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Cheranovski BICh-18 Muskulolet
In 1921, 1934 and 1937 Boris Cheranovski developed experiments related to the construction of ornithoptera or flap-wing aircraft. The third of his designs was the BICh-18(Russian: Черановский БИЧ-18).
The BICh-18 was designed as a biplane with pivoting wings driven by the energy of its pilot. On the fuselage, the wings were fixed to the same joint, on which the movement was carried out according to the double scissors system. The movement was carried out by means of the variation generated by the wings when approaching and moving away.
The wingspan of the planes reached 8 meters with a wing area of ​​10 m². The surface of both planes was similar. The relative load on each square meter of the wing did not exceed 13 kg.
The control surfaces of the BICh-18 were of the classic type. Control was carried out by means of a steering pole. The wings were put in motion by the push made by the pilot on the pedals.
The tests of the BICh-18 were carried out according to a special program, which initially conceived its flights in the form of a glider and the subsequent step to the tests as an ornithopter.
On August 10, 1937, the Muskulolet BICh-18 made its first flight. On that day the pilot RA Pishuyev made four flights. During these glider flights the aircraft demonstrated excellent stability conditions, regardless of the position of the wings.
The second stage of testing went smoothly, but the flapping wings were shown to barely improve glider flight. Among the main causes were the fixed angle of curvature of the wings during movement and their strict aerodynamic profile.
Later a set of improvements such as the installation of new elastic wings were introduced, but during the flight tests significant vibrations were appreciated.
The tests of the BICh-18 were never completed. It has been said that the BICh-8 managed to fly up to 430 meters with the energy generated by the feet of its pilot.
BICh-18 Muskulolet
Wingspan: 18.00 m
Wing area: 10.00 m²
Length: 4.48 m
Empty weight: 72 kg
Maximum take-off weight: 130 kg
Wing loading: 13 kg / m²
Accommodation: 1
Observed range: 430 m

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