Re: Effinger and Struck moot standard Rogallo "invention"
- "John Worth, newly elected president of the Academy of Model Aeronautics"fromMay-June 1963 American ModelerEffinger speaking in the article:""TOWLINE GLIDER: Takes off without assistance. Tows much easier than high aspect ratio gliders. Sinking speed depends on loading, which can be kept extremely light."""""Tech Talk" by Bill Effinger
Some may call it "Para-wing," or "Para-glider," but it all adds up to a brand new type of flying that is the biggest new idea in model aviation since Jim Walker introduced "U-Control."
For me it started two years ago when A. C. Gilbert's new products planners wanted a glider kite with some form of power for maneuverability.
Here was a challenge that could not be met with orthodox design. Henry Struck and I kicked around ideas for several weekends. Being old balsa butchers, we knew that there were several approaches that offered possibilities, but the weight of ready-to-fly plastic models was the big drawback.
The NASA flexible wing experiments using a flex-wing in combination with a "Custom Cavalier" made us consider this possibility. (The original "Cavalier" was designed by Ben Shereshaw in 1935; I redesigned it as the "Custom Cavalier" in 1941.) NASA Technical Note D-629 by Rodger Maeseth was the beginning of a long period of "trial and error" test and research, culminating in Gilbert's new ready-to-fly "Wing Thing" which should interest everybody as the starting point in flex-wing flying. Model builders will find new and interesting variations of flex-wing flying, all the way from indoor competition through radio control.
What have we been able to do with just one airplane? Here is a list of repeatedly conducted successful flights without structural damage of any kind:
TOWLINE GLIDER: Takes off without assistance. Tows much easier than high aspect ratio gliders. Sinking speed depends on loading, which can be kept extremely light.
KIT: Has been flown for hours by a 5-year-old. Somebody wisecracked, "The best place to store Wing Thing is in the air, nobody can step on it then." About 15-mph steady wind is needed for good kite operations. It is the only kite that glides when the wind dies down.
FREE FLIGHT: Hand-launched or Rise-Off Ground. Four have been lost to date. Two of them straight up in thermals.
TETHER: Yes, the fellow who wants to operate on the end of a string in his back yard can fly Wing Thing on a 15 to 25' tether line.
SLOPE SOARING: If you are lucky enough to live on a hill, you can use it as a hand launched glider, too!
CAPTIVE FLIGHT: Truly the most sensational new concept in model flying. Catapulted take-off, towing up to 350 feet on light kite string, steered in flight at the end of the line, then finally allowed to return to the ground as a guided glider. Not until you have a line on the model do you realize how high up 350 feet really is.
When the project got under way, NASA Reports were used as design criteria and the parameters set up proved out in model size. Investigation of past experiments show that the idea started with the George Wanner Patent No. 2,537,560. Although Mr. Rogallo is given credit for the flexwing by NASA, the Rogallo Patent No. 2,546,078 differs considerably from the flexwing that is now being test flown full-scale. I sure would like to see George Wanner, whose Baby ROG's started so many of us in model building in the late 1920's, be given some credit for the basic idea. The flex-wing is now frequently referred to as the "Rogallo Wing" and the name will probably stick. (The basic Wanner patent is now the property of the A. C. Gilbert Co.)
At the very beginning of the test flying, Struck experienced difficulty with recovery from stalls. The flexwing as originally designed was intended for use as a kite and had no means for recovery from a dive once the wings became deflated. In other words, once zero lift occurred, lift would remain at zero until it made a neat hole in the ground. The FAA had found out about this and put out warnings as far as full scale planes are concerned. Experimenters who didn't flight test with models first could learn the hard way with their lives!""
- "Bill Effinger"Bill Effingeris nickname for the subject guy.