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    Whimsical challenge, assault glider 1940.

    May I pose a whimsical challenge? Build a better assault glider. It is the summer of 1940 and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is shocked by German successes with paratroopers and assault gliders. You are a civilian engineer or RCAF engineering officer tasked with designing an assault...
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    Blue smoke part number?

    The other day, my radio blew out a cloud of blue smoke, then quit. I figured that the first step - in trouble-shooting - is to top off the blue smoke reservoir, but none of the old guys seem to have any spare blue smoke. Perusing the Aircraft Spruce and Sporty's catalogs was no help either. Does...
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    List of plans-built warbird replicas

    Let’s compile a list of plans-built and kit-built warbird replicas. They should include modern materials, modern engines and flight characteristics toned-down for low-time pilots by designers like Robert Baslee, Marcel Jurca, Graham Lee, Loehle, W.AR., etc. Antoinette Bleriot DeHavilland...
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    Another fictional group build

    This is the second in a series of fictional group builds. Last time you heard from your dear great aunt she was sewing new fabric on the rudder of the airplane she brought over from the old-country. She was rambunctious in her youth, competing in a variety of sports, flying air shows...
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    Community fiction, your uncle’s unfinished plane

    Pure fiction here. Pretend that your dear departed uncle bequeathed his hangar to you. Your uncle was an eccentric engineer with a bunch of patents and a career working in a secretive company that was rumoured to build super-secret projects for NASA, CIA and the other alphabet groups. The hangar...
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    Santa’s sleigh?

    How long did it take Santa Claus to build his sleigh? How much labour did Santa’s elves contribute? What type of wood did Santa use for sleigh runners? Is the body made of slats or plywood? Is the seat cushion made of horse hair or modern foam? Is the seat cushion covered in leather, brocade or...
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    Facet mobile for the 21st century

    The latest issue of KITPLANES Magazine contains a hint that Barnaby Wainfan is contemplating updating his Facetmobile. Fast forward to February 2019. Your latest project is ready to test run its engine, but you decide to wait until the outside temperature climbs above zero. You have cleaned out...
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    Unusual fuel tank location Draco Wilga

    A much-modified PZL Wilga STOL airplane showed at Oshkosh 2018 with unusual fuel tanks. The modifier installed extra fuel tanks in the undercarriage legs! He started with a Wilga 2000 that already has wide-chord main landing gear fairings, then he installed a Pratt & Whitney PT6a-28 turboprop...
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    Irv Culver?

    Engineer Irv Culver is frequently mentioned for his contributions to: Lockheed, Culver Cadet, Volmer Jensen's hang-gliders, Windrose sailplane, etc. Has anyone published a biography of Irv Culver? Does anyone have a list of all the airplanes Irv helped design?
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    Fleeing the apocalypse in a small plane?

    If you believe in preparing for disasters: fires, riots and mud-slides, what type of airplane would you chose? Stock Cessna? Souped-up STOL Super Cub? Floatplane? Motorglider? Helicopter? Lancair? ..... for high altitude, long range cruise ..... Since it is impossible to predict when or where...
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    Half-scale BV-141 replica

    "AZ-750" thread on the "Design/Aerodynamics/New Technology" forum discusses a half-scale replica of a German, War 2-vintage Blohm und Voss 141 assymetrical airplane. Only a handful of the original were built because of engine shortages, but it's assymetric configuration is the epitome of Nazi...
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    Biplanes with retractable undercarriage?

    How many biplanes were built with retractable undercarriage? I can picture a couple of amphibians: Loening Air Yacht and Grumman Duck and Petrel ultra-light. Oh! That's 3! The British Royal Navy flew lots of Walrus amphibious biplane flying boats and a few Sea Otters during World War 2...
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    Modern replacment for Schweitzer 232, 2.5 seat tourist glider?

    Seeing how popular Schweitzer 232 gliders are with tourist operations ... Schweitzer only built 37 of that model but many are still working hauling tourists, 2 at a time. What would a modern replacement look like? Would I need side doors to allow access for seniors or passengers with mobility...
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    Eco-Fly Smart deisel

    Eco-Fly introduced their Smart Deisel engine at a fly-in in Florida this week. It is converted from the Mercedes Benz diesel installed in Smart Cars. The engine pumps out about 80 horsepower, but weights (89 kilograms installed) considerably more than competitive Rotax engines (e.g. Rotax 912...
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    ISO 20 container

    Mission: pull your airplane out of a 20 foot long container. Do a pre- flight inspection and launch within 20 minutes. Folded dimensions are limited to 7 feet by 7 feet by 19 feet. To keep cost within reason, you are limited to 1 seat. Minimum power is 40 horsepower (1/2 VW or Valley...
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