|Terrence I. Murphy, tismurph=hotmail.com, 10.02.2012|
The H.P. 75 Manx was a British experimental aircraft designed by Handley Page that flew test flights in the early 1940s. It was notable for its unconventional design characteristics, being a twin-engine tailless design of pusher configuration.
The Manx was built to participate in a flight research program investigating problems associated with tailless aircraft. The partially-swept wings supported the vertical stabilizers of a twin tail, with elevons for pitch and roll control.
After it was delivered in 1939, redesigns had to be made because the Manx was too heavy, and there were also structural integrity issues with the main spar. An unorthodox aspect of the Manx design incorporated into the aircraft was that the main undercarriage was retractable, while the nose gear remained fixed.
Taxi tests began in early 1940, but inspection revealed serious deterioration of the wing structures, which required extensive repair. These and further problems delayed the maiden flight until June 1943. The first flight was terminated early when the canopy was lost in mid-flight, but the pilot managed to land the plane safely. The Manx had only accumulated about 17 hours of flight time over approximately 30 flights when flight tests were finally terminated in April 1946. The sole example built was scrapped in 1952.
Crew: 2 (pilot in enclosed cockpit in front, with observer behind)
Length: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft (12.2 m)
Wing area: 246 ft² (22.8 m²)
Empty weight: 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)
Loaded weight: 4,000 lb (1,814 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × de Havilland Gipsy Major inline, 140 hp (104 kW) each
Cruise speed: 150 mph (240 km/h)
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,575 m)