Bruce Carmichael offered the following at the November 2002 TWITT meeting:

"In 1950, while attending the National Soaring Meet in Grand Prairie Texas, I saw a tiny 26 foot span, 7.5 aspect ratio, swept back flying wing with all moving wing tip elevons. This had apparently evolved from a comment that Dr. Alexander Lippisch had made to Dr. August Raspet pointing out that a very low aspect ratio very low zero lift drag craft obtained its maximum L/D at a low value of lift coefficient compared to normal sailplanes. Thus one could obtain better penetration than you might think. This idea intrigued Raspet.  He encouraged Prof. Franklin Farrar of Vanderbilt University to build such a ship. With a 175# empty weight and a l75# payload, the wing loading came to 3.89 psf.  An L/D of 36 and a mm. sink of 2.4 ft./sec. was expected. The pod was entirely below the wing. Entry and exit was obtained by jettisoning the tail cone. One crawled in on ones belly until your head came to the transparent leading edge. You stuck an arm out inside each wing until you grasped a handle, which controlled the all moving elevons at the wing tips. The photo shows Wally Wiberg and Franklin Farrar with the claustrophobic wing. The normally wild, risk taking Wiberg made a ground tow but said, “Thanks but no thanks’ for an offer for aero tow."

...12/18/02.........................................................Back to Index