Support for Rutan Solitaire?

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Exian

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Hello!

My father got his hand on an abandonned Rutan Solitaire project and intends to finish it.
He just assembled the two half fuselage shells a few days ago.
He plans to fit an electric propulsion in place of the two stroke engine on a pylon similar to the solution used on the GP14 and GP15 gliders.

But there is some problems : there are a few missing parts in the kit, mainly metal parts.
Everything can be probably remade from the indications in the plans or by reproducing the parts he has (many parts come in pairs, but he has only one), but making everything from scratch today with all the raw materials/machining/welding required will not be easy or cheap!

A few kits where produced and only a dozen were completed or used for something else (Silouette) that didn't require all the original parts.
I also believe that the company selling the metal part kit has disapeared and would probably had leftovers.
It was a long time ago that these kits were sold but there still could be some parts out there somewhere...

Any ideas where thoses parts could have gone?
Anyone with a kit in his hangar that will not be completed?

Thanks for your help.

20211222_213202.jpg
 

Turd Ferguson

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Wow ! ! What a great project. I recall other than the prefab fuselage, the plane was still plans built. Rutan plans contained the drawings for metal parts; alternatively a vendor would make those parts available for purchase, ready to install. Ken Brock Manufacturing was the usual metal component supplier for Rutan. However, Ken Brock Manufacturing closed a few yrs after Ken Brocks's death.

Some of the Canard Pusher newsletters will probably be of interest as they contained plans corrections and changes. The CP news letters can be found online.
 

Victor Bravo

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Are you going to finish this as a stock Solitaire, or are you going to finishh it as the Silhouette?

The Silhouette is a much more worthwhile, usable aircraft for the same time/effort/money, and the Solitaire would be a far more historically significant aircraft.

This is the same exact principle as the Ford Edsel being clearly more historically significant than the Ford Taurus, but you will get far more enjoyment out of the Taurus. The choice is whether you wish to have a better "daily driver" or is you want a rare museum piece that is rare because it wasn't useful as a daily driver.

(Now I see that in the original post you say your father wants to finish it as an electric. I assume this means he wants to finish it as a Solitaire.)
 

TFF

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Memphis, TN
Pretty cool

You are pretty much on your own with parts, unless an Angel drops them in your lap. You might have the last one in your hands.
 

Exian

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BORDEAUX
Are you going to finish this as a stock Solitaire, or are you going to finishh it as the Silhouette?

The Silhouette is a much more worthwhile, usable aircraft for the same time/effort/money, and the Solitaire would be a far more historically significant aircraft.

This is the same exact principle as the Ford Edsel being clearly more historically significant than the Ford Taurus, but you will get far more enjoyment out of the Taurus. The choice is whether you wish to have a better "daily driver" or is you want a rare museum piece that is rare because it wasn't useful as a daily driver.

(Now I see that in the original post you say your father wants to finish it as an electric. I assume this means he wants to finish it as a Solitaire.)

This is indeed to be finished as a stock Solitaire (exept motor).
We are aware of the limited utility of this plane, but it is perfectly ok.

My father has allready a Phoenix motorglider that has more performance in all aspects and is more practical.

He was looking for something to do during winters, so it is for the fun of building something original (he has built a Longez in the 80s and likes canards...) that should be suitable for electric propulsion. It will be probably flown as a small simple touring motorglider and not primarily for true soaring.
 

AeroER

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The Solitaire is great except that you can't get the main wing's Cl high enough to climb well, and the wake of the foreplane over the main wing reduces the cruise L/D. But other than not climbing or cruising it's fine.

I attributed the poor soaring performance to the high span loading and wasn't sufficiently interested to look any closer.

Exian
Your father should put ads in Barnstormers, Trade A Plane, Controller, and probably Craigslist in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Reno regions in an attempt to turn up languishing kits and hardware.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I seem to recall early on sailplane purist recognized Solitaire was not a good sailplane or motorglider which resulted in lackluster plans sales which translated to very few sales of molded parts for the contracted vendor, which lead to . . . we'll that's another story.

Wasn't clear if plans came with the project. Will be challenging without those and I'd guess they would be hard to find due to very low volume.

Still a neat project to find and even better to have in one's possession.
 

Exian

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Thanks for your suggestions.

This project came with full set of plans, manuals and canardpusher newsletters.
Only a few parts were missing.
Most problematic are the springs for the landing gear : we have overall dimensions from the plans, but no indication about rigidity.
One fork holding the wheels is also missing. From the one we have (casted aluminium) it would seem that other planes would use the same for the front landing gear, but I didn't find anything similar on Aircraft Spuce website.
 

AeroER

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If the drawings have all of the dimensions of the springs (length, wire diameter, and spring pitch), pore over a catalog of die springs for replacements.

California Power Systems and other suppliers of ultralight parts are potential sources of gear forks. Grove Air craft is a potential source, and he could no doubt fabricate a fork from plate stock.

This company is making forks for some Rutan designs -
 

bhooper360

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Dec 9, 2021
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This is the same exact principle as the Ford Edsel being clearly more historically significant than the Ford Taurus, but you will get far more enjoyment out of the Taurus. The choice is whether you wish to have a better "daily driver" or is you want a rare museum piece that is rare because it wasn't useful as a daily driver.

How'd he get the center stick to fit inside the Ford Edsel? It must hinge higher up on the stick, with some kind of chain or linkage connecting it to the offset torque tube. In the Long-EZ there's not enough room for a centerline torque tube, and the glider wouldn't have any more lenient limitations on frontal area. Sorry, the Ford Taurus wouldn't have any more lenient limitations on frontal area.
 

ElEsido

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Oct 21, 2015
Messages
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Location
Switzerland
Are you going to finish this as a stock Solitaire, or are you going to finishh it as the Silhouette?

The Silhouette is a much more worthwhile, usable aircraft for the same time/effort/money, and the Solitaire would be a far more historically significant aircraft.

Are there any materials available of the Silhouette (plans, drawings, calculations)?
 

Fiberglassworker

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Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
118
Hello!

My father got his hand on an abandonned Rutan Solitaire project and intends to finish it.
He just assembled the two half fuselage shells a few days ago.
He plans to fit an electric propulsion in place of the two stroke engine on a pylon similar to the solution used on the GP14 and GP15 gliders.

But there is some problems : there are a few missing parts in the kit, mainly metal parts.
Everything can be probably remade from the indications in the plans or by reproducing the parts he has (many parts come in pairs, but he has only one), but making everything from scratch today with all the raw materials/machining/welding required will not be easy or cheap!

A few kits where produced and only a dozen were completed or used for something else (Silouette) that didn't require all the original parts.
I also believe that the company selling the metal part kit has disapeared and would probably had leftovers.
It was a long time ago that these kits were sold but there still could be some parts out there somewhere...

Any ideas where thoses parts could have gone?
Anyone with a kit in his hangar that will not be completed?

Thanks for your help.

View attachment 119626
There were a couple of those finished and flying at Gillespy field San Diego Ca. You might check around there there was also a guy carving his own propellors there.
 
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