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Backstrom Flying Plank EPB-1A

backstromplank-1

The Flying Plank was developed in 1954 by Al Backstrom, assisted by Phil Easley and Jack Powell. The prototype EPB-1 was used for drag reduction tests at the Mississippi State College, using a modified Abrial reflex airfoil. Plans for the -1A development were sold and a number built, most with twin wingtip rudders, but some were completed with a central fin and rudder at the end of a lengthened fuselage (EPB1-C) to improve performance and control. Span have varied up to 9.30 m / 30.5 ft. A self-launching model was developed later.

 

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Motorised
Except for the fiberglass nose cap for the fuselage, standard wood structure was used throughout, and construction time for an experience woodworker was in the neighborhood of 600 hours. More than 150 sets of plans were sold.

 

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Central fin


Except for the fiberglass nose cap for the fuselage, standard wood structure was used throughout, and construction time for an experience woodworker was in the neighborhood of 600 hours. More than 150 sets of plans were sold.


An improved version, the "Super Plank", was under development in 1973. At least two of them were built, by Larry Linville and Dennis Harmon.
The Vintage Sailplane Association has plans.

EPB-1A
Wing Span: 7.62m / 25ft
Wing Area: 9.29sq.m / 100sq.ft
Empty Weight: 68kg / 150lb
Payload: 91kg / 200lb
Gross Weight: 159kg / 350lb
Wing Load: 17.11kg/sq.m / 3.5lb/sq.ft
L/DMax: 20@ 97 kph / 52 kt / 60 mph
Seats: 1
MinSink: 1.07 m/s / 3.5 fps / 1.88 kt
Aspect ratio: 6.25
Airfoil: Abrial 15%
Structure: wood / fabric

 

 


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