Lightwing Rooster I
Rooster I sailplane
Single-seat single-engined biplane with conventional three-axis control. Wings have unswept leading and trailing edges, and constant chord; conventional tail. Pitch control by fully flying tail; yaw control by fin-mounted rudder; roll control by two-thirds span ailerons; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Wings braced by transverse struts; wing profile 100 % double-surface. Undercarriage has two wheels with tailskid and nose skid; no suspension on either wheel. No ground steering. No brakes. Wood/glass-fibre fuselage, totally enclosed. Engine mounted between wings driving pusher propeller.
Instead of aluminium tube, Dacron and lots of rigging wires, he prefers simple traditional wooden construction, though as a concession to modernity the Rooster 1 does have a glass-fibre nose.
The Rooster 1 was conceived in 1977 as a sailplane. As a sailplane it thermalled at 600 ft (185 m), was aero-towed three times and made some 300 circuits. It also proved stronger than expected, landing without damage across the furrows of a ploughed field.
Right from the start, however, John intended to power the machine, simply because he wanted to go soaring without hordes of assistants. So once he was satisfied with the aircraft's dynamic qualities, he fitted a Chrysler engine. In 1982 he was replacing this with a Valmet unit. The undercarriage design uses only two wheels but has a skid at either end. The wheel track is large enough that the aircraft does not tip up when the pilot enters, yet narrow enough to permit ground manoeuvring using only the rudder. There are no wheel brakes; instead the pilot simply pushes forward the stick and lets the friction gener-ated by the nose skid slow the aircraft.
There are no plans for manufacture, but depending on demand, John may produce plans for the aircraft.
Engine: Valmet, 10 hp at 6000 rpm.
Propeller diameter and pitch 52x27inch, 1.32x0.69m.
V-belt reduction, ratio 4.0/1.
Power per unit area 0.07hp/sq.ft, 0.8 hp/sq.m.
Fuel capacity 6.6 US gal, 5.5 Imp gal, 25.0 litre.
Empty weight 320 lb, 145kg.
Max take-off weight 570 lb, 259kg.
Payload 250 lb, 113kg.
Max wing loading: 3.99 lb/sq.ft, 19.5 kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 57.0 lb/hp, 25.9kg/hp.
Load factors +6.0, -4.0 design.
Length overall 17.9 ft, 5.45 m.
Height overall 4.9ft, 1.50m.
Wing span 30.2ft, 9.20m.
Constant chord 3.0ft, 0.91m (top wing).
Dihedral 0 deg
Sweepback 0 deg
Tailplane span 10.5 ft, 3.20 m.
Fin height 5.2 ft, 1.58 m.
Total wing area 143 sq.ft, 13.3 sq.m.
Total aileron area 13.2 sq.ft, 1.23 sq.m.
Fin area 4.6 sq.ft, 0.43 sq.m.
Rudder area 6.2 sq.ft, 0.58 sq.m.
Total elevator area 16.8 sq.ft, 1.56 sq.m.
Wing aspect ratio 10/1 (top wing).
Wheel track 6.2 ft, 1.88 m.
Main wheels diameter overall 11 inch, 28 cm.
Max level speed 65 mph, 105 kph.
Never exceed speed 75 mph, 121 kph.
Max cruising speed 60 mph, 97 kph.
Economic cruising speed 40 mph, 64 kph.
Stalling speed 30 mph, 48 kph.
Best glide ratio with power off 14/1 at 33 mph, 53 kph.
Range at average cruising speed 300 mile, 483 km.