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bigboy3178

scaled composite catbird

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Well, there's always What Wikipedia has to say. Catbird is still hanging inverted in the main hangar, just as pictured in that article. It was retired, because Burt needed its engine, which now resides in the Boomerang.

 

This plane is really a three-surface airplane, since it has a horizontal tail, in addition to the canard. It seats five, tightly.

 

-- Len


-- Len Evansic, Cozy Mk. IV Plans #1283

Do you need a Flightline Chair, or other embroidered aviation accessory?

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Well, I have seen the ghost come to life!!!!! I wondered where you have been...and then you nonchalantly just post a catbird observation.

How have you been these past couple years, and are you still selling those GREAT Flightline brand chairs?? Working at Scaled?

Welcome back!


Self confessed Wingnut.

Now think about it...wouldn't you rather LIVE your life, rather than watch someone else's, on Reality T.V.?

Get up off that couch!!! =)

 

Progress; Fuselage on all three, with outside and inside nearly complete. 8 inch extended nose. FHC done. Canard finished. ERacer wings done with blended winglets. IO540 starting rebuild. Mounting Spar. Starting strake ribs.

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:D

 

I'm still at Scaled and doing well there, but the chairs are on an indefinite hiatus until we figure out how to deal with the insane California Board of Equalization. Yeah, I guess I dropped out for a bit.

 

Before I came to Scaled, I built my plane factory out of my garage. I put in good lighting, and insulated it well for the typical -10° F winter days that I knew I'd have to deal with in central New York. I had a few small parts done, and then I moved. Two years without a factory put my project into deep freeze mode, and the last year has seen my new factory packed with boxes from moving. For most of my time here, I've been too busy at work to move on my project outside of work.

 

That being said, myself and at least one other engineer at Scaled are redesigning fuselages for a Cozy-sized canard aircraft. I'm working on a stretched design with staggered seating and possibly different airfoils, and the other guy is designing a wider and smoother fuselage with an expanded grid backing, rather than sandwich construction. We'll probably combine efforts where it makes sense.

 

For the curious, the expanded grid is a progression of the technique used for the reinforcement structure and lofting on Boomerang. It looks like the mesh netting you would see wrapping a ham. It could be formed on a male plug and then adhered to a skin from a female mold, or the skin could be formed directly over the grid structure, and a whole lot of body work done to make the surface smooth (which is how it was done on Boomerang). For the most part, this technique is not in any way compatible with standard Cozy construction.

 

-- Len


-- Len Evansic, Cozy Mk. IV Plans #1283

Do you need a Flightline Chair, or other embroidered aviation accessory?

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Spooky... I just picked up a Rutan book at the library, came across the Catbird and got online to find out more about it...


I don't care, I'm still free.

You can't take the sky from me.

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I'm exactly where my signature states, presently. I just put that signature on about 3 weeks ago. I just screwed up my upper back this last week in the gym, and it really sucks. Cant move my head past two o'clock either way or bend over to use a tool or stir a cup 'o resin.*

Getting older is a PIA.

Building a fast airplane is schweet!!!

Back at it soon enough.

 

* So in semi-frustration last night, I just drew a tee-shirt screen that I've been thinking about in the interim, and am going to drive it down on Monday to a local shop and see what it takes tohave 20 made. I always need teeshirts to work on the plane in. I can't decide on which screen?

 

So can I still get a couple of your chairs?... with a BW winglet on my embroidered Cozy, somewhere down the line?

post-4661-141090169785_thumb.jpg

post-4661-141090169787_thumb.jpg


Self confessed Wingnut.

Now think about it...wouldn't you rather LIVE your life, rather than watch someone else's, on Reality T.V.?

Get up off that couch!!! =)

 

Progress; Fuselage on all three, with outside and inside nearly complete. 8 inch extended nose. FHC done. Canard finished. ERacer wings done with blended winglets. IO540 starting rebuild. Mounting Spar. Starting strake ribs.

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As luck would have it, I was sitting beside Burt at a Half-Baked Lunch* at Scaled recently, when the subject of the Catbird came up. Nothing of the technical merit of the design was discussed, but the origin of the project was.

 

Now, it is known that this plane was designed to win a CAFE 400 race, or more precisely, to take the efficiency record for this race, which is what determines the winner. While Burt is known far and wide as an efficiency enthusiast, this had less to do with his motivation than one might think.

 

Well, Quickie Aircraft was down the flightline from Scaled (and RAF). At this time, the owners of the company were boasting of the efficiency of their Q200 aircraft, and of their ownership of the CAFE 400 efficiency record. Keep in mind, that although Burt had designed the original Quickie, the design was owned, manufactured (as a kit), and marketed by Quickie Aircraft.

 

Burt did not go into any detail about his relationship with Quickie Aircraft at the time, but my read was that he was well-motivated to strip them of that record. The Catbird was designed to raise the bar well above where any Quickie derivative would ever be able to score on the CAFE 400 race. Burt also mentioned Nick Jones and his beautiful White Lightning plane, that was trounced by the Catbird. Nick Jones apparently was billed as "the Mouth of the South" in aircraft designer circles, and was quite boastful that he would triumph in the CAFE 400 record race.

 

The series ended, and Catbird was the first winner of the successor CAFE Challenge prize. Gary Herzler stripped the Catbird of this record with his Vari-eze, shortly after the Catbird had won. Burt didn't acknowledge this after-history, and I don't think he is bothered too much by it, as one of his designs, built by a private builder, still owns this record. Also, the Catbird was not designed for the rules of the challenge, but rather the earlier CAFE 400. That it was the first winner of the CAFE Challenge just shows that it was still a very efficient design, all around.

 

-- Len

 

* The Half-Baked Lunch is a periodic event that we have at Scaled, where employees meet for lunch, and present their half-baked ideas. If you've gotten to the point of development where it looks like the idea is feasible, then it is no longer half-baked, and therefore ineligible for discussion. Some of these ideas proceed further and become fully-baked. The most exciting are always the ones that are possibly fermenting, rather than baking.


-- Len Evansic, Cozy Mk. IV Plans #1283

Do you need a Flightline Chair, or other embroidered aviation accessory?

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