Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Genghis the Engineer
#1323755
A silly idea keeps coming to me.

Rollason Condor - universally regarded as a thoroughly good little flying machine, popular with owners, reasonably and enjoyably challenging to fly, seems to have historically produced pretty good pilots when it was a common training aeroplane.

- Made of wood and fabric, which is rather less popular nowadays.



However - it would be a doddle to take moulds off one, and reverse engineer it in Carbon Fibre.

Designing the internal structure would be a bit more work, but straightforward enough - I can think of engineers in the UK who could do that in a couple of weeks. Actually I think I'd rather use the approach of the C42 and use a simple bolted tube internal structure with CFRP outer panels - even I could stress analyse that longhand.

No shortage of companies who could manufacture it.


Personally, I'd replace the Continental with a Rotax 912S - cheaper, more modern, more frugal, well understood.

And of course, some modern instruments.


Maybe take it through LAA as a kit, but do it properly to CS.VLA so that it would be reasonably straightforward to then set up a manufacturing concern and sell them as 2 seat training aeroplanes.

Maybe tweak the structure a bit so that it can be configured with the maingear a bit further back and a training wheel at the front if anybody wanted that.



Anybody got any thoughts on that as a project?

Anybody know who actually owns the design rights to the D62 now?

G
User avatar
By Sooty25
#1323772
As nice as a Condor is, if you are going to all that effort, there must be something a bit more exciting to copy.

Please don't ask me what, but while a second hand Condor is usually very good value for money, I'm not sure a new build version is going to sell in enough numbers to justify the tooling.

Just my opinion.
By oldbiggincfi
#1323774
The Condor has to be one of the best training aircraft of its time.
Not at all sexy but robust and being a tailwheel trained excellent pilots.
Spin training was a joy, not aerobatic, although would stand stand some rough handling.
We as a club,flew them at night and in IMC to climb through cloud.
An updated version would be super if costs could be controlled.

Distribution was strictly Controlled by Norman Jones to the extent purchase was not an option.
Aircraft were leased by Rollason to clubs and had to remain in their original yellow colour.
Somewhere in my memory the name Ralph Jones crops up as being the son of Norman taking over from his father.
I assumed the family retained the design.

Do something about the petrol tank - fuel used to come through the push throttle in the middle of the dash.
The rudder sometimes had a bit attention from tailwheel.

Some would say I am not a tailwheel pilot although have only 900hrs on them and loved every minute.
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By MichaelP
#1323782
I have only flown about 140 types of light aircraft so what would I know?

But, the Rollason Condor is my favourite aeroplane of all time.
I liked this type so much that I was inspired to set up a flying club and operate three of them.

The Condor is not aerobatic...
The loop is pleasant enough, but as far as rolling this aeroplane is concerned I have lost count...
The aeroplane is strong, far stronger than the Jodel or the Emeraude, and I'd bet the mainspar is stronger than a CAP 10's.
The aeroplane forgave, and put up with the abuse of pilots while retaining very pleasant control harmonisation, and it did everything in the flying trainng manuals without any need to fudge anything.

I drew up a Condor with a sliding canopy and one of 'mine', G AYFC, has one fitted now.
I also bought spats for G ATAU...

Wood and fabric is strong and easy to repair.
I like the 912 S, but I would have difficulty not fitting an O-200 A.
The O 240 version was a lot of fun :twisted:

It's a hard sell against the boring, practical Cessna, but for passionate people it is the Ace Machine.
I have never met anyone who flew a Condor and didn't like it.
I've had one chap, experienced in the RAF Spitfire, say it is the closest in handling to this British ideal. I barreled him :D
pilotbarry liked this
By Robin500
#1323829
Friend of mine bought a Condor and is doing his Ab initio training in it. I've flown it a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If I had a spare 15k sloshing around I'd consider having one in my stable.
By Crash one
#1323840
I think it would be a great idea. As for tooling what about moulds from the airframe and make them from carbon fibre, then a modern fabric skin?
I've never flown one but it seems to be well thought of.
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By kanga
#1323845
Genghis the Engineer wrote:..

However - it would be a doddle to take moulds off one, and reverse engineer it in Carbon Fibre...


rather as the RF6 became the Firefly .. ?
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By garethep
#1323849
It's one of those questions......is the Condor a joy because of it vintage or in spite of it!
I'm sure a modern version could be made demonstrably "better" in almost all respects except price but would it appeal in the same way.

I have mused upon a similar possibility for something like a Mew Gull but only as a personal one off.......This would have the advantage of not requiring a virtually unavailable engine and being cheaper than an original (not difficult when a real one is worth so much!)
If the mew gull is not your thing then a scaled down dh comet with a pair of wam diesel engines in it could make a very nice fast tourer.
By PeteM
#1323853
Yes, you could do it and yes there would be a small market for it. And from y point of view that is the whole problem.

I have a 601xl, flies well, good load and C of G, cheap to run. The handling is ok, but definitely not as good as a Condor. For the last couple of years I've been thinking of a change. The alternatives? Well none that are significantly better - apart from the MCR01.

In short there is a wide variety of these sort of light aircraft which look somewhat different but really offer no significant advantages over aircraft designed over 50 years ago. In short there has been virtually no progress. The Rotax has dropped fuel consumption and increased reliability, the airframes beyond the one honourable mention, look a little slicker - but actually do not go much better.

The fact that a reborn Condor looks a viable option says it all really. I would suggest it you are going to the trouble of designing and building then some form of progress would be a much more rewarding approach?
By Bill McCarthy
#1323878
I did my first flight on the road to a PPL in G-ATAU on 25.5.76. The first solo in G-AWSN 11 hours (six weeks later) and I did not like the stall or the spinning exercises one little bit. The stall as I remember was like someone opening a trapdoor underneath you, and by the cringe, did it spin quickly ! It was rock solid though all the same - it must have been to get me through training. Some had, which can only be described as a plywood plank at each wingtip which spoiled it's appearance a bit. The good old Jodels vastly outnumber them and I'd love to see those types fly in modern clothing. Nevertheless, as is, the Condor and the Jodels are up there performance wise with many new designs.
By Cumulo-nimbus
#1323915
I've always liked the look of a Condor; nearly bought one, but never flown one. Looks a bit gawky to me when sat on the ground.
Wasn't the resurrected Thorp T211 of a decade ago a somewhat similar project, but didn't exactly hit the nail on the head?
By rogerb
#1323927
Learnt on Condors so love them and maybe one day will buy one but they always looked built etc down to a price. The canopy for example.
Sacrilege it may be but the tailwheel might be an issue, or not who knows.
Sex it up a bit, get the price right and it could do well.
By cockney steve
#1323937
Sex it up a bit, get the price right and it could do well.

Even if you threw in a season-ticket to the best brothel in the country, it wouldn't "do well" :(
There is simply not a big-enough market-base in this country, and there never will be, until such time as a mass of beaurocracy is stripped away from the whole light-aviation scene.
I, as a "man on the street" have yet to encounter any formof advertising entreating me to "become a SSDR Pilot for only £x "
there-again,, the dream needs to sell the 2-seater witha handsome bloke and a fit bird having the time of their lives, heading towards a sunlit , deserted sandy cove, woodland glade or the like.
A shorter, "easier" training-period, with a test designed to weed-out the "fly by rote, parrot the answers" wallahs, and encouraging those with aptitude and understanding

You have only to look on the roads....the Chelsea Tractor drivers who are convinced their vehicle is 14 foot wide....the Micra driver who can'tdrive through a 10 foot gap.....don't start me on reverse -parking.
It is clearly about revenue....long as they are unlikely to kill anyone, give them a licence....car gets sold...as the chain moves along one place, eventually ,someone does buy a new one, even if the new licence holder bought the banger at the bottom of the chain....then they buy spares, lots of taxed fuel, mot, road fund, vat on garage-charges....
I don't ever see a Terrafugia in everyone's (anyone's ) driveway......but UK GA could be driven forward and considerably increase it's total parc.
but, sorry , the volume just isn't there for what would have to be a very expensive niche-market product.

Even around the £15000 mark...how many households keep a dinghy /Motorcycle/Caterham/Ariel Atom or similar as a "Toy" ?...to change that
small volume of people ont an aercraft instead, is an uphill task....OK there are a few who have all the toys ,plus a Heli or a Plank.....but , you'd struggle to fill a couple of A4 sheets with the details of those people in the UK.

IF the 21st. Century, DIY Kit-trainer were aimed at the American market, then, numerically it should do better, but to get decent market-penetration, it would need to be specifically tailored to their likes and have the magic ingredient that "tickles their fancy"

Sorry, nice dream but extremely speculative.
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