Friday, August 5, 2011

Clipwing Monocoupe Kits - Here Now!

Well...someone has to do it.

The Clipwing Monocoupe is one of the iconic designs of the 1930s...and today dozens of pilots want one, but the few that are in existence rarely change hands.

Time to change that...sort of. The folks who own the originals deserve their nearly-unique airplanes, and therefore we would like to introduce...The Clipwing.

Based on the original 1930 and 1941 plans (there is no Aviat in The Clipwing), it'll look like a Clipwing Monocoupe in almost every way, but some detail changes will ensure that The Clipwing will be identified as a separate design. The changes are...
  • redesigned empennage - the original fin was welded to the stabilizer, which is pretty impractical during the construction process. The Clipwing will have revert to a more conventional (albeit slightly heavier) construction
  • strap rudder and elevator hinges, and changed rudder hinge line
  • bearings or good bushings wherever possible in the control system
  • flat engine
That's about it. Otherwise...same airfoil, same one-piece wing, same narrow fuselage (with lousy visibility), same vicious ground handling.

You may ask...why not make more changes? Once it's no longer a Clipwing Monocoupe, why not a really modernized design? It's pretty simple...the original design got a lot of things right. The one-piece wing is lighter and far easier to build, for instance...and the narrow fuselage reduces wetted area and puts more of the prop disc area 'outside' the structure, improving performance.

The Clipwing will fly just like a Clipwing Coupe. Controls should be a little bit smoother (not lighter).

We will be offering kits and components that will allow anyone (well, not just anyone) to build their very own Clipwing. You'll be able to buy anything from plans all they way up to a complete kit of major components.

This will not be a full kit, in the sense of an RV or a Lancair. There will be a lot of detail work that will keep The Clipwing well shy of the 51% rule. If you buy everything you'll still have to outfit the cockpit to your taste, build fairings and formers to taste, and cover the thing.

Yes, we'll offer a cowling. But you'll have to build baffling.

The Clipwing is intended for the experienced builder, and we'll keep it that way. We're targeting people who've built a couple of RVs or glass-builts, and want a change.

It'll also be limited-availability. Two or three kits per year.

Prices will be posted on this blog as time goes on. Eventually we will have a dedicated

Okay, so maybe you like the idea, but a 38-in cabin and a one-piece wing really bother you. We';re listening. After the Clipwing is on-stream, we will introduce Hayate. Hayate will have a two-piece wing, an M14P, taller gear, and a 40-in wide cockpit (the extra 2-in really do make a difference). All hanging from the same 23-ft wingspan. It'll be wilder, louder, and blinder. It's also not available just yet, in any form.

If you'd still like a bit more...then wait for Shoki. If you ever looked at a Clipwing Monocoupe and wondered why no one ever hung a 450 Pratt on one, well, this will be your chance to find out. Shoki will have an even wider cabin (44-in), taller and wider landing gear, a great big round engine...and, yes, that same (strengthened) 23-ft span.

So, here it is, The Clipwing. Not a Clipwing Monocoupe, but, we hope, the next best thing.

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