Mon, Jul 26, 2004
And Very Small Manned Aircraft
By ANN Contributor Christopher Armstrong
Bigger isn't necessarily better. Especially when you consider
the world of tiny turbojets.
United Kingdom model builder Gordon Nichols is now flying a
1/8th scale Boeing B-52 Stratofortress powered by 8 Wren MW54
turbojet engines, of 12 pounds thrust each. The B-52 has a 23.5
foot wingspan and weights 297 pounds dry, when fueled with 22
liters of Jet A1 its gross weight is 330 pounds. The plane is built
primarily of balsa wood using traditional construction model
methods with pine in high stress areas and light plywood for skins.
The project cost over 20,000 pounds ($37,000) to complete.
As model planes have gotten bigger and more sophisticated the
technology developed for very large models is transferring into
light manned airplanes. Two J.E.T. Cobra jet engines have been
installed on a French built Cri-Cri aircraft, to make a small twin
jet powered aircraft.
Another Cri-Cri has flown using two AMT Olympus microturbine
engines. With a total thrust of the two engines of approximately 80
pounds, Nicholas Charmont's Cri-Cri has demonstrated impressive
performance, with a top speed of 150 MPH. Single engine speed is
100 MPH. Fuel burn is 15.7 oz/min per engine.
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