Luton Minor two-seat development in BBC clip

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by cluttonfred, Sep 18, 2018.

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  1. Sep 18, 2018 #1

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    This clip popped up in my feed, a nice little piece from 1969 featuring a Luton Minor at the Shuttleworth Collection: https://www.facebook.com/BBCArchive/videos/237305076935604/

    Starting at 1:32 until 3:30, the video shows a two-seater under construction and in model form that is described as a side-by-side, two-seat development of the Luton, a sort of wood-and-fabric Corben Junior Ace. The presenter even says that the Turkish government was negotiating a license to build a limited series of the design.

    I am pretty plugged in when it comes to older homebuilts, but I have never heard of this one before. I have included a couple screen shots below. Anyone know any more?

    Screenshot 2018-09-18 at 10.45.59 PM.jpg Screenshot 2018-09-18 at 10.38.33 PM.jpg Screenshot 2018-09-18 at 10.37.48 PM.jpg

    PS--This may be Arthur Ord-Hume's LA.8 Minor-Two that I wrote about several years ago in another group, but I am not completely convinced. See http://www.kingpinmedia.co.uk/_OtherSites/LutonMinor/modern_minors.htm and https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16561.msg159501.html#msg159501.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  2. Sep 19, 2018 #2

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Looks cute!
     
  3. Sep 19, 2018 #3

    Chilton

    Chilton

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    May be G-AYTT, Knowles Duet which flew in 1971, not a popular item with Ord-hume I believe.
     
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  4. Sep 19, 2018 #4

    Mike W

    Mike W

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    I remember Alf Knowles Duet back in the 70's. Also I had a share in Minor G_ASML. Still flying.

    There was another tandem two seater known as the Luton Major. I seem to remember one was resurrected after the war but came to a bad end when the lift strut failed.
    major.jpg gasml3.jpg
     
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  5. Sep 19, 2018 #5

    Chilton

    Chilton

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    The Luton Major was reborn post war as the LA-5A, I believe a few have been homebuilt, but as far as I know LAA have withdrawn the type acceptance due to structural issues with the centre section and struts, apparently the original stressing failed to account for the chordwise loads induced by the sweep of the front strut.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2018 #6

    Foundationer

    Foundationer

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    I assumed it was a Fred when I saw it on the SVAS page. Thanks for the proper info.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2018 #7

    dougwanderson

    dougwanderson

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    In the video he claimed the plane could be built for $700 in today that is $5000 wish you could buy an aircraft engine for $5000. love when audio track is off sync with the actor.
     
  8. Sep 20, 2018 #8

    fly2kads

    fly2kads

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    Tangent to the two seater question, but still pertinent. What was your impression of flying the Minor? How hard was it to get in and out of the thing?
     
  9. Sep 20, 2018 #9

    Mike W

    Mike W

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    The minor was a lovely aeroplane with no vices. It could weather cock rapidly in a cross wind until the rudder became effective like most taildraggers. apart from that no problems.

    Trying to think back forty years how one got into the Minor. I know you stood on the tyre and I think I had to duck down between the crossed wires. Picture attached. ML had a tail skid in those days and the way to turn the aircraft on the ground was to go forward on the stick and blow it round using throttle and rudder. On one occasion at Bodmin airfield I turned off the runway onto the taxiway and didn't quite get fully round the bend. With no brakes ML was running down a slope across the taxi way towards with a ten foot drop before the hanger. I rapidly switched off and flung myself out of the cockpit between the struts and just managed to stop her before the drop, straining my back in the process which gave trouble for many years after.

    On the subject of costs. Back in the 80's we could build a microlight aircraft from between £400 to £600 from commercial materials with a Fuji Robin engine costing around £175. M latest design the Plank cost just over £1000 for the airframe, unfortunately the engine now cost £2500.











    G-BBCY Perth 02.2006.jpg
     
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  10. Sep 20, 2018 #10

    Twodeaddogs

    Twodeaddogs

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    I have had the pleasure of flying both; getting into the Minor essentially involved inserting one leg while leaning backwards and then leaning across the cockpit to bring the second leg in and then sliding down into the seat, whilst simultaneously sliding the legs forward, so that they arrived at the rudder pedals just as bum met seat. Once you were in, it wasn't half bad but it helped to have a friend on hand to help with belts and to ease you in or out if you were having trouble.......the Luton Major (EI-CGF) is a pleasure to fly except for the very rubbish ailerons.
     
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  11. Sep 21, 2018 #11

    fly2kads

    fly2kads

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    Thanks, guys! I'm fascinated by these classic wooden single seaters, and I'm a big fan of the VW motor. I need to check and see if the LAA has an online archive of their magazine, or if not, they will copy old articles for a fee. I'd be curious to read contemporaneous accounts of flying the Minor, as well as the Turbulent, Taylor Monoplane, and the Jodel D.9, among others.

    As to the two-seater in question, the squared off wing and tail surfaces don't looks like Mr. Ord-Hume's usual curves. He doesn't seem to be shy of using laminations.
     
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  12. Sep 21, 2018 #12

    Twodeaddogs

    Twodeaddogs

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    Luton major.jpg this is the Luton Major
     
  13. Sep 21, 2018 #13

    Twodeaddogs

    Twodeaddogs

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    John Duggan's Luton major..jpg the same aircraft before a new coat of paint
     
  14. Sep 21, 2018 #14

    fly2kads

    fly2kads

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  15. Sep 23, 2018 #15

    Twodeaddogs

    Twodeaddogs

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    in the case of the Major above, we had to make the case to the Irish authorities that the aircraft was safe to operate as a two-seater, because they had been banned from flying as such after several fatal crashes. In the case of two of those, aerobatics had been carried out and the aircraft were overstressed and crashed. The CAA in the UK were of a mind to cancel them altogether but several were in build and pleas were made to allow them to be completed and flown. The CAA wanted a steel frame built and fitted into the cockpit, as one solution. In the end, the Irish authorities allowed the Major to continue in operation as long as they were operated within limits, which it has been and long may it continue to do so.
     

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