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 BRIEF FALCON DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

March 1981 - Romuald Drlik attends the Lakeland Sun N' Fun Fly-In1 begins design

work for possible new lightweight canard-type aircraft. Tentative name: Falcon.

May 1981 - Romuald and helpers begin construction on the first Falcon prototype (model "A")

July 1981 - After first trying a single-wheel gear and side-stick (neither successful)1 the #1 Falcon flies in late July using tricycle gear, a double-surface variable camber Dacron wing1 center hinged-stick, and a Robin 240 cc single-cylinder engine.

August 1981 - The #2 Falcon prototype is displayed (static only) at Oshkosh.

Winter 1981-82 - Development continues on prototypes #2 and #3, altering forward wing position1 wing incidence, engine (changed to Cuyuna 215), wing camber1 gear geometry, and rudder shape.

Jan. 1982 - The #3 Falcon prototype is flown in the Arizona &-~ Race but DNF's due to a reduction system failure. Empty weight of this (registered) aircraft is 215 lbs.

Feb. 1982 - A factory pilot escapes injury when another reduction-system failure results in a crash into a fence in Albuquerque.

Feb. 1982 - Static loads tests are done on the #3 prototype, going beyond 7. g's positive and three negative before yield.

March 1982 - Prototype #4 (Model '1B"; black & red wing, silver fuselage) is flown at the Sun N' Fun Fly-in, using a Cuyuna 430 engine.

April. 1982 - Prototype #5 makes its first flight, continuing testing.

July 1982 - Prototype #6 begins flight tests, having a shorter span (31.5 feet) and a totally different wing design using a single strut, D-tube spar, and doped Ceconite wings.

August 1982 - Prototype #6 is flown in flight displays and during the afternoon airshow at Oshkosh.

September 1982 - Bryan Allen hits a fence and flips prototype #6 upside down at thirty mph after an engine failure and overshoot while on a cross-country flight, destroying the fuselage of the craft but escaping unharmed.

November 1982 - First flights of prototype #7 (model "C1'), using fiberglass D-tubes for wing structure, 36 ft. span, and lighter Rotax 277 engine. This craft was made in response to the release of FAR Part 103 in October of 1982, to meet the requirements of the new ultralight air vehicle category.

January 1983 - Prototype #7 wins first-in-class at the Arizona Air Race. This same month, #7 makes flights to 13,000 feet, is flown in snowstorms and rainstorms, and flown in 25-30 mph winds.

March 1983 - First flights of prototype #8, N 918 M, incorporating 36-ft aluminum D-tube wings, all-fiberglass fuselage structure (eliminating tube-style engine and wing mount), and Tedlar wing covering.

March 1983 - Prototype #8 wins Grand Champion and Outstanding Craftmanship awards at Sun &' Fun.

Spring and Summer 1983 - N 918 M is exhibited at many airshows, with continued flight testing in Albuquerque as well.

August 1983 - Three pre-production ultralight-legal Falcons are flown at Oshkosh, utilizing Kevlar-and-graphite fuselages and numerous refinements. Two of the planes are delivered to Falcon dealers. One craft wins Reserve Grand Champion, then is flown home in one afternoon to Minneapolis (over 260 miles), averaging 57 mph ground speed.

August 1983 - Load tests to destruction are performed on the other Oshkosh plane (prototype #9, which was weighed by the EAA at 240 lbs), documenting a load-carrying strength of 7 g's positive, three negative for the main wing and over 10 g1g positive1 5 negative for the forward wing. Failure of the wing occurs when the wing is "excited11 by bouncing on one tip and the bounces get o~ of phase.

January 1984 - Deliveries of production Falcons begin.

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