Searching for plans of the Aerotique Parasol!

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erkki67

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Hello there

in the 80's there was a Heath Parasol Replica built.

It had an aluminium alloy fuselage made of square tubing and gussets.

The wing construction I can't remeber.

Do you know from wher I could purchase plans for that bird?

I'm aware about the Texas Parasol plans, Heath Parasol plans from the EAA Publication and the Loehle Sport Parasol, but I'm not interessted at those for the time being.

Bst rgds

Erkki

Ps. Too sad Topspeed100 is not allowed anymore to disscus here!:ermm:
 

spduffee

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That company went belly-up. Are the plans similar to the Texas Parasol? Those are available online for free.

Duh...read the whole thing....Sorry, you said you are aware of the TP.
 

kennyrayandersen

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Not only that, but for me the TX parasol is pretty primative and no one over there (Yahoo group) seemed interested at all with regard to testing, so I would look at something else. Fisher, I think, made a little parasol as well. Are you saying they are out of business?
 
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spduffee

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Not only that, but for me the TX parasol is pretty primative and no one over there (Yahoo group) seemed interested at all with regard to testing, so I would look at something else. Fisher, I think, made a little parasol as well. Are you saying they are out of business?
Yeah, the Aerotique folks went out of business. Somewhere online there is a notification of their insolvency.
There was someone, so I have heard and read here on this forum but can't confirm, in Canada who modified the Texas parasol with safety upgrades.
 

Tiger Tim

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There was someone, so I have heard and read here on this forum but can't confirm, in Canada who modified the Texas parasol with safety upgrades.
I was very nearly a member of the group that built the modified Texas Parasols but backed out because I was quite young at the time and worried about how I would find the money to finish it and to enjoy it when it was done. Lucky me, the group found some insurmountable flaw in the design and I'm not sure a single one ever got finished. At the very least, the leader of the group disbanded it long before any were finished.

From reading the various accounts of the TP story online, here's my take on what happened:
It started as a series of ULs called Chuckbirds which seem to have been safe, well thought out and reliable. A friend/acquaintance/admirer or whatever of the designer decided to bring it to market as the Texas Parasol. I don't remember if he started with a Chuckbird to reverse engineer (I think he did) but it's my belief that he didn't understand some of the decisions that were made in its design and went about changing it to better suit his ideas of what the plane should be. At this point it was still potentially a Part 103 UL but IMO some of the structural changes left it marginally safe to fly. Along came the Canadian group, not hindered by the weight restriction of US UL regs and decided they could build these planes with more power and maybe a little beefing up to deal with the weight and end up with a much more reliable homebuilt parasol on the cheap. Bear in mind that not long before, the Dawn Patrol Nieuport group was in all the magazines and the TP is conceptually very similar in construction so the whole project looked very doable. Knowing that big changes can be dangerous, they did plan some re-engineering and they did statically test at least a wing, if not more. Anyways, the wing/strut assembly failed at some horrifyingly low load and the project was scrapped not long after. I was told that whatever way it had failed, there was no amount of modifying that could be done within the scope of what they wanted that would have made the plane safe.

Still, I'm not convinced that this is a caution against the TP per se, I think there's an HBA member that has and loves one. Instead, maybe this is a cautionary tale about trying to modify an airplane into something it isn't.

-Tim
 

kennyrayandersen

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I do structural analysis for a living. At one point, I believe before the test, I tried to inject some suggestions on how to do a simple test. At that time no test had been done and I was basically harangued out of the group by some *ssh*le that didn't know the first thing about structural analysis or testing. I was basically told I didn't know what I was talking about and that the wing was safe! I suggested that anyone that flew one before testing at least one wing to limit load was crazy. I'm glad apparently someone took me seriously enough to finally do a test. By that time I got so tired of arguing with idiots that I simply quit the group. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink! I mean it kind of p*ssed me off because I was trying to help them and I had expertise I was willing to share for nothing! I'm just glad in the end no one got hurt!

I wouldn't fly in something that had never been tested -- even if it had been flying around awhile! You really do need to know the capability of something your life is going to depend on! There are too many unknowns not to do that. Furthermore if you are going to change something, you'd really better know what you are doing!!!
 

erkki67

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So, no plans are available for the Aerotique Parasol!? :dis:

The only ones are the short coupled Texas Parasol, if I want to remain within an aluminium construction.

I haven't seen any pictures of Graham Lee's Parasol so I believe they are not available either.

Aerodrome Airplanes sell only kits, so no plans there too! :dis:

I'd really would like to build something like the Aerotique Parasol but completly made of aluminium tubing and a B/S in the nose.

So the only way to get there is by a tailor made project, and for this I don't have the abilities to calculate the strenght.

Bst rgds

rki
 

Victor Bravo

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Not being an engineer myself, I have to warn everyone that my comments are semi-educated opinion only, and although based on almost 40 years in aviation, my opinion is certainly not a substitute for an engineering degree.

IMHO the Chuckbird and Texas Parasol are noteworthy and relevant because of one and only one aspect. Chuck Beeson (the original designer) brought back a fuselage construction method that had almost been forgotten, and which has the potential to drastically reduce the cost of building a small aircraft fuselage. This fuselage method has been discussed and explained and documented previously on HBA looong before I showed up.

Everything else about those airplanes, including the wings, struts, landing gear, etc. is just recycled 'aluminum tube ultralight' stuff going back to the 1970's. Nothing noteworthy, and certainly not very robust. The cabane assembly, wing mounting, and wing struts on the Texas Parasol plans are not very confidence-inspiring to this old washed up model builder.

The 1920's era New Standard biplanes used aluminum angles riveted together into a truss. It was cheap and easy back then, and it's proportionately cheaper and easier today. Beeson realized this and demonstrated it beautifully. The 3/4" angle used in the CB/TP is dirt cheap, available nationwide, and has known properties for a real live engineer to calculate. The solid rivets are cheaper, stronger, and more consistent strength than commercial hardware pop rivets. The angle makes it possible to use a simple hand squeezer for the rivets instead of a noisy rivet gun. A fuselage made this way is not quite as structurally efficient as some other methods... I suspect there will be a slight weight penalty for the equivalent strength. However, when you factor in the large advantages of cost, construction time, easy inspection, and the long-term reliability of the solid rivet joints, I believe that the riveted angle method is an ideal choice for this small single seat class of aircraft. Murray Johnson's simple and straightforward riveted angle joint analysis, and his associated solution of adding a gusset to increase both the number of fasteners and the edge distance on the rivets, is a very worthwhile upgrade. I have another methodology banging around in my head, but it needs engineering analysis before I try it on anything.

Since the Graham Lee method of using round tubes and pop rivets has been shown to be successful, and have acceptable lifespan, it stands to reason that the Aerotique method of using square tubing and pop rivets should also work reasonably well.

But anyone building the Chuckbird, Texas Parasol, Aerotique, or anything along these lines should really consider using a better, stronger, and more conventional method of building the wings, struts, etc. There are so many other airplanes that do not have the wing structure safety concerns that have been brought up with the Texas Parasol. Borrow one of the wing designs that has been shown to be safe and easy to build on a similar size airplane, have it looked at and adjusted and verified by an engineer, and use that.
 

FritzW

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I think the TP could be made into a good airplane. I sure didn't like either of the two ways the plans call for making the clusters. Also the whole wing, wing strut and cabains were a little scary.

IMG_3094.jpg IMG_3093.jpg My idea for a cluster, over built and too heavy but certainly rugged enough to hold a fat guy and a full VW;)
 

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erkki67

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A bird I had some hopes for was the Paris Parasol, built to a certain degree, but as I believe it was never finished.

Too sad, as the cockpit was also dimensioned for tall pilots.

Bst rgds

Erkki
 

Tiger Tim

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Was the Aerotique Parasol not just a Heath made in aluminum? The Flying and Glider Manual reprints from the EAA have Heath plans in them and it couldn't take a whole lot to analyze the structures and see if aluminum angle would suffice. If it were me, I'd just stick with the wooden wings from the original plans. Really, any of the marginal early homebuiltairplanes from those manuals would be fun if you could just stick one together out of aluminum with an industrial engine. Between pop rivets, Oratex, and flight-ready industrial twins you could probably bang one out in a month worth of steady work.
 

FritzW

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...Between pop rivets, Oratex, and flight-ready industrial twins you could probably bang one out in a month worth of steady work.
...wait, slow down, I'm taking notes:) 6061 tube square, gussets, pop rivets and a Flying and Glider Manual. Add the V twin from Harbor Freight that they're talking about on another thread... you could be flying by Spring.
 

Victor Bravo

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Oh for goodness sakes, the Flying and Glider Manuals aren't any better than a good set of model airplane plans if you are going to switch from wood to metal :)

Take a second look at the extruded angle for three reasons... it's really cheap, like 50 cents a foot in quantity from a large metal supplier... after you spend $75 on a hand rivet squeezer you can use solid rivets which are much much cheaper than pop rivets, and stronger too... and you can inspect both sides of the riveted joint easily over the long term, where you will find solid rivets still holding fast long after pop rivets have started "working".

Assuming that you're trying to solve the equation for cost, parts count, and build time - a straight high wing layout has several advantages over a parasol configuration. You don't have to add extra structure to allow cutting one of the upper longerons for a door. The door goes between the upper and lower longerons with no disturbance to either. You also do not have to build a cabane structure, then tie that cabane in to the longerons two feet below the wing. Importantly, assuming you are building as small of an airplane as practical, you can get into a high wing airplane more easily than a parasol, because getting under the wing of a small parasol is an exercise in being a contortionist.

A high wing airplane can be equipped with simple fabric doors enabling it to fly in colder weather.
 

Tiger Tim

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...wait, slow down, I'm taking notes:) 6061 tube square, gussets, pop rivets and a Flying and Glider Manual. Add the V twin from Harbor Freight that they're talking about on another thread... you could be flying by Spring.
To be fair, my build time comment was based on multiple builders completing Airdrome replicas in thirty days. I'm sure it would take more than a month to think your way through designing something new, but the build time should still be short.
 

Tiger Tim

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Oh for goodness sakes, the Flying and Glider Manuals aren't any better than a good set of model airplane plans if you are going to switch from wood to metal :)
It's true, but the OP wants a plane shaped like a Heath Parasol but not built like one. Unless he can dig up a set of plans for an Aerotique Parasol or gives up the dream, the FGM and and a bunch of math are all he has to work with.
 

FritzW

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...I'm sure it would take more than a month ...but the build time should still be short.
I didn't take your "one month" literally, I took it to mean "fast and simple". And, for me at least, I think starting from scratch with a design from the FGM, or model airplane plans for that matter, would be faster than trying to fix the things I didn't like with the TP.
 

Victor Bravo

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I'm having trouble understanding one thing about the ongoing interest in the Aerotique Parasol aircraft:

If it is known that this aircraft was a near-replica of a Heath Parasol, and that it was built from small square aluminum tubing and riveted gussets, and if there are people on this HBA forum who have the education and engineering ability to analyze the structure...

... why has (Erkki or someone else specifically interested in this aircraft) not simply taken the plans or 3-view of the Heath Parasol and laid out the structure using this square tubing, and one of our qualified engineers on HBA done a basic analysis to determine that it is reasonably safe ?

Forgive me for sounding a little edgy (not my intent), but in the time that everyone has been discussing the history of this aircraft (on HBA, EAA, and perhaps other forums), and wringing their hands over where they can find a set of plans, a new set of plans could have been drawn, analyzed, and the airplane built.
 
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