Simmering-Graz-Pauker SGP-222 / M-222 Flamingo
The SGP M-222 Flamingo was an Austrian twin engine, four seat light aircraft, developed with a series of prototypes into the early 1960s. There was no series production.
In the 1950s Simmering-Graz-Pauker A.G. (SGP) was a large manufacturing concern but the M-222 Flamingo was their first aircraft. Designed by Erich Meindl, it was a conventional twin engine monoplane, smaller than many but seating four in two rows.
The wings of the Flamingo had a laminar flow airfoil and were made entirely of wood. The first prototype was powered by 150 hp (112 kW) Lycoming O-320 flat-four engines but later aircraft had 200 hp (150 kW) Lycoming IO-360 flat-fours. These were conventionally mounted ahead of the leading edge in long cowlings with their propeller shafts, driving two-blade airscrews, centred above the wing upper surface. There were fuel tanks in the thin wings, with more fuel in wing tip tanks.
The Flamingo was fitted with both flaps and airbrakes. The flaps were of the camber changing type, to increase lift at low speed; they were split into three sections on each wing and slid rearwards and downwards on concealed rails. The airbrakes were wing mounted spoilers for losing speed. Like the wings the empennage was all-wood; the cantilever tailplane was set low on the fuselage.
The Flamingo's fuselage had a welded steel tube structure, skinned forward with light alloy and aft with laminated plastic. Its two rows of seats were enclosed under a three part canopy which merged at the rear into the raised fuselage. There was a wide door on either side for cabin access and a separate baggage space behind the seats. It had a retractable tricycle undercarriage with the mainwheels, fitted with brakes, behind the engines. The nosewheel was steerable. The undercarriage, like the flaps and airbrakes, were hydraulically powered. The M.222 was aerobatic when carrying a pilot and one passenger.
The first prototype M.222V1, registered OE-VEA c/n 1, flew for the first time on 15 May 1959 but was lost in a crash during single engine tests on 2 August 1959, the pilot Eduard Stefl and flight engineer Leopold Schwingenschlögl were killed instantly. Development work in the Rax-Werke in Wiener Neustadt continued on a second aircraft, OE-VEB, which first flew in 1960 and a third M.222V3 c/n 3, followed in 1962. The fourth aircraft, now renamed the Simmering-Graz-Pauker SGP.222 was intended as a production prototype and demonstrator and appeared at the 1964 Hamburg show, though it turned out to be the last of the line. It incorporated several changes in response to the lengthy development trials. The wing leading edges had breaker strips added and there were new fillets in this edge at the root and on the outboard side of the engine cowlings. The ailerons were mass balanced and fitted with ground adjustable trim tabs, and the upper hinge gaps sealed with fabric. The most obvious external changes were to the empennage where the horizontal tail now had positive dihedral and the previously rounded vertical tail had been enlarged and given severe straight taper, assisted by a ventral fin to improve low speed handling. Both elevators and the rudder had trim tabs. One independent report of this fourth aircraft's handling found it well behaved, stable but responsive with a docile stall and brisk climb.
The type was redesigned by the glider designer Ruediger Kunz, in order to build the machine in compliance to USA regulations, and hence the fourth prototype was designated SGP.222VS (VS for Vereinigte Staaten, German for United States) briefly used but this was later changed to SGP.222A. Initially registered OE-VED, the aircraft was reregistered OE-FEC after it received its Austrian and FAA Type Certificates on respectively February 15 and March 3, 1964, where after it was also redesignated SGP.222A. However, at the end of 1964 the program was cancelled and the prototypes were scrapped.