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Pilot report Cri-cri

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Pilote report MC15 cri-cri

Text of Pilot report Cri-cri

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  • good deal higher than what we areaccustomed to. Then we saw it, a sleekl i t t le sh iny meta l dev ice w i th twoclosely spaced engines either side ofthe nose on short "stalks". The invertedbit was only the start. We were thenentertained by a quite elaborate aero-bat ic display, and whi le th is certainlyaroused-.considerable interest, therewere no other repercussions, althoughI believe the display pilot was askedto "tone it down a bit" for the officialdisplays on Saturday and Sunday.

    Most of us knew about the "Cri-Cri"of course, produced by Michel Colom-ban in the early eighties, but this wasthe first t ime we had seen one "in theflesh". With a sixteen foot wing span,i t was even smal le r than we hadimagined, qui te a bi t smal ler , in fact ,than some of the models seen at theAeromodeller "Scale Weekend" a feww e e k s e a r l i e r , a l l - m e t a l , i u s f b i genough to hold an average sized pilotand powered by two 150cc two strokesdeveloping twelve bhp at 6500 rpm.

    I later had a chat with the pilot, onePaul Duval (or it might have beenD e r v a l , c o m m u n i c a t i o n w a s a b i tdiff icult due to the throng of peoplewanting a closer look) and learned thatthe Cri-Cri was available in kit formfrom the f i rm wel l -known to home-builders, Zenair of Ontario and Seattle.Some of the enthusiasm evaporated,however, when the price of the kit wasmentioned - eighteen thousand dollarsif I remember correctly.

    The structureNot strictly a Micro-light - it fails tomeet the stall speed criterion of thatdefinit ion - i!. ls,nevertheless, very l ightand can be l ifted by two noimallsiiedpeople, one under each wing, wi thout,judging by the various demoJistrationdat Cranfield, any unusual effort. With

    Low cross sectional area and streamlined "pllot lairing" give the Crl-Cri a remarkableperlormance on its 24 bhp. The high mounted uslab'tailplane has a bunjee biassing sysfem.

    an empty weight of 160 lb., this meanseach lifter has to bear only eightypounds. Apart from that, the structureand aerodynamics are a definite cutabove most Micros. The metal skinnedwing is based on a rivetted up mainspar assembly to which is added thirtytwo high-density foam ribs. These areof a pretty sophisticated 22o/o lhicksect ion, near symmetr ical wi th theblunt leading edge and rearward pointo f max imum th ickness , no t un l i kesome of the latest "super-cr i t ical"sections that are fashionable with thehigh performance brigade. With a wingarea of only thirty four square feet, thestal lspeed might be unacceptably highw i t h o u t t h e J u n k e r s - t y p e " d o u b l ewing'r f laps - the sort that enabled theportly "Tante Ju" to get in and out ofsmall, rough fields that would havedefeated any other transport - whichdouble-up as ai lerons via an inge-niously s imple mixer coupled diredt lyto the stick.

    With the ribs assembled onto the

    spar, the next bit is a mite radical, too.The epoxy is applied to the structureand the pre-bent skins slid into place.The whole th ing is then enclosed ina sealed plastic 5ag from which ine airi s sucked by a domest ic vacuumcleaner - presumably a fairly powerfulone - this applies an even, overallpressure ensuring adhesion integrityand e l im ina t ing ted ious c l ips

    -an i lclamps; an idea that might bii worthtry ing when apply ing sheet balsa skinsto model wings, i f only to avoid thetedious business of st icking in al l thosepins and then later having to removethem.

    The double wing "flapperons" confera bonus in that no cut-outs of any sortare necessary so that the structuralintegrity o! the wing is significanilyincreased. The flapperons are operatedby torque tubes that plug directly intothe appropriate sockets in the fuselage,so that there are no internal systemsin the wing, s impl i fy ing both construc-t ion and later maintenance, whi le theentire surface of the wing is completelyfree of any excrescencehpart from thi;for f lap brackets at the extreme trail ingedge underside.

    The fuselage of the Cri-Cri is ofrectangular section, sheet metal skinsb l ind r i ve t ted to l igh t a l loy ang lesections, stiffened by foam anO ne-nt-up sheet metal formers. The canopyhinges to the r ight and gives a fu l l 3b0degree view to the pilot - what a shamefew pilots have 360 degree necks! Thetai l is a s impler version of the winq witha normal f in-rudder but an "all-f iying""T" tail that this writer is not madly keenabout.

    T h e u n d e r c a r r i a g e c o m p r i s e s abunjee-sprung, steerable nose wheeland a one-piece main gear of unidi-rectional glass/epoxy with 3.00 x 3wheels all-round, brakes on the mains.

    The engines are 150cc "Valmet"types, incorrectly'referred to as " twocycle" in the hand out. They are, in facttwo strokes (two cycles would be fourstro_ke_s- - get it?) developing 12 bhpat 6500 rpm or 10 bhp cont inuousrating. The carburettor is of the mem-

    Close up of the Valmet 150 cc two stroke engine. Carburettorc simllar to those titteC to modelengines, enable the engines to keep running in any position.

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