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Mead Adventure Construction

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Airfoil

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Greetings, I'm pretty far along on a Mead Adventure and thought you guys might be interested in the progress and help with some input. At this stage of the project with the structure done as to the plans input is priceless. Rick
 

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bmcj

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Welcome to HBA, Rick! I'm not real familiar with the Mead... must not be a lot of them around. It does sound like quite a performer, though.

Are you building at home or at an airport (and which airport for build and/or test flight)?
 

wsimpso1

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Tiny and fast. Looks quick to build too. Hot wire all foils? What foil does it use? Flaps? Header tank for fuel storage?
 

Airfoil

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Thanks for the interest guys, I'm building it at home and it does go together quickly. George Mead was first at Piper on the Malibu design team then went to work at Bede where he met Burt Rutan. Like the BD5 the mead has 40ft of wing! He then worker for Rutan aircraft doing all the drafting and some design work on the Defiant, that's where the updraft cooling is from. The Adventure has about the same numbers as a Malibu & Questair venture not surprisingly. It's super easy to build with almost no metal parts at all. Mead didn't think the Vari Ez would sell so this was his plane kit when it didn't. It uses the Vari Ez gear leg, canopy, nose gear strut so the parts are readily available. According to the newsletters by Mead the tail volumes are more in line with an airliner rather than sport plane so I'm hoping it's a docile hotrod. Meade wrote that he was inspired by the Polen Special with future plans to make the Adventure a retractable. The plans are still owned by Sharon Meade I've been trying to contact here to buy the right a but no such luck. They are all on cd and when printed as PDFs the templates are all the right size.
another pic of the progress
 

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Mead Adventure

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Aug 23, 2014
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Here is a picture of mine that I finished 22 years ago. I sold it when I found out that it was not what I had expected. I bought it back 4 years ago because the owner was going to sell it and I was worried who would buy it. I flew it home and got a quick reminder on the handling. Stopped at an airport for fuel and decided to rent a car and go get my trailer. I have about 15,000 hours of flight time by now and noticed more that I did 22 years ago. Pulled the wings off and hauled it home. Now that I have been looking at it sitting here I have decided to see if I could fix the stability problem. Ordered materials to build a new wing.

On the wing I wish I never increased the length of the ailerons because I think they cause some wing twist and do not increase the roll rate. In calm air it is stable but as soon as you hit a tiny bit of turbulence there is no stability in roll, kind of creepy. It is built per plans other than the aileron length. It was known back then that the roll rate was faster at slower speeds. The wing probably twists at the higher speeds. Back then I had times when students were out flying Cessna 150s and I could not get the plane lined up with the runway because of a little turbulence . I gave up had to go to another airport with less winds.

George had no intention of ever making a tail dragger out of it but with all the requests he changed his mind. It was Dennis Brown that wrote about making a retractable out of it. He would have had the gear fold back like a Cessna 182 RG. He had an auto engine on it which I think was a Honda. He had an engine failure on the first takeoff run so he changed his mind and never attempted it. You would most likely not walk away from an off airport landing unless you had something smooth to put it down on. He pulled the motor off and gave the plane back to Sharon Mead. Last I heard it was sitting in her garage but that was a long time ago.

Adventure photos 030(2).jpg
 
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Airfoil

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image.jpgMark, Good to you your still interested. My wings are finished as per plans and I'm to the point of final assembly to test fit everything. The wing skins are 1 ply of RAF uni spanwise and 1 ply chordwise. What would you do at this point? I'm tempted to use 2 additional plies of carbon but I'm not an engineer and I don't think carbon skins on a fiberglass wing that's already too flexible is a good idea. Any guys? Time to dig out the vari eze plans.



image.jpg
 
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billyvray

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Any luck on this? I'd love a set of these plans.

"The plans are still owned by Sharon Meade I've been trying to contact here to buy the right a but no such luck. They are all on cd and when printed as PDFs the templates are all the right size."

Bill
 

Airfoil

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Bill,
Yes I've talked with Dennis Brown who helped then took over support for a little while, hi is tracking down Mrs Mead to describe my interest and put us in touch. I'm making good progress and the more I work on it the more I'm impressed with the design.
Rick
 

wsimpso1

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You guys are telling scary stories here. The article indicates 1 UNI the long way on the wings + BID, but does not say how much. MA comes along and says the airplane is known to have a higher roll rate at lower speeds and that the airplane is hard to control in roll. Then Airfoil says he used 1 UNI the long way and 1 UNI chordwise...

It begins to sound like someone had a very flexible airframe someplace. If the soft structure is the wings themselves, there are several possibilities, none real good. Soft wings can give aileron reversal though. First, we seem to have a couple stories on wing structure. What do the plans show, and what was done in each airplane? Next, has anyone calculated active wing twist just from lift and then from aileron loads? How about control system deflections?

Next we need to recognize that cloth put on chordwise is different from cloth put on at +/- 45 degrees - chordwise will have substantially less torsional stiffness as will only one ply if two are designated...

Last point - if the wing as designed is too flexible, then changing the design (adding plies or enlarging ailerons is changing the design) makes the builders into designers. Scary zone...

As an airplane designer, I might do the calcs on wing torsional stiffness, and investigate carrying the spar further out the wing, beefing up the skins a little, some of both, keeping the foil at 18% thickness for the full span, tapering the chord while maintaining 18% thickness, and others, all while looking for less torsional deflection and less weight. But without calcs and some knowledge of what earlier copies had for structure and for handling, you are guessing. I hate guessing, and you guys should too.

Billski
 

Airfoil

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The wing skins are 1 ply of uni span wise and 1 ply chord wise. No bid at all. The vari ez has 2 plies of uni spa wise and one ply of bid at 45. I have both sets of plans in front of me. Attached are the Mead plans that describe the wing skins
left to my own devices I'm inclined to add one ply of bid at 45, no rush to decide that's why I masking for advice
thanks
Rick

image.jpg
image.jpg
 

BBerson

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I think one ply of 45° would be very prudent.
Especially after reading the article that said the airplane was designed for spoilers. Spoilers don't twist the wing much, I think. Maybe he skipped the usual 45° thinking it wasn't needed with the spoilers. But forgot to add the 45° ply when the ailerons were installed.

Secondly, that wing has a very small volume, so torsional stiffness could be a problem from that also.
 

Airfoil

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Thanks for the input, yes one additional ply of 45 bid wouldn't add much weight on a 40 foot wing and will make it very similar to the vari ez wing. George Meade was a very accomplished engineer working at RAF when he designed it so I have confidence in his professionalism. The torsion loads are taken up by a massive box spar which is the single attachment point. There are no leading edge or trailing edge attachments to the fuselage.
 

BBerson

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Is the box spar wrapped with 45° plies?

If there is no leading edge or trailing edge attachments, then it won't help much to reinforce the wing skin.

I would make sure the ends of the torque box spar are included. A box with no ends is weak in torsion.
The Wrights knew this, that is how they were able to twist the wing for control.
 

wsimpso1

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I have one other thought - do we know the relative stiffness of the wing vs the attachment to the fuselage? If the wing tweaks within the mount at the root after roll inputs or if the mount is flexible, beefing up the wing might be directionally correct but still not enough.

Billski
 

Airfoil

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Billski, thanks for the thoughts. A couple things come to mind. Given that 2 plies are uni are vulnerable to sanding damage I am going to add a ply of bid at 45, probably the 5.9 oz weight material. And yes without LE OR TE attachments all the loads are transmitted through the single box spar, when the wings are installed they pass through tight fitting holes in the sides and bolt together similar to a sailplane. What I believe can only help is to use a small but rugged wing fillet molded to the fuse rather than a trim strip of aluminum.
I don't see how to attach PDFs, was hoping to post some of the plan sections so you can take a look.
 

Airfoil

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This pic shows the updraft cooling configuration. It's the prototype after an O-200 was installed

image.jpg
 
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