Any interest in a compact pusher biplane?

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Would you be interested in a compact pusher biplane kit as described in this post?

  • Yes, I'd be interested and would prefer the single-seat version.

    Votes: 12 30.8%
  • Yes, I'd be interested and would prefer the two-seat version.

    Votes: 14 35.9%
  • No, I wouldn't be interested in either version.

    Votes: 13 33.3%
  • Yes, I'd be interested and would prefer the single-seat version.

    Votes: 12 30.8%
  • Yes, I'd be interested and would prefer the two-seat version.

    Votes: 14 35.9%
  • No, I wouldn't be interested in either version.

    Votes: 13 33.3%

  • Total voters
    39

cluttonfred

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Bear with me for a sec as I explain some free association....

Mike Sandlin's Bloop motorfloater + De Schelde Scheldemusch pusher biplane + MS.660 kitplane designed to be built on a 2 m x 1 m kitchen table = LIGHT BULB!

Bloop.jpg Scheldemusch.jpg MS660.jpg

The pusher biplane configuration lends itself well to designing a plane as a series of relatively small, managable subassemblies themselves made up of small components. No long wing spars or longerons, just short spars, struts, etc. This makes it easy to build in a spare room or other small workshop. There is even the potential of keeping all the components short enough for easy shipping through ordinary parcel service, not freight, to allow a kit to be shipped almost anywhere in the world.

I have in mind an 1835cc VW-powered single-seater of fabric-covered, bolted aluminum tubes: the aesthetic would be something like an updated and cleaned-up Scheldemusch and the performance would be in the microlight category rather than Sandlin's motorfloater. It would be handy to make the tail a simple three-tube triangulated affair that can be unbolted to leave the rest to fit on a trailer sideways when necessary, no need to fold or remove the wings. Classic VW designs--Clutton FRED, Stewart Headwind, Flaglor Sky Scooter--give us an idea of the modest performance to expect.

With careful design and a 2100cc VW engine it would even be possible to make it a two-seater, perhaps motorcycle-style like the Buddy Baby Lakes or cozy side-by-side like the Volksplane II. Four 8' x 3' wing panels plus a 2' span upper wing center section and lower fuselage make 108 sq ft, or 10 sq ft more than the Sonex. I would use a high-lift airfoil so, combined with the draggy airframe, speed would be quite a bit less though STOL performance would be better.

What do you think? Would there be any interest in such a design emphasing low cost, ease of building and minimal building space required rather than racy good looks or high speed? If yes, which one tickles your fancy, the single- or two-seater?

Let's hear your thoughts--I have my flameproof underwear on!

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Aircar

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The Flying Flea comes to mind for this formula -- as a pusher the pilot has to balance and for a short aircraft this could be a difficulty but maybe a sliding seat would help . Short span aircraft have poor power off behaviour from high span loading although the span efficiency can be better for a biplane (and if negatively staggered a la Nenadovich better again )

The Ligeti Stratos conforms to much of the criteria but was built as a one piece aircraft so was a small aircraft needing a big trailer --other tailess pusher biplanes like the Easy Riser and Dunne or Lippisch's solve many of the structural issues and were reasonably elegant . The Wing Ding is the archetype of your descriptor and was a dismal flop --one was built here by my old school and barely got off the ground with the lightest person they could find (at the crack of dawn on a cold day ) --getting good propeller efficiency behind a blunt exposed pilot was part of the problem.

the Peil Beryl and Onyx are worth study also . Didn't Craig Catto do an "X wing' biplane pusher something like this ? (reverse Quickie )
 

autoreply

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One of the big plusses of a biplane is it's short span (for still reasonable induced drag performance). Use that.

How? Make both wings out of a single piece an rotate them for stowage. Much simpler construction, lighter, simpler.
 

cluttonfred

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Well, not exactly an overwhelming response, but thanks for the comments and encouragement.

Aircar, I am quite familiar with the Flying Fleas, I even spoke extensively by phone with the late Pierre Mignet (son of Henri) before his death and I own a set of HM.360/380 plans that I purchased from him. However, I would like to keep this project quite conventional to limit the number of variables involved. I definitely do not want to take the Whing Ding as my example--too much drag and too little wing area--I actually think that the Scheldemusch, despite its age, is probably the closest example to what I have in mind. I understand that it won't be a great glider power off, but then again I hope that also means that it will be easy to land without flaps in that once down it stays down.

autoreply, yes, the reduced induced drag for a given span is part of the reasoning behind the biplane layout as well as the reduced part size. I also like the responsiveness of a biplane and the ease of hangaring a short span aircraft. That said, I am not married to the biplane layout and I would consider a strut-braced, high-wing monoplane layout if I could come up with a neat way to fabricate the wings in short panels and then join them together without a lot of extra weight.

This clip was posted by Detego over in my https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/aircraft-design-aerodynamics-new-technology/14180-single-float-amphibian-inspiration.html thread but it's worth reposting here for inspiration.

[video=youtube_share;HYI5g2FYImc]http://youtu.be/HYI5g2FYImc[/video]

I would welcome examples of simple, easy-to-build, neat and attractive pusher-engine pod fuselages for inspiration. Two that come to mind for me are the Debreyer Pelican (in it's original plywood version) and the Backstrom Plank glider fuselage shape. I could also see going old-school with a stype like an old motorcycle sidecar reminiscent of the Koolhoven B.A.T. F.K.28 or Ramsey Flying Bathtub. Anyone have other models to suggest?

pelic_5.jpg EPB-1C_701.jpg bat-fk28.jpg 102998.jpg
 

SVSUSteve

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Wasn't there a British pusher biplane fighter during WWI? That might be a good starting point for a design given how many homebuilders love replica fighters.
 

Aircar

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WW1 pusher fighter --was that the Be2a ? I agree that small biplanes can be efficient both structurally and aerodynamically if done properly and can also avoid a lot of the complicated bracing for multi bay larger versions -- Irv Culver took an interest in the Flying Flea and set about trying to figure out why they were significantly better than the theory would indicate but I don't know if he ever finished his study -- I would expect staggered biplanes to do better than unstaggered (as in the video) and there are a number of AIAA papers on such configurations going on to the tandem wing which show good span efficiency (from a very low base admitedly )

Closing the wing with tip surfaces like the Stark As 37 or Ligeti Stratos et al should allow for more reduction of bracing and less induced drag and even the 'sheared' ring wing with all curved panels is attractive (NASA did animations of a roadable "PAV" using this sort of layout with a ducted propeller --below legal road width and not needing any folding but also with no roll damping --even Lockheed did a ring wing airliner proposal again using the sheared " reverse staggered" concept.

The Sorrel Hyperbipe and it's ultralight companion were notably clean bipes --the Glass Goose is a relative of the Dutch bipe amphib (can't reproduce the name off hand..) -it used Quickie wing panels as cantilevers I think. the Wing ding was some sort of con in my view --it was advertised as being "very popular down under ,with farmers using themm to round up the koalas" -pure BS . A friend built one and couldn't get it off the ground and asked me about extending the span --I don't know what became of it but he went on to build a Windrose that wasn't much more satisfactory . Another Wing ding folded up in mid air and caused a fatal (it had a much bigger engine fitted ) --this was not a fault of the genre but just bad detail design -eg kraftpaper and foam sheet (artboard) tailplane.
 

deskpilot

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That Scheldamusch is so neat. Love it. Now to find more info.

The Float plane is also cool but not much smooth water where I live. Could put retracts on it guess .
A popular 1935 design. Unfortunately, I've found that 7 crashed, at least one due to structural failure (wood), probably due to over loading(can't read German)
 

autoreply

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A popular 1935 design. Unfortunately, I've found that 7 crashed, at least one due to structural failure (wood), probably due to over loading(can't read German)
That shouldn't be such a problem, since it's a Dutch design. Ary Ceelen is pretty much the authority on that part of aviation history:
http://www.missievolbracht.nl/users/ary-ceelen

Since the Schelde Musch and Meeuw are from where I come from as well (Zeeland, Scheldt region), I've here and there heard a lot about it. Any specific questions?
 

plncraze

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I saw this in an old Sport Avaition while it was under construction (the plane not the magazine).starck.jpgAircar's reference to the Nenadovitch made me search for an article about biplanes and the search brought up this plane.
 

plncraze

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1970's I believe. According to memory it has a central engine.
 

plncraze

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Reading this thread reminds me of an article in the very first issue of Air and Space magazine which had an article on biplanes. In this article Robert Addoms and David Thurston both said that there was still life in the biplane configuration. Addoms doctoral dissertation, which is available in a reprint for those too far away from UCLA's library, was on how to design a biplane which would not suffer a performance penalty. Addoms believed that the lower wing should be designed to operate in the flow of the upper wing.

Compact biplanes lend themselves to very compact configurations. I am imagining something like an Easy Riser with a two-cycle engine as a pusher with a shaft to get it out of the worst of the wing wake. You would have a great view and if the full length could be kept shorter than eight feet you put it on a trailer sideways.
 

deskpilot

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I saw this in an old Sport Avaition while it was under construction (the plane not the magazine).View attachment 21018Aircar's reference to the Nenadovitch made me search for an article about biplanes and the search brought up this plane.
Andre' Stark's AS-37. Originally a pusher design powered by a Citreon GS flat 4 boxer engine. Later converted to tractor configuration with a more powerful engine.
I based my design on it before I decided to go mono-wing.

Construction-rear quarter [800x600].jpg
 

wizzardworks

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I am currently started on a high wing pusher but have a couple of thoughts on your biplane.At the ultralight speed range wire braced with interplane struts would seem appropriate. Possibly useing manufactured carbon fiber tubing. It would be really nice if you could get the nose to prop dimension within the 104 inch road width limit of a trailer. I would envision having the tailfeathers hinged on the top tubes just at the trailing edge of the upper wing so it could be folded over forward on top of the cabin. This might require twin tails on the ends of the stab so they would nest on either side of the fuselage when folded. Push pull tubes for elevator and rudder would be removable and could be longer than the 8 feet to lay under the wing for transport.Hinging the rear truss section would allow a longer tail arm with reasonable tail volume coefficient.Also it might be desireable to have the top and bottom tubes across the front of the folding rear truss run wide enough and be large enough diameter to be connected to the rear wing spars on all four wings. The idea is to clear the area where the propeller swings. You may need tandem seating to get the rear fuselage narrow enough to completely blank the prop inflow. . Alternatively thinking outside the box, put side by side seating with a space between the seats down the center for air to reach the prop. Single pilot operation would not work with this unless you have some sandbags available. One other thought. If the length is just a little long the nose ahead of the rudder pedals could be a removable fairingof an appealing appearance. You might consider building the cockpit structure from aluminum sheat metal on a metal brake, The parts would be channel shaped and tapered as necessary with form follows function as inspiration. The channels would provide flat mating areas that would be connected with squeezed rivits.
Engine choice such as an Axiro rotary would run smmoth enough not to shake everything to pieces like one particular two stroke seems designed to do.Free castering nosewheel would seem good unless the twin rudders are useed where posative steering may be better. I wouldn't sign this post except that it won't post annomously.
wizzardworks
 

SVSUSteve

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ww1 pusher: deHavilland dh2
WW1 pusher fighter --was that the Be2a ?
The DH2 and the FE2B were both basically the aircraft I was thinking of.

That shouldn't be such a problem, since it's a Dutch design.
I once heard a comment that "Most of the 'German advances in aviation' during WWI were actually Dutch. The problem was that the English couldn't tell the difference between the two languages."
 
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