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Winton Grasshopper


Single-seat single-engined mid-wing mono-plane with conventional three-axis control. Wing has swept back leading and trailing edges, and tapering chord; cruciform tail. Pitch control by fully flying tail; yaw control by fin-mounted rudder; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Wing braced from above by cables; wing profile Karman; 100% double surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation. Push-right go-right nosewheel steering connected to yaw control. Aluminium-tube/glass-fibre fuselage, partially enclosed. Engine mounted above wing driving pusher propeller.
Col Winton's Grasshopper won an award for the best foreign ultralight at the 1981 Oshkosh being a sophisticated design, even by 1983 standards. Using Karman aerodynamics for both fuselage and wings, this machine was originally powered by a 432 cc two-stroke developing 23 hp. However, following its win at Oshkosh, Pterodactyl Ltd agreed to market the aircraft in the US, using a 30hp Cuyuna, while Col himself had plans to re-engine the machine with a 440 cc Robin.

In concept the Grasshopper is a mixture of composite and tube-and-Dacron construction. The fuselage is principally made from glass-fibre, while the wings are tube-and-Dacron with glass-fibre leading edges and tips. Wings can be removed for transport and storage. The undercarriage has suspension on all three wheels and sometimes wheel spats are fitted.

Tolhurst purchased the moulds and rights from Colin Winton and produced an updated model at Camden, Sydney, Australia.


In 1978 the aircraft was purchased by Mr Juan Humberto Burnett of Perth and used for recreational flying mainly in the Rockingham area from 1978 to 1979. During this time, Burnett made a forced landing on a dry saltlake at Rockingham, due to a blocked fuel line.
Burnett moved to Mt Newman in 1979, and made several long distance flights from that town. One such flight was to Lake Disappointment and return (during which extra fuel was carried), and another flight was made to Port Hedland. The machine crashed on two occasions whilst based at Mt Newman. Once at Newman itself, and once at Marble Bar. In both incidents, damage to the machine was minimal and Burnett was unhurt.
In May 1981 Burnett returned to Perth, and did not get the opportunity to fly the Grasshopper again. The slightly damaged machine was donated to the RAAF Assn. Aviation Museum, where a rebuild was undertaken to bring the machine up to display condition.
On 25 April 2008 it was purchased from the Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek by Greg Ackman who loaned the aircraft to the Queensland Aviation Museum. On 17 July 2008 it arrived at QAM, Caloundra by road. The aircraft was later donated to QAM.


Have acquired and earlier model grasshopper and am seeking to identify what model and year it was constructed, i also wish to get my hands on a construction manual as i want to restore this aircraft back to its original flying state,
Will White

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Engine: Robin EC44PM
Prop: VAC 36 x 50
Wingspan: 27 ft 11.5 in / 8.52 m
Length: 16 ft 4.75 in / 5.0 m
Empty wt: 122 kg
AUW: 249 kg
Cruise: 60 kts
Max level speed: 75 mph, 120 kph
Initial Climb: 192m/min / 630ft/min
Service Ceiling: 3 962m / 13 000ft
Range: 483km / 300mile




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