Classic Side-by-side Two-seaters as LSA Inspiration

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2013
Thunder Bay
Instead of further hijacking a thread elsewhere that was supposed to be about an 80% Zero replica, I’m starting a new one about using side-by-side two seat enclosed low wing airplanes of the 1930s as inspiration for structurally simplified modern LSA (or maybe Basic UL for Canucks like me) types. That brings us to the following criteria:

-two seats, side by side
-low wing
-fixed gear
-can be made into a visually pleasing replica

The Curtiss-Wright CW-19L came up in the other thread. It’s kind of a cute looking thing and is well enclosed, presumably giving good shade inside on a sunny day. Not sure what’s up with slats way out there in space ahead of the wing, there are also pics without those and I wonder if they were trying to tame the stall.

Then there’s the Ryan SCW (Warner radial powered) and SCM (Menasco inline engine). It was mentioned in the other thread that they have lots of washout in those pointy wing tips.


Moving away from little radial engines for a second, the Phillips Aeroneer is worth looking at. Only one was ever made and somehow it still survives to this day after being ‘lost’ for decades. For an LSA version I’m guessing the power plant of choice would be an automotive conversion, sort of along the lines of the Nissan in the Platzer Kiebitz which seems to be a pretty functional and attractive way to simulate an old air cooled inline.

Getting away from aluminum skin into tube and fabric, and trading polishing for bright colors there’s the Aeronca LB:

Next I’m going to squeeze in a bit of a cheat with an Arrow Sport model F. Production versions had open cockpits (and Ford V8s!) but at least one had a canopy.

How about a Culver Dart? It was designed by a certain Mr. Mooney and while I have no idea how that elliptical wing could be reasonably dumbed down in structure there sure is a lot of area to work with!

In the other thread I mentioned the Pasped Skylark but I don’t think it would scale very well due to the relatively tiny canopy on the real deal.

The Kinner Playboy meets the requirements above but with the engine out in he open you’d want to stick with five cylinders so it would have to be on the minimalistic side. The similar Kinner Sportster has a strut-braced wing that allows a clever folding/twisting arrangement that I don’t think would be too heinous to bring over to a replica Playboy.

So that’s my short list of American inspiration. I have some thoughts too on a couple European designs but that will have to wait for another time. What do you folks think?