When will one show at Dockweiler?

Honoring the rich history and bright future of gliding at Dockweiler Beach

Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby JoeF » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:58 am

When will John Dickenson arrive at Dockweiler?
The 1908 W. Simon foot-launch battened flex-wing sport-meet-used hang glider's triangle control frame found a mechanical distant echo in JD's 1963 power-towed ski-kite; such use advanced Australia's ski-kite. John Worth before 1963 demonstrated the triangle-control frame or A-frame. Maybe a memory day at Dockweiler: W. Simon-John Worth- James Hobson-John Dickenson Day? It would be great for family-tree members of the Worth family and Hobson friends to meet John Dickenson at Dockweiler. I imagine JD thanking those who preceded him with the mechanicals he used to have for his extensive ski-kiting fun; he might have a final chance to say he is sorry for buying into the untenable world-global-umbrella invention claims that GH pushed to an eventual FAI-history-statement fiasco. I offer to pay JD's parking-privilege ticket at Dockweiler. JD, let us know, we will prepare festivities. We could also celebrate uncle Bennett, Dave Kilbourne, and Bill Moyes also, as they too used the Simon and Worth triangle control frame. Maybe call the day TRIANGLE DAY AT DOCKWEILER. Past, present, future: three sides. The likes of the 1908 control frame seem to have given some root to the tri-wheel landing gear for aircraft that has prevailed now for centuries. It is neat to be with HGs that echo to such as W. Simon, John Worth, and others. Help design the Triangle Day or the like; starter file: http://www.energykitesystems.net/WHGA/FlexWingHangGliderGoldAirAward.html
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Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby Frank Colver » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:06 am

As I recall, John Worth was the official judge from the AMA when I set the world record for closed course distance for F3B (R/C glider). I have the record certificate from the FAI, in France, but unfortunately it does not show who the AMA recording judge was. My memory says it was John. I set the record on May 8, 1965.

As I recall he was president of the AMA and already visiting SoCal at the time and served as the official record attempts judge. There were a number of flyers making the attempt that day. I, fortunately, survived a very low slope lift period and went on to get the record. I could have flown longer but He needed to leave at 5:00 pm and since I already had the record I couldn't very well ask him to stay longer.

If someone else was AMA president at that time please let me know.

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Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby JoeF » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:42 am

Wow, Frank.
You have close tap with John Worth and Richard Miller.
Did you by chance watch the 1962 Lawrence Welk Show that showed James Hobson's "Rogallo-Wing Hang Glider"?

Some of the AMA presidents:
1963-January 1964 13th President
John Worth

February 1964-December 1964 14th President
Maynard Hill

1965-1966 15th President
Howard E. Johnson
Note: Two-year terms were initiated in 1965. The rule lasted through 1970.

1967-1968 16th President
Cliff Weirick

1969-1970 17th President
John E. Patton
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Spratt Controwing HG Mod?

Postby JoeF » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:28 am

When will we see fly at Dockweiler a HG-mod of a Spratt Controlwing?
Or have we already? Technical analysis might be needed to discern whether we already have or have not HG-mod of a Spratt controlwing :!:
The HG-mod suggested in the question is sans hull replaced by pilot body as one mod. And sans power unit using only gravity for power to glide. Others may have other mods in mind.
Consider monoplane (possibly articulated left and right wing parts), biplane, triplane, etc.
Early Spratt control wing non-powered biplane using triangle control frame, circa mid-1940s. Note use of the like of the 1908 HG A-frame by W. Simon
EarlySpratt6.jpg (7.1 KiB) Viewed 5039 times

Name caution: Father and son both have aviation histories:
Dr. George A. Spratt (1870 - 1934) and son George G. Spratt (1904 - 1994)
Here is an historical note by a key builder and pilot Bill Wolfe to get one started on answering the above questions:

( History and Overview by Bill Wolfe, Aug. 18, 2004, with use of his broad permission and presented here in FDGS forum within USHAWKS server space )

Dear Friend, here is a brief history of the Spratt Controlwing flying boat.

The Spratt Controlwing flying boat is a favorite subject of mine. I built one of
these several years ago and have assumed the task of keeping these kinder, gentler and
safer aircraft before the aviation and general public. I have developed design concepts
for a sleeker and trimmer hull configuration for the flying boat including retractable
gear concepts for an amphibious version. If and when they become available, I am sure
Controlwing kits would be well received by home-builders.
The name Spratt and the Controlwing is still not very widely known both in and
outside of the aviation field. Spratt's 200#, Evinrude powered ultralight Controlwing
was shown in the August 1936 Popular Science magazine, the Spratt/Stout flying
Automobile in the June 1945 Popular Mechanics, "The Brain Behind the Wrights" in
the January 1962 Climax Magazine, the Spratt Controlwing flying boat was the cover
article for both the June 1962 Popular Mechanics and April 1970 Science and Mechanics
and also in the September 1969 AOPA Pilot magazine. The Experimental Aircraft
Association's Sport Aviation magazine had Controlwing articles in the July 1972,
December 1973, June and July 1974, May 1976 and May 1980 and the April 2000
Experimenter. The Smithsonian's December '94/ January '95 Air and Space magazine
had a Controlwing article and my aircraft was shown several times in later EAA
I knew George G. Spratt as a personal friend for 29 years. He was a visionary
aeronautical engineer, inventor and a true gentleman.
There were two Spratt Controlwing flying boat prototypes flying in the
Chesapeake Bay area in the mid 60's to mid 70's accumulating hundreds of accident
free hours and soloed by over 100 pilots who only had to ask. The Spratt
Controlwing land plane prototype is in the Mid Atlantic Air Museum at the
Reading, PA airport.
My Spratt Controlwing flying boat N107GW was only the third plans-built
aircraft to be completed and flown up to 2004 as far as the late George G.
Spratt and I knew. All three were built primarily of wood rather than the all
composite construction of the prototypes. Of the other two, both using VW
engines, one was lost in a water collision and the other one may be
deteriorating in Florida. N107GW is the only Spratt Controlwing aircraft
in the current FAA registry.
Dr. George A. Spratt, a medical school graduate in 1885, developed a
serious heart condition preventing him from practicing medicine. He decided
to enter the field of aerodynamics and became a close friend of Octave
Chanute. They both realized that liftoff was easily attained so they
concentrated their developments and experiments in the very important
and more difficult area of stability and control. Spratt made extensive
observations of the wings of birds, bees and other insects to develop his
early elementary understanding of nature's subtle solutions to the stability
and control of flying creatures, now commonly known to the general public
due to high speed photography.
Chanute and Spratt were intrigued by the efforts of Wilbur and Orville
Wright and offered their free assistance. Dr. Spratt visited Kitty Hawk
frequently and eventually became their primary aeronautical consultant.
After introducing them to his personal very elaborate wind tunnel that
measured both lift and drag, they were later able to build and use their
own wind tunnel for some of their experiments including their very
effective propeller development.
The Wrights have been given much undeserved credit as single-handedly
developing the first successful aircraft, but Spratt's volunteer technical
assistance and design changes played a significant part in their ultimate
success though he is rarely mentioned in history books and then only as a
casual visitor. A Wright employee built their engines from scratch and they
were fortunate to have a supportive family, an established business from
which they could take time off, had the use of that facility to develop
their aircraft and neither one ever married. These two totally dedicated
brothers had no real social life to speak of.
Chanute and Spratt did not agree with the Wright's three control
approach and suggested other simpler Controlwing design features which
they rejected but Spratt helped them do it their way anyway. After Spratt
and Chanute delivered a large Controlwing glider of their own design to
Kitty Hawk, it was successfully flown and then offered to the Wright's
for continued testing but they abandoned it to the weather. Had they
continued testing it, aviation history may have been quite different
and tens of thousands of lives would have been saved. They believed better
flight training would resolve the difficulty of coordinated controls but
Spratt believed building in the safer and easier control system was
better. Wilbur and Orville were more than willing to accept Spratt's
volunteer technical assistance but were not willing to share their
celebrity or potential financial gains.
The brothers rarely acknowledged him or his important design changes
which helped lead to their ultimate success, however they never hesitated
to often call on him as an expert witness for their many patent suites
years later. It took fourteen years for Dr. Spratt to get his own
Controlwing related patents because the patent office officials
consistently could not understand such a concept so different from the
then existing aircraft. See http://www.georgespratt.org for more of the
Spratt/Wright connection.
Dr. Spratt and later with his son, the late George G. Spratt, built
twenty different experimental gliders, seaplanes and land planes. Each
one incorporated a Controlwing in some fashion, including a successful
flying automobile developed in conjunction with Bill Stout which was
seriously considered for production by Convair and a smaller land plane
developed for Bendix but not pursued as management elected not to compete
with their customers.
In 1936 George G. Spratt was flying a 200 # Evinrude powered,
roadable ultralight Controlwing! Many people probably think ultralights
are a more modern idea. To view this aircraft in operation, see "Aircraft
Oddities", Experimental Aircraft Association's video of older and unusual
flying machines.
My Controlwing flying boat N107GW was built using George G. Spratt's
1973 plans with many personal changes incorporated and marked on the plans.
I used an 85 HP Mercury marine outboard power head, modified per Spratt's
instructions. Wooden construction was used throughout, not the all composite
construction of the early prototype N910Z which weighed about 500 #.
Mine and one of two other known all wood plans-built aircraft weighed from
250 to 275 # more. My aircraft may be seen in the September and October
1998 Sport Aviation magazines, the April 2000 Experimenter,
EAA's Aerocrafter plans book and web site http://www.georgespratt.org
I offer a Controlwing flying boat plans package including 33 of
Spratt's drawings, 76 pages of construction and general information and
photos plus a 35 minute video showing Controlwing prototype flying boat
operations, the Controlwing prototype land plane operation and much taxi
testing of my aircraft plus the takeoff of my last short flight before
my medical expired. The plans package is $115.00 US, post paid. Add $25.00
if foreign air mail delivery is desired.
In 1969 I first saw and had the opportunity to fly N910Z, the 60 HP
Mercury powered, all composite Spratt Controlwing flying boat prototype.
I immediately fell in love with it and decided this was the only aircraft
I would ever care to own. After dreaming about it a very long time I
finally built one.
When Spratt demonstrated his Controlwing flying boats, he often
operated from his personal aircraft carrier; a home-built, 55 foot,
arc welded steel utility vessel anchored over a shallow sandbar in the
middle of Chesapeake Bay.
The FAA Experimental Aircraft license is primarily for the builder's
education and recreation. I got a lot of the educational part but very
little of the recreational part as my medical expired just as flight
testing started. With no other experienced Controlwing pilot available
to continue the flight test program, I sold the aircraft to a man in
Tampa who re-sold it to a fellow in Norfolk. The Controlwing was
trailered to Kitty Hawk during the 100th Anniversary of Flight, but
parking or display space in the vicinity or even at the local airport
was denied by both local and Federal authorities.
Should an entrepreneur wish to develop Controlwing kits, I would
be more than happy to assist technically. I have considered building
another Controlwing as a kit protype if nearby interested parties are
found. Many knowledgeable aviation people believe that Controlwing flying
boat or amphibians kits would be especially attractive for new and student
pilots, senior citizens and many home-builders due to the lower cost, ease
of construction, operational safety and comfort.
Even though the original breakthrough for such a safe aircraft was
evident in the early 60's, apparently investors and other interested parties
were afraid of liability for something so vastly different from existing
aircraft designs and they also may not have really understood the Spratt
Controlwing concept. When advanced military aircraft proposals were
solicited during WW II, Dr. Spratt submitted Controlwing aircraft designs.
They were looked upon with favor but would be considered only after they
were put into actual production.
Of more than 100 pilots who flew the Spratt Controlwing flying boat
prototype simply by asking, the low time and student pilots loved it but
the more experienced pilots did not care much for it because there was
so little for them to do and no stunts were possible with such a docile
I taxied my Controlwing flying boat a lot but flew it only on very
brief test hops as the FAA flight test plan got underway. Testing dragged
out a very long time as numerous bugs such as engine installation,
carburetors, vee belt tensioner adjustment, exhaust system, cooling system,
control linkage revisions and wing panel balance were ironed out including
my lack of experience and with little or no other assistance. There were
no definite instructions from Spratt regarding control rigging, wing panel
balance and desired pilot pitch control inputs. This important information
was gained by experience.
All the pictures and video I have were taken by casual bystanders.
Unfortunately no professional photography was done and no in-flight
still photographs were ever taken. ( although videos were taken )
My last brief test flight on October 4, 2000 is seen in a video
showing the takeoff at 50 mph to about 50 feet before outdistancing
the chase boat. There were not enough brief liftoffs to record any
meaningful data during our thirteen trips to the lake.
More than five years of labor and test time went into this project,
my first attempt at building an aircraft. I was an aerospace design
engineer for thirty six years but that helped very little with this
project requiring woodworking, metalwork, fiberglass, machining, welding,
engine and instrument installation skills plus flight testing.
Controlwing kits would vastly simplify and shorten such a project for
the home builder.

--- Spratt Controlwing Flying Boat Operations ---
In flight, both hinged parasol wing panels collectively and
aerodynamically maintain a relatively constant angle of attack with
a variable angle of incidence with reference to the hull. The NACA
23112 reflex airfoil was selected due to its favorable aerodynamic
pitch response and small excursion of the lift vector. The wing panels
are moved differentially to provide a very gentle bank and turn. The
wide fixed vee shaped tail has no movable surfaces. It just guides the
aircraft like feathers on an arrow and provides tail lift at high power
and cruise power settings.
Flight controls consisted of a throttle, steering wheel and an
auxiliary pitch stick. Since the inherently stable Controlwing flying
boat has no ailerons, rudder or elevator; pilot control coordination
is not required. Conventional aircraft which can stall, spin and dive
use those movable surfaces to direct an aircraft in pitch, roll, yaw
and maneuvers about the CG. The steering wheel of the Controlwing only
controls the differential angle between wing panels to provide a gentle
bank and turn and move the very effective water rudder. There is no
feedback or cross talk between the pilot's pitch and roll inputs or
outputs with this very simplistic control system. The auxiliary pitch
stick is only needed when the pilot desires to shorten a takeoff, move
above or below an existing stable flight path or glide path, or to
flare for a smoother landing.
The throttle, conveniently attached to the auxiliary pitch stick
mounted low like a helicopter, is the primary vertical flight control.
Hands-off takeoffs and landings may be made solely by increasing or
decreasing power. With higher power settings the flying boat hull
will assume a relatively level attitude for takeoff and cruise flight.
When power is lowered to idle, tail lift is reduced and the hull will
assume a slightly nose high attitude essential for a safe water landing
and the angle of incidence of the wing panels will automatically adjust
to accommodate the stable glide path.
No air rudder is needed for the flying boat since the small angular
difference between the wing panels does not create adverse yaw. Fast,
sharp turns can be made on the water due to the low center of gravity,
wide hull and the lack of wing tip floats to trip over. A Controlwing
flying boat banks into the turns like any motorboat.
With a minimum of flight training, a novice could easily and safely
fly a Controlwing flying boat. Any pilot could receive instructions by
telephone. These kinder, gentler, safer aircraft have no inherent stall,
spin or dive capability and whenever the stick remains unrestrained during
flight through turbulence, the occupants will sense only about one quarter
of the normal gust loads. The Controlwing flying boat is very crosswind
The Spratt Controlwing flying boat is the safest, simplist, easyist
to fly and most comfortable aircraft ever developed! Fly it yourself
and you will believe it.
George Spratt often asked, "Did you ever see a fixed wing bird"?
To that I add, "Did you ever see a bird with a rudder...or a low wing?"
Think about that....
Separate photos show my all wood Controlwing flying boat N107GW
and proposed future flying boat and amphibious hull suggestions in
addition to those shown in web site http://www.georgespratt.org

Bill Wolfe 1520 W. Ash St.., Rogers, AR 72758-5014 (479) 621-5822
EAA # 5716 SAA # 1431
I add a technical start for FDGS readers:
and a Yahoo group has a focus on the power versions of the Spratt Controlwing:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Spr ... messages/1
Note: A key site seems to be offline. Internet Archive of Way Back Machine has some of the material that was hosted; here is one look:
http://web.archive.org/web/200905241808 ... pratt.org/
To tease the questions:
Pivot wing, Controlwing, Living wing, Freewing

Still clip from news:
EarlySprattUltralight.JPG (23.48 KiB) Viewed 5038 times
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Two rotating discs as wings of HG?

Postby JoeF » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:15 am

When will we see at Dockweiler a HG that features left wing as a rotating disc (clockwise rotation) and a right wing (counterclockwise rotation).
Perhaps the rotation will be set up by the wind as the pilot stands balancing the wings; then when rotation is at a good clip, the pilot runs and enters glide to the sand.
When? [ :crazy: :crazy: ]

Distinguish two-blades from two discs.

Perhaps team could get the two wings rotating. Or the pilot with some ratcheting pumping action.

Tease images:

SUGGESTIVE, but not quite, as rotation was not occurring:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-60HAGU8cMqM/U ... luesky.png
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When? Bused 5-ft packed HG

Postby JoeF » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:08 am

When will we see someone next arrive at Dockweiler on the Los Angeles City bus with an airframed 5-ft-packed HG, unpack the HG, get checked by the site safety director, and glide the HG from the slope? And pack the HG up again for bus trip back home? :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

PS: Will someone show for such before I do? :?:
Oh! I think Eddie Paul already nearly did such, but he used a car to arrive to the site. So, the race is still on. Actually, I do not have handy the maximum packed dimension of his pack. Anyone?

Maybe we can measure the length of the pack from the images:
The attachment portawing2.jpg is no longer available

whitney-porta-wingBIKED.png (150.96 KiB) Viewed 5030 times

portawing3.png (185.22 KiB) Viewed 5030 times
portawing2.jpg (68.84 KiB) Viewed 5031 times
Last edited by JoeF on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:48 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Quad Ring?

Postby JoeF » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:26 am

When will one see someone glide a quad-ring HG at Dockweiler?
Image of a powered version, perhaps:
early-prototype-of-flying-machine-flying-doughnut-exhibited-at-curtis-field.jpg (50.19 KiB) Viewed 5031 times
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Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby Frank Colver » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:03 pm

Up until the arrival of the paraglider, the Portawing was the only hang gliding type craft that I was afraid to be directly underneath. In the air it looked like it could come straight down at any time and seemed to try to do so, every once in a while. :o

I heard others, who were about to have it pass overhead, express this thought also. Dockweiler would be the absolute best place for this wing.
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Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:22 pm

WOW!!!!      :shock:

Was that guy CRAZY to be without a helmet . . .                  . . . on a bicycle!!!!    :o

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Re: When will one show at Dockweiler?

Postby JoeF » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:23 am

When will a Fledgling fly Dockweiler ... or the like?
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