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Thread: Texas Parasol

  1. #1
    Registered User Joe Kidd's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Texas Parasol

    I don’t know if any of you have ever viewed the plans for a “Chuckbird” or “Texas Parasol” but I have recently done so. Quite simply I am amazed at the means of construction as well as the latitude of owner design modification aspects. Even more amazing is that Richard Lamb has released these plans to the public domain. I've also read that this was a Chuck Benson design and other's in San Antonio had built similar plans, hope someone here can enlighten me more.

    I’m really going to do some thinking on this and look into the Yahoo Group for the “Texas Parasol” to see what they’ve been doing with the design. Lot of questions here I've since learned. Anyone else read about any of this?
    JK

    later edited due to reading finding additional information
    Last edited by Joe Kidd; July 25th, 2008 at 12:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Joe Kidd's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Thought I’d go ahead and post an update on this myself as to what I’ve learned. The Texas Parasol is built around aluminum angle tubing which is riveted together at junction points with aluminum gussets at specified critical points. The fuselage appears to be very structurally sound and modifications have been made to strengthen the landing gear. The weak link or cause for concern has been the wing structure, which seem’s to have been since updated according to the TP group. If in fact it can be used or flown as an UL is unlikely due to its design and weight so it would be a more likely LSA design.

    Controversy is present with this design due to allegations of who originally designed it and who didn’t, who’s right or wrong is irrelevant to me at this point as I’m more interested in the feasibility of the overall design than the back story. The plans are available free of charge on the Matronic’s board…. http://www.matronics.com/photoshare/cavelamb@earthlink.net.02.11.2006/

    I will be reviewing these in detail as well as data mining the TP Yahoo Group and would greatly appreciate some of you more experienced members as well as A&P and Engineers throwing in your own .02 worth. If nothing else for me this is an opportunity to learn more about plans evaluation and how to pull together the practical research information to better understand them as well as determining their accuracy.

    JK

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    Registered User pwood66889's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Thank you, Joe.
    I'm a "plans junkie," and have added the .pdf's to my collection. From the quick squint I had, they look like so many of that genre` - the Heath Parasol by Graham Lee, the Banty, the Afford-A-Plane and others I have. The quickest way to spot something funky is to see "That ain't the way the other guys do that!"
    Percy in NM, USA

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    Registered User radfordc's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    One of the attractions of the Texas Parasol is how easily the design can be adapted to other configurations. I'm drawing a set of building plans using the Flitzer biplane outline with a mix of Airdrome Aeroplanes and TP construction methods. With only a 19 foot span and wire bracing it will be easy to make the wing structure strong enough.

    Charlie

  5. #5
    Registered User Kmccune's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    I really like that plane, but I needed a second seat and like said part 103 is unlikely. They have a yahoo site that is pretty good, if you can get past the attitudes of some of the posters. Great little plane, I just wish it had a back seat, the simplicity is amazing and its cool looking too!

    Kevin

  6. #6
    Registered User radfordc's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Here is a two place version
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Texas Parasol-sm-8.jpg  

  7. #7
    Registered User Kmccune's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Are you sure that is a two place? I got all matter of flack for even asking. Do you know the builders contact info? PS don't mention Geo engines there ether.

    Kevin

  8. #8
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    I first saw a Chuckbird about 12 or 13 years ago at the Arlington airshow. Both had been built by Chuck Beeson, the designer. There was a white parasol owned by a guy named Bob Borovic. There was also a red, white, and blue biplane. I was immediately taken with them, and asked Bob where to get plans. He said there were no plans. The only way to get one was to buy a used one from Chuck, or buy a wrecked one and see how it was built.

    Richard made up the plans about a year later, and I was lucky enough to get the very first set of plans. When I say lucky, I mean I had to email him about three pages of mistakes I found with the plans. It took about four emails to resolve the problems I found in the plans.

    I was sent by my company down to Austin, TX a couple of times for training classes, so I drove down to San Antonio to talk to Chuck
    and Richard. I saw about six Chuckbird derivatives. I say derivatives because two were built by Chuck, and the others were individual builders. No two were exactly the same. You're right in that the design allows for lots of builder changes.

    Chuck's a great guy, and I really like him. I'd talked to him on the phone once before coming out to the field, and he showed me all around. Then, he pulled out this 582 powered biplane version, fired it up and flew a circuit for me to see it in action. Then he got out and said, "Stay away from that area over there (pointing West). The Air Force guys fly there. Just keep the field in sight". Then he told me to take his plane up and see how I like her.
    At the time I weighed 220 or 230, and it was a little bit of a squeeze for me to get in it since it was built for Chuck who's smaller, but it flew great. Handling was about like a Champ.

    I really enjoyed it, but didn't want to take it up for too long, so I landed after a few trips around the area. He asked me, "What's wrong? Why did you bring it back?" I told him I didn't want him to worry about a stranger flying off out of his sight with his plane, and he just told me he wasn't worried. That's how confident he is of his design. Anyone with a pilot's license and some tailwheel time should be able to fly one with no problems.

    I recommend the Chuckbird design highly. Just follow the plans and use good building practices and common sense, and you should have a fine flying airplane.

    Oh, and if you're wondering if I've built one, no. I'm finishing up a Challenger II. Then I have a Murphy Renegade biplane to sell. Then I have a '52 Packard to restore. Then I have a '79 Camaro to restify. THEN I can build my next airplane project. It won't be a strictly by-the-plans Texas Parasol. It'll either be a parasol with quite a few ideas I have to make it more my own design, or it will be a pusher that's sort of a cross between a Woody's Pusher and a Don Quixote.


    Basically, all I'm really going to take from the Chuckbird is the aluminum extrusion fuselage construction. I'll fashion the wing on the Challenger model, the landing gear on the Renegade model, and the control system is a cross between several planes that I've plans for. I've come up with what I think is an interesting way of mounting the engine that will simplify mounting and make it lighter without compromising strength or safety. It'll just make engine maintenance easier and harder.


    So. Bottom line. As someone who's flown one of Chuck's birds and seen about eight flying examples and three under construction, I think they're great.


    Mark

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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Quote Originally Posted by radfordc View Post
    Here is a two place version
    Hmmm.... That picture gives me a passing thought on a different take on the two-place airplane. If you've ever seen how the Buddy Baby Lakes works, you could do it that way. I've never flown a Buddy Baby Lakes, but I've got many jumps in jump planes where you have to straddle the seat.


    Mark

  10. #10
    Registered User WurlyBird's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Hey Joe, I downloaded and studied these plans. I am thinking seriously about building one of these as an intro to construction to my wife and I. Plus it will give us the much needed 3rd seat. If you consider building one of these let me know and we can team up on 'em. I am working on selling the idea to a couple other friends who want to fly but don't think they can fit it into the budget. Maybe we can have a fleet of them.

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    Re: Texas Parasol

    hi im new to the whole building thing and i have the plans for the plane but i dont know if i will be able to make it part 103 i am 15 and really dont feel like getting my lsa license anytime soon this will be my first build so i want to make sure it will be part 103, if anyone has any other suggestions about a plane please feel free to pm me.

    ...srry for hijacking the post haha i just need some help

  12. #12
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    Quote Originally Posted by Holtzy3 View Post
    ...sorry for hijacking the post haha i just need some help
    No need to post duplicate requests in multiple subforums. Everyone here lives by the NEW POSTS button, so they'll see your new post no matter where it is. Best to keep you posts in the proper subforums and in the same thread if the subject is the same. That will help keep all of the threads more on-topic.

    Just a word of caution. Don't let yourself be tricked into thinking that Part 103 'no training required' means that you can just hop in and go. An ultralight can kill you just as quickly as a plane, so you should get at least some training before flying it yourself.

    We'll talk more back in your original thread.

  13. #13
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    Re: Texas Parasol

    ok srry about that guys

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