Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Flying Wing?

  1. #1
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,093

    Default Flying Wing?

    Not sure if this is the right section, but I'd bet Tom's the right guy to ask.

    Were there Flying Wing aircraft in Alberta during the 60's?

    It's one of those hazy memories from when I was a kid, seeing a Flying Wing in the air in Southern Alberta, around Calgary (I think). For me, it was as if I was seeing a flying saucer or something. Maybe it was a testing thing, or an airshow? Or maybe it was a product of an active imagination.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Not sure if this is the right section, but I'd bet Tom's the right guy to ask.

    Were there Flying Wing aircraft in Alberta during the 60's?

    It's one of those hazy memories from when I was a kid, seeing a Flying Wing in the air in Southern Alberta, around Calgary (I think). For me, it was as if I was seeing a flying saucer or something. Maybe it was a testing thing, or an airshow? Or maybe it was a product of an active imagination.
    Could have been an active imagination or...

    Flying Wings have been in Alberta since the 50s. Matter of fact CFB Namao (now CFB Edmonton Garrison) was the launching point for a world record that still stands I believe...the longest glider tow in history.

    The Glider was a National Research Council flying wing and it was so large it took a DC-3 to tow it.

    There have also been a whole series of flying wing gliders (more conventional size) through the years and then the whole hang glider thing based around flying wings.

    Piece of Edmonton History
    At one point in time "Birdman Enterprises" on Argyll was once the largest producers of hang gliders (distributed around the world) and acknowledged in the day as the industry leader!

    There were also a series of flying wing experimental home built aircraft, several built in Alberta.

    So yes Jimbo entirely possible you saw a flying wing in the early 60s at an airshow in Alberta.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  3. #3
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,093

    Default

    Thanks Tom. It really was one of those "did I really see what I just saw?" moments.
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  4. #4
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,597

    Default

    I thought that these were jets not gliders ????
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    I thought that these were jets not gliders ????
    Both

    Flying Wings, in various forms, have been around as long as we have been flying. The early ones (and some still today) were gliders.

    In the 19teens, 20s and 30s there were gliders and piston engine flying wings but generally did not make it past the prototype or development stage due to stability issues.

    The Second World War brought about the Me 163 rocket powered flyiing wing fighter, the twin jet Horton 229 flyiing wing, Northrop came out twin jet flying wing fighter (didn't go past prototype) and the same contract that led to the B-36 also created the post war XB-35 piston engine ( 8 ) flying wing heavy bomber that evolved to the XB-49 flying wing jet bomber.

    (there are a few others in this time frame as well)

    After the late 40s the flying wing pretty much disappeared as the inherent stability issues remained unsolved.

    In the 80s with flyby wire and computer control assist the stability issues were finally able to be dealt with and the stealth advantages of a flying wing created the Northrop B-2 Stealth Bomber we know today.

    But here in Alberta it's pretty much been Gliders and the odd piston engine one off.

    History as I know it

    In my highly biased personal opinion
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 25-01-2013 at 03:41 PM. Reason: missed a bracket and a correction

  6. #6
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    There were more than just that one.

    Southern Alberta did have a series of Civilian gliders, smaller, that flew through the 50s and 60s. The names escape me right now but there were several as well as the piston engine homebuilt one offs that flew through that time frame.

    As for the one pictured, same it was destroyed in the late 50s instead of preserved.

    In my higly biased personal opinion

  8. #8

    Default

    After the late 40s the flying wing pretty much disappeared as the inherent stability issues remained unsolved.
    I will say that stability issues were mostly an American problem. The German glider, rocket and jet fighters did not have the same stability issues as the Germans had a better understanding of the aerodynamics. Alexander Lippisch, the father of tailless aircraft, designed the Lippisch-Espenlaub E-2 in 1923


    The Me 163B had very docile landing characteristics, mostly due to its integrated leading edge slots, located directly forward of the elevon control surfaces, and just behind and at the same angle as the wing's leading edge. It would neither stall nor spin. One could fly the Komet with the stick full back, and have it in a turn and then use the rudder to take it out of the turn, and not fear it snapping into a spin. It would also slip well. Because it was derived from a glider, it had excellent gliding qualities, and had tendency to continue flying above the ground due to ground effect. On the other hand, making a too close turn from base onto final, the sink rate would increase, and one could quickly lose altitude and come in short.
    the Me 163 was a stable gun platform
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_163
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  9. #9

    Default

    Edmonton PRT

    I will say that stability issues were mostly an American problem. The German glider, rocket and jet fighters did not have the same stability issues as the Germans had a better understanding of the aerodynamics. Alexander Lippisch, the father of tailless aircraft, designed the Lippisch-Espenlaub E-2 in 1923
    Maybe I didn't make myself clear

    As a military/high speed platform the flying wing pretty much disappeared from the late 40s until the 80s when flyby wire and computer assist became viable.

    As a glider and in low speed applications it has never gone away, just not been popular for a variety of reasons.

    I would also suggest you read beyond wiki...

    I have read a number of books on the Me 163 and Horton 229 and they were not pleasant aircraft to fly from pilot reports. Matter of fact they both killed a number of pilots (the Me163 more so as it actually saw combat use).

    The inherent problem as a high speed application is they are short coupled and inherently unstable...in a low speed application this is far easier managed, in high speed it becomes a serious issue, which is what killed the Horton 229 development pilot.

    This inherent instability is also what caused the losses of several XB-35s and XB-49s.
    The problem is easily identified...look how short they are nose to tail....a conventional fuselage separates the control and stability surfaces exponentially more (longer coupled) making an aircraft inherently more stable and controllable.

    Today the B-2 and some of the other designs tested for both higher speed UAVs and other prototypes use computer stability assists to overcome the problem and take advantage of the flying wings big advantage...Stealth in certain radar bands.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

    BTW

    There is a replica Me163 (unpowered) now flying in Germany

  10. #10

    Default

    From the same Wiki link
    Apart from Brown's unauthorised flight, the British never tested the Me 163 under power themselves, due to the danger of its hypergolic propellants it was only flown unpowered, Brown himself piloted RAE's Komet VF241 on a number of occasions, the rocket motor being replaced with test instrumentation.
    Kinda says it all.

    Neat aircraft...you bet.
    Ahead of its time...very slightly

    If you are serious about learning more there have been a number of fairly good books on the Me 163, Me 262 as well as the He 162 and He 280, the Horton 229 as well as the Arado series of jet bombers and one off Heinkel heavy jeet bomber.

    Unfortunately they are long out of publishing but can still be found.

    In my highly biased personal opinion.

  11. #11

    Default

    I actually met a German pilot of a ME-163 in the Munich Museum many years ago. He really liked flying it. The explosive nature of the fuel was a horror and explosions and fires were common. He said one of his fellow pilots flipped his 163 on landing and was eaten alive by the leaking hydrogen peroxide oxidizer. He also flew the ME-262 and the FW-190


    In Toronto I also met Jan Żurakowski who was the chief test pilot of the CF-105
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I actually met a German pilot of a ME-163 in the Munich Museum many years ago. He really liked flying it. The explosive nature of the fuel was a horror and explosions and fires were common. He said one of his fellow pilots flipped his 163 on landing and was eaten alive by the leaking hydrogen peroxide oxidizer. He also flew the ME-262 and the FW-190


    In Toronto I also met Jan Żurakowski who was the chief test pilot of the CF-105
    I can appreciate the experience of meeting gentlemen like this.

    I too was able to meet Jan many years ago, did you know he never flew again after the Arrow was cancelled? Not even light aircraft.

    Here in Edmonton till his passing about 18 months ago we had an amazing individual Paul Hagadron.

    In Canada Paul flew as a bush pilot across the North in all kinds of different aircraft. Here in Edmonton he established Geographic Air Survey (now moving to Red Deer it is rumored) one of the most active and busiest aerial survey companies that led the field n many technological areas.

    But during the Second World War Paul was a Luftwaffe fighter pilot with an impressive combat record in ME 109s and FW190s.

    He told me (and showed me logs and pictures) he was eventually transfered to Penemunde, the German test centre for Aircraft and Rockets.

    There he flew an amazing array of secret German aircraft from the Me 163 through to the 262 and others.

    He and several others escaped at the end of the war in a FW190 (single place!) fighter to Belgium where they surrendered to the allies.

    An amazing person with a fantastic history both overseas and in Edmonton.

    Unfortunately with his passing we lost and amazing person and a huge piece of Edmonton history.

    In my highly biased personal opinion
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 28-01-2013 at 12:17 PM. Reason: corrected wording that may have been misinterperted

  13. #13

    Default

    http://www.lowflymedia.com/videos.shtml

    this is a neat website. I don't know much about that mach loop or whathaveyou but to witness these jets in an environment not related to an airshow would be pretty cool.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks for the interesting thread, I have ran into a few ww2 vets from both sides of the war, I run into these people when I fly my rc wings in slope lift in the river valley.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •