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American Aircraft Falcon

Falcon Aircraft Falcon Ultralight Falcon XP

In March 1981 Romuald Drlik began the design work for a new lightweight canard-type aircraft, tentativly named Falcon and in May 1981 Romuald and helpers began construction on the first Falcon prototype (model "A"). After first trying a single-wheel gear and side-stick (neither successful) the #1 Falcon flies in late July 1981 using tricycle gear, a double-surface variable camber Dacron wing, centre hinged-stick, and a Robin 240 cc single-cylinder engine.


The Falcon’s fuselage is moulded Kevlar and graphite. The wings and canard, though constructed by standard techniques with aluminium and foam, are covered with “Tedlar”, a durable and resilient alloy of Teflon and mylar.
Falcon performance figures reach the established limits for an ultralight, with cruise speed at 60, stall at 26 and maximum at 63. Powered by a small single-cylinder, 26-hp Rotax engine, the Falcon’s highly efficient configuration affords the highest allowable performance, while the incidence angle of the canard limits excessive speed. Controls are standard three-axis, with full-span ailerons.
The Falcon was to be available as a complete, ready to fly craft, not a kit. The finished Falcon featured in-flight restarting, cockpit choke system, five-function AeroGage panel, nosewheel steering and brake, shoulder harness/seat belt, padded seat, ¾ canopy, cabin heat and choice of several fuselage colours. Projected price was $7500 (in August 1983).

In August 1981 the #2 Falcon prototype was displayed (static only) at Oshkosh and during the winter of 1981-82, the development continued on prototypes #2 and #3, altering forward wing position wing incidence, engine (changed to Cuyuna 215), wing camber, gear geometry, and rudder shape.

In Jan 1982 the #3 Falcon prototype was flown in an Arizona race but DNF's due to a reduction system failure. The empty weight of this (registered) aircraft was 215 lbs.

Testing in Feb 1982 showed static loads tests on the #3 prototype go beyond 7 g's positive and three negative before yield. In March 1982 Prototype #4 (Model  1B) was flown at the Sun N' Fun Fly-in, using a Cuyuna 430 engine. Testing continued with Prototype #5 first flying in April 1982.

Prototype #6 began flight tests July 1982, having a shorter span (31.5 feet) and a totally different wing design using a single strut, D-tube spar, and doped Ceconite wings.

November 1982 brought the first flights of prototype #7 (model "C1'), using fiberglass D-tubes for wing structure, 36 ft. span, and lighter Rotax 277 engine. This craft was made in response to the release of FAR Part 103 in October of 1982, to meet the requirements of the new ultralight air vehicle category.

In January 1983, prototype #7 won first-in-class at the Arizona Air Race. This same month, #7 makes flights to 13,000 feet, is flown in snowstorms and rainstorms, and flown in 25-30 mph winds.

March 1983 brought first flights of prototype #8, N 918 M, incorporating 36-ft aluminum D-tube wings, all-fiberglass fuselage structure (eliminating tube-style engine and wing mount), and Tedlar wing covering.

Prototype #8 won Grand Champion and Outstanding Craftmanship awards at Sun &' Fun March 1983.

During 1983, N 918 M was exhibited at many airshows, with continued flight testing in Albuquerque as well.

In August 1983 three pre-production ultralight-legal Falcons were flown at Oshkosh, utilizing Kevlar-and-graphite fuselages and numerous refinements. Two of the planes were delivered to Falcon dealers. One craft won Reserve Grand Champion, then was flown home in one afternoon to Minneapolis (over 260 miles), averaging 57 mph ground speed.

In August 1983, load tests to destruction were performed on the other Oshkosh plane (prototype #9, which was weighed by the EAA at 240 lbs), documenting a load-carrying strength of 7 g's positive, three negative for the main wing and over 10 g positive 5 negative for the forward wing. January 1984 - Deliveries of production Falcons begin.

Wing has swept back leading and trailing edges, and tapering chord; no tail, canard wing. Pitch control by elevator on canard; yaw control by tip-rudders, roll control by full-span ailerons; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Wing braced from below by struts; wing profile; double-surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; steel-spring suspension on nosewheel and axle-flex suspension on main wheels. Push-right go-right nosewheel steering connected to yaw control. Brake on nosewheel. Glass-fibre fuselage, partially enclosed. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.

The Falcon XP two seat tandem verson became available in early 1984.




Engine: Rotax 277, 28hp at 6200rpm
Power per unit area 0.15 hp/sq.ft, 16.3 hp/sq.m
Fuel capac-ity 5.0 US gal, 4.2 Imp gal, 18.9 litre
Length overall 10.6 ft, 3.20 m
Height overall 5.0ft, 1.52m
Wing span 36.0ft, 10.97m
Mean chord 4.5ft, 1.34m
Canard span 10.3 ft, 3.12 m
Canard chord 1.9 ft, 0.53 m
Total wing area 185 sq.ft, 17.2sq.m
Main wing area 165 sq.ft, 15.3sq.m
Canard area 20 sq.ft, 1.9sq.m
Main-wing aspect ratio 7.9/1
Wheel track 5.2ft, 1.57m
Wheelbase 5.5 ft, 1.65 m
Nosewheel diameter overall 11 inch, 28 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 11 inch, 28 cm
Empty weight 2501b, 113kg
Max take-off weight 4931b, 223kg
Payload 2431b, 100kg
Max wing loading 2.66 lb/sq.ft, 13.0kg/sq.m
Max power loading 17.6 lb/hp, 8.0kg/hp
Max level speed 100 mph, 161 kph
Max cruising speed 63 mph, 101 kph
Stalling speed 26 mph, 42 kph
Max climb rate at sea level 500 ft/min, 2.5m/s
Min sink rate 250ft/min at 40mph, 1.2 m/s at 64 kph
Best glide ratio with power off 16/1
Service ceiling 15,000 ft, 4570 m
Range at average cruising speed 300 mile, 483 km


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