Meyers Orbit Air
David Meyers began development of a single seat ring design called Orbit Air in 1988 and obtained a patent for it in 1991. Orbit Air began as an unpowered craft in 1990 as it was tested by being towed down the runway to evaluate the wing’s stability and lift. Various follow-on testing programs have resulted in five configuration changes.
Changes included fitting a 40 hp Kawasaki 440 engine with a three blade, 62 inch propeller in both tractor and pusher positions. The down angled ring wing has also been moved to an up-tilt position, the cockpit area was reworked, and the tail surfaces and landing gear were redesigned.
The primary structure is a 6061-T6 aluminium structure, but the wing and control surfaces are Stits PolyFiber covered wood. The wing employs leading and trailing edge spars that are 1.125 inch in diameter with 30 built-up quarter inch fir and mahogany plywood ribs. It is canted upward 15 dgrees with a 12 foot span and a maximum chord of four foot 5 inches (in the 1995 configuration). Wing area is 100 sq.ft. Ailerons of five foot span and 9 inch chord are fitted within the wing just forward of the propeller.
An elevator is installed in the trailing edge of the wing under a 4.5 foot rudder. The seat is a weight shift type.
Orbit Air is 21 feet long and 7 feet high. Flight tests were only short hops to 100 ft altitude down a 3100 ft runway. Meyers claims that the airplane will take-off at 40 mph, cruise at a maximum 55 mph, and stall at 30-35 mph. Development and testing were continuing.