Posted By RichC on November 9, 2009
Enjoyed the nice afternoon weather and headed to the airport for our monthly EAA meeting. Today we reviewed the successful first flight (very impressive) and later accident of Mark Dusenberry’s 1905 Wright Flyer replica — NTSB preliminary report. Bob Luken reviewed his video of the flight and the accident (only the FAA has a copy besides Bob) and discussed the inherit pitch instability well know in this airplane. According to research, the Wright Brothers made changes to their original 1905 design by pushing the canard “horizontal rudder” farther forward and adding 70 pounds of lead in order to improve CG for their July 1905 flights. This didn’t solve the sensitivity to pitch, but did improve the pitch problem somewhat.
After watching the video of the accident several time in slow motion, it was easy to see that each pitch correction by Mark lead to exaggerated climb and dive movements and eventually an uncontrollable 45 degree angle to the ground. Although Mark built his replica to match the “improved CG 1905 design,” it is possible there still wasn’t enough weight forward — speculation on our part. Another thought was that he was also correcting with ‘wing warp’ bank left just before experiencing pitch oscillations, and that could have added to a loss of control? In any case, thanks for sharing the video with our EAA284 Chapter.