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Nikite Wraith

The Nikite/Gold Marque Sports Wraith 260/Shadow 176 was 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 66% 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. No brakes. Aluminium-tube trike unit, with optional pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.

Designed by Dave Nickels, the Wraith 260 trike unit is a mono-pole design and is intended for use with Gold Marque Sports' Shadow 176 wing.

An all new combination, the trike unit first flew in April 1983.

The trike unit is distinctive in that instead of the normal folding seat frame, the seat frame slides complete, along a runner on the bottom tube. When rigged, the frame is held at the rearward end of the runner by a pin.
The company standardised on Hunting engines, the choice for the single-seater being the single-cylinder HS260A, which has electric start as standard. The Wraith 260 trike unit came ready-to-fly or as a kit. The kit has 90% of the holes drilled in the main frame and is ready for the engine to bolt on.

The Nikite/Southdown Sailwings Wraith 525/Lightning DS is the same as the Wraith 260/Shadow except: Tandem two-seater. Rogallo wing with fin. >75 % double surface.

Most companies start off building single-seaters and then move on to dual machines, but with Nikite the reverse occurred, as the Wraith 525 trike unit was actually first flown before the 260. This mono-pole two-seater first took to the air in October 1982 and has been designed to be compatible with two Rogallos - the Chargus Titan and the Southdown Sailwings Lightning DS. Unlike the single-seater, the 525 was not designed in-house but by John Sharpe, a North-ampton enthusiast who handed the design over to Nikite for production. There are obvious similarities to the solo machine, particularly as regards make of engine and seat-stowing mechanism. Like the solo, it was sold either ready-to-fly or as a kit.

Wraith 260/Shadow 176
Engine: Hunting HS260A, 25 hp at 6000 rpm
Propeller diameter and pitch 52x27inch, 1.32x0.69m
V-belt reduction, ratio 2.3/1
Max static thrust 175 lb, 79 kg
Power per unit area 0.14 hp/sq.ft, 1.5hp/sq.m
Fuel capacity 2.7 US gal, 2.3 Imp gal, 10.2 litre
Wing span 35.5ft, 10.82 m
Chord at root 8.2ft, 2.50 m
Chord at tip 3.0 ft, 0.91 m
Dihedral 0.7 degrees
Nose angle 130 degrees
Keel pocket depth 1.0 ft, 0.30 m
Total wing area 176 sq.ft, 164 sq.m
Keel pocket area 3.0 sq.ft, 0.28 sq.m
Wing aspect ratio 7.2/1
Wheel track 4.5 ft, 1.37 m
Wheelbase 5.2 ft, 1.57 m
Nosewheel diameter overall 12 inch, 30 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 12 inch, 30 cm
Empty weight 174 lb, 79kg
Max take-off weight 388 lb, 176kg
Payload 214 lb, 97kg
Max wing loading 2.20 lb/sq.ft, 10.7kg/sq.m
Max power loading 15.5 lb/hp, 7.0kg/hp

Wraith 525/Lightning DS

Engine: Hunting HS525A, 45 hp at 6000 rpm
Propeller diameter and pitch 52 x 30 inch, 1.32x0.76m
V-belt reduction, ratio 2.0/1
Max static thrust 250 lb, 113kg
Power per unit area 0.23 hp/sq.ft, 2.5 hp/sq.m
Fuel capacity 2.7 US gal, 2.3 Imp gal, 10.2 litre
Length overall 11.2 ft, 3.35 m
Wing span 34.5 ft, 10.52 m
Chord at root 8.0ft, 2.44m
Chord at tip 3.5ft, 1.07m
Anhedral 1.5 degrees
Nose angle 130 degrees
Fin height 3.3 ft, 1.01 m
Total wing area 195 sq.ft, 18.1 sq.m
Wing aspect ratio 6.3/1
Wheel track 5.2ft, 1.57 m
Wheelbase 6.0ft, 1.83 m
Nosewheel diameter overall 12 inch, 30 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 12 inch, 30 cm
Empty weight 231 lb, 105 kg
Max take-off weight 641 lb, 291 kg
Payload 410 lb, 186 kg
Max wing loading 3.29 lb/sq.ft, 16.1 kg/sq.m
Max power loading 14.2 lb/hp, 6.5kg/hp
Load factors +4.0, -2.0 design; +6.0, -3.0 ulti-mate



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