Getting Out From Under the Wing?

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Tiger Tim

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Well even uncommon?
I’ve flown in a 1-2 arrangement but that 1-2-1 or 1-1-1-1 eludes me.
I’m not conceited enough to even begin to believe I’m the first one to have the idea so I suspect I’m simply not a good enough researcher to find it.
There were a couple Canadian warbirds in civilian hands that were supposedly set up to seat a ton of people in a row. One was a P-51 that had an extra long canopy (story went the original was damaged/missing so he put whatever was easiest to get on there) with the pilot seated where and how you’d expect and a sort of padded log in the back that up to three people could straddle. The same guy also had a Firefly that was said to have again had the pilot in the stock seat but the rear greenhouse canopy had a bench seat running down one side for however many people dared to ride.

Realistically I think you’ll find small civil airplanes made for four people and some amount of stuff would have needed to use either a horizontally oppose do or radial engine, the width of which dictating that you may as well just keep the fuselage wide and seat the occupants in side-by-side pairs. When there were commercial operating aspirations then the plane would have been set up for two pilots side by side and again two rows of seats. This also makes the plane less longitudinally sensitive to your variable load. For another example of this taken to the extreme, I believe it was the Piper Pocono that was to have seated a small number of passengers in a three-abreast configuration to keep the fuselage compact. Cessna Caravans have the same seating when used to move passengers for hire, they’re long enough without having to be 50% longer for two-abreast seating or three times the cabin length to put everyone in single file.
 

Aesquire

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Rochester, NY, USA
When you are soaring in a gaggle you are constantly clearing your turns/head on a swivel.

I'm debating myself about buying one of these.


If so, I'm definitely going for the optional see through material.

Back in the 1970s they sewed clear Windows in some hang glider wings, but it didn't stretch the same as the dacron and as sail tension got higher, and double surface was developed, the Windows went away. With new materials, the bulk of the wing can be window.

Many high wing light planes are claustrophobic inside. Visibility very limited. Small Windows weigh less.

I'd prefer a transparent wing center section of about double fuselage width, you don't need much more, since past a certain angle you can't see diddle anyway. On wings like the Adam your head is far enough below the wing and the angle varies, so full span transparency is good. But in a typical tractor high wing, like a Kifox, or Cub, that's not useful.

The question is, Can you tolerate the weight increase of transparent panels? What compromises are you willing to make?
 

Wanttaja

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Sep 15, 2013
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Seattle, WA
I didn’t realize the thurston teal was a factory aircraft.
Anybody got any info on the proposed 4 seater ?
Like Matthew pointed out, the Thurston Seafire. Couple of folks up here built the homebuilt version of it about ~25 years ago... I wrote an article for Kitplanes on their projects. Both took Oshkosh trophies.
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Ron Wanttaja
 

JohnB

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The 2 fellows were Dave Woodcock and I THINK Bob Hammer of ME262 fame. My partner and I flew to Washington to see the airplanes and Woodcock told us an amazing story. This was about 30 yrs ago but the major details of this tale remain very clear.
When Woodcock got to run up spot on FIRST flight he ran thru control check for last time and discovered that ailerons worked backwards. Asked Thurston if plans had undergone any revisions in that area and after getting a negative response Dave asked Thurston to look at drawings and confirm if correct. Long story much shorter Thurston erred on linkage. Even the pros screw up now and then.

Partner and I flew Thurston down to Houston for 3 days of Q &A with us and our composite engineer and we signed a contract with Dave to build a composite version of the Seafire. Ours would have tapered wing and tail instead of Hershey bar original. We planned on Riblett airfoil which Thurston approved, The Gweduck yrs later ended up with same foil so I guess we were on the right track We were pretty well along with fuselage plug and Dave said he wanted one as his house was on a salt water marsh.
We completed the fuselage plug and 3 piece mold plus windshield mold (first windshield pulled was usable part) and had started on the wings when partner died. Kept plug for several yrs but eventually needed the space and cut it up. Still have molds.
Fuselage formers for the plug were generated using Peter Garrison's program he used on Melmoth. Think about 3D programs 30+ yrs ago, gave me a headache so I sanded foam and Shorty worked out the shape. Memories !! JohnB
 

cluttonfred

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I've mentioned this before, but David Thurston's amphibian-like landplane Patchen Explorer was a very interesting design that I believe is worth closer study. Thurston believe that the visibility gained in all phases was flight was a net safety advantage despite any concerns about the engine position in a crash. Sadly, the one and only example that was flying in the collection of the South African Air Force Museum was lost in a fatal crash earlier this year almost 50 years after its first flight.

PS--Personally I'd love to see something like this down at microlight weight with big wings and a pusher VW on the pylon to get the prop away from the cabin for safety and noise reasons. Not for super STOL performance or anything like that, just a fun flyer with fantastic visibility. With a 60-64" two-blade prop horizontal with the engine off, the top of the cowling and tail kept under 7' high, and folding wings it could even fit in a 20' ISO container. With tricycle gear it would likely sit on the tail when empty, or you could go with conventional gear like a Teal.

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SeaBee

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Sep 10, 2021
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stemme.jpg
Not that driveshafts in aircraft are easy to do.... But balancing the occupants with a mid-mounted engine works well.
 

SeaBee

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Sep 10, 2021
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Nice airplane the S12! You can even buy a used one for about a half mil!!
Very nice indeed. Though that one is technically a S10 which can be had for the mid $100k range.
That all said, the configuration is the important part- not the 75 foot carbon wings and fancy folding prop.
Picture a Highlander-STOL rag and tube type airplane with a mid-mounted engine, prop on the nose, long landing gear, and the occupants out in front of the wing with a great view.
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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Martensville SK
Very nice indeed. Though that one is technically a S10 which can be had for the mid $100k range.
That all said, the configuration is the important part- not the 75 foot carbon wings and fancy folding prop.
Picture a Highlander-STOL rag and tube type airplane with a mid-mounted engine, prop on the nose, long landing gear, and the occupants out in front of the wing with a great view.
I take it the difference is turbo vs. NA engine between 10 and 12? Either way: what a beautiful airplane. What can you tell us about the shaft drive and how they deal with torsional resonance? I imagine in a carbon airframe they are using a carbon fiber driveshaft??? While the drive INTO the Rotax gearbox is loaded with torque reversals 180 degrees apart I wonder if such a driveshaft could simply be light and stiff enough to let the Rotax TV dampers do the work?
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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666
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Martensville SK
I take it the difference is turbo vs. NA engine between 10 and 12? Either way: what a beautiful airplane. What can you tell us about the shaft drive and how they deal with torsional resonance? I imagine in a carbon airframe they are using a carbon fiber driveshaft??? While the drive INTO the Rotax gearbox is loaded with torque reversals 180 degrees apart I wonder if such a driveshaft could simply be light and stiff enough to let the Rotax TV dampers do the work?
I also imagine the folding prop could be self-damping at its points of articulation?????
 
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