I had a idea and I posted it on the Mitchell wing Yahoo group.
Here it is.
Euh ... I called it "Birdtail".
recently I got a idea and I want to share it with you all.
It is based on a combination of a Flying Flea and a flying
Why this new combination? Well, the flying flea is know for
its good behavior in turbulent air. A beginners airplane should
also be a forgiving airplane. Turbulences are not beginners stuff
so why not use a airplane that can fly straight in a
System is as follows. Use the B-10 (right designation??)
wing and install the pod under it. But you need to install the wing
as a fully rotating wing, just like the Flying Flea front wing.
That means that you need to place the rotation point of the wing
just in front of the AC (aerodynamic center). The stick has pushing
rods connected to the rear of the wing (might be rear spar). If you
pull the stick you make the wings rear go down and
What is the advantage of this system in turbulence? Ok, I
try to explain simply. When you enter a turbulence in a
conventional airplane you get pushed upwards (or downwards). This
system does not! Only the wing will getpushed and it will rotate
(remember: the rotation point is in front of the AC, so if
liftforce raises in AC it makes the wing rotate). The reaction time
of the pilot is slower than the rotation of the wing. The pilot
feels the wing rotating in his stick. When his reactiontime comes
he can replace the stick in his neutral position and keeps flying
on in his old andstraight path.
What to do with the old elevators? Keep them! They are good
trims in such a system. But they may not be steered by the stick!!!
Use a separate trimlever.
I am curious what you think about this suggestion. It might
make the Mitchellwing a even better beginners airplane. Hope you
like the idea.
If you want to know more about the steering of the Flying
Flea, go see www.flyingflea.org and see the documents section of
the HM14. It has a translation to English of the 1934 edition of
the book of Henri Mignet, theinventor of the Flying Flea.
If you only know about the flying flea as a good killer,
please read the book and believe me that the problem was already
solved in 1936! The design mistakes were than already solved. All!
Pity, the Flying Flea still has its dark reputation due to the
accidents in 1934-1935. Just a few know about the changes in the
plan. But those believe 100% in its design and use. Euh ... I was
convinced too and bought me one. My father nearly had a stroke when
I told him a will fly a Flying Flea. AS predicted ... he only knew
the dark reputation. Pity.
Back to the point. Ok, I am a Flying Flea enthusiast too.
But I believe that a combination of a Flying Flea and a flying wing
has its advantages too. It is smaller!
Does anybody have contact with the current dealers of the
Mitchellplans? Maybe they might use my idea."
The day after I updated this page I got a remark from Don
Campbell; a Flying Flea enthusiast and a friend of me:
"interesting..just make it with a REFLEX AIRFOIL and call it
a SPRATT103????? :O)"
Then I remembered ... yes, there is a concept that has a lot of
common items with my idea. The Spratt concept!
Right, not a flying wing. Well, mine is also not a flying wing.
But both have a rotating front wing which gives it good stability.
Both are easy to steer. Truly beginners airplanes.
I know that this concept is not so young. Just like the Flying
Flea. I guess the origin of the idea is from the 50's or 60's. But
it is still used. I recall that Bill Wolfe has the plans of a
amphibian version. But I totally forgot about this small and cheap
version ... the SPRATT 103.
I got permission of the inventor and conceptor of the SPRATT
103, Bernard Geffray,to use these pictures. Thanks Bernard!
The second picture clearly shows the roll control, which is so
typical to all Spratts. Just look ... the right and left part are
not at the same angle.
Want to know more about the Spratt 103. Go see their