The engineer / designer

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,231
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
The posts below led to this new thread to share information about designers behind E-AB and ultralight / hang gliders.


BJC
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,231
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Copied from another thread:

Interesting trivia, VB.

Makes me curious as to which, if any, professional engineers / designers had a role in other E-AB aircraft.


BJC
Steve Wood, Cessna Aircraft engineer, did the Sky Pup.
The Sonex and some other Monnett aircraft were designed by Pete Buck, from Lockheed Skunk Works.
The Owl Racer Formula One aircraft were designed by George Owl, a professional aircraft designer.
The Hollman Stallion E-AB was designed by Martin Hollman, a professional aircraft designer.
The Cri-Cri, Luciole, and BanBi were designed by Michel Colomban who was one of the designers or engineers on Concorde IIRC.
I seem to remember Chris Heintz of Zenair was also on the Concorde??? (can anyone authenticate?)
The Cosmic Wind Goodyear racers were designed by engineer and test pilot Tony LeVier, with "help" from a bunch of WW2 vintage Lockheed engineers.
The Wee Bee and Honey Bee were designed by a team of WW2 vintage Convair engineers
The Volksplane was designed by Bud Evans, who I believe was a Convair engineer (Fritz, authentiicate?)
The Backstrom Plank gliders were from Al Backstrom, who was an FAA aircraft engineer.
The Salvay Skyhopper (E-AB grandfather of the Varga Kachina) was designed by Gene Salvay, one of the designers on the B-25 and later the initial concept designer of the OV-10 for North American.
The Thorp T-18 was from John Thorp, who designed the Piper Cherokee (with Fred Weick)
The Questair Venture was designed by the guy who designed the Malibu for Piper.

Anyone and everyone else, chime in. This list could get interesting!
Today I told my wife that I am the smartest man in the world, and (unlike all the other days) she did not take a frying pan and hit me in the head. So using the scientific principle of Calculatus Eliminatus, today for a very brief instant I must be the smartest man in the world, and I will kindly share some of my astronomical brilliance with you:

Don't f*** with it.

Mike Sandlin, or someone else who he knows, has very likely examined the structure of this glider in some detail. I don't know Mike personally very well but I have met one or two of the people who he flies hang gliders with on weekends, and I have a fair idea of who those people are between Monday and Friday. I feel confident in saying there are no "useless" parts in the GOAT wing.

Useless parts cost money, time, and weight. The GOAT was specifically built to not waste any of those things. There are more brain cells in the GOAT design than you can see looking from the outside. It's not the first time that has happened on a DIY low performance glider:

The Volmer Jensen VJ-23, the first "rigid wing" hang glider that was advertised in Popular Mechanics and every DIY magazine for amateur hobbyists... was actually designed by the same guy who designed the wing on the SR-71, Irv Culver.

The Prue Primary glider, which looked like (and was as sexy as) the Brooklyn Bridge, was designed by the guy who built much of the U-2's and SR-71s, Irv Prue.

The "Hippie", an early rigid wing primary glider with a fuselage that that looked like a bundle of bamboo poles and a nose that looked like a goldfish, was designed by one of the world's best competition sailplane designers of the day, Eugen Hanle.

The Sail-Wing glider of 1923, which looked for all the world like the illegitimate (and ungainly) child of an umbrella and a kite, was designed by the same man who designed the most successful and capable combat aircraft of World War 1, Reinhold Platz.

There are many many more examples that I can't think of right now, both powered and unpowered aircraft. The big point I'm making is that you (and I, and most everyone else here on HBA) would be in way over their head adding or removing structural parts from even a simple-looking glider like the GOAT.

Don't f*** with it :)

OK, my wife just walked in and reminded me I'm not the smartest guy in the world. I have a painful, frying pan sized lump on my head. My moment of genius has passed. But for one shining moment I was smart enough to save a guy's life. You're welcome.

(edit) The Hippie was designed by Frau Ursula Hanle, Eugen's wife or widow.
Thanks, VB.

I knew of several of those. Van also is an engineer.

Anyone know of others?

Thanks,


BJC
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,820
The MacDonald S-20/21 was designed by the aerodynamicist for the Lear Fan.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BJC

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,479
Location
Seattle, WA
Jim Wickham of Seattle worked as an engineer for Boeing after WWII. On his own time, he designed and built six aircraft of his own design, designated Wickham A through F. All were of alumimum construction

Here are the Wickham A (aka "Bluebird") and Wickham B:



Both were four-seat aircraft. The "A" first flew in 1955. Seattle EAA'er Tim Davies restored the "A" in the '90s; it is currently parked in the hangar opposite to mine. Tim also earned his A&P ticket in the process. He does the Condition Inspections on my Fly Baby.

The "B" was a rarity in homebuilding, a twin. It was similar in appearance to the Aero Commander, but had fixed landing gear. In the early 2000, Ross Mahon bought this airplane from a museum and restored it.

The next series of airplanes were small single-seat fun machines using VW engines. Here' s typical example, the Wickham Model E "Sunbird":


Wickham did all his own flight testing. He took the Sunbird up for spin testing, and the plane would not recover. He ended up bailing out...becoming a member of the Caterpillar Club at age 68.

His last project was a twin, intended for two Mazda engines. The design was similar to his earlier twin. His health prevented him from finishing the airplane. After his death, it was given to EAA Chapter 26, where a couple of members are working to complete it. Chapter 26 is in Seattle, and probably has a higher proportion of engineers than most chapters.....

Ron Wanttaja
 

fly2kads

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,625
Location
Justin, TX
Gene Turner was a design engineer for several companies, working on helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. He later joined the FAA, and helped with the certification of the Lockheed L-1011. He designed and built several aircraft of his own. His single-seat T-40 was the runner-up to the Flybaby in the EAA Design Contest. Plans and construction articles were published in Sport Aviation, and you can still find them in the EAA archives online. He went on the design a two-seat variant, the T-40A, and an ultralight, the Mariah.

Another cool tidbit is that he qualified as a fighter pilot in the P-47, but the war ended right before he was scheduled to deploy.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
13,018
Location
Memphis, TN
For the most part the planes that the engineers have designed have a complex element. Sheet metal, bonded structure, fancy shapes, using materials different. The rag and tube designs all seem to be the non engineer, although they were no dummies, and some for sure had some engineer checking. Pitts, Wittman, Steen, Stolp, Baking, Powell among others.
 

mcrae0104

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
3,310
Location
BJC
Does Burt Rutan qualify for this list of professionals who did some homebuilts, or does he belong on the list of homebuilders who did some professional stuff?
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,231
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
IIRC, Burt was a pro before he released the VV plans. Harrison Aero can confirm or correct.


BJC
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,820
Burt Rutan attended CalPoly then went work at Edwards and challenging and dangerous things. During all this he was doing original design RC and starting the VV with his car top wind tunnel.
 

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,479
Location
Seattle, WA
Burt Rutan worked for Jim Bede during the design of the BD-5. IIRC, the change from the V-tail to the cruciform tail was his idea.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
7,427
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Thorp designed the stabilator for the Cherokee, but if I am nt mistaken the Comanche came out slightly before the Cherokee? So if Thorp's first Piper project was the Cherokee then perhaps someone else did the Comanche.

EDIT: From this page: http://www.pilotfriend.com/aircraft performance/Piper/11.htm


Piper Piper PA-24 Comanche history, performance and specifications

In 1954, Bill Piper was looking for a design to compete with the Bonanza. The engineers at Piper were busy with other projects at the time, so Bill Piper asked his friend Al Mooney if Piper could buy the new Mooney MK-20 design that Mooney had not yet started producing. Al wouldn't sell the design, so Bill Piper asked Al Mooney to come up with a totally new design. Al submitted a design to Piper that was an all metal 4 place monocoque construction with retractable gear, a 180 HP Lycoming, and a stabilator in place of an elevator. The stabilator was a new design, an all flying horizontal tail.
 
Last edited:

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,820
Pete Buck worked for John Monnett before and while he worked at the Skunk Works.
 

simflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
185
Location
Moravia
I don't know Al Mooney genesis of Cherokee all flying elevator naming as stabilator, but Mitchell named elevons on his B10 Mitchellwing as stabilators, cause they are upside down airfoil and producing stabilising moment.
 
Top