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

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J.L. Frusha

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The wings from the Pamperito (a South American Hovey Whing Ding II Variant) could be a viable option. Wood spars, foam ribs with wood caps.
 

Riggerrob

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Found this Fokker E.3 wing construction pic fascinating.
Not sure if it is light, but it appears airy.
View attachment 125862

Yes.
Thank Fokker wing definitely looks "airy."
It was an early step in the process of learning how to build cantilever wings.
Note how Fokkers' early cantilever wings used box spars, but the boxes were shallower than the ribs.
Also note how the plywood leading edge is not glued to the front spar, nor do the triangular "tails" glue to specific ribs.
Amusing how it only has one set of diagonal drag wires. 1920s vintage American biplanes had 3 or 4 sets of diagonal drag wires to carry the same loads. Well those
 

rotax618

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The Wheeler Scout was around 50kg, was built from aluminium mast/boom extrusion using the sail track to attach the wing covering. The later models had roll control by wing warping, many were flown here in Australia in the pioneering days.
A5953D76-1BEA-4757-A47D-B0A4FFF2EC5A.jpeg FF49DBAF-E0F9-4121-BCE4-7E7F9FE143A8.jpeg
 

cluttonfred

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I love the Scout, it would be great fun to see a modern design along those lines: sailwing with dihedral but no ailerons, two-axis rudder/elevator control, off-the-shelf industrial V-twin engine with a redrive, sized and stressed appropriately for even big and tall pilots.

EDIT - In other words, something like an XL version of this Viva Scout with B&S power and an Ace redrive.

1653645112361.png
 
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rotax618

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The Scout was only for lighter pilots, unfortunately I was genetically challenged (my max TO weight was excessive), many of my friends flew Scouts, all I could do was watch in envy.
 

cluttonfred

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The Scout was only for lighter pilots, unfortunately I was genetically challenged (my max TO weight was excessive), many of my friends flew Scouts, all I could do was watch in envy.

Hence my suggestion for a "big and tall" version. Moving up to single-seat microlight weight (300 kg/660 lb gross) leaves plenty of capacity for the big guys and girls.
 

sming

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I love the scout as well. As a product of a sailing country, to me the wing looks right! So why don't we see wing like that anymore (hang glider excepted?) ? Was it fundamentaly flawed?
Getting slighty OT: I've used wind roller furling jibs, I always wondered why it wouldn't make a great flaps setup. It would solve the wing area problem nicely! Huge surface on landing and small surface in cruise :)
 

cluttonfred

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I love the scout as well. As a product of a sailing country, to me the wing looks right! So why don't we see wing like that anymore (hang glider excepted?) ? Was it fundamentaly flawed?
Getting slighty OT: I've used wind roller furling jibs, I always wondered why it wouldn't make a great flaps setup. It would solve the wing area problem nicely! Huge surface on landing and small surface in cruise :)

Something like that was tried in France in the 1930s. It didn’t catch on. Google the Gérin Varivol types.

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Martin R.

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Maybe not yet the cheapest, but nevertheless very interesting*:


* perhaps in connection with a Princeton Sailwing ;)
 

J.L. Frusha

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I've looked into the Tensegrity wings. The #1 problem they have is cable-stretch. You'd need to go to pre-stressed synthetic to eliminate the worst of it, but, then you'll have issues with the wing-warping. Lets not forget the complexity of construction...

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The Princeton Sailwing has some potential, but you have a torque tube within a spar, plus bearing surfaces, to rotate the tip for the wing-warping. Not insurmountable, but certainly more complex, with extra weight.

The Pamperito wing, with ailerons, or, maybe the Woodhopper wing with external ailerons (Junkers style) comes across as about as simple and light as it gets without a lot of expensive composites.
1656352232549.jpeg
 

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