Presentation to the MacDonald College


Text of a Lecture presented by S.K.Brochocki at MacDonald College in St-Anne de Bellevue, Quebec for the local EAA branch (circa 1990)


"Bob (Gairns) suggested that I say something on the subject of tailless airplanes.


I shall try to recollect all my limited experiences. Occasionally events in ones past seem to commit an individual for a lifetime, marriage not necessarily being one of those events.


In my case, it happened in Poland in the mid 1920's when as a small boy I heard and saw for the first time an airplane flying overhead. I know that the magic of that event hooked me on aviation to this day.


Since the war, I worked for Canadair where I frequently browsed through the library. There, in one of the European aviation magazines, I spotted a picture of a pre-war German sailplane, the Horten IV. It was a silhouette of a long, swept back wing pictured against the clouds. It had virtually no protrusions to spoil the ideal, so I thought, flying wing. This picture also made an indelible impression. Horten Brothers begun before the war a systematic development of tailless airplanes. The last, and the most extravagant of them was the Horten VI sailplane, also a swept wing of some 25 meter span with an aspect ratio close to 30. There was only a tiny pod under the wing for the legs of the pilot housed within the airfoil in a sort of praying mantis position. If I recall correctly, that sailplane was chose n by famous R. Kronfeld to set the distance record by soaring along the coast, of South America.


The desire to go aloft, to go faster and further is with us since the Icarus. This drive motivates us to create ever more successful flying machines.


Purists maintain, that the flying wing is the answer. In practice, like any ideal, it is hard to achieve. I said hard, but not impossible. In some applications, the flying wing may even be the only solution. Look at the hang-glider or at the just revealed glimpse of the stealth bomber, Northrop B-2.

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