Bellanca 19-25 Skyrocket
The Bellanca 19-25 Skyrocket II is a prototype light plane built in 1975 by Payne Engineering Company. The aircraft design was the result of Giuseppe Bellanca's son, August attempting to revive the original Bellanca company with an all-new design to prove that proper composite design could take advantage of a 1940’s NACA laminar flow airfoil. Designed over a sixteen year period and design and constructed over two and a half years, the project was begun on Long Island, New York and later transferred to Huntington, West Virginia.
The Skyrocket II is a six-seat, low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional configuration with retractable tricycle undercarriage. The SkyRocket has an aluminum honeycomb, molded into a half‑inch‑thick skin. The Bellanca uses pre‑impregnated glass cloth kept frozen in a freezer until ready for use and then laid in the mold, where it softens. When sandwiched in honeycomb, it is cured in an oven for an hour and a half at 250 deg F. There are left and right molds for the fuselage and for the vertical tail, and top and bottom molds for the wings and horizontal tail. The wing is buttressed by a pair of glass spars fastened in the fuselage floor by metal bolts.
$340,000 was raised from 20 friends of the Payne’s to construct this plane from August Bellanca's design drawings during 1974-1976.
August Bellanca was the designer. John P Harris was the construction engineer and the test pilot for all flights through 1978, including the 5 FIA world record runs. Henry E Payne was the chief director and facility provider for the project. These three were the key group that produced this prototype. They are all deceased within five years before 2007.
The test pilot for this new prototype was John P. Harris. Within months of its first flight, the prototype claimed five FAI world airspeed records for an aircraft in its class, all of which still stand in 2007. The aircraft attracted the attention of NASA, which conducted an aerodynamic analysis of the design, in order to investigate natural laminar flow as a factor of its high performance.
The six‑place SkyRocket II is envisioned by its builders as the fastest piston single in commercial general aviation.They attempted to raise three to five million dollars to get the plane certificated. There were plans also for a twin-engine version of the Skyrocket. The plan was to build 100 units per year and sell each for $200,000 including the estimated $100,000 product liability insurance premium. The time frame for raising money, 1976-1979, included 15% to 20% interest rates. The money could not be raised so the project was discontinued. August Bellanca took the plane to Delaware and tried the kit plane concept and other attempts to manufacture the plane. Despite its advanced design and exceptionally good performance, it never achieved certification or entered production.
AviaBellanca Aircraft Corp announced in 1998 an advanced derivative of the SkyRocket, the AviaBellanca 19-25 Skyrocket III. Incorporating carbon fibre/Nomex foam structure and a 435 hp Continental GTSIO-520, the Skyrocket III has a 0.0155 drag coefficient.They claim a kit could be assembled in 3500 hours and take from 325 to 500 hp.
Engine: One Continental GTS520-520D, 375 hp
Oil capacity 15 qts.
Wing span: 35ft
Length overall: 27ft
Height overall: 9ft
Wing area: s: 182.6 ft²
Weight empty: 2450 lb (kg)
Max T/O weight: 4100 lb (kg)
Total fuel usable capacity 2 wing tanks: 150 US gallons / 568 lt
Max never-exceed speed: 280 knots IAS
Max cruising speed (75% power): 210 knots
Cruising speed (65% power): 200 knots
Stalling speed, wheels and flaps down: 56 knots
Vx (best angle of climb): 80 knots
Vy (Best rate of climb): 90 knots
Max demonstrated crosswind component: 18 knots
Max rate of climb at S/L: 1900ft/min
Service ceiling: 36,000ft
T/O to 50 ft (15 m):1790ft
Landing from 50 ft (15 m):1665ft
Range, 75% power: 1056nm
Range, 65% power: 1273nm
Systems: 12V electrical
AviaBellanca 19-25 Skyrocket III
Empty weight: 1129 kg
Wing span: 10.67 m
Wing area: 14.96 sq.m
Fuel capacity: 666 lt
Engine: Continental GTISO-520F, 435 hp
MAUW: 1905 kg
Max speed: 547 kph
Cruise speed: 526 kph
Minimum speed: 109 kph
Climb rate: 10 m/s
Fuel consumption: 90 lt/hr
Kit price (1998): US$85,000