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Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby JoeF » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:05 am

Espe,
Espenlaub

https://fmh.club/geschichte/schwaebische-flugpioniere/gottlob_espenlaub/
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottlob_Espenlaub
Gottlob Espenlaub (25 October 1900 – 9 January 1972[1]), nicknamed Espe,[2] was an inventor who specialized in early types of aircraft, specifically gliders and rocket propulsion systems designed for them. He invented a number of different aircraft, focusing on tailless designs. Espenlaub co-founded the practice of aerotowing.

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Rick Masters has identified a possible misattribution concerning a photo of one of Espenlaub's gliders that features a cockpit of interest to those exploring the history of the triangle control frame in hang gliding.
See Rick's suggested correction in the topic titled Alexander Lippisch; the E-1 of Espenlaub may have been mislabeled somewhere as E-2.

Lippisch did have interface with Espenlaub and such is subject for careful study. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Lippisch
An editor in Wikipedia posted: "Following the war, Lippisch worked with the Zeppelin Company, and it was at this time that he first became interested in tailless aircraft. In 1921, his first design to be built, by his friend Gottlob Espenlaub, was the Espenlaub E-2 glider." Distinguish between E-1 and E-2 to get clarity.

The following photo filename implies E-1 for the triangle-control-framed hang glider:
https://fmh.club/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/fmh_gottlob-espenlaub_01-1024x679.jpg
Image
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Here is one potential culprit of mislabeling of what probably is the the E-1, but the filename implies the E-2 probably in error: http://discaircraft.greyfalcon.us/picturesm/esp2.jpg

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The following link has text that seems to clarify things also between the E-1 and the E-2 (which involved Lippisch designing inputs to Espenlaub's building inputs).
http://strangevehicles.greyfalcon.us/Espenlaub%20Experimental.htm

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Nice list project needing careful primary-source verifications for fact: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=29360.0

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Also some clarity is invited over the biplane hang glider that has mixed attributions; the tailless biplane hang glider is shown on one of the above links. But again the names of Espenlaub and Lippisch are found without clear verification:
Image
:?: :idea: Clarification of designing and building regarding the biplane is invited by anyone.
[Echo of Dunne? Later echo in Taras Kiceniuk's Icarus I and II ???]
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:13 pm

My current understanding follows.
ImageImage
This is Gottlob Espenlaub with his first glider, based somewhat on a Chanute biplane but with sweptback wings, no tail and exaggerated reflex. He took this unfinished to the first Wasserkuppe competition as a 15-year-old boy and other contestants there helped him complete it. Alexander Lippisch may have seen this and become intrigued by the young inventer. Lippisch did have a lifelong love affair with sweptback wings, culminating in the delta wing during WWII. I suspect this photo was taken at a later date, years after the event, and Gottlob is showing it, uncovered, for the record. Just speculating here. [Second photo Icarus 2 in flight.]

Image
This would be Gottlob, perhaps with his parents at their home, showing his first self-designed glider, the E1. The stitching has yet to be completed on the leading edge and right wingtip, so I would suspect this is the family home in the background. This is not the E2 sweptback flying wing, so it must be the E1. He built this before he worked with Alexander Lippisch on the tailless E2. I can imagine him taking this to the Wasserkuppe and encountering Lippisch. Lippisch may have suggested he do away with the cumbersome tail and sweep back the wings to serve the tail's purpose, thus making the craft easier to ground-handle and probably easier to launch. The addition of ailerons for the E2 would have made the control bar unnecessary so the structure of the frame would have become stronger by doing away with the rectangular center bracing and going to all triangles. To me, it looks like the young Gottlob was going through an early self-taught design phase using rectangles that Lippisch would have easily corrected.

Image
Here, with the influence of Lippisch, the triangles are apparent and economical.
Last edited by Rick Masters on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby JoeF » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:23 pm

The guy holding the tailless biplane does not "look" like G. Espenlaub to me. Maybe careful photo enlargement and comparison of hairline and other features might distinguish.
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Some pics from a book apparently about Espenlaub:
http://www.aeroclub-bad-neustadt.de/Fotogalerie/twg/index.php?twg_album=10_Espenlaub

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Related:
http://www.erinnerungen-im-netz.de/go/id/bly
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1925Espenlaub.jpg
1925 Gottlob Espenlaub
1925Espenlaub.jpg (34.9 KiB) Viewed 77 times
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YetToBeVerifiedWhoBiplaneHolder.JPG
Yet-to-be-identified holder of biplane hang glider uncovered
YetToBeVerifiedWhoBiplaneHolder.JPG (13.03 KiB) Viewed 77 times
:?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
Last edited by JoeF on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:39 pm

Yet-to-be-identified holder of biplane hang glider uncovered

Look at his hairline. It's got to be Gottlob.
The guy holding the tailless biplane does not "look" like G. Espenlaub to me.

Image
I agree. It looks more like his brother Hans. (left) Which would suggest that Gottlob (right) was taking the photo.
Image

Further adventures of Hans and Gottlob.
Last edited by Rick Masters on Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby JoeF » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:44 pm

Image
Burgess-Dunne tailless biplane

Related Dunne D-8 in circa 1912 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunne_D.8

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Circa 1910 re: Dunne
https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1910/1910%20-%200479.html
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Joe, look at this. He placed the vertical control surfaces on the wingtips (drag rudders), not the tail! They tried everything!
Image

Must have been before they realized drag rudders cause drag.     :P

Last edited by Rick Masters on Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby JoeF » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:02 pm

Ya!
The Dunne tailless biplane had the verticals near the tips also.

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[img]Seed[/img]
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Re: Gottlob Espenlaub

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:38 pm

Gottlob also made an extremely aerodynamic car. Everyone knew when Gottlob was coming!
Image
Image

Espenlaub/Wanderer-Stromlinienfahrzeug (1928)
Das zweite Espenlaub-Automobil entstand ebenfalls noch 1928, wiederum auf Basis eines Wanderers. Das Fahrzeug zeigt eine extreme, bauchige, damals wie heute äußerst skurril anmutende Stromlinienform, die am ehesten an gedrungene Luftschiffe oder U-Boote erinnert. Ob es sich um eine Weiterentwicklung auf der Basis des ersten Espenlaub-Automobils handelt oder ein zweiter Wanderer als Ausgangsbasis diente, ist nicht überliefert. Die Karosserie entstand in Gemischtbauweise (Leichtmetallschalenbau kombiniert mit Elementen aus dem Segelflugbau). Markant war die ungewöhnliche Breite der Karosserie, die sowohl die Vorder- als auch die Hinterräder vollständig verkleidete. Typisch war wiederum die kleine, senkrecht stehende, diesmal sichelförmige und aus drei Teilen bestehende Frontscheibe. Der Zugang zur bauchig geformten Fahrgastzelle erfolgte aus Gewichts- und Stabilitätsgründen auch bei diesem Modell ausschließlich über eine einzelne Tür auf der Beifahrerseite. Wegweisend war zudem der Versuch, die beiden Scheinwerfer in die Karosserielinie zu integrieren, statt sie – wie damals üblich – separat aufzusetzen.

Modell „Stromlinie“ (1934/35)
Das dritte Espenlaub-Automobil entstand 1934/35 und erhielt die schlichte Bezeichnung „Stromlinie“. Äußerlich ähnelte es sehr dem zweiten Fahrzeug von 1928 mit ausgeprägter, wenn auch nicht mehr so extrem bauchiger Stromlinienform. Zur Fahrwerks- und Antriebstechnik sind keine Informationen überliefert. Die skurrile Karosserie mit einzelner Seitentür und Vollverkleidung der Räder ruhte auf einer Struktur aus Holzrippen, die nur im Bereich der Front und der Motorabdeckung mit Aluminiumblechen verschalt wurde. Ansonsten wies sie eine Stoffbespannung auf, die – wie damals im Segelflug gebräuchlich – mit Spannlack versteift war. Die kleine, senkrecht stehende, sichelförmige Frontscheibe bestand bei diesem Modell sogar aus fünf Teilen. - German Wikipedia
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