Inspirational Flight

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by TFF, Mar 4, 2019.

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  1. Mar 4, 2019 #1

    TFF

    TFF

    TFF

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    I remember reading about this guy back when he built this Wright Flyer. If I remember right he wanted to prove the Flyer was capable of turning, not just a straight line machine. Its not 100%; looks like doped fabric and a much more powerful engine, but that not the point. The airframe its self is what is important. The guy is a pretty good pilot too, and pretty brave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCAnkpzlXBA
     
  2. Mar 4, 2019 #2

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    That had been proven nearly 30 years before by Jack Lambie and his replica wright flyer (in about 1970 IIRC). I know because I was there the first flights at Flabob Airport, and had even helped (just a little) with the fabric work and also in carrying it back after he had landed in a nearby cow pasture.

    http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Brink/2130.htm

    There was a photo taken as we handed the plane across the barbed wire fence to another group on the airport. It was later captioned as “ATC’s first handoff”.
     
  3. Mar 4, 2019 #3

    radfordc

    radfordc

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    This passage from the Lambie story seems to say that the Italian replica was much more accurate to the original Wright flyer...

    "From what I see and read about the recent attempts to build and fly an exact replica and make it fly (safely) for the 100th Anniversary of the Wright's flight is not very promising. The shortcomings in the aerodynamic qualities of the Wright Flyer were well known to Jack. Lambie added a conventional elevator on the tail above the rudders. He also added more conventional controls. The most obvious (and important) change was the power plant: a Honda."
     
  4. Mar 4, 2019 #4

    Tiger Tim

    Tiger Tim

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    Does anyone else find it oddly unsettling to see a Wright Flyer flying like a normal, almost practical airplane?
     
  5. Mar 4, 2019 #5

    radfordc

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    Video of their 1908 flights in France show them to be decent planes.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2019 #6

    TFF

    TFF

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    That thing definitely has a lot more power than the original, and reliable. It’s flying faster than the original ever did, so it’s not 1903. Still the mile turning radius, so it does not slide off the wing. It’s still a Wright. That the guy adapted to it is just as amazing. By France, the WB had it in the bag. Those wheels really bounce when dropped. Anything Wright is cool to me at least.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2019 #7

    Dana

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    Probably the biggest problem with the flying characteristics of the original Wright Flyer is that it was extremely unstable in pitch because it was so tail heavy. The concept of center of gravity vs. neutral point wasn't understood then. The replica in the video linked in the original post has both the pilot and engine much farther forward than the original, so it should balance a lot better. The replica also doesn't have the anhedral the original had (roll instability) and it looks like a modern airfoil instead of the thin undercambered section of the original. So it's not surprising that it flew a lot better.

    By 1908 the Wrights were flying a much improved design.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2019 #8

    lr27

    lr27

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    Never heard of the mile turning radius before. Sounds unlikely for a plane that slow. Wikipedia claims that the original topped out at 30 mph. I suspect if the turning radius was very large, it was due to a lack of power. I suppose if the replica skipped the wing warping feature, it might have had trouble turning.

    Pretty sure that, unless you wanted to go fast, that thin, "undercambered" airfoil worked just fine. OTOH, I'm sure it presented structural problems that you wouldn't get with a thicker one.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2019 #9

    bmcj

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    Yep, it was not totally accurate, and then he added the rear stab after finding it less than stable in flight, but he did complete a turn during his first flight. It was built for a documentary, so total accuracy was not needed. As you said, the Honda engine was a real game changer for the plane, and I’m sure he designed out some of the instability that the Wright brothers had intentionally built into the design.

    The later Wright designs were not far different from the 1903 Flyer, but they did perform extended flights with them, including turns and positive directional control.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2019 #10

    Dana

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    The thin section is structurally weaker to be sure, but it would also have a strong nose down pitching moment, which may be why they Wrights needed such an aft CG.
     

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