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Trella Aircraft Designations

hesham

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Hi,


the American Company Trella,designed and built several aircraft.from T-10,T-17 up to T-21,
and from T-100 up to T-107,I ask about two designed,the T-105 which developed from T-104
but never finished,and the T-107,which reach only to a mock-up stage and modified from
T-106 twin boom pusher high wing aircraft,if someone has a drawings or pictures to them?,
thanks in advanced.


http://www.aerofiles.com/_ti.html
 

Jemiba

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Mostly built aircraft and short descriptions to very designation.... better suited to
the designations section, I think. ;)
 

hesham

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My dear Jemiba,


I asked about the two unbuilt projects,that's all.
 

Apophenia

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There is some confusion in Aerofiles over powerplants. The R-266 radial is the Lambert engine. Flight lists the Trella T-19 as having 1 x 125 hp Lycoming O-290-G4.

Flight International 10 July 1975, pg 51

BTW, the T-21C/T-106 (N450C) had its C85 replaced around 1965 with a 125hp Lycoming O-290.

RF Pauley doesn't name the Trella T-100 but he describes it as a Ford Model T-powered wooden biplane designed and built by Frank Trella while at the University of Detroit in 1924.
Pauley also mentions a light biplane design was powered by an Anzani, obviously referring to the T-101.

Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers, Robert F. Pauley, Arcadia Publishing, 2009, pg 66

FWIW, the US National Transportation Safety Board lists Trella T-19 N3089 as damaged in a ground collision with Piper PA-22 N5081Z, 06 June 1978.

http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=40608&key=0
 

hesham

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Hi,

here is a story about Trella aircraft;

http://members.eaavintage.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/VA-Vol-34-No-6-June-2006.pdf
 

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Stargazer2006

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Trella designations are confusing, because at times the individual aircraft are refered to by their designation (T-100, etc.) and at other times by their construction number (T-16, etc.)

If both systems are coherent, the Models went from T-100 to T-107 and the c/ns from T-16 to T-21: Seven models designed, only five aircraft built... Yet I have counted six airplanes completed, and conflicting info. I've tried to make sense of all the info I had at my disposal (including the Vintage Airplane article) for the Trella page of my upcoming website, but quite frankly, it's still pretty confusing! I've removed my previous list to update it with the latest info. Here's a recap of what we have so far:

  • T-100 was c/n T-16. It says so clearly on the side of the fuselage. It was was built in 1924, taxied but never flown because of underpowered 30hp converted Ford T engine.
  • T-101 Speedster was c/n T-17 [X6775]. It was a two-seat biplane of 1926 with an 80hp Anzani engine. T-17 has also been quoted with 60hp LeBlond 5D and 55hp Velie M-5 engines, though the latter is likely a confusion with T-102 below.
  • T-102 Speedster was c/n T-18 [NC10509]. It was a 1928 improved version of T-101 of with a 65hp Velie engine.
  • T-103 had an unidentified c/n. It was a two-seat open biplane with 90hp Lambert engine. If the T-103 was "an excellent flier", how come it doesn't show up on registers?
  • T-104 had an unidentified c/n. It was identical to T-103 except for minor improvements but was destroyed in a crash while on a test flight. Perhaps it was simply the T-103 modified?
  • T-105 was probably c/n T-20. It was a two-seat high-wing cabin monoplane with a 90hp Lambert engine; it was begun, never finished and eventually dismantled.
  • T-106 was c/n T-21 [N450C] was an all-metal two-seat high-wing cabin monoplane with 85hp Continental C-85-12J pusher engine. It has also been refered to as the T-21C Special in some sources.
  • T-107 was only a project, a five-seat retractable gear twin-engine derivative of T-106, only built in mock-up form for lack of funding.
 

Apophenia

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Skyblazer said:
... C/n T-19 is something of a mystery: it is an undescribed type said to have used a Lambert R-266 or a 125hp Lycoming O-290-G4 engine, depending on sources (perhaps both types were used?). Registered as [13579], which suggests circa 1933 or 1934, transcriptions found online claim its c/n to have been 119, not T-19. Somewhere along the way its registration was changed to [N3089]. It was lost in a collision with a Piper PA-22 in 1978...

That is confusing. According to the FAA, the Lycoming powered aircraft was the Trella/Bolinger T-19 Speedster - a single-seater built in 1971 (c/n 108, N3089). Flight lists this simply as the Trella T-19:

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1975/1975%20-%201197.html

That brings up two questions: Who the heck was 'Bolinger'? And, is it possible that the circa 1933-1934 Lambert R-266 5-cylinder-powered 13579 have been an unrelated design?
 

Stargazer2006

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Apophenia said:
That brings up two questions: Who the heck was 'Bolinger'? And, is it possible that the circa 1933-1934 Lambert R-266 5-cylinder-powered 13579 have been an unrelated design?

These are pretty sensible questions, indeed.
Lynn L. Bollinger (with two "l"s) was the co-founder of Helio Aircraft with Otto C. Koppen. Could that be him?
Also, it is extremely tempting to imagine that we are in the presence of two totally distinct designs... but the name Trella, the designation T-19, the state (Michigan) and even the name Speedster (previously used on the T-101 and T-102) all add up to indicate that there MUST be a connection.

Coming to think of it... The T-19 has a very interesting c/n: #108. Remember that the last known Trella in 1961 (the date of the article reprinted in Vintage Airplane) was the T-107... If The Trella/Bolinger plane was built in 1971, then apparently its c/n and designation were inverted from the previous practice.

But that still doesn't explain why T-19 and not "T-22"... unless this "new" type was rebuilt from an older aircraft... Perhaps the T-103? In all logic it would have been the T-19 in the original sequence...
 

Stargazer2006

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STOP PRESS! Just happened on a description of the Trella T-19 (from Jane's 1972-73), which confirms some theories and invalidates others.

TRELLA T-19

Mr Fred Trella of Warren, Michigan, has designed a two-seat sporting biplane designated T-19, which he has built in partnership with Mr Joseph Bolinger. Construction began in May 1966 and occupied five years, at a cost of $4,000. First flight was made in July 1971, and it is anticipated that plans of the T-19 will be made available to amateur constructors. Earlier, Mr Trella designed and built a two-seat cabin monoplane designated T-106.

Type: Two-seat home-built sporting biplane.

Wings: Braced single-bay biplane, with Vee-type interplane struts each side.
Centre-section of upper wing supported by inverted Vee-strut forward and single strut aft on each side of cabane.
Streamline-section landing and flying wires.
Conventional two-spar structures with solid wood spars, wood truss ribs and fabric covering.
Plain ailerons of wooden construction with fabric covering on both wings.
Cut-out in trailing-edge of upper wing. No flaps. No trim tabs.

Fuselage: Welded steel-tube structure, with fabric covering.

Tail Unit: Wire-braced welded steel-tube structure, with fabric covering.

Landing gear: Non-retractable tailwheel type. Main wheels carried on tripod struts, with internal shock absorption in main legs.

Power Plant: One 125 hp Lycoming O-290-G4 four-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch propeller with spinner.

Accomodation: Two seats in tandem in open cockpits.

Dimensions, external:
- Wing span, upper ................... 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
- Wing chord, both constant ..... 4 ft 0 in (1.22 m)
- Length overall ......................... 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m)
- Height overall .......................... 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)

Weights and Loading:
- Weight empty .......................... 1,096 lb (497 kg)
- Max T-O weight ........................ 1,607 lb (729 kg)
- Max power loading .................. 12-8 lb/hp (5-8 kg/bp)

Performance (at max T-O weight):
- Max level speed ........................ 87 knots (100 mph; 161 km/h)
- Cruising speed ............................ 82.5 knots (95 mph; 153 km/h)
- Landing speed ............................ 35 knots (40 mph; 64 km/h)
- T-O run ........................................ 300 ft (91 m)
- Landing run ................................ 500 ft (152 m)
- Endurance .................................. 3 hours

What this teaches us is that the T-19 of 1971 was from FRED Trella, one of the brothers of Frank, who did all the early designs.
The partnership was with a Mr. JOSEPH BOLINGER (one "L", so the spelling was correct after all), so no connection with Lynn L. Bollinger here.
We learn also that this was indeed a newly-built aircraft, coming after the unbuilt T-107 in the sequence of designs. Its c/n 108 is therefore logical, somehow.

I'll venture that the designation T-19 was chosen because the aircraft must have been a near duplicate of the original c/n T-19, which I'm now positive WAS the Model T-103, since the latter was described in the article as having a Lambert engine!
 

walter

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Hello Gentlemen :)
Very nice and entertaining info on the Trella designs. Was ready to give some additional info on the T-19, but
Skyblazer was first ! Fred Trella and Joseph Bolingers were indeed the builders.
What I can add is that the engine almost certainly was the Lycoming. If you "blow up" attached photo there are no real signs of a radial engine. And the T-19 was indeed damaged in a 1978 incident, but she was rebuilt and remained active for many more years. N3089 was being offered for sale in 2011 (barnstormers.com?). First flight was in July 1971 and from my notes it seems that the T-19 was at least based on/derived from a 1932 design of father Frank Trella.
 

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Stargazer2006

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walter said:
Hello Gentlemen :)
Very nice and entertaining info on the Trella designs. Was ready to give some additional info on the T-19, but Skyblazer was first !

Ah, but you provided a photo of it, which more than makes up for it! I'd been desperately trying to locate one unsuccessfully! Thanks a lot for this.

walter said:
And the T-19 was indeed damaged in a 1978 incident, but she was rebuilt and remained active for many more years. N3089 was being offered for sale in 2011 (barnstormers.com?). First flight was in July 1971 and from my notes it seems that the T-19 was at least based on/derived from a 1932 design of father Frank Trella.

Further research tonight showed me that indeed [N3089] took another airworthiness test in 1978 and was active until 2008.
My hunch that it was directly inspired by the original T-103 seems correct, though the latter was built in 1930.
However, as I said before, the T-104 of 1932 may very well have been the same aircraft modified...

I absolutely love it when a group of us decide to tackle a subject and together elucidate some aviation mystery. It's happened several times on this forum and it's always an exhilarating experience, to be able to bring our minds and info together and achieve as a team what each of us couldn't manage individually! Thanks to everyone for that.
 

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