Friday, August 12, 2011

EAA article about "Carplane Developers Criticize BiPod... and Burt Responds"

I was reading
I also listened Burt Rutan's presentations about Bipod in Oshkosh 2011.

This article on the EAA news tells that some carplane designer thinks Burt's Bipod is "too slippery". I really wonder what is the definition of too slippery. There is a group of misguided people who want airplanes to have lots of drag for them to "not be too slippery", in other words have aerodynamics of brick. I have bumped into Cessna pilots who think like that and they look for example our Diamond that "oh that is too slipperly plane for me". From my standpoint, that is not too clever.

Drag is always unfavorable and waste of resources. There can never be too little drag (except in landing configuration when drag is helpful to land the plane in a meaningful distance). Low drag when plane is cruising, has absolutely nothing to do with the flying qualities of the plane. Having more drag does not make the plane any easier to fly. Having more drag just means you have to burn more fuel, you have to have bigger engine, you have to beef up structure, to compensate, you have to put even bigger engine, and have even more fuel on board. Airplane being slippery is a myth. Some Cessna pilots think our Diamond is "slippery" or "too slippery for them". Yeah right, the truth is that the Diamond has better flying qualities than the C172, is easier to land and especially flare and it also stalls softer.

I wholeheartedly agree with Burt [about his Bipod]:  "Gee, he complains that we have too much drag as a car but not enough drag as an airplane!"

I think the US LSA specification is deeply flawed as they have introduced the top speed limit. It will limit the category of LSA planes to such that it is not worth to make efficient planes and high drag has been made a standard. That is not too clever either. Apparently the rules have been set by non-pilots who do not have slightest clue on what makes airplanes safe and what makes them easy to fly [and land]... It is all about stability, stall speed, stall charasteristics and inertia. Europeans have understood that better since there is no top speed limit in Europe but there is a stringent stall speed requirement. Low inertia, low stall speed and gentle handling qualities, and no matter what is the top speed, the plane will be easy to fly.

Read about Burt Rutan's Bipod here:

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