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sgean dubh

The Iolaire is a home designed, home built light aircraft and was the first ALL SCOTTISH aircraft to fly since the S.A.L. Twin Pioneer of the early 1950s.

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*NEW* A gallery of photos showing construction is now available


The initial idea was to drag British light aviation into the present day by designing an affordable, safe and easy to handle light aircraft and to avoid being left even further behind in the design and manufacturing of light aircraft. So a list of 'must haves' was drawn up:-

  •  Reliable, cheap and powerful engine
  •  All enclosed cockpit
  •  Wide undercarriage
  •  Good visibility
  •  Low running costs
  •  Ease of handling on the ground as well as in the air
  •  Good range
  •  Crash surviveable
  •  Stall proof
  •  Reasonable Vc (cruise velocity)
  •  Road transportable
  •  Makeable without specialist tooling or any specialist skills
Click here for detail
Figure A - (enlargement)

To enable this specification to be incorporated into a single airframe, the tandem canard layout was chosen using a flat twin BMW motorcycle engine.

To ensure maximum efficiency an 'ALL FLYING' canard was designed hinging on the 25% chord line (the aerodynamic centre) and fitted with 'leading tabs' for self neutralising the pitch and for control column 'feel'. The aerofoil section used is NACA 0012 i.e. a neutral pitching, symmetrical section. The canard loading is more than the mainplane so the initial angle of attack is set at +4°.

The rudders act independently of one another for yaw control and can be activated at the same time to act as an airbrake on descent.

The propeller is designed to use torque, which is plentiful with the BMW engine. This reliable motor runs at under 3000rpm when the aircraft is at cruise velocity.

Being a canard the Iolaire will not stall. The canard also has a symmetrical section which itself stalls at 12°, and the mainplane has a section which stalls at 15°.

The foam used is EXTRUDED polystyrene high density insulation board. The awkward parts are cut using a 'hot wire' system with templates.

The glass gloth is 290t throughout and the epoxy resin used is West System Epoxy 105/205.


© Hugh Lorimer 2008