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Free Flight Aviation Hornet 130S


Single-seat single-engined low-wing monoplane with conventional three-axis control. Wing has swept back leading and trailing edges, and tapering chord; no tail. Pitch/roll control by stabilator; yaw control by tip rudders; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Cantilever wing; 100% double-surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tall-dragger formation; rubber suspension on main wheels. Composite construction fuselage, totally enclosed. Engine mounted above wing driving pusher propeller.

The David Betteridge designed Hornet (which should not be confused with the British manufacturer of the same name) is one of the most innovative designs to come from Australia, especially considering that the aircraft was originally conceived in 1977.

At that time Free Flight was a hang-glider producer, and it was David's involvement which got the Hornet project started. Construction of what was originally intended to be a rigid-wing powered hang-glider began in early 1978 and the first non-flying prototype was exhibited at the Schofields Airshow in Sydney that year, finally taking to the air on 8 March 1979 in the hands of Colin Scott.

From that prototype the Hornet 130S evolved - a tail-less composite-construction machine with a tapered swept-back wing and ailerons which can be used together to act as elevators, in a similar fashion to the stabilators of a Mitchell Wing B10. Like the latter, yaw control is by tip rudders.

As an aid to portability, the wings fold upward and rearward, giving a package for transport which is only 15.1 ft long x 7.5 ft wide (4.6 x 2.3 m). Wing structure consists of a 4.5 inch (114mm) diameter aluminium alloy spar tube reinforced with riveted flanges over the inboard section. Bonded and riveted to this tube are moulded glass-fibre ribs, supporting a C-section alclad rear spar. The leading edge is a U-section glass-fibre moulding with a spruce stiffener. Wing covering is glass-fibre sheet. The fuselage is predominantly glass-fibre too, moulded around paper-honeycomb bulkheads.

Early versions of the 130S used a Lock Laird 0-500-2 four-stroke opposed twin giving 36 hp, but later the company switched to a fuel-injected version of the Koenig three cylinder radial, coupled to a direct-drive three-blade ducted fan.

Engine: Konig SC430 engine.
Max power 30hp at 4500rpm.
Propeller: three blade.
No reduction.
Power per unit area 0.23hp/sq.ft, 2.5 hp/sq.m.
Empty weight 2291b, 104kg.
Max take-off weight 397 1b, 180kg.
Payload 168 1b, 76 kg.
Max wing loading 3.08 1b/sq.ft, 15.0 kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 13.2 1b/hp, 6.0 kg/hp.
Load factors +6.6, -3.3 design; +8.0, ultimate.
Length overall 9.8ft, 3.0m.
Height overall 5.6ft, 1.70m.
Wing span 25.9ft, 7.90m.
Mean chord 5.0ft, 1.52m.
Dihedral 2 deg.
Sweepback 18 deg.
Total wing area 129 sq.ft, 12.0sq.m.
Wing aspect ratio 5.2/1.
Max level speed 127mph, 204kph.
Cruising speed 98mph, 158 kph.
Stalling speed 35 mph, 56 kph.
Max climb rate at sea level 790 ft/min, 4.0 m/s.
Best glide ratio with power off 16/1.
Take-off distance 200ft, 60m.
Landing distance 350 ft, 105 m.



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