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Farrar Bird Flight Machine


D.J.Farrar Jnrs (USA) design, which first flew in 1969, was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and used at Vanderbilt University in bird flight research, taking advantage of its low operating speed and sink rate. The design goals were a stalling speed of 32 kph/ 17 kt/ 20 mph a 1 fps sink rate. With an aluminum spar, wood and kevlar wing, and a balsa/GFRP sandwich fuselage The airfoil is a helicopter section with a zero pitching moment permitting moderate torsional loads in spite of the large wing area. Despite the low sink rate, the Bird Flight Machine has no approach control aids making landing challenging in most conditions. It was proposed to conduct further exploration of its design capabilities and microlift soaring techniques under the supervision of Gary Osoba.

Wing span: 18.59m / 61ft
Wing area: 21.37sq.m /230sq.ft
Empty Weight: 82kg / 181lb
Payload: 79kg /175lb
Gross Weight: 161kg /356lb
Wing Load: 7.53 kg/sq.m / 1.55lb/sq.ft
Water Ballast: nil
Aspect ratio: 16.18
Airfoil: Wortmann FX-05-H-126
No. of Seats: 1
No. Built: 1
L/DMax: 33
MinSink: 0.32 m/s / 1.05 fps / 0.62 kt


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