Short vs. Long Fuselage

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Pat Weeden
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Short vs. Long Fuselage

Post by Pat Weeden »

Received via e-mail at BPA HQ:
Have been trying to learn the difference between the short or long fuselage. Can you help me. Please?
Dave Birkhead email
Pat Weeden, Site Admin
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Re: Short vs. Long Fuselage

Post by taildrags »

This is a topic that has been discussed since the time that the early cavemen first learned how to draw airplanes ;o) There are multiple variations of the Air Camper fuselage, but the two main versions that you're most likely referring to would be the "short" fuselage length that appears in the 1932 Flying & Glider Manual... 13'-5" (161")... and the "long" fuselage length that appears on Drawing No. 1 of the 1933 Orrin Hoopman plans, which is 163". The differences along the top of the fuselage occur in three bays of framing: the first bay (from the firewall to the attachment point of the forward cabane strut) increases by 2" from 12-1/2" to 14-1/2", which effectively moves the engine forward by that amount. The other two differences along the top cancel each other out as the spacing between the fore and aft cabane strut attachments drops by 1/4" and the point at the top of the pilot's seatback increases by 1/4".

Along the bottom, the first bay (firewall to forward main landing gear attachment point) increases from 8-1/2" to 10", which slides the landing gear aft by 1-1/2". Several of the other dimensions along the bottom also change, but the changes in the forward-most bay are the ones that may affect the weight & balance the most since the predominant problem with W&B on the Air Camper is tail-heaviness and moving the engine forward helps with that. Moving the landing gear aft has other consequences and the excellent series of tests and write-ups by William Wynne (referred to in an earlier post by Terry Hand) are a must-read if you're just beginning to build and can make adjustments easily.
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