As Proposed by:  Syd Hall 
Nevada City, California


I  have had a difficult time getting this all together and I hope you will accept and print the condensation of the book, followed by my contradiction of my own advice.  I want no credit for the excepts from Lords Of The Air, and I assume total blame for the design and its argument.
     I further recognize that the design is contrary to the concepts of TWITT, and that, properly, it should result in my expulsion.  What I am advocating is heresy and the grand inquisitor of TWITT should seek my excommunication, but I am so old  that it doesn’t matter much.  My ski buddy, who was on the Canadian Olympic team, quit three years ago at the age of 81, and he was one year younger than I, so my candle is almost burned out, though I still ski like a tired demon.
     First, I think there is great worth in these excerpts from the Smithsonian’s Lord Of The Air, because those of us who hope to copy a superior evolutionary form of life should recognize the perfection of their solutions and hold them in proper respect.


     TWITT praises and advocates the tailless concept, but overlooks the fact that sweptback solutions down load the tips, just as conventional shapes down load the tail, while canards up-load the canard and, the reflex of straight spar tailless solutions all, thereby produce drag, and the elimination of drag is the name of the game.  I think that birds do not do this and the following design, which I hope to fly, may demonstrate this.  Since it is predicated on the Irv Culver wing from Maupin’s Dragon, it will be interesting to fly it against other Dragons and see if my thinking is valid.

     If we take a good look at all birds, since the first dinosaur got airborne, we see two things:  1. The wing has no sweep, either forwards or back, though at times it takes on sweep to accommodate weight shift and; 2. None of these are tailless.  All, except for archaeopteryx who had a tail (boom) and went extinct, short-couple the streamlined, folded tail cone and only deploy it, as a Geisha does her fan, at the time of landing.  But this tail cone is most important, if we judge by the size of the pogostyle and the muscles that it mounts on.  We will see why, if we watch quail come in for a landing, which they do in beyond the stall, and further, they seem unable or unwilling to deviate from the straight path until earth contact, where after, they are apt to take a “taxi” off at an angle.  (I think they recognize that this is dangerous territory.)

     Instantly, there should be a chorus of warnings.  “Do Not Enter – Danger”, etc., but I propose to study this at altitude and in a slow speed aircraft – an ultralight.  Reason being that if this can be controlled, the process can then be tried on land (water) and contact might be hoped to be considerably (10% ?) below the unstalled speed.  I have often seen birds (seagulls) do it against the wind, vertically (on a pile at a yacht harbor, for example).
     I recognize that this may require a large control effort and it may well be beyond the normal linkage, so I propose to separate out the CG shift by putting it on a wheel with “dogs”, to hold it where set.  And the folding of the Geisha fan, also on a different lever, also with detents.  So the stick will only feed the folded tail cone (or deployed when learning) and the ailerons.
     I feel it might be prudent to observe that birds do not do tail slides, Lomchavacks, etc., and only a few, like crows and geese do half-rolls, but they do not continue the roll past inverted but rather reverse rotation for normal flight, usually to burn off height before landing.  Or is this to clear the brain like an old friend who used to snap roll before landing, “Just to make sure I’m totally awake”.  This bird that I describe is totally restricted.  No stunts, period.

     From the three-view, it should be obvious that I intend to shift weight by articulating the struts (which struts are of different lengths, too, so nose will lower at weight aft, for landing, not too unlike the supersonic delta, though we are opposites.  The rudders will go where they should on a long span bird – to the tips.  So I get rid of the tail, tail-boom and get a bird that folds to 16 feet as all Dragons should (Joint at rib 5).  The final deviation from the original may or may not happen, but it is so neat that I have to offer it, and that is to hang a motor on the front end, which folds into the cockpit, under the plexiglass just in front of the instrument panel.  One blade will stick out front like a bird’s beak, and the other will be over my knees, when not working.  This means that I will be close to it in order to assist in the “folding”.
     I think I want a motor because I will be busy working out all the bugs and I do not think I’ll hunt thermals too well for a time.  Maybe, later I can become “pure” with no motor, but come to think about it, birds use a motor.     Possibly I should observe that I was close to assembly of a Dragon when my granddaughter brought me the best cold she could find in 4th grade, and I lost 15 lbs.  I decided I’d never finish the Dragon and broke it up for kindling, but I still have the ribs.  So I am quite far along to the realization of this project, and I just may live another year if I can get a flu shot in time.

....6/15/02 Back to Index..............Back to Part 1