Tandem-wing LSA/microlight concept and poll

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Which tandem-wing configuration would interest you the most (pick one in each of four categories).

  • A1 - High wing forward, low wing aft (Flying Flea) OR

    Votes: 18 36.7%
  • A2 - Low wing forward, high wing aft (Quickie);

    Votes: 27 55.1%
  • B1 - Two-axis controls (no rudder pedals like an Ercoupe) OR

    Votes: 9 18.4%
  • B2 - Three-axis controls (with rudder pedals like a Cessna);

    Votes: 35 71.4%
  • C1 - Conventional (taildragger) gear OR

    Votes: 23 46.9%
  • C2 - Tricycle (nosewheel) gear;

    Votes: 21 42.9%
  • D1 - Tractor engine (engine and propeller at front) OR

    Votes: 33 67.3%
  • D2 - Pusher engine (engine and propeller at rear);

    Votes: 13 26.5%

  • Total voters
    49

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
8,564
Location
World traveler
Thanks, all for the feedback. As for picking one, well, I like them all so it's hard to choose just yet. Clearly, two-axis controls are getting no love, but I can live with that. It's easy enough to delete the ailerons and increase dihedral if a two-axis option is desired at any point.

The consensus of the poll so far is for a high-wing-forward, three-axis, tractor-engine taildragger, so basically the Barret de Nazaris Autoplan approach or one of the tractor-engine Delanne types, though both could be simplified.

15560.jpg delanne 20-t.jpg

Personally, I like the vibe of the low-wing-forward, tractor-engined option along the lines of the Mauboussin M.40 Hémiptère or the Guerpont Autoplum, though I do think tricycle gear is more appropriate for the general population of pilots in North America at least. Our membership here on HBA may be, ahem, a bit skewed toward the older age range in that respect. ;-)

mauboussin hemiptere les ailes 1936-06-18.jpg autoplum.jpg

For a pusher engine option, I definitely think tricycle gear is the way to go unless it's a pod-and-low-boom arrangement like a Kolb. Those have certainly flown successfully in the Pou-du-Ciel family and in the Sunny box wing types, but I can't think of any low wing forward examples right now.

13013L.jpg f-pyil final version.jpg sunny-3.jpg
 

TiPi

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
468
Location
Peeramon (AUS)
I think the Ligeti-style joined wing might make a nice plane. Not sure if a side-by-side would be suitable for a pusher engine, a tractor engine would spoil the front and view (prop requirements).
1619685623224.png
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
8,564
Location
World traveler
My personal sketches and ideas have been focused on basically taking the Q2/Dragonfly layout but adding a lot more wing area and simplifying the lines to make it more suitable to fabric-covered tube-and-gusset construction. Nothing ready for prime time yet, but the effect is something like a blend of a Guerpont Autoplum and a Quickie TriQ200.


autoplum 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Bill-Higdon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Messages
1,455
Location
Salem, Oregon, USA
My personal sketches and ideas have been focused on basically taking the Q2/Dragonfly layout but adding a lot more wing area and simplifying the lines to make it more suitable to fabric-covered tube-and-gusset construction. Nothing ready for prime time yet, but the effect is something like a blend of a Guerpont Autoplum and a Quickie TriQ200.


View attachment 110067
There was a French airplane like the I believe it was the Jidney J13 flash, reason why the Qucikie was never patented from what I remember.
 

rotax618

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
1,340
Location
Evans Head Australia
I don’t understand the attraction for tandem wings, the structure is more complex and they don’t seem to have any aerodynamic advantage over conventional types, to my knowledge they don’t fly faster or slower, carry more load or, with the exception of the flea, aren’t any safer. As with canards the front surface must be more heavily loaded than the rear for stability so the rear surface L/D is not efficient.
Perhaps you can enlighten me?
 

Sockmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
2,273
Location
Flint, Mi, USA
I don’t understand the attraction for tandem wings, the structure is more complex and they don’t seem to have any aerodynamic advantage over conventional types, to my knowledge they don’t fly faster or slower, carry more load or, with the exception of the flea, aren’t any safer. As with canards the front surface must be more heavily loaded than the rear for stability so the rear surface L/D is not efficient.
Perhaps you can enlighten me?
Splitting the load between two sets of wings means each can be made smaller and lighter.
The rear wing is making less lift, but also less induced drag, so your overall L/D ratio isn't suffering.
It's also not pushing down like an elevator, so you don't have to make more lift to compensate.
 

stanislavz

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
952
Location
Lt

Or similar one from Australia with extruded wings.

Why ? - un-stallable. (but same could be achieved with proper aileron and horizontal stab mixer on monoplane.. )

And easier to put head in clean air compared to high wing in two seater tandem configuration.
 

rotax618

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
1,340
Location
Evans Head Australia
I understand the theoretical advantages but I have yet to see a real world example that demonstrates those advantages to any degree. Non of the tandem wing aircraft I have seen appear to have a very great angle of climb, I think this is inherent to the type, and none appear to have anything like STOL performance.
I’m sure there are advantages, it is just that the existing examples are pretty underwhelming as far as performance is concerned - the fuselage has to be stronger in torsion between the wings and there is another set of wings to build.
I have built and flown a number of flying machines, including a Flea and am very interested in what you come up with, and especially your justification.
 

Sockmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
2,273
Location
Flint, Mi, USA
I understand the theoretical advantages but I have yet to see a real world example that demonstrates those advantages to any degree. Non of the tandem wing aircraft I have seen appear to have a very great angle of climb, I think this is inherent to the type, and none appear to have anything like STOL performance.
I’m sure there are advantages, it is just that the existing examples are pretty underwhelming as far as performance is concerned - the fuselage has to be stronger in torsion between the wings and there is another set of wings to build.
I have built and flown a number of flying machines, including a Flea and am very interested in what you come up with, and especially your justification.
Making the fuselage stiffer in torsion is less of a penalty in a tandem as the fuselage itself can be significantly shorter as you don't need it to be the lever arm for an elevator.
It's not a magic super-plane of course. The main advantage I see is that the overall dimensions are more compact without without causing the problems a compact conventional design would have.
So far, every flea I've seen has been a little single piston-engine type.
Scaled up, the advantages would be more noticeable.

Take this fellow for instance.

The swept leading edge and large longitudinal area of the aft delta makes it pretty stall-proof as long as the cargo area isn't overloaded.

Little single-seat version here.

Ain't he cute?

This bad boy is derived from the dragonfly.

Here the aft wing is doubling as a V-tail. The sweep and dihedral give enough roll stability to get away with using a straight fore wing. The flaperons clamshell open to function as drag rudders for yaw control which keeps the control runs short.

This guy uses the more rearward COL to mount the engine aft.

As a seaplane, the delta acts as substitute for outrigger floats.
 
Last edited:

Bigshu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2020
Messages
539
I like all the ideas Sockmonkey tossed out, but the tri gear pusher idea is most interesting to me. It looks like something that could be fairly quickly developed from the existing art (think Lesher Nomad or Taylor mini imp with the tail changed to an aft delta plan). I like 2 axis control as a safety thing along the lines of the Ercoupe, but it's not an absolute preference. Another approach that might be reworked to tandem wing could be the old Waco Aristocraft. That horizontal tail is big to start with...Quite a bit larger than the original survey, but it shows a lot of the technical issues have already been ironed out as far as tri gear pushers go.waco Aristocraft 3 view.jpg
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
2,086
Location
Canada
That actually should be adaptable to go on one of the inflatable Zodiac style mini-boats, like the water based weight shift UL's.
Yes!
A wide Zodiac-style hull will reduce spray in to propeller and might provide enough lateral stability to obviate the need for sponsons or tip floats. Go look at the Australian, ultra-light "Catalina" seaplane.
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
2,086
Location
Canada
I like all the ideas Sockmonkey tossed out, but the tri gear pusher idea is most interesting to me. It looks like something that could be fairly quickly developed from the existing art (think Lesher Nomad or Taylor mini imp with the tail changed to an aft delta plan). I like 2 axis control as a safety thing along the lines of the Ercoupe, but it's not an absolute preference. Another approach that might be reworked to tandem wing could be the old Waco Aristocraft. That horizontal tail is big to start with...Quite a bit larger than the original survey, but it shows a lot of the technical issues have already been ironed out as far as tri gear pushers go.View attachment 110105
The biggest advantage is that a larger rear wing allows mounting the engine farther back, hopefully eliminating the need for a drive shaft.
 

Sockmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
2,273
Location
Flint, Mi, USA
The biggest advantage is that a larger rear wing allows mounting the engine farther back, hopefully eliminating the need for a drive shaft.
My seaplane would still use a short drive shaft so the prop can be full aft, and have relatively clean air to work with. Torsional vibration is scary but solvable.
 
Top