The WinDancer is a new 3-axis design by Jim Armstrong of Armstrong Aviation.
(from Armstrong Aviation, in Ultralight_Soaring mailing list):
Pardon our delay in responding. My husband, Dan is a self-employed consulting aerospace engineer, his work is project-driven and right now he is on a project that is consuming virtually all of his time. So it's off to work every day, including today (Sunday). However, with the spring coming, he's looking to get some breathing room and more flying time.
Allow me to use this as an opportunity to update you on Dan's project, the WinDancer. Dan has been flying hang gliders since 1975 and sailplanes since 1982. He currently flies both, and really enjoys them both. We live here in Tehachapi, California because of the flying opportunities and the setting here allows for splendid flying in hang gliders and sailplanes (and paragliders also, as the local hang gliding-paragliding group will attest).
Dan came to know Jim Maupin in 1982, and worked with Jim and Irv (Culver) on the Carbon Dragon and Windrose. He served as one of the test pilots of the Carbon Dragon, and I believe he is the only one who has logged a bungee launch in a Carbon Dragon, which was done here in the Tehachapi area.
Dan really liked the Carbon Dragon. He really likes the capability that the ultralight sailplanes offer and is most interested in this arena. He's also flown the Tempest, the SuperFloater, the BUG 2, and the Compact 110.
He built an Icarus II and an Easy Riser back in the old days, and helped with the Windrose and Carbon Dragon prototypes, and flew the prototypes of both the Windrose and the Carbon Dragon. He is interested in building AND flying and enjoys both activities.
His vision for the WinDancer has evolved over many years. A main driver in the design was the opportunity to launch it in many ways. There are places like Tehachapi that are blessed with a sailplane towing operation on an airport, and there are other places that a pilot stands the best chance of getting a tow by an ultralight tug, or ground towing, or even bungee or a roll-off launch. That is what has driven the WinDancer design - the capability to be able to be launched by bungee, roll-offs, ground tows, ultralight tows and conventional (Pawnee, etc) towplanes. All of them.
The WinDancer, then, will be capable of being launched by different means. It will be conventional in appearance, with a T-tail. It will have a canopy (the soaring that is done here is frequently at 10,000-17,999 foot altitudes). It will be mostly carbon construction. The wing span is 40 feet, the area is 104 square feet, and the wing loading will be about 3.5 pounds per square foot.
The ship will be a Part 103 ultralight sailplane.
I wish we could say we were making fast progress, but it hasn't been true the last two years. Dan's been building up his consulting practice. However, it now appears that he will have more control over his schedule, and we have tried (and are trying) to remove the impediments to our time, such that hopefully during the rest of 2001, Dan will have more time to spend out in the workshop and at the CAD screen.
This spring/summer we hope to have our website updated: www.armstrongaviation.com. You can connect with us at a number of events during 2001, including the SHA Central Workshop in Moriarty, New Mexico (June 16-18), and the SHA Western Workshop in Tehachapi over the Labor Day weekend. In addition, we will be at Wallaby and in the Orlando area April 12-18. Thanks for your inquiries and support.
LLC 21100 Angel Street
Tehachapi, CA 93561
This page was last updated on December 10, 114.