Whatever became of ......

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BJC

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This is a thread to ask "What ever became of XXXXX design?"

Hopefully, some people here will know the history of airplanes asked about, and can give a synopsis of what became of some forgotten or out-of-sight designs.

I'll kick it off with the Polliwagen. Did it perform as advertised? How many were built? Why is it not still offered?

Thanks for your responses.


BJC
 

bmcj

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I'll kick it off with the Polliwagen. Did it perform as advertised? How many were built? Why is it not still offered?
A friend at Flabob had one 30 years ago, but I don't recall him flying it much and don't recall much talk about how it flew. Last I saw of it at Flabob, it was languishing, weather-worn out by the runup area, and was finally taken away by someone.
 

Raceair

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After Formula Vee race pilot Vern Wellingham and a passenger were killed in the prototype, I think J. Alvarez lost his steam to continue, as not much happened after that….Ed
 

bmcj

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A friend at Flabob had one 30 years ago, but I don't recall him flying it much and don't recall much talk about how it flew. Last I saw of it at Flabob, it was languishing, weather-worn out by the runup area, and was finally taken away by someone.
Oops, there was also a Smythe Sidewinder at Flabob. I think it was the Sidewinder that was left neglected in the runup area, not the Polywagen. We had both there, but I know little about either.

Which brings up the next WBO plane... the Smythe Sidewinder.
 

plncraze

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The Smyth Sidewinder was specifically mentioned in an Alfred Scott editorial on Seqair.com about its handling characteristics. He said that it took a lot of skill to fly as did Budd Davisson in a pilot report(airbum.com). This combined with difficulty of construction, mixed tube and aluminum, probably pushed it into oblivion. One did win Grand Champion at OSH.

The Polliwagen had an interesting history. Very few made it into the air and the one usually pictured is modified with a longer fuselage. I believe the original prototype crashed while doing unauthorized aerobatics and I don't know if the designer flew another prototype. The performance promises were generous for a VW engine and there are mentions of structural issues with the airframe. There are fewer Polliwagens flying than Smyth Sidewinders.
 

Pops

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I knew a man that was building a Polliwayen many years ago, but he never finished it and don't know what happen to the project.

Dan
 

autoreply

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Micro imp/Holcomb Perigee
Bede BD7
Bill Husa's "Gumbo" project
Cobalt Co50

I have pictures of the first 3, but no answer as to how they ended up. Co50 is still up, but seems to live in oblivion.
 

BBerson

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I think Aircar did some posts here about Pollywagen. Might try a search of "Aircar Pollywagen "
 

Kyle Boatright

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The ones that received a lot of pub back 15-20 years ago were the BD-12 and BD-14. The mock-ups were at SnF and Oshkosh several times, but the airplanes were "going to fly very soon" every time I spoke with them. And they both kind of faded into the background. IIRC, they built one flying prototype and damaged it on the initial flight. IIRC, there was a controllability issue (CG related, maybe?).

Oh, and a buddy of mine built a Prescott Pusher. Didn't fly it much, and said it didn't fly well, didn't meet performance spec's, etc. He's moved on and built a half dozen aircraft since then..
 

Wanttaja

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The ones that received a lot of pub back 15-20 years ago were the BD-12 and BD-14. The mock-ups were at SnF and Oshkosh several times, but the airplanes were "going to fly very soon" every time I spoke with them. And they both kind of faded into the background. IIRC, they built one flying prototype and damaged it on the initial flight. IIRC, there was a controllability issue (CG related, maybe?).
Yes, CG. IIRC, they'd put 80 pounds of ballast in the extreme nose (pusher-type aircraft) and it *still* wasn't in the controllable range.

Also, with Jim Bede's history on the BD-5, a lot of people were skittish about sending in money to reserve a kit. The BD-12 marketers claimed that money sent in for kits would be put in escrow. It wasn't...or at least the kind of escrow where the buyers could get their money back.

About three years later, the BD-17 Nugget was announced.

Ron Wanttaja
 

bmcj

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Oh, and a buddy of mine built a Prescott Pusher. Didn't fly it much, and said it didn't fly well, didn't meet performance spec's, etc. He's moved on and built a half dozen aircraft since then..
I never had any interest in the Prescott Pusher. You could just look at it and see that it was an aerodynamic disaster. If I wanted something similar to the PP, I would have opted for the Cirrus VK-30 instead.
 
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Aesquire

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Political events & the payoffs to the lawyers guilds in the 1998-2008 time period killed about half the companies that made kits.

The above is an over simplification, and my guess as to numbers vague. Political discussions are discouraged here. The results of politics are real. The LSA rule led to a bunch of new companies and old ones changing some designs to fit the new rules. Some got improved, others neutered.

I liked the Laron products....... how about the Bradley Aerobat?
 

BJC

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....... how about the Bradley Aerobat?
I'm not convinced that it ever existed. All of the ads I saw showed an airplane without an N number. And their performanec claims had all the credibility of a Moller Aircar story in Popular Science. Has anyone here flown one? Seen one fly?


BJC
 

Raceair

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From what I could see, the Bradley Aerobat was basically a Calvin Parker Teenie Two….And I remember wild claims of cruise speed / top speed with a VW…Speeds that were advertised as higher than our most carefully built Formula Vees….It did not add up….Ed
 

BJC

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From what I could see, the Bradley Aerobat was basically a Calvin Parker Teenie Two….And I remember wild claims of cruise speed / top speed with a VW…Speeds that were advertised as higher than our most carefully built Formula Vees….It did not add up….Ed
Is airhead254ul still here? Perhaps an update?


BJC
 
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