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Mainair Sports Tri-Flyer

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Tri-Flyer 250


The Tri-Flyer 250/ Demon is the simple single-pole design from which the whole of the Mainair range has steadily developed. Low weight, low cost, simplicity and portability were the priorities in John Hudson's mind when he produced the 250 Robin-engined Tri-Flyer in 1981.
The Tri-Flyer 250 relies on its pneumatic tyres for suspension and has a simple tyre brake on the nosewheel. It normally has a manual start, with the pull handle situated within comfortable reach of the pilot; foot and hand throttles are provided. To minimise noise, the exhaust is directed into the prop-wash.
With easy-release axles and folding seat frame, the trike unit folds into a very neat package, easily portable on a roof rack.
While the standard Tri-Flyer 250 is a very basic machine, Mainair offers a full range of extras, including a glass-fibre pod weighing only 6 lb (2.7 kg), instruments and a bigger fuel tank of 4.2 US gal (3.5 Imp gal, 15.9 litre). A reserve fuel tank is another option enabling the pilot to carry a further 1.2 US gal (1 Imp gal, 4.5 litre).
Like most Mainair trikes, the Tri-Flyer 250 can be flown successfully with a variety of wings, but the Demon is probably the most popular.
A single-seat single-engined flex-wing aircraft with weight-shift control. Rogallo wing with keel pocket. Pilot suspended below wing in trike unit, using bar to control pitch and yaw/roll by altering relative positions of trike unit and wing. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; floating cross-tube construction with 75% double-surface enclosing cross-tube; pre-formed ribs. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; no suspension on any wheels. Push-right go-left nosewheel steering independent from yaw control. Brake on nosewheel. Aluminium-tube trike unit, with optional pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller. All airframe tubing is bright anodised drawn seamless aluminium to British HT30TF specification. All bolts are aircraft quality AN series.
The Mainair/Solar Wings Tri-Flyer 330/Typhoon S single-seat single-engined flex-wing aircraft with weight-shift control has a Rogallo wing with keel pocket. Pilot suspended below wing in trike unit, using bar to control pitch and yaw/roll by altering relative positions of trike unit and wing. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; floating cross-tube construction with 80% double-surface enclosing cross-tube; pre-formed ribs. Undercarriage has three wheels
in tricycle formation; no suspension on any wheels. Push-right go-left nosewheel steering independent from yaw control. Brake on nosewheel. Aluminium-tube trike unit, with optional pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller. All airframe tubing is bright anodised drawn seamless aluminium to British HT3OTF specification. All bolts are aircraft quality AN series.
Introduced in early 1982, the Tri-Flyer 330 trike unit is a logical progression from the 250 and is identical apart from certain localised strengthening and a much more powerful twin-cylinder Robin engine. This trike unit is flown with a variety of wings, but the Solar Wings Typhoon S is a popular choice. It was with just such a combination that Bob Calvert broke the world altitude record for class Cl-a/o in January 1982, reaching 16,168 ft (4928 m) over Lancashire, England. For its record flight, the Tri-Flyer 330/Typhoon combination was fitted with a pod, instruments, in-flight mixture adjustment and carburettor anti-icing system, but power output and wing were both unaltered. Options are as for Tri-Flyer 250/Demon.
The Mainair/ Southdown Sailwings Tri-Flyer Challenger/ Lightning DS is a single-seat single-engined flex-wing aircraft with weight-shift control. Rogallo wing with fin. Pilot suspended below wing in trike unit, using bar to control pitch and yaw/roll by altering relative positions of trike unit and wing. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; floating cross-tube construction with >75% double-surface enclosing cross-tube; pre-formed ribs. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; no suspension on any wheels. Push-right go-left nosewheel steering independent from yaw control. Brake on nosewheel. Aluminium tube/glassfibre trike unit, partially enclosed. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller. Later versions of this machine will use a carbonfibre+Kevlar/aluminium trike unit.
The Tri-Flyer Challenger is a special one-off high-performance machine which, in conjunction with a South-down Sailwings Lightning DS wing, intended for record breaking. Fully instrumented and equipped with an oxygen supply, it is powered by a 440 cc Robin twin more usually seen on two-seaters.
The initial version of the aircraft exceeded 16,700ft (5090m) in the hands of factory test pilot Geoff Ball, thanks partly to a special high-altitude prop.
Mainair/ Flexiform Sky Sails Tri-Flyer Two-Seater/Dual Striker is a tandem two-seat single-engined flex-wing aircraft with weight-shift control. Rogallo wing with keel pocket. Pilot suspended below wing in trike unit, using bar to control pitch and yaw/roll by altering relative positions of trike unit and wing. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; bowsprit construction with >65% double-surface; pre-formed ribs. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; no suspension on any wheels. Push-right go-left nose-wheel steering independent from yaw control. Brake on nosewheel. Aluminium-tube trike unit, with optional pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller. All airframe tubing is bright anodised drawn seamless aluminium to British HT30TF specification. All bolts are aircraft quality AN series.
The Tri-Flyer Two-Seater/ Dual Striker was one of the first two-seat trikes available in Britain, having been introduced early in 1982. While it uses the same single-pole construction principle as the single-seat Tri-Flyers, it is naturally a much stronger and heavier machine, using 2 inch (51 mm) diameter main tubes, fully sleeved and bushed, and the 440 cc version of the Robin twin.
The wing is a Flexiform Sky Sails Dual Striker, which features that company's dis-tinctive bowsprit construction and pronounced 'tail'. An identification point on all Tri-Flyers is the aluminium nosewheel mudguard. Electric start is standard, the manual start being retained for emergencies, and there are foot and hand throttles. A hub brake for the nosewheel is an option; other options are as for the Tri-Flyer 250/Demon.

Tri-Flyer 250 / Demon

Engine: Robin EC25PS, 22 hp at 7000 rpm.
Propeller diameter and pitch 54 x 24/27 inch, 1.37 x 0.61/ 0.70m.
V-belt reduction, ratio 2.3/1.
Max static thrust 125 lb, 57 kg.
Power per unit area 0.13hp/sq.ft, 1.4hp/sq.m.
Fuel capacity 2.6 US gal, 2.2 Imp gal, 10.0 litre.
Length overall 11.0 ft, 3.35 m.
Height overall 10.0 ft, 3.05m.
Wing span 32.0ft, 9.75m.
Chord at root 8.2ft, 2.50 m.
Chord at tip 3.5ft, 1.07m.
Dihedral 0 degs.
Nose angle 120 deg
Total wing area 175 sq.ft, 16.3 sq.m.
Wheel track 5.3 ft, 1.62 m.
Wheel-base 5.9 ft, 1.80 m.
Nosewheel diameter overall 14 inch, 356 mm.
Main wheels diameter overall 14 inch, 356 mm.
Empty weight 190 lb, 86kg.
Max take-off weight 370 lb, 168kg.
Payload 180 lb, 82kg.
Max wing loading 2.11 lb/sq.ft, 10.3kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 16.8 lb/hp, 7.5kg/hp.
Max level speed 40 mph, 64 kph.
Never exceed speed 50 mph, 80kph.
Max cruising speed 35mph, 56kph.
Economic cruising speed 30mph, 48kph.
Stalling speed 20 mph, 32 kph.
Max climb rate at sea level 350 ft/min, 1.8 m/s.
Take-off distance 100ft, 30m.
Landing distance 150 ft, 45 m.

Tri-Flyer 330 / Typhoon S

Engine: Robin EC34PM, 35 hp at 6500 rpm.
Propeller diameter and pitch 54 x 30/34 inch, 1.37 x 0.76/ 0.85m.
V-belt reduction, ratio 2.5/1.
Max static thrust 180 lb, 82 kg.
Power per unit area 0.21 hp/sq.ft, 2.3 hp/sq.m.
Fuel capacity 2.6 US gal. 2.2 Imp gal, 10.0 litre.
Length overall 11.0 ft, 3.35 m.
Height overall 10.0 ft, 3.05 m.
Wing span 32.5 ft, 9.91 m.
Chord at root 8.0ft, 2.44m.
Chord at tip 3.3ft, 1.01m.
Dihedral 0 deg.
Nose angle 122 deg
Total wing area 166 sq.ft, 15.4 sq.m.
Wheel track 5.3 ft, 1.62 m.
Wheel-base 5.8 ft, 1.77 m.
Nosewheel diameter over-all 14 inch, 356 mm.
Main wheels diameter overall 14 inch, 356 mm.
Empty weight 210 lb, 95kg.
Max take-off weight 410 lb, 186 kg.
Payload 200 lb, 91 kg.
Max wing loading 2.47 lb/sq.ft, 12.1 kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 11.7 lb/hp, 5.2kg/hp.
Max level speed 45mph, 72kph.
Never exceed speed 53mph, 85 kph.
Max cruising speed 35 mph, 56 kph.
Economic cruising speed 30mph, 48kph.
Stall speed 22 mph, 35 kph.
Max climb rate at sea level 600 ft/min, 3.0 m/s.
Take-off distance 80-100 ft, 25-30 m.
Landing dist: 120-170 ft, 35-50 m.

Tri-Flyer Challenger/ Lightning DS
Engine: Robin EC44.
Wing span 34.5ft, 10.52m.
Chord at root 8.0ft, 2.44 m.
Chord at tip 3.5 ft, 1.07 m.
Anhedral 1.5 degs
Nose angle 130 degs.
Total wing area 195 sq.ft, 18.1 sq.m.
Wing aspect ratio 6.3/1.

Tri-Flyer Two-Seater/Dual Striker
Engine: Robin EC44, 50 hp at 6800 rpm.
Propeller diameter and pitch 62 x 27 inch, 1.58 x 0.70 m.
Toothed-belt reduction, ratio 2.3/1.
Max static thrust 275 lb, 125 kg.
Power per unit area 0.20 hp/sq.ft, 2.2 hp/sq.m.
Fuel capacity 2.6 US gal, 2.2 Imp gal, 10.0 litre.
Length overall 14.0 ft, 4.27 m.
Height overall 11.0ft, 3.35m.
Wing span 38.0ft, 11.58m.
Chord at root 9.0ft, 2.74 m.
Chord at tip 3.5ft, 1.07m.
Dihedral 2 degs.
Sweepback 15 degs.
Keel pocket depth 1.2ft, 0.37m.
Total wing area 250 sq.ft, 23.2sq.m.
Keel pocket area 3.5 sq.ft, 0.33 sq.m.
Wing aspect ratio 6.0/1.
Wheel track 6.0 ft, 1. 83 m.
Wheelbase 6.0 ft, 1.83 m.
Nose-wheel diameter overall 16 inch, 406 mm.
Main wheels diameter overall 16 inch, 406 mm.
Empty weight 300 lb, 136kg.
Max take-off weight 550 lb, 250kg.
Payload 250 lb, 113 kg.
Max wing loading 2.20 lb/sq.ft, 10.7 kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 11.0 lb/hp, 4.9kg/hp.
Load factors +4.5, -2.0 design.
Max level speed 58 mph, 93 kph.
Never exceed speed 65 mph, 105 kph.
Max cruising speed 55 mph, 88 kph.
Economic cruising speed 45 mph, 72 kph.
Stalling speed 25 mph, 40 kph.
Max climb rate at sea level 600 ft/min, 3.0 m/s.
Best glide ratio with power off 5/1.
Take-off distance 150-160ft, 45-50 m.
Landing distance 160-200 ft, 50-60 m.

 

 

 


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