I covered my Falcon XP wing with Polyfiber and it turned out great. I have full confidence in it. Has never had any problems. Leading edge is fully covered. I wouldn't do it any other way. Avoid the chance of peel. They are great flyers, but have low wing loading so bumpy days are not fun for the pilot. The plane doesn't seem to care. Four pedals takes a bit of getting used to. They easily T/O and land in less than 1000'.
I forgot to mention I measured the Phoenix wings for the dimensions I gave. They are slightly thinner and the root end ribs are longer. They lean against each other in the building. Below is a photo with the UL wing on the left. The wingtip rudder/stabilizer is upturned on the Phoenix/Safety Craft. The main Tedlar covered portion is stationary. Only the rudder/dragger is moving. Here is a photo of that also.
The Polini 202 looks interesting. I'd be willing to try one if I was given the chance. I wonder what has to be replaced at 250 hours? That is a short - glorious life. Using it could get costly if much has to be replaced at 250 hours.
Here is some information on the development of the Falcon UL. I just found this today. When I talked to Romuald back in 1997 he said he had designed a number of versions of the Falcon. I didn't understand quite what he meant. This article gives some insight. American Aircraft Falcon
I sold the Falcon Ul but the guy is having trouble hooking the ailerons up. Says they go up ok but not down...HelpI would like to get the plans and build booklet etc for my falcon UL...277 engine, Poly fiber covered..excellent build quality ..good instruments..Herb
it is for sale also..Bowling Green,Ky craigs list..
Mee too..I sold the Falcon Ul but the fellow desperately needs info...Especially hooking up the rudders and ailerons..Says the ailerons will not go down but ok going up..Says that going down..they hit the trailing edge of the wing.. Help!!Just found a Falcon mfg 1985, last flown 1991 and stored since. Winds are complete with no damage I've found, but no Tedlar. Pod is intact except for crack at nose wheel attach. Rotax 277 will need rebuild but leaning to Polini anyway. It will take some work to clean it up and make flyable but I'm taken to the 36' double surface wings and canard arrangement. Can't find much information beyond Wikipedia but described as fun to fly. Should I make the investment in this old bird? Anyone with first hand knowledge or even 2nd hand, I'd welcome your insight.
So, they're actually spoilers; not ailerons.
I was not aware that the tube/bushing was used on the XP. The Orion Aviation Falcon used the XP style winglets.My AA/XP has the tube/nylon bushing ailerons. It flies normally other than the system of cables and bushings has a lot of drag or friction to it. For gentle turns they are hardly needed. A slight toe on the rudder is enough, and stays fairly coordinated. With the 18' long arm they very powerful.
I honestly do not know for certain what model my plane is. It is NOT a Falcon UL. It is a later model. I've been told 2 different names. Falcon Safety Craft and Falcon Phoenix. I was told that Paul McShane was involved with it's manufacture. https://www.sec.gov/litigation/aljdec/1992/id19920214jks.pdf
Since my plane is a single seat I'm trying to keep it looking like a UL. Additionally - the main gear location results in only about 10 - 12 lbs of weight on the nosewheel when parked. Additional wing cover weight would increase the amount of weight behind the main gear - reducing nose wheel weight even more. I had made a retractable prod that stuck out the back to enable me to not have to hold the nose down while getting fuel or talking a walk.
I had over 400 hours in Pterodactyls so the response in thermals was not unexpected. What I did have issue with was this version has a pod made as a sandwich construction of kevlar, foam, kevlar. The beams that are on the sides of the pod of the XP and UL versions are not present. The pod twists in thermals. The nose twists separate from the aft portion. It is disconcerting to see the canard ends move up an down much as it does and pedals move about under you feet. Mine has hand grip operated hydraulic brakes with nose wheel and rudders controlled by the 2 pedals.
It was built with a 277. This is adequate engine to enable speeds in excess of 70mph. The rotation speed of 47mph was an issue with the runway I was using as it was 1300ft but will full grown trees all about. I was not certain the 277 would get the plane safely out of that field. I had an entire powerplant from one of my Pterodactyls. A Cuyuna ULII-02, 2:1 belt reduction drive and 54x27 wood prop. I made mounts and fitted that powerplant to the plane and brought it to a familiar airport to assemble and test fly. The 54x27 prop was insufficient. Climb exceeded 1400ft/pm. The engine overspeeded just at minimal flight speed. We put an Ultraprop from a T-bird with a 503 on it. That worked. The plane was capable of 87 mph in level flight without wheel pants, strut fairings or winter canopy. Th
reo12, check for private conversation. Joe
This was changed on my Orion Aviation Falcon. Romuald said mine were shipped to Jake Garn who did not like the pedals - Romuald said they had toe brakes but maybe it was separate nose wheel and rudder pedals. Jake hired someone to make new pedals and change how the plane was built. Romuald definitely was not happy about that. The pedals were made decent and honestly reach the level of factory quality work. Connecting them to the nosewheel and rudders with cables - horribly done. Lang lay galvanized steel cable was used over pulleys without guards with aluminum nico's at the terminations. They didn't use a nicopress tool. Instead - a hammer was used to flatten the nico on concrete and they drove a phillips screw driver into the side of the nico. This total departure from accepted build standards is what lead me to believe the plane had been finished by someone else.The two inner pedals are for the nose wheel and the outer pedals are for each rudder.
Romuald identified my planes based on remembering what color they were painted and the modified pedals. One was two colors - white & metallic blue and the other was simply white. He didn't think the white plane had been flown. He did not know what became of them until we talked in April 2021.
The pair of planes ended up being owned by Ray Swank of Ligonier IN. They struggled with a trim issue with the blue plane and ended up selling them through Mike Fithian who listed them in a 1995 newsletter.
They were purchased by Harold Casebolt from Rothbury MI. Harold had been a licensed pilot but had his license revoked.
Harold had Fithian make new aileron control rods of a different length - reportedly trying to correct a trim problem with the blue plane. We were told by a person familiar with Harold that the rod(s) were 1/2" shorter.
Harold flew the plane from a nearby farm field access driveway. I remember thinking it was short - maybe 500ft with powerlines at the road. Harold crashed the plane on first flight after fitment of the new aileron control rod after traveling 1/2mile. I bought the wrecked plane and the remaining white plane. Harold's son would not include any of the aileron control rods in the sale. He said he was afraid that the FAA would come after them for having modified the plane - leading to his father's death.
Sadly - few folks that had knowledge of this version were ever known to me. Mike Fithian was secretive. At first only saying that he knew of one of this type on the east coast that had a 503 on it and cruised at 105mph. I do not know who this was. A bit over a year later he was to say that he made the new control tube for Casebolt. He never told me that he had advertized the planes and helped put buyer and seller together. I discovered this years later.
Fithian told me of Bodie Beddinfield near Albuqurque NM. He gave me his phone number. I talked to Bodie in June 1997. Bodie said he had a similar plane but missing some small parts sitting in a hanger. He said the parts needed were simple and I could use those on my plane as patterns. I think I recall it was control componets such as the control stick and aileron controls. He had tooling - a wing spar press, molds and tooling for components also in the hanger. All available for $6,500. He just said - there are airplane parts in the hanger and tooling to make them. I'll meet you at the hanger. I'll unlock the door and open it. You hand me $6,500. I'll leave. I'll come back later and sweep the floor.
My plane was damaged by a powered parachute in Sept 1997. My wife was pregnant and my business was failing. The plane sat disassembled. I discovered in April 2021 that a fire that had destroyed much of my business in 2018 and destroyed the fusalage components salvaged from the wreck and the 277 engines from both had also consumed the canard, elevators, rudders, and lift struts from the damaged plane.
Sadly - I had never reached out to Bodie again until 2021. I'm pretty certain that I found him. Alas - in a nursing home and no longer able to communicate anything about airplanes.
When I talked to Romuald in 1997 he thought that roughly 7 could have been made with components that were made at the factory when they ceased production.
In 2021 Romuald stated that they had made 50 of these for the USA military for use as drones. 10 more were sold to the public. I have the 2 sold to Senator Jake Garn. Possibly someone reading this has information to share as to what became of the other planes - even parts???.
Romuald now owns the plane Bodie had. He does not know what became of the tooling.
Romuald indicated that he would help get some measurments for manufacturing new elevators. This did not happen. He told me to make a new canard spar from solid foam covered with kevlar rather than the hollow kevlar/foam sandwich method used originally. I have the wrecked plane's rudders to use as patterns.
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