I dont think plans ever were officially available, if you could track down Chris Turner you might be able to talk him out of a set, LAA dont show it on their list of approved designs either so it is unlikely the plans are being offered for sale.
From what little information I found, it started out as a two-seat evolution of the Currie Wot but ended up with very little in the way of identical parts...the famous cascade effect. One point of order regarding Chilton's comment, the TSW-2 *is* an approved type as no. 046 TSW-2 Group A on the LAA list, though I did not find an individual data sheet.
I know it is an approved type, but when the data sheets and such were transfered to computer I dont think they bothered with orphans which were not being offeered for sale, now everything is online from the start.
The TSW-2 was designed and built by the late Chris Turner, a much missed, no-nonsense Yorkshireman who sadly died a couple of years ago. He was the inspector for the Z-21 now flying at Breighton, Yorks, and also on the Flitzer Z-2 Schwalbe two-seat design, being built by Simon Randle.
G-BEBO was destroyed in a hangar fire many years ago which also consumed the prototype Optica amongst other aircraft if my information is correct. Prior to that John Harper (ex-Rothmans Aerobatic team and instructor/aerobatics and seaplanes) had written an enthusiastic account of it as a solo aerobatic machine in the then PFA magazine, for those who might wish to research it. Meanwhile my cousin, Jame Woolford, built the second prototype, 'BLP, which is still flown from an airstrip in Wiltshire, last I heard.
Strangely I was unaware that James was a 'long lost' cousin until comparatively recently but I'd met him at a PFA Rally decades before where he'd flown in with the Turner Special. I admired the aeroplane and we chatted about biplane design and the specifics of converting Currie Wots, for example, to that configuration. As it happened, in the mid-1960s I had formed a Group, intending to build a Wot, but over time we became dissatisfied with the project and I designed a two-seat conversion known initially as the 'Twot', but as it was refined, it began to take on the character of a British between-the-wars fighter biplane, especially with the front 'pit faired-over, hence the new name Kestrel Sport was adopted. A mock up was completed using the Wot wings and tailplane, but after several moves the group dissolved.
I inherited two wings and with my 90 hp. Salmson 5AQ radial engine tried for some years to create a satisfactory 'vintage' aeroplane around these elements. Sadly I parted with the radial engine under pressure to keep a Sopwith Pup airworthy (its Le Rhone kept throwing pots) although I doubted that the Salmson would have anywhere enough torque to provide sufficient thrust, which proved to be the case. Hitherto I had designed the Tigerfalk aerobatic biplane around a new swept-wing configuration but in the absence of that radial I contrived a flat-four installation within a cosmetic cowl. This won a PFA trophy for the 'Best Incomplete UK Design' in 1988 before being shelved due to various complications and a house move.
Meanwhile I had designed a much smaller, modestly-powered (VW) biplane, the Flitzer Z-1, (no trim or brakes; just stick, rudder and throttle) whose design was inspired by my flying a delightful VW-powered Jodel D-9. I actually designed most of it while airborne in the Jodel, maintaining the same 97' sq. of wing area within a compact 18' span, small components sizes being essential to its practicality. It's an 'ill wind etc.', and I'd delivered the Jodel on behalf of its new owner to Headcorn only for him to crash it about a week later. My offer to buy some of the remains, including the engine, was accepted and this, converted to 1834cc, still powers the Z-1 prototype.
Over time the Z-1 has sired up to fifteen single-seat variations and also the Z-2 two-seater. Each one has resulted either from customers who wanted, for example, a four-aileron fully-aerobatic competition type, a pure 'racing' machine, a big wing version such as the Z-4 Harfang (building in Montreal) or the bigger Z-3 Falke, or the most practical compact version - the Z-1K Kobold (Goblin) spanning 16'10" (two under construction in N. America, possibly for the Verner 5V), the F.2 Tiger (building in Florida) and many others; also driven by my obsessively refining and expanding the design. The handling of the Z-1 is pure delight, responding to the lightest touch without being at all over-sensitive. It is a stable cross-country machine, giving the impression of bigger aeroplane in flight for relaxed navigation, while adopting a 'tigerish sense of fun' with positive pitch inputs (as the mobile CP of the USA 35B section migrates towards the CG) endowing it with excellent manoeuvrability. As a recreational dogfighter turning 360 in 7 seconds it has few equals and reminds me of a Jungmann in its reponse. The Stummelflitzers have much higher roll-rates but 100 degrees/sec. on two ailerons is sufficient without the complication of four with mass-balancing, etc.
I see I have digressed. The Tigerfalk at 50% complete is now with another owner who has located another Salmson 5A radial, although the Verner range provides admirable alternatives. Meanwhile my cousin is looking for another aeroplane to build as he has empty workshop syndrome.
When it transpired that we were indeed distant cousins, it became evident that we had both inherited the 'biplane gene'.
Thanks, Lynn, for the great story and the connection to your own designs. As far as you are aware, did Chris Turner ever actually sell plans for the TSW-2? Any hope of finding any second-hand even if no one is still selling them? Cheers, Matthew
I don't know, but I'll contact James and see if he knows. Note that if access to the front 'pit is behind the upper wing, an aeroplane without sweepback has its rear cockpit (pilot) occupant's mass and the engine CG necessarily remote from each other. This does not assist with manoeuvrability whereas locating the PAX on CG and compressing the main masses longitudinally makes for agility and lightness of control. The ever present difficulty of passenger ingress without increasing the gap disproportionately is something to wrestle with on a small aeroplane. Z-2 attached, taken several years ago.
Thanks, Lynn. I am not looking to do a replica, but it does occur to me that TSW-2 with a water-cooled auto conversion like a Suzuki G13 or G15, a radiator between the gear legs just behind the firewall, and a pointy cowling and spinner would have a very Hawker Hart/Hind look about it.
Flitzer Z-2 .. how does front seat access compare with a Murphy Renegade Spirit biplane?
Hint: Murphy's front cockpit is a very tight squeeze when I weigh 190 pounds, stand 6 feet tall and dress in autumn flying clothes. Do way I could bail out of that in an emergency! Good thing Murphy recommends a BRS.
Riggerrob, l haven't studied the Renegade Spirit passenger access, but compared with, say, the Pietenpol Air Camper, the Z-2 has a widely splayed cabane and a drop-down door hinged from a false longeron on a substantially reinforced LHS fuselage. It will accommodate 'normal'-sized people, including six-footers, although the prototype pilot's cockpit has been enlarged on subsequent drawings. No BRS is employed. A similar cockpit ingress is used on the Gourdou-Leseurre two seater built by Tom Grant in NZ.
@cluttonfred I own up to being the builder of G-BLPB which I flew on her maiden flight in August 1986. A delightful little aeroplane which as you have seen from Wikipaedia started life as an idea to make a two seat version of the Wot , of which Chris Turner had already built an example. Chris was originally going to design a scale Hurricane and already drawn the fin and rudder (notice the similarity) before he decided on the biplane. The TSW at twenty feet wingspan is actually smaller than the Wot, it has a Cub type undercarriage and the fuselage was redesigned to include stagger. Oh and ours had a 150hp Lycoming, but it did have an aileron bellcrank from the Wot drawings.
Regarding drawings: there were only two aircraft ever built and ours was a development from Chris's which was undertaken very much with the aid of its designer. The drawing we used were very much 'designer' drawings and we relied on Chris to explain whenever there was missing information. The drawings we had were printed with the old ammonia process and have completely faded away, Chris has passed away and I would advise that a plans build will not be possible without reverse engineering G-BLPB which, I am quite chuffed to say, is still flying. There were never any commercially available plans for the type. @Riggerrob the TSW front cockpit was easy to get into compared with the Murphy Renegade Spirit. Not as easy as a Tiger or Stampe but not a problem.
Any other queries? as I can drivel on for hours on the subject.
Thanks so much, James, for jumping in to share your experience. I am disappointed that there are no TSW-2 plans to be had, but I'd still love to learn more about the plane. Please do share whatever you can about the build, any photos you might still have, and any thoughts you might have on "if I had to do it all again." Thanks again and welcome to HBA.com! Cheers, Matthew