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QuickTalk 2 - COMPOSITE NEWS

***RAF Grizzly***

As strange and unconventional a design as has ever come out of the Rutan works, the GRIZZLY is a four-passenger, all-composite craft powered by a 180-hp Lycoming with a constant speed Hartzell prop. Widely reported by the aviation press, it was built solely as a design test vehicle to examine various engineering concepts (STOL and amphibious operations, among others) on canard aircraft.

Significantly, the Grizzly's right wing is a hollow sandwich skin configuration, while the left is the full core construction as on the Quickies. Rutan reports that the full core wing is lighter and stiffer than the hollow wing and required fewer man-hours to build.

Little is known about canard aerodynamics in STOL configurations and the Grizzly is intended to provide some data in this flight regime.


***RAF Solitare***

Prolific Rutan should also now be testing a single-place, all-composite sailplane of 12.5-meter (40 ft.) span with a fixed engine and retractable prop. Named the Solitare, it is one of 19 entries in a design contest sponsored by the Soaring Society of America to spur the development of low-cost, self-launching sailplanes. A fly-off of completed designs is scheduled this summer.


***QAC Free Enterprise (sans Big Bird)***

February's "Soaring" magazine carried a Tom Jewett article describing preparations for a globe circling non-stop flight in a QAC design called Free Enterprise. The 22,868-mile flight will be attempted with a Franklin 0235 in a 25-foot T-tailed craft with a composite fuselage and metal wings having a 51.5-foot span. The wing is sealed for fuel from tip to tip. Jewett estimates several years and $250,000 invested in the project. The ship is expected to exceed 60 miles per gallon flying between 20,000-30,000 feet. First flight is expected in May of this year.



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