Flying Flea PIREPS

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by DRFlyer, Nov 15, 2019.

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  1. Nov 15, 2019 #1

    DRFlyer

    DRFlyer

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently looking at building a Flying Flea (HM 293 to be exact), mostly for storeability reasons but also for the "quirkiness" factor. One thing I've been having a bit of a hard time finding are pilot reports on how these planes are to fly, especially with regards to takeoff and landing. It seems like there are plenty of aircraft flying around that I'd think I could find more about their mannerisms and if the 2-axis controls limit the usefulness of the plane.

    I love the design, but I can't help but thinking that it would be a better idea to stick with a more conventional 3-axis design like a Pietenpol or Legal Eagle. I'm just looking for something for cheap/fun low & slow flying that won't cost a fortune to maintain or fly.

    Would anyone here who has flown one of these aircraft or one that uses the Mignet layout be able to chime in on what it's like to fly, especially as compared to a conventional aircraft?

    Thanks
     
  2. Nov 15, 2019 #2

    rotax618

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    1898CEF7-36C0-41F9-9391-02744366997D.jpeg I built an HM14 with a 293 wing, I was never comfortable flying it, the problem for me was the lag between the yaw roll couple. I suggest that if you can find a very light aircraft ( Himax or the like) and try to fly it without using the ailerons you will get an idea. The Flea was stable in pitch but the inability to immediately pick up a dropped wing was quite unnerving leading to PIO in yaw.
     
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  3. Nov 15, 2019 #3

    cluttonfred

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    I flew a Mignet HM.1000 Balerit briefly one time, which is a pusher microlight using the standard Mignet control system (variable pitch front wing, all-moving rudder, no ailerons) but controlled from a yoke instead of stick. Yes, there was some slight lag in picking up a wing, but it certainly seemed like something you could just get used to.
     
  4. Nov 16, 2019 #4

    FritzW

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    There are pages and pages of discussion/debate on the HBA about putting ailerons on a Flea style airplane, definitely worth a look.

    If ailerons will solve the Flea's lag issue there's no reason to settle for having to "just get used to it".
     
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  5. Nov 16, 2019 #5

    cheapracer

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    ... call it a Flying Flea any longer, lol.

    This was the center of the heated debate previously, people say they want a Mignet, but they in fact don't, they want a standard, 3 axis aircraft, that flys and feels like a standard 3 axis aircraft.

    .. then stand around at a BBQ with their chest out: "I fly a Mignet ..." :beer: :p
     
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  6. Nov 16, 2019 #6

    Aerowerx

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    I see this happen quite often, cheapracer.

    Someone says "Gee, I really like that plane, but why can't we do THIS, and maybe THAT. Perhaps SOMETHING ELSE? And they end up with an entirely different design!o_O
     
  7. Nov 16, 2019 #7

    Topaz

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    And away we go...

    Can 'O Worms.jpg
     
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  8. Nov 16, 2019 #8

    cheapracer

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    LOL, just imagine if the Raptor was a large Mignet ..... :D:D
     
  9. Nov 16, 2019 #9

    plncraze

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    Imagine George Spratt, Wilbur Wright and Henri Mignet arguing about the correct way to fly!?!?!
     
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  10. Nov 17, 2019 #10

    1Bad88

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    Something cheap, fun, low and slow to me sounds like the Dream Classic.
     
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  11. Nov 17, 2019 #11

    1Bad88

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    I read the third article in that series. It said that the fixes and staying away from aft CG will resolve the issues. Then it analyzes an airfoil that I don't believe is used on contemporary fleas. It seemed like they didn't do all of their research. Nest of dragons is a great resource along with the Facebook groups on the topic. There was a successful completion and flight earlier this year in Oklahoma iirc.

    I always wanted to build one but I am on the fence. I read through what happened to James Bruton and it doesn't sound like the accident was a result of the design, more of a lack of suitable emergency landing sites.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2019 #12

    cheapracer

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    How many has Wanfain owned and flown? I imagine 'none' and 'none' is the correct answer there. Lets not forget it's the same Wanfain who crashed his own creation.

    Anyway, there's lots of them in France and Belgium flying often, where there's a big following, lots of technical info, websites ect, and seem to be just fine.

    It's a real shame the original ones did kill people, they finally understood why, fixed it and I haven't seen any evidence they are more dangerous than anything else, the opposite in my mind (but that's a very strange place).

    Sadly lore is very prominent in aviation, and hangs around like a bad smell forever, and I think the Mignet has a bad rap from early history (85 years ago!), unfairly.



    Vans, Zeniths ect seemingly kill and maim people often, but as reported factually here on a number of occasions, pilots do it to themselves, often forgotten fuel, often final turn stalls - its rarely the plane type.

    Youtube Mignet HM.1000 Balerit that Mathew mentioned above, a very nice video of the factory and the guys having some fun in them.

    There's one brilliant video of a white HM293(?) flying low over the fields for about 15 minutes, I can't find it at the moment, but worth the watch.
     
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  13. Nov 17, 2019 #13

    Victor Bravo

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    See here, I would be standing around a pot of Bouillabaisse puffing my chest out. BBQ is for STOL taildraggers.
     
  14. Nov 17, 2019 #14

    Aerowerx

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    Three things come to mind on this...
    1. NIH*
    2. It is different.
    3. "A lie travels around the world before the truth can get its boots on."

    -----------
    *Not Invented Here
     
  15. Nov 18, 2019 #15

    cluttonfred

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    The Mignet debate has been hashed and rehashed elsewhere in this forum. I will say only that, as I understand it, Mignet developed a novel configuration in the 1930s that also had some deadly quirks. The quirks were quickly sorted out, and Mignet designs and those of similar configuration and two-axis control system have been built and flown successfully ever since. A quick search for Mignet, Croses, or Landray on the French civil aircraft registry turns up 32 general aviation homebuilt aircraft but many more have been built as microlights in the last 20 years. And yes, I am of the opinion that a tandem-wing aircraft with full three-axis control is not a Flying Flea.
     
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  16. Nov 18, 2019 #16

    TFF

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    Three axis Flea is also unnecessary complicated to intact.
    Taken as it’s prime mission to get non pilots into the air, it’s brilliant. If You need lots of cross control slips to be entertained, probably not the right plane. You are not going to be doing crosswind takeoffs and landings in any kind of wind.
    On complexity of flying as meant, i would put it above a powered parachute but below an Ercoupe in control. Not a safety problem it’s meant to be a safety plane for non pilots. When you try to put it into situations where it’s not supposed to be is when it becomes a problem.
     
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  17. Nov 18, 2019 #17

    bwainfan

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    Hey Cheapracer:

    If you are going to slag me in public, as least have the courtesy to spell my name right....
    While you're at it you might actually check some facts before running your (digital) mouth.



     
  18. Nov 18, 2019 #18

    Topaz

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    So does anyone have any actual flight experience in the HM 293, as the OP was really asking for? Ahem.
     
  19. Nov 18, 2019 #19

    BJC

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    Apparently, no one survived ...


    BJC
     
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  20. Nov 18, 2019 #20

    Himat

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    Other possibilities are that they are French speaking and not on this side. I did have the opportunity to look at a flying flea on static display at Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Paris at visit last Sunday. Interesting little plane, I do think two of four airplane museum I have visited the last year have one on display.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019

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