# Is there a cheapest/lightest/simplest wing structure other than aluminium tube and fabric?

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#### oriol

##### Well-Known Member
I agree with you TFF,

Trying to reinvent the wheel is futile. Still it is like reading the classics. There is so much that has been done that is always worth to look to the past in quest for inspiration.

Back in the old days they did not have the technology we have today, but that is perhaps why they did a lot of clever things. The Cessna 172 is quite old but they are still flying around.

Oriol

#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Repeat stuff that was attempted in aviation 100+ years ago is not advancement.

Repeat the stuff that worked well (like ailerons, my dear PouDuCielistes ) and don't repeat the stuff that didn't work well.

That's why cars still have wheels but they don't have hand crank starters.

#### J.L. Frusha

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Repeat stuff that was attempted in aviation 100+ years ago is not advancement. If it’s crude, it’s been done. Because there is no collective memory now means we are well past and never expected to go back.
Does it work? Why get stuck with all of the latest/greatest when you can't afford it? Even the 'Spruce Goose' used composite construction... in 1947.

#### cluttonfred

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Repeat the stuff that worked well (like ailerons, my dear PouDuCielistes ) and don't repeat the stuff that didn't work well.

That's why cars still have wheels but they don't have hand crank starters.

I beg to differ (as you knew I would)! The Mignet system is still the simplest way to get a low-time pilot in the air simply, economically, and safely. One of these days I need to do a VolksPou to combine the two approaches. ;-)

#### jedi

##### Well-Known Member
Sometimes it is good to revisit the old and update it into the modern world. Remember how radios developed from the old cat whisker detector* crystal radios to vacuum tubes then returned to solid state transistors.

*crystal detector is an obsolete electronic component used in some early 20th century radio receivers that consists of a piece of crystalline mineral which rectifies the alternating current radio signal.[1] It was employed as a detector (demodulator) to extract the audio modulation signal from the modulated carrier, to produce the sound in the earphones.[2][3] It was the first type of semiconductor diode,[2][4] and one of the first semiconductor electronic devices.[5] The most common type was the so-called cat whisker detector, which consisted of a piece of crystalline mineral, usually galena (lead sulfide), with a fine wire touching its surface.[1][5][6]

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Listen. You are taking a shotgun approach at 1000 yards. Free or $100 airplanes don’t exist without subsidies. Someone has to pay for the other$10,000 if it’s just someone selling a fire sale giveaway or straight up. You have to have talent and materials or use someone else’s. Real cost is the same. Deals are just luck, not that I’m against it. They can’t be calculated. You definitely don’t have a NASA budget to invent a budget material and manufacture it. Veering from standard costs more every time.

Read everything mstull did on this site. He was the master.

#### Howe

##### Active Member
One way to reduce the weight would be to choose a compromise between rigid-wing and flex-wing techniques. The Wheeler/Skycraft Scout comes to mind, which is a two-axis (rudder/elevator only) powered ultralight with a leading edge rigid spar, flexible cable trailing edge, and cable bracing. The originals had a 12 hp engine and an empty weight of just 50 kg. Later ones were a little heavier but some even had a fuselage pod or even a full fuselage.

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Yes the scout was my first aircraft and dead simple. We had it on floats and was the best bang for bucks ever. It would be a perfect battery electric project.

#### crusty old aviator

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Yes the scout was my first aircraft and dead simple. We had it on floats and was the best bang for bucks ever. It would be a perfect battery electric project.
Pietenpol Scout?

#### nestofdragons

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
My best friend was designing and making velomobiles / recumbent bikes. Seeing his work i am pretty sure there are lighter ways of constructing alu or metal recumbent bikes that can be used as paraglider frame too. This one seems really really heavy.

#### nestofdragons

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Other than the cabling, it doesn't get much easier than the Chotia Woodhopper (same guy as the Weedhopper)
WATCH OUT with the Woodhopper. Stall speed and top speed are not that much away from each other.

#### J.L. Frusha

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
WATCH OUT with the Woodhopper. Stall speed and top speed are not that much away from each other.

No need to worry, there. I used to think I might build one, but, the more I look at it, the more it looks like glued toothpicks. I'm probably too heavy for it, anyway.

#### nestofdragons

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Tensegrity wing with cap-strips as formers weighs about half what a normal wing does. Instead of steel cables, use an Aramid Fiber 'rope'* for tension (~15X stronger and lighter), then use wooden dowels as the strut pieces, or (even better) possibly CF wrapped wooden dowels...

*UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) rope is an extremely tough plastic with high abrasion and friction resistance. It’s a superior alternative to steel wire rope and is used in maritime, lifting and high friction industries. It’s chemically and physically identical to Dyneema.

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Thanks for the tip. I need to remind this material.

#### Dillpickle

##### Well-Known Member
One of these days I need to do a VolksPou to combine the two approaches. ;-)
Somehow, the "People's Pou" just has some intrinsic marketing issues! Crappy name? Lol

#### oriol

##### Well-Known Member
Hi nestofdragons!

I have other bicycles that are more conventionals. The one in the picture can be made lighter, this was just the first proto. Among other things, a bicycle like that can carry a hanglider on top etc.

Cheers,

Oriol

#### sming

##### Well-Known Member
A pretty smart "flycycle" from the UK. I like his approach to the landing gear, it looks "right" pretty sur he's got electric assist for the road ride.

Another take with a paramotor:

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
I really like that Flycycle, above video.

The Tadpole trikes are much safer on the road, and the rear triangles behind the pilot are great for streamlining the flow & into the propeller.

The use of the front wheels on the wing's "control bar" ( actually the main "fuselage"/ positive G load triangular "kingpost" structure ) and the rear wheel and pod/seat as the weight shift suspended part, is interesting.