Another Ultralight-ish High Wing Idea

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RJW

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The recent threads about an improved A-Plane, The Ranger, "sit-on-top" planes, etc. got me thinking about what I would like in a similar, basic, ultralight-ish machine. Though I like the ideas discussed, I would like something with fewer, well, parts I guess. I would like something with fewer, what some here have called, "fiddly bits". I don't want any struts and related fittings or wires of any kind. The attached sketch is what I came up with.
Cl 1.png CL 2.png
The fuse is made up of larger and fewer members than comparable machines (about 20 fewer tubes than the Legal Eagle for example). It would be easier to build but would weigh a bit more than a more refined design. The tubing for this fuse comes in at about 28 pounds.

The wing is one piece so it's light and easy to build with simple fittings to attach it to the fuse. In the sketch it is aluminum with fabric covering. It could be made of composite or wood too. This one is aluminum because, like the tubing for the fuse, it's what I have in my pile of airplane stuff.

Tail surfaces are cantilever and could be made of whatever is on hand. No wires or struts. Just a few bolts to attach.

I'm thinking of an overhead stick to keep the height of the fuse down and to reduce weight/parts count.
The engine can be whatever. I've budgeted about 120 pounds FWF (maybe not a very realistic budget). 50HP would make something like this a lot of fun to fly.

Anyway, this is about as close as I could get to a simple (in my mind) 2D or "sit-on-top" airplane that doesn't have the fiddly bits. Maybe it will give somebody and idea or two. Thinking of actually building this since I have all the stuff here to pound it together.

Finally, please use your imagination to fill in all the missing structure that I'm too lazy to draw.

Rob
 

Doggzilla

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If you want something simple take a look at the Rutan Quickie.

It takes remarkably little time for such a smooth looking aircraft.

Then apply what you learn to your design and you’ll probably cut the time in half.
 

RJW

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That might be true. But I'm not really interested a Quickie type of airplane. Also, I don't have one in my pile of airplane stuff. ;--)

Has anybody flown anything with an overhead stick? Is there some reason these aren't more common on ultralight, high-wing airplanes? I read somewhere somebody complaining about an overhead stick but don't remember what the complaint was.

Rob
 

jedi

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......

Has anybody flown anything with an overhead stick? Is there some reason these aren't more common on ultralight, high-wing airplanes? I read somewhere somebody complaining about an overhead stick but don't remember what the complaint was.

Rob
I have a Mitchel wing with an overhead stick and I am “uncomfortable” enough to have incorporated a joy stick type of extension even though it has not been flown extensively.

A good part of my hesitation likely comes from having flown a Benson gyrocopter with both overhead and joy stick. Having prior experience in both stick and wheel airplanes I learned the gyro operation with the joy stick. Once I was comfortable at altitude I tried to convert to the overhead stick and never was successful but I was not persistent as it was not my equipment.

Since then I have transitioned to WSC and would like to again try the Benson system but still do not like the Mitchel concept.

I am aware of several good pilots that are no longer with us because they were flying with unconventional controls and I teach conversions between airplane and WSC. I have seen enough to know that this is a very big issue and requires dedication, patience and understand to be successful.

It can be done but not easily an makes a one of a kind aircraft for transitions.
 
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RJW

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Thanks for commenting. I had forgotten that WS is opposite to ordinary airplane control. That really would take some getting used to.

The way I envision an overhead stick in this concept is it simply hangs from above rather than being attached below. It would still have the same inputs as a regular joystick--push to lower the nose, pull to raise it and the usual aileron inputs. It would pivot in your hand opposite a regular joystick. Do you think this would be a problem?

Rob
 

Jerry Lytle

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I believe if one has the feel for aircraft instead of a mechanical push for this, pull for that, a transiton should be fairly easy. I had hundreds of hours in conventional stick and yoke aircraft, but transition to a hang glider where push raises the nose and pull lowers the nose, on my first feet in the air flight. One of my pilot friends tried numerous times either stalling or diving into the ground as he had no feel for what was taking place.
 

DaveK

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The Lazair originally had an overhead stick. Several people crashed due to inadvertent pushing / pulling the stick in the wrong direction. Apparently some people perceive the stick motion relative to the pivot point and that leads to getting confused. I.E. in a conventional stick when you push forward the top of the stick rotates down and the nose goes down. But, in an overhead stick when you push forward the stick rotates up and the brain expects the nose to follow up, but the nose actually goes down.
I’d skip that type of control.
 

Aesquire

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I taught with weight shift gliders ( hang glider ) that you are the stick. You/stick forward, nose down. Etc.

I had a chance to fly a Mitchell Wing, but after trying to control it just standing on a shallow slope, into the wind, "flying" it on my shoulders, I declined. I kept reversing the control and pushing myself into the ground.

The problem is the kinesthetic feedback to the wrist. The gross motor movement is the same. Stick forward, nose down. But the wrist angle feedback is reversed on an overhead stick.

Very frustrating to me since I never had a problem flying stick & wheel & weight shift on different craft the same day.

I figured out how to train that wrist feedback out, by flying sims with the joystick clamped to the underside of the desk. After a hour or so I had no problems, but never got the chance to try My reprogramming in real life, so YMMV. ( Microsoft Flight Simulator & Tie Fighter )

I suggest you try a joystick mounted inverted yourself in a sim before deciding. Some folk have no problem.

If you do have no problem, he aware some do & a non standard control system is extremely potentially dangerous.

There isn't anything magical about stick & rudder pedals "normal" controls. In pitch & roll it's fairly ergonomic, but it evolved and was standardized over time and without scientific analysis.

The Wright Flyer of 1903 was different... :) https://www.airspacemag.com/how-things-work/the-1903-wright-flyer-3867542/

I haven't flown one. But I have flown a replica of the 1902 glider, and it had 2 sticks & a hip cradle. Hips were roll, left & right. Right hand stick was pivoted fore & aft from the bottom, pitch control as standard. Left hand stick also pivoted from the bottom, fire & aft, for rudder. I honestly don't remember the direction, but was able to briefly fly it without actually crashing. ( briefly was all anyone flies one ) ( crashing defined as too broken to fly again without repair )

There's a reason they went to a rudder interconnect system on the 1903 model. And even different systems later. http://www.wright-brothers.org/Information_Desk/Just_the_Facts/Airplanes/Model_A.htm
 
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Sunbird

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The Rally 2B Micro/Ultralight had a stick from the top, It was attached leading edge of the wing above. The stick was sufficiently long enough (handgrip was about 1 m from the pivot point) to predominately give the impression of pushing/pulling the stick forward/backwards with very little feel of the upwards rotation. It was therefore not really unlike the pushing/pulling of a yoke. I felt comfortable flying it. A short pivot may be different.
 

RJW

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Thanks for all the comments on the stick layout. I might have to rethink that. The rest of the concept is about as standard as can be so I probably should go with standard controls. A standard stick would need only an additional couple inches of fuse depth. Still, the overhead thing would save a bunch of complexity. And, as drawn, the overhead stick is two feet long so the angular change from stop to stop would be pretty small. We'll see.

Any other comments/concerns about other aspects of this concept?

About the short-haired pilot. Long hair is hard to draw. Anyway, this old pilot should probably be retired along with this ancient software. But I'm too lazy to learn a new program. And I'm certainly too lazy to draw another pilot. :--)

Rob
 

cluttonfred

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Personally, I don't like the of having the stick in my field of view. This seems like a good application for the "yoke on a stick" arrangement used in the Aerolite 103 among others, perhaps with a push-pull tube to the elevator and single push-pull cables to the ailerons.
 

jedi

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Thanks for commenting. I had forgotten that WS is opposite to ordinary airplane control. That really would take some getting used to.

The way I envision an overhead stick in this concept is it simply hangs from above rather than being attached below. It would still have the same inputs as a regular joystick--push to lower the nose, pull to raise it and the usual aileron inputs. It would pivot in your hand opposite a regular joystick. Do you think this would be a problem?

Rob
See post #8. I agree.

What you describe above is the Mitchel Wing control system.

My Mitchel Wing conversion connected the top of a conventional joy stick to the bottom of the plans built overhead joy stick thru a flexible joint.

This mechanical system could be away from the pilot and the motion transferred to a joystick near the pilot (center or side stick).
 

RJW

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What you describe above is the Mitchel Wing control system.
Interesting. It's amazing that just a change in pivot point makes such a difference. You would think that going from a yoke to a stick or vise versa would cause similar problems. It dosen't seem to. Guess I'll trash the overhead stick idea. Thanks folks.

Rob
 

litespeed

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look at natures design before you decide and see what comes naturally..................

I was born with my joystick between the legs, naturally.
Came pre-programmed in its use.:beer:

How would we progress as a species if it was a overhead or forehead arrangement?:dead:
 
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wanttobuild

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Rob
Nice design. Refine as you go.

I like the cantilever design. Would you be willing to share your thoughts about the wing, ribs attach, etc?
 

RJW

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I like it but how do you get in and out? (that's the first thing us old fat guys look at)
Good question. I wasted, er, I mean I very productively spent, a lot of time on this problem. It seems that unless there is some kind of pretty hefty beam connecting the nose, tail, landing gear, etc. that passes beneath or on either side of the pilot, there will be some members to be squirmed around to get in and out of the thing. Since the current structure has pretty big openings at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions, I've fooled myself into believing I could get in and out of it without turning myself into a pretzel. If this turns out to be impossible then a member could be modified or swung out of the way for easier access. Just have to make sure the movable member is back in place before flight.

Rob

CL 3.jpg CL 4.jpg
 
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