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Pterodactyl Ptraveler


Single-seat single-engined high-wing monoplane with two-axis control. Wing has swept back leading and trailing edges, and tapering cord; no tail, canard wing. Pitch control by fully flying canard; yaw control by tip rudders; no separate roll control; control inputs through stick for pitch/yaw. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; wing profile Klaus Hill (Fledgling); double-surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; bungee suspension on all wheels. No ground steering. No brakes. Aluminium-tube framework, without pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.

The Ptraveler is a Pfledgling 430D with a fully flying canard, and can be regarded as a 'back-to-front' Pfledgling NFL, with the elevator moved to the front. The two main horizontal lateral tubes of the Pfledgling frame are elongated towards the front to carry the extra control surface, creating a two-axis control ultralight with a side-mounted stick. This operates the canard via a pushrod with ball joints at the end, and acts on the tip-rudders via control cables. However, the seat is still a simple band of cloth as in the earlier models and allows the Ptraveler pilot to adjust the aircraft's centre of gravity in flight by weight-shift.

Making its appearance in 1980, this single-seater retains the Cuyuna 430D engine without reduction drive. Apart from the canard, the structure remains unchanged from the Pfledgling 430D and the performance is similar. Various options are, however, now available on the Ptraveler, of which the most important is a three-axis conversion using large spoilerons mounted some 6 inch (15 cm) above the wing. These spoilerons deploy by rotating forward and down and, depending on the installation method chosen, can be moved either by the pedals or by the stick (the tip rudders being operated by the pedals in the latter case); the customer can thus choose unconventional or conventional three-axis control.

Other options are nosewheel steering, both push-right go-right and push-right go-left arrangements being available, and a parachute system.

Price in kit form: $4926 in 1983.

Engine: Cuyuna 430D, hp at 5500 rpm
Propeller diameter and pitch 36 x 16 inch, 0.91 x 0.41 m
No reduction
Max static thrust 165 lb, 75 kg
Power per unit area 0.19hp/sq.ft, 2.0 hp/sq.m
-Fuel capacity 2.5 US gal, 2.1 Imp gal, 9.5 litre
Length overall 16.8 ft, 5.08 m
Height overall 9.1ft, 2.77m
Wing span 33.0ft, 10.06m
Mean chord 5.5 ft, 1.65 m
Chord at tip 4.5 ft, 1.34 m
Total wing area 173 sq.ft, 16.1 sq.m
Main wing area 162 sq.ft, 15.1 sq.m
Canard area 11.0sq.ft, 1.0sq.m
Main wing aspect ratio 6.7/1
Nosewheel diameter overall 14 inch, 36 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 20 inch, 51 cm
Empty weight 200 lb, 91kg
Max take-off weight 465 lb, 211kg
Payload 265 lb, 120kg
Max wing loading 2.87lb/sq.ft, 13.9 kg/sq.m
Max power loading 15.5 lb/hp, 7.0kg/hp
Load factors; +4.4, -3.3 ultimate
Max level speed 55 mph, 88 kph
Never exceed speed 55 mph, 88 kph
Max cruising speed 40 mph, 64 kph
Economic cruising speed 35 mph, 56 kph
Stalling speed 24 mph, 38 kph
Max climb rate at sea level 400 ft/min, 2.0 m/s
Min sink rate 400ft/min, 2.0m/s
Best glide ratio with power off 8/1
Take-off distance 125 ft, 38 m
Landing distance 50 ft, 15 m
Service ceiling 15,000 ft, 4570 m
Range at average cruising speed 120 mile, 193 km


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