Re- the Birdman TL,
I believe the structure failed in non-aerobatic flight on one or two of them, so I'm nto sure the term "well designed" can withstand a lot of scrutiny. It might have been good for a university demonstration or record-setting machine, but to have advertised the Birdman as being safe enough for everyday use in any range of real-world conditions...?
That being said, I am fascinated by this aircraft just like so many others have been, and the thought of engineering carbon pulltrusions to stiffen or strengthen the structure in the more delicate areas is appealing.
It is true the first version Birdman TL crashed at an airshow in Houston ( I think)
killing the designer and the company. Later, a new company headed by the former accountant re engineered (professionally) and increased the thickness of the wing skins for more robust ground handling and increased the size of the engine and converted to a V-Tail and round cone rear fuselage arrangement. Damage to the leading edge D-cell attributed to rough ground handling was deemed the cause of the crash. The newer heavier version ( from 100 to 122 pounds empty) received many positive reviews. The wing structure does remind me of the VJ-23 and a little of the
ULF-1. While both the VJ-23 and ULF-1 were powered and modified to include
wheels, I believe those versions were heavier than 122 pounds and perhaps not engineered as well at those heavier powered weights. One of the things that most intrigue me is the ground handling assisted by extending your legs. I believe takeoff and landing operations were conducted solely with the wheels. One of the pictures
shown "filename" refers to the Sports Avaition magazine review.