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Presentation to the MacDonald College

 

You probably are wondering what entitles me to all these judgements?

 

Just after the war, there were at Canadair a few Canadians and some European émigré glider pilots. Soon we started the Canadair soaring club. It was an ambitious name considering that , at the time, there was nothing to fly, let alone to soar in. Private ownership did not exist since there was nothing to own.

 

There were some antiques in Montreal area, all in need of repairs. Eventually, we got some heavy, surplus, military gliders, and a Schweitzer built trainer. We needed something that would perform better than what we had.

 

Having served the club for some years as a general repairman, I felt that need more than others. With a Silver "C" earned before the war, personal temptations channelled my creative notions towards a high performance sailplane. I embarked on a design of a 15M, fully flapped V-tailed sailplane. Some discussions with the interested individuals resulted in conclusion that it's construction would be outside of our means.

 

That was the time when I saw that picture of the Horten IV. Its ultimate simplicity of form and racy silhouette was irresistible. Closer scrutiny revealed its large size (20m span). There were intricate flight controls. Lots of thin gauge, steel tubing welded assemblies around the cockpit. Apparently, it was also prone to flutter at higher speeds. Head first position of the pilot, could mean head to stump confrontation on any outlanding. Another dream had to be given up.

 

Yet the infectious idea persisted.

 

In a few weeks, I prepared a 3-view, drawings of the structural details, and performance predictions for a little bird. It had no tail, the wing was rectangular, but it was swept back 13 degrees . The pilot was seated in a short nacelle. The span was 40 ft (12m), aspect ratio only 10, and the total length 10 ft. All controls were located at the wing tips.

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