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Steve Wittman

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Pops

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I kinda like the whisker's.:gig: and look ma I seen the plane wink at me.:) I bet those gear legs weigh a bunch to hold up to the stress.
Cat fish whiskers ? For pitch and yaw trim ? Adjustable air inlet ? Different, yes.
 

don january

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Definitely different for sure. I was liking the actual shape of the lower cowling on that plane. It has good lines but I guess it needs good airflow to help with the drag from the cat fish whiskers.
 

TFF

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It made the cover of Sport Aviation back in the day. It's not fast like a Clement plane, but to its credit, it was built then wild hair ideas were tested by building instead of 400 pages of thread dreams.
 

AJLiberatore

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Anthony, I can do that. Have to dig out the plans which is where the letter is.

If my further research I found Jim C. doesn't think very highly of the idea, he says the smaller engine planes are too anemic on takeoff & climb. He also said an 0-290 GPU tailwind he subsequently finished could hang right with the two 145 hp continental powered tailwinds he built because of lighter wt. That was the turning point for him and he never gave any further consideration to installing a continental in a tailwind. The 0-320 turns a Tailwind into a rocket ship.
Thanks T.F.

Like you I follow the TW group on Yahoo, and yes What Jim S. and Jim C. have to say is wisdom worth listening too. As dcstrng noted in the various PDF's he linked too denote movement towards a lighter even LSA direction. Pro or Con that direction, it is interesting how well the Tailwind does and how well the variants do aka Little Scapper noting the Daphne, and then their is the Clement Buttercup, and the influence on Four Runner etc etc . The DNA of Buttercup & Tailwind are some of the broad shoulders we stand on IMHO in terms of homebuilt design, we are so blessed.

My best,
Anthony
 

Little Scrapper

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Here a cool hump day treat.
FB_IMG_1531357970839.jpg

This is a private photo from Mike McKenzie.

Summer 1971. The very first Wittman Tailwind & behind it is Betty Skelton's Little Stinker. Betty bought the Tailwind from Steve. Apparently when her husband Don retired they moved from Detroit to Winter Haven FL. Bull barber ferried Little Stinker and Mike's dad flew Sylvester from Detroit to FL.
 

dcstrng

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The very first Wittman Tailwind & behind it is Betty Skelton's Little Stinker...
Thanks for posting! It’s amazing how the Tailwind (wasn’t the W8 originally called “Flying Carpet” or something like that) was just right from the beginning – oh, there have been a few changes, the W10 is larger (usually with somewhat more horsepower), the airfoils morphed a bit, and most modern TWs have pants and fairings (as well as many times the plexi-polycarbonate); but the basic shape from spinner to rudder hasn’t changed enough to bother with, and certainly is easily recognizable whether built in the 50s or last year. Steve sure knew a thing or two about planes… always liked these birds.
 

DanH

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Some may enjoy a piece about Arden Hjelle, titled "The First Grand Champion", Kitplanes, 2015. The Hjelle family had a close relationship with the Wittmans, and were kind enough to share a number of personal stories and photos.

I had a blast researching the article. My thanks to all those involved.

Below, credit EAA.

 

plncraze

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Great article DanH! I wish the guys at Kitplanes would offer you a few bucks to write an extensive series on designing a reduction drive for a Geo Suzuki. LOL
Seriously, thanks for sharing. What gets forgotten in history was that Steve and others were not rich folks looking for new toys but people of average or below average means looking for a way to fly. The fact that some did it as elegantly as Steve is just a bonus.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Thanks T.F.

Like you I follow the TW group on Yahoo, and yes What Jim S. and Jim C. have to say is wisdom worth listening too. As dcstrng noted in the various PDF's he linked too denote movement towards a lighter even LSA direction. Pro or Con that direction, it is interesting how well the Tailwind does and how well the variants do aka Little Scapper noting the Daphne, and then their is the Clement Buttercup, and the influence on Four Runner etc etc . The DNA of Buttercup & Tailwind are some of the broad shoulders we stand on IMHO in terms of homebuilt design, we are so blessed.

My best,
Anthony
Many of you know that I own and fly a Tailwind W8 with an 0-200 for power. A great airplane.
 

Attachments

Toobuilder

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The Tailwind restoration project that I owned was a bit of a famous example, as I was to learn only AFTER I sold it.

It wore the registration N100G, and apparently it was the 3rd Tailwind to fly. I was told that in those early days, the CAA inspector had to witness the airplane fly, and that included a dive to 110% of redline at max gross weight to "prove" structural integrity. As I was told, the builder of my airplane sandbaged the passenger seat to get up to weight and took off. At altitude and in the dive to redline, a sandbag shifted and shoved the stick forward, stepening the dive to beyond vertical. In the fight to regain control the pilot never backed out of the throttle and saw the airspeed needle go WAY past Vne (I heard it was close to 300, but who knows). Eventially the pilot got the stick clear and pulled out. The resulting G load caused the sandbags to rip out the canvas seat and they ended up bulging out of the lower fabric on the fuselage. When landing, the CAA guy was going to refuse the AW cert on the grounds that the structure failed. The pilot told the tale and showed the CAA the G meter needles: +8.4/-4.8 (again, as I was told). The airplane got the AWC at that point!
 

Toobuilder

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I'm not sure how many of you have seen Steve's Tailwind at the EAA museum, but it's not anything close to a showplane. Not taking anything away from Steve the inventor/creator, but craftsman he was not (and neither am I, for that matter). Still a great design though!
 
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