Most Beautiful Aircraft Ever Built

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AeroER

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Oct 6, 2021
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I remember the Vmax Probe. It was indeed a beautiful, streamlined machine designed to break speed records. Its designer/builder was a friend of mine. Sadly, it only flew one time with very bad results.

I have wondered whether there was a failure in the vertical tail or rudder that caused the loss of control.

Whether it did or not, I consider the configuration a lesson that the lower surface should be landing gear only (and narrower to reduce weight and drag), and the vertical stabilizer and rudder on top to divorce them from taxi, takeoff, and landing loads.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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97FL, Florida, USA
Whether it did or not, I consider the configuration a lesson that the lower surface should be landing gear only (and narrower to reduce weight and drag), and the vertical stabilizer and rudder on top to divorce them from taxi, takeoff, and landing loads.
The bottom vertical in / on that design protected the propeller as well as providing lateral stability. After that, for an absolute minimum drag airframe, might as well incorporate the tail wheel.

BJC
 
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Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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Rochester, NY, USA
Several of the pre-WW2 racers qualify as beautiful.

Just to pick a few.
 

AeroER

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Messages
301
The bottom vertical in / on that design protected the propeller as well as providing lateral stability. After that, for an absolute minimum drag airframe , might as well incorporate the tail wheel.

BJC


BJC

I understand that; you miss my point.

That stabilizer and rudder are vulnerable to damage from ground operation.

It's obvious the prop requires separation from the ground; the surface should be stout and no larger than required to fair the tail wheel.

Put a stabilizer and rudder on top of the fuselage where they aren't vulnerable to ground loads or debris.

Even a minor bend of the rudder hinge will interfere with operation. Gravel, sand, dirt and so on can bind operation.

The empennage on this minimum drag configuration requires careful thought and analysis to get it as right as feasible.

I'm also curious about the details of the empennage attachments and means of load redistribution with the drive shaft passing through.

Unfortunately we'll not likely ever know unless there are construction notes, drawings, and detailed photos (including wreckage) remaining that could be examined.
 
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