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These are Falcons which never made it into production
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This was the follow-up after the American Aerolite Eagle, probably around 1980. It featured a tubular frame with a fiberglass semi-enclosure, open engine area, Cuyuna engine I think, sailcloth wings, external airfoil ailerons already, winglets and rudders." It flew just great on 16 hp" according to Romuald, shown here on the pictures. It was fully load tested as you can see.
This was the third version ( second was insignificant ) and it featured a sailcloth enclosed engine area, a different wing shape but still sail-cloth with the external airfoil ailerons, and down-rudders. Larry Newman opted not to produce this version but to go all the way with the latest high tech materials and use the aluminum d-tube and PVF covering with a fully enclosed fuselage which became the well known Falcon UL by American Aerolight. This Proptotype 3 model is under consideration by yours truly to be reintroduced as the Millenium Falcon. Benefits are easy build, less materials, smaller fuselage, lighter. Bottom line : cheaper.
Artist's concept of the XP-C, follow-up after the XP, XP-B. Never went into production in favor of the Optima.
Conceived around 1985 to 1990 and was intended for the military market. It was all composite with two 160HP Hirth 2 stroke engines, had two cockpits and was fast. Designed and proto-typed by Romuald, it never saw production due to technical difficulties.
Update : January 2004 : This aircraft will be produced by Romuald as the Argus Millenium. Click here for more details
I combine these because they stem from the same origin. The Optima was the mother-ship. Just a handful of them were made by Romuald, primarily for the military market, probably around 1990. To the best of my knowledge only two are in still existence. Note the cantilevered wings. No struts. The fuselage mold was also to be used for the " Peregrine Falcon". This was the UL version of the Falcon 2000 and again based on the Optima design by Romuald. With the planned Rotax 447 it would have been the queen of ultralights, but due to a number of technical and financial difficulties it never made it to market.
Artist concept Fuselage plug Seat install Peregrine fusel.
Custom work table by Larry Neal Optima
Larry sets chord angle w. Romuald observing Optima
The original Optima, marketing photo for the Falcon 2000
The one-and-only Falcon 2000 owned by John Norman, TX
This was a version built around 1985 to 1990 under license in Argentina by Carlos Pereyra ( of recent fame in Florida as partner in Arnet-Pereira, building the Aventura, recently solo again building a number of different aircraft). About 100 were built, mostly for the south American market. Sort of a hybrid UL and XP, all of immaculate workmanship. Note the number of improvements: Solid spring nose gear, hydraulic brakes, wheel covers, strut fairings, decent panel, custom interior, springy main gear, 447 engine, up-rudders with decent wing tips and the list goes on. All standard Falcon bugs attended to. Superb workmanship and finish.
Update in August 06:
I wrote to you about the Solaris I have now purchased. Carlos Pereya says it is the prototype. The prior owner to me covered all flying surfaces with 22g aluminium. Apart from having to add 15lbs weight to the nose it flies fine with me @ 190lbs but my 130lbs friend appears to need extra weight. Photos and details to follow. It now means I can do tie-down at the local airport and save the assembly problems. Peter H.
Update February 2007:
Peter is reluctantly putting it up for sale. Click on classifieds for details.
Not sure what the real name was supposed to be but it got its nickname from the clientele it was targeted for. Romualds latest (around 1996), I understand it was designed and proto typed for Aviat, the makers of the Pitts, since they were looking at other avenues in the aviation field. Currently in Afton WY, it never made it much farther than the picture here. If anyone knows of later info please let me know so I can bring this up to date.
I know virtually nothing of this Falcon, except that it looks a lot like the Optima to me.
Just ran across this drawing by Orion Aircraft, which is Romuald's trade name.
Here's a design from 1985, to the best of my knowledge there was actually one built and owned by Romuald.
Just received some information from a Greg Pinnell who was involved in an attempt to bring this version to the market. Following is an artist's rendering and some excerpts from his e-mail:
Click on picture to enlarge
Hi, when the Albuquerque plant fell through and McShane was headed to Utah, I wanted to test the waters and see if the aircraft was commercially viable. So I commissioned a rendition by an artist in Phoenix to draw this picture. I think we were going to call it the Vista or something similar. I still have the original painting. After putting together a business plan and getting the venture capital together the financials we were proposing suggested the project would not do well. We therefore dropped the project. I think the Peregrine or Optima was the name McShane was going to use. That project failed when Tim Himmelrick died and McShane was indicted. I do wonder whatever happened to McShane. Please feel free to add it to you web page.
Mike, that picture was commissioned by me from an artist in the Southwest. I forget his name. After the McShane thing fell apart (and Tim Himmelrick died) we considered producing the plane in Michigan. We dropped the project as we were concerned with its financial viability. The last time I spoke with Romauld I was just on my way to medical school. That was a long time ago. Best regards and good luck with keeping the canard alive. Bring it to Oshkosh sometime, Greg
The last attempt by American Aircraft at Long Beach, CA to get into the military end of the business. Not sure what ever happened to it but here are a couple copies of brochures going back to around 1990.
Let me show you memory lane of one of my thoroughbreds. The Blue one is 1 times 160 HP and self pitch adjusting Prop. It was sold in a few different versions to Sonaca in Belgium after AA failed. They (Sonaca) were happy with it but they were shooting it down so I refused to make anymore as they were after all my children. ( Romuald)
Attached is an UL produced in Belgium for which I've never received a single royalty to this day only advising that the check is in the mail. Although I do get e-mails and lots of questions on how to adjust it but also no money for my consultation. It even has a copy of my Orion prop but only a 2 bladed version as I see on the picture. I guess they didn't think they needed a third. ( Romuald )