helicopter skycrane, although there is no evidence that any of these ever made it to a real-life flying article. In the 1970s they also marketed plans for the Seagull flexwing hang glider/float-equipped tow glider and the Seasprite twin-hulled captive aircraft.

After the demise of Flight Dynamics, Purcell designed and built yet another design in 1990, the X-11 Pelican, an amphibian with pylon-mounted tractor Rotax engine and inverted V-tail.

[Could this topic be renamed "Thomas H. Purcell's 'Flightsails' and other designs", maybe?]
 

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riggerrob

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The X-11 adds small sponsons - near where the wing struts meet the main hull.
They look similar to the extra sponsons added to Taylor Coot and Glass Goose to improve planing performance.
 

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