Post by Peter Lewis on Jul 23, 2008 22:00:54 GMT 12
That's a great pic to see. Yes it was ready to fly, and did so. Built in Railway Workshops at Otahuhu. ABC Scorpion III ex-Dunlop & Eriksen. F/f Mangere 20May36 by Alan McGruer. An investment in a professional sign writer may have added something to the looks, though.
After restoration, this Flea flew across the channel to France and returned at a later date. Depending on the engine fitted, the Flea had a range of around 200 miles at 60mph, so this was well within capabilities.
Isn't it interesting how even in modern times when you say "fly across the channel" people think of some arduous marathon distance attempt sure to result in death or at least serious adventure. When in fact it's roughly 35 kilometers in a straight unobstructed line at the narrowest point (Dover - Calais) and you can see the other side on a clear day.
Going over Cook Straight is probably a more risky journey than the channel in real terms, not too many out landing spots in the Sounds which increases the required endurance significantly.
Perhaps it's just New Zealanders (maybe antipodeans in general) who think like this, we are so far removed from other countries that "going to another country" will always sound like a journey of real adventure.
I have tracked down details of seven Fleas that were built and flown in the 1930s in New Zealand: ZM-AAA by E Roy Perkins & Leonard Hawke, Waipukerau - now at MoTAT ZM-AAB by Richard D Downey & Allan McGruer, Auckland - burnt 1950 ZM-AAC by William L Notman, Oamaru - now at Wanaka unreg by Owen & Arthur Jackson (Christchurch? - Cr Fairview, near Timaru, 28Sep42 unreg by Brian & Ian McMillan, Stratford - now at Taranaki Transport Aviation & Marine Museum unreg by Cyril Aitken, Marton - fate untraced unreg by Angus Denize, Waikawau Bay - built 1930s, Cr on first test flight Waikawau Bay beach summer of 1947
Plus of course the latter day ZK-FLE/2 HM-16 by Robert J Germon, Ngatea - now with Russell Brodie at Rangitata Island.
I have noted that the Ashburton Museum have a Flea painted as ZM-AAM. I am guessing that this is a fake registration (think about it) but as for the airframe - is it all a replica, or is the basis an original?
ZM-AAM was built up on a patially constructed fuselage plus engine, prop, and drawings gifted to the Ashburton Aviation Museum. A team lead by Ray Chalmers completed it as a static aircraft. Reported to be on show during an open day in March 2005.
Post by ilangoldberg on Apr 4, 2013 13:47:07 GMT 12
"synchro plane" flea: stick backward front wing increases incidence and back wing decreases incidence. This was an early solution to the design problem of the original HM-14. The problem of inexperienced and stupid builders and pilots has another solution. The design problem of the original Flea can also be solved by a higher front wing and different airfoil. today people are mostly building HM-293 and HM-360/80 which never had a design problem and fly very well indeed.
Post by No longer identifiable on Apr 7, 2013 15:13:56 GMT 12
ilangoldberg, I saw Rob Germon's flea being built when he lived in Auckland, and it was not the original design. Would it have been one of the improved designs that you mention? I know Rob was in contact with Henri Mignet's family, and I also thought he was quite involved in the newer designs. I'm sure that for most (earth-bound) people, the whole concept of Henri Mignet's Flying Flea had huge appeal. I read an english translation of his book in the 1960's and I can see why so many people embraced it - it promised cheap and easy flying to the man in the street, and of course Mignet himself had hours of safe flying around France. It was not until others tried to emulate him without any flying experience that accidents began to happen. His book is still a good read if you can find a copy.
Something bothers me when reading about newer Fleas - if it's built to the original plans, how is it a replica?
Because it wont be the original plans , it will be a copy of the original plans , which makes the aircraft built to these plans also a copy - pretty much the definition of a " replica " . ( okay , so I just made that up with the help of some Bourbon , but it really is a question with no right answer )
Dear Warner Brothers: Now that I'm an adult, I feel I'm old enough to hear what the "Beep Beep" is hiding when Road Runner talks to Wile E. Coyote.