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Lambert Aircraft Engineering Mission M212

mission212

The Mission M212 is a single engine light aircraft of conventional configuration. It has an unswept straight-tapered low wing. The fuselage provides side-by-side seating and has sufficient room to accommodate four adults. In the initial design stages, significant attention was paid to visibility, comfort and ergonomics. The single piece forward hinging canopy provides excellent visibility in level flight as well as in turns. In addition, the clean arrangement ensures a good and water proof seal and keeps aerodynamic noise low. Both the seats and rudder pedals are adjustable. Elevator and aileron control is by sticks. The aircraft is standard equipped with full dual controls.

Control surfaces are conventional with single slotted flaps and an all-moving horizontal tail. The main landing gear consists of a cantilever leaf spring and the steerable nosewheel is of the telescopic oleo-pneumatic type. The airframe is all composite. Construction is mainly of glass fibre and epoxy. Carbon reinforcements are used in spars and longerons where additional stiffness is required.

The development of the Mission M212 started in mid 1992 with a thorough study, which investigated the impact of a light aircraft's engine on the efficiency of the aircraft as a whole, and which evaluated the potential use of several engines as alternative to the traditional engines.

The project moved to the Cranfield Institute of Technology (now Cranfield University) in October 1992 where the design was started after an extensive market analysis. The specification of the M212-series are mainly based on the results of this market research.

In April 1993 the conceptual design of the Mission was started. A full scale mock-up of the fuselage was built in July 1993 to check for cockpit size, accessibility, visibility and ergonomics. In September 1993 a 1/14 wind tunnel model was built and extensive wind tunnel testing was done during the following months. The conceptual design was completed in January 1994 and the preliminary design in May 1994. Although the Mission was initially not intended for the competition, in the same month, the conceptual design was declared a joint winner in the first stage of the Light Aircraft Design Competition organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The structural design of the Mission was completed by July 1995, after which final drawings were produced. The complete design file of the M212-100, (at that time) the two-seater version, was submitted for the second stage of the Design Competition, and reached a first place.

The construction of tooling was started in January 1996. Fuselage, wing and tailplane plugs were built, of which a set of female moulds were taken. Next, development was concentrated on the wings. All tooling to produce and assemble the components for the wing structure was built.

Concurrently a structural testing programme was set up. Composite materials testing was started early in 1997. Initially work focused on the development and testing of time-saving, reliable and durable manufacturing and assembly methods. Alongside the test work, manufacturing parameters, processes, component lay-up and assembly procedures, quality standards and a quality control system were worked out. In contrast to most proof-of-concept prototypes, the Mission prototype is not a ‘hand carved’ example. Instead all components are produced from production tooling and assembled in the jigs that will be used for series production. In December 1998 a milestone in the development of the Mission was achieved when an assembled wing structure was loaded to the design ultimate load (8.55 g) at 900 kg (2 000 lb), the MAUW (max. all up weight) of the M212-100.

With the prototype wings and control surfaces completed by mid 1999, the work on the fuselage structure was tackled. Again, for all composite parts, moulds were made and an assembly jig for the fuselage was built. The jig ensures correct alignment of the components during assembly. As of July 2001, all structural subassemblies (i.e. wings, fuselage, empennage and control surfaces) were ready for rigging. A jig for matching the wings to the fuselage with the proper incidence and dihedral was built.

While the work on the structure was taking place, the development of the aircraft systems steadily progressed and detail drawings were produced. Subsequently, components for controls and fuel system were manufactured and the subassemblies were ready for installation.

In January 2002, the structural work was finished. With the fuselage standing on the main landing gear, the wings and control surfaces had been rigged and the control systems had been installed. This milestone was celebrated with a roll-out of the Mission M212 prototype on February 8th.

In late February 2002, the firewall forward section was tackled. The engine mount was built. A plug for the cowlings was built, of which female moulds were taken which in turn allowed the cowlings to be made. The prototype was moved to another facility by the end of May for painting. The aircraft was displayed for the first time at the PFA Rally at Cranfield on 21-23 June 2002.

In September and October 2002, structural testing was carried out on the prototype fuselage. Testing was in accordance with FAR-23/JAR-23 airworthiness standards. Stiffness of the structure proved to be very high. Behaviour was entirely to the expectations with no sign of cracks, buckling or wrinkling.

Subsequently the engine was bolted to the engine mount and all accessories onthe engine were installed and connected. Nosewheel steering was also installed. Various improvements were worked out such a redesigned control system for the elevator trim, which meets FAR-23/JAR-23 requirements.

Between December 2002 and June 2003, significant progress was made with installation and completion of various systems and equipment such as cabin heating/ventilation, electrical system, instruments, adjustable front seats and interior. The main landing gear was redesigned to increase its stiffness and raise the maximum landing weight.

Prototype G-XFLY was on display all day on the Grote Markt (Grand Place) in Kortrijk on 25 June, where it attracted lots of attention of public and press. After returning from the PFA Rally 2003, the aircraft moved to Hangar 63 at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airfield for ground testing and preparations for flight testing. With the aircraft now permanantly assembled, further testing was carried out on control systems. Full ground vibration tests were run in February 2004. The aircraft was inspected several times and subsequent improvements or modifications were designed and integrated. The final version of the design work, the test reports and the JAR-23 compliance list was submitted to PFA Engineering, where a massive effort was undertaken to review drawings and double check all the stressing.

On 23 June, the Mission M212 prototype G-XFLY was given a final inspection. That evening, the inspector, Finbar Colson, signed off all paperwork and declared the aircraft fit for flight. All documents were sent to the PFA headquarters, together with the application for a Permit to Test.

The aircraft was trailered to Cranfield where it was prepared for its maiden flight. The Permit to Test came on 7 July, but bad weather prevented us to fly the aircraft before the PFA Rally two days later.

The first flight was made on Tuesday 13 July 2004 with Roger Bailey, test pilot at Cranfield University, at the controls. The flight lasted 40 minutes and the aircraft behaved very much as expected.

During the following months, the Mission M212 prototype was flown from Cranfield for flight testing. Flight testing was concluded in april 2005 with PFA type approval.

Aircraft performance varies with type of propeller fitted. Engines may be limited to 2500 rpm for optimum noise reduction.

Mission M212
Engine: DeltaHawk DH200A4 XP-360, 147 kW (200 HP) at 2700 rpm
Fuel type: Jet Fuel, Diesel
Wing span: 9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 12.00 sq.m (129 sq.ft)
Aspect ratio: 7.7
Length: 7.40 m (24 ft 3 in)
Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
Tailplane span: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wheeltrack: 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Baggage capacity: 200 lt (7 cu ft) approx.
Cabin width: 1.12 m (44 in)
Cabin height: 1.25 m (49 in)
Fuel capacity (std): 160 lt (42 us gal)
Fuel capacity (opt): up to 280 lt (72 us gal)
Never exceed speed: 183 kt (338km/h)
Limit load factors: 3.8/-1.9
Empty weight: 735 kg (1620 lb)     
Max. all up weight: 1150 kg (2535 lb)
Max. level speed at S/L: 144 kt (268 km/h)
Max. S/L rate of climb: 1020 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
75% cruise at 8000 ft: 141 kt (261 km/h)
60% cruise at 8000 ft: 130 kt (241 km/h)
Range at 75% (std fuel): 655 nm (1215 km)
Range at 60% (std fuel): 760 nm (1410 km)
Range at 60% (opt. fuel): 1360 nm (2520 km)
Fuel flow at 75%: 32 l/h (8.5 us gal/h)
Fuel flow at 60%: 26 l/h (6.8 us gal/h)
Stall speed, full flaps: 53 kts (98 km/h)     
T-O ground roll: 250 m (820 ft)

Mission M212
Engine: Lycoming O-360, 133 kW (180 HP) at 2700 rpm
Fuel type: Avgas 100LL, Unleaded mogas
Wing span: 9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 12.00 sq.m (129 sq.ft)
Aspect ratio: 7.7
Length: 7.40 m (24 ft 3 in)
Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
Tailplane span: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wheeltrack: 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Baggage capacity: 200 lt (7 cu ft) approx.
Cabin width: 1.12 m (44 in)
Cabin height: 1.25 m (49 in)
Fuel capacity (std): 160 lt (42 us gal)
Fuel capacity (opt): up to 280 lt (72 us gal)
Never exceed speed: 183 kt (338km/h)
Limit load factors: 3.8/-1.9
Empty weight: 722 kg (1590 lb)
Max. all up weight: 1150 kg (2535 lb)
Max. level speed at S/L: 140 kt (260 km/h)
Max. S/L rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.5 m/s)
75% cruise at 8000 ft: 137 kt (254 km/h)
60% cruise at 8000 ft: 126 kt (232 km/h)
Range at 75% (std fuel): 480 nm (890 km)
Range at 60% (std fuel): 550 nm (1020 km)
Range at 60% (opt. fuel): 1000 nm (1850 km)
Fuel flow at 75%: 42 l/h (11.0 us gal/h)
Fuel flow at 60%: 34 l/h (8.9 us gal/h)
Stall speed, full flaps: 53 kts (98 km/h)
T-O ground roll: 280 m (920 ft)
 


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