Bugatti Model 100 Flying Replica

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dino

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In retrospect, from an arm chair, straight ahead off airport landing was called for at first sign of front engine drive failure. It was known before takeoff that if front engine power failed, the rear engine would not sustain flight because its drive would fail above 5750rpm. So at first sign of front drive failure, shut down, switch off, clench teeth and land straight ahead must have been in the procedure list. I doubt many of us would have had the discipline, skill and willingness to undertake the high levels of risk required to fly under the circumstances and then commit at first sign of trouble to a straight ahead belly landing.
 

bmcj

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Seems to me that if someone wanted to try this again, a single large electric motor (batteries in the rear engine compartment for balance) would be a viable power choice.
 

Tiger Tim

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I didn't understand the tox report finding ethanol in the body and the short discussion on whether this occurred post-mortem or not. Anyone here with a medical background who could explain that?
I don't have a medical background but in past discussion with people who do, it turns out you can ferment post-mortem and it's something the coroner has to take into account.
 

BBerson

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In retrospect, from an arm chair, straight ahead off airport landing was called for at first sign of front engine drive failure. It was known before takeoff that if front engine power failed, the rear engine would not sustain flight because its drive would fail above 5750rpm. So at first sign of front drive failure, shut down, switch off, clench teeth and land straight ahead must have been in the procedure list. I doubt many of us would have had the discipline, skill and willingness to undertake the high levels of risk required to fly under the circumstances and then commit at first sign of trouble to a straight ahead belly landing.
This is my assessment exactly. With the rear engine at 27% percent power and front engine of unknown power he had no climb power. But with all that noise his decision to push down was delayed a fraction of a second. Kind of like J. Monnett, sadly.
Too bad these high risk machines can't be tested remotely.
I would further question the sanity of a third flight after the second flight only got to 80-85kts, barely above 70kt stall.
 

Dana

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I understand the concern about costs, but this sounds like "I want to fly it now despite all the warning signs."

Dana
 

Aesquire

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The NTSB report seems to indicate drive train failure on one engine/prop. That seems pretty solid.

Not addressed is the loss of thrust/increase in drag of contra-rotating props when one loses power. If freewheeling it not only has high drag but is parasitic on the thrust of the working prop. The Douglas Skyshark with the infamous T-40 engine combo crashed because of gearbox failure with one prop at full power and the other disconnected. This is hauntingly like the crash here.

I've never flown a craft with contra-rotating props. I have flown ultralights with inadequate power and pointing the nose down to maintain airspeed at very low altitude ( under 100 feet certainly qualifies ) takes a deliberate act of will. The natural tendency to try and hold the plane off the ground is pretty strong.

I've stalled & begun a spin 20-30 odd feet up in a hang glider and walked away from the wreckage, thanks to youthful resilience, low wing loading and lucky ( & trained ) body position at impact. On a flight of nearly the same duration as the accident here. One little mistake.

My condolences to friends and family.
 

BBerson

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A prop rpm guage would help. I think a dual tach should be installed for each engine (like a helicopter) that would "split the needles" when the clutch slips.
Some sort of shaft torque meter would help.
Centerline thrust is desirable, in theory, but may not be worth the drive problems.
 

Tiger Tim

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this sounds like "I want to fly it now despite all the warning signs."
That's the real reason the pilot is no longer with us and an all too common cause of accidents. I really dreaded this outcome when I had first heard that the P.100 project had gone from, "It will fly all the time," to, "Just a season of flying before retirement," to, "It will fly once more only then the plan is to ground it forever." That really made me question what the team had learned about the airplane that they weren't willing to share.

I'm not saying this to pass judgement on them, there's no point in that now, but I hope we can all take away the idea of taking a good look at our own actions and decisions. Nobody had to get into the airplane that day; the helicopter could have been cancelled, the people who showed up could have been treated to cockpit tours and lunch, the airplane could have been sorted out and tried again another day. It might have seemed to expensive but look at what their actions cost in the end.
 

Speedboat100

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Wanttaja

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BJC

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Curiously, that's kind of an abbreviated version of the NTSB final report. I've attached a PDF of the final. You can access the other data on the docket (including witness reports and crash-site photos) by entering the accident number at:

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/SitePages/dms.aspx

The NTSB report doesn't list the aircraft total time (not that unusual). Wasn't it on the first flight?

Ron Wanttaja
Thanks, Ron. I thought that the report was more comprehensive, but I was in a rush, so I posted the first thing that popped up.

There was a smart phone video available, too.


BJC
 
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