|Terrence I. Murphy, 15.02.2012|
At 25 hp, the pilot was lucky to get off the ground and not crash and kill himself as so many others have in the history of flight.
The Bowlus/Nelson BB-1 Dragonfly is an American, two seat, strut-braced, high-wing motor glider that was developed from the Bowlus BA-100 Baby Albatross glider by Hawley Bowlus.
The development of the Dragonfly was sponsored by the Nelson Engine Company to promote the use of their H-44 25 hp (19 kW) four cylinder two-stroke engine. The engine was mounted in the rear of the fuselage pod, in pusher configuration, with the wooden two bladed 42 in (107 cm) propeller below the metal tail boom. The fuel tank holds 3 U.S. gallons (11 L; 2.5 imp gal), enough for self-launching, but not for cross-country powered flight.
The Dragonfly shares the Baby Albatross's molded plywood fuselage pod, aluminium tube tail boom and strut-braced double spar wooden wing, covered in aircraft fabric aft of the spar. The leading edge is a plywood D-cell. The aircraft features dual controls and a retractable tricycle landing gear with a steerable nose wheel. The engine is started by a ratchet-wire recoil start system that allows restarts in flight, as well as on the ground.
Capacity: one passenger
Wingspan: 47 ft 4 in (14.43 m)
Wing area: 169 sq ft (15.7 m2)
Aspect ratio: 13.25
Empty weight: 580 lb (263 kg)
Gross weight: 940 lb (426 kg)
Fuel capacity: 3 U.S. gallons (11 L; 2.5 imp gal)
Powerplant: 1 Ũ Nelson H-44 four cylinder, two stroke, 25 hp (19 kW)
Propellers: 2-bladed wooden, 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m) diameter
Maximum glide ratio: 18:1
Rate of climb: 235 ft/min (1.19 m/s)
Wing loading: 5.56 lb/sq ft (27.1 kg/mē)
|Allen Kidder, 20.03.2011|
This is the Bowlus Dragonfly. It was two-place, side by side seating powered sailplane. I once saw it fly during a soaring meet at the Harris Hill Gliderport, near Elmira NY probably around in the late 1940's. I remember watching it take off from the grass strip on top of the hill and watched it disappear over the edge of the hill not yet airborne. A minute or so later it reappeared over the valley slowly climbing much to everyone's relief. It had a Nelson engine air-cooled pusher engine and was pretty underpowered. The fuselage, wings and tail were wood and there was an aluminum tube for the tail boom. It was very similar to the earlier single place Baby Bowlus sailplane.