Aircraft

Stunt pilot hopes to build a vertical-winged airplane

Stunt pilot hopes to build a v...
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
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A variety of angles of the vertical-winged stunt plane
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A variety of angles of the vertical-winged stunt plane
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
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Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
3/3
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
View gallery - 3 images

Matthew Tanner is a Colorado-based air show pilot who also competes in aerobatics competitions and teaches Air Force pilots how to fly. His current stunt aircraft of choice is a Laser Z300. Much as he is able to do with the nimble little airplane, he wants to be able to perform aerial maneuvers that no one has ever seen before. In order to do so, he intends to equip the plane with a pair vertical wings.

More specifically, Tanner's plan is to remove his Z300's existing wooden horizontal wings, replace them with custom models, and then install removable vertical airfoils through the middle of each of those. Everything will be made from the same state-of-the-art carbon fiber used in the construction of the Boeing 787.

He also plans on beefing up the plane's fuselage to withstand the new structural loads that will be placed upon it, along with swapping in a more aerodynamic front cowling (the area immediately behind the propeller) and a more streamlined carbon fiber tail.

Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts
Pilot Matthew Tanner is raising funds to build a vertical-winged stunt aircraft, which could be capable of never-before-seen stunts

With the addition of the second set of wings, he hopes to be able to open up a whole world of new stunts. These could include the ability to perform knife-edge flight (flying with the plane on its side) indefinitely, and to perform a knife-edge aerial loop.

According to Tanner, he and his team have already consulted with structural engineers, aerospace engineers, and aerodynamic experts. The next step is to actually build and install the wings, which he figures should cost about US$75,000. He is currently in the process of raising funds on Kickstarter, with hopes of having his transformed plane in the air by the end of the year.

"We are hoping to inspire non pilots to become pilots, to show people what can be done on our three dimensional canvas - the sky, and to inspire creativity and motivate people to do great things in their lives," he states on his Kickstarter page.

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17 comments
Gadgeteer
Reminds me of the F-15 concept proposed for the AFTI program.
Since when did Kickstarter become people\'s personal charities? This is getting ridiculous.
Wragie
Should be interesting to see just how much those verticals destabilize things. Could make life rather interesting especially with a hi hp tail dragger.
I need a new car I wonder if i can figure out how to make that work on kickstarter. I know need to buy a pair of Ferraris one in red and the other in black to see which is the bigger chick magnet. Yup thats gotta be a worthwhile project...
piolenc
No reason it couldn\'t work, provided that he enlarges the vertical tail to compensate for that extra side-area at the CG.
Tjoe
The P51 Mustang has a verticle component built into it\'s fuselage (look at a front view). Drag and visibility will be issues.
Buellrider
Maybe the tail section would not be necessary if their functions could be incorporated into the vertical and horizontal wings. Just a thought.
Mirmillion
I would have gone with a set of vertical canards front and mid-ship. Way less drag and enough directional control to recruit the fuselage as a running surface...
Michael Kamrath
Fun idea, except it won\'t technically be knife-edge stunt flying anymore with those second set of wings. Isn\'t that the challenge of doing knife-edged stunts is the difficulty because of traditional wing placement?
Expanded Viewpoint
Why doesn\'t he just build a tie fighter like Darth Vader flew? Then he could equip it with some really nifty blasters and seek revenge on the judges at the air shows who think that his new stunts are just a wee bit too passe\'. I\'ve never heard of Kickstarter before, but it seems to me too from the comments that he might be putting it to an improper use. May the force be with him.
Randy
John H
Matt, you have a good idea for additional control surfaces. How much thought have you put into making some of the leading or trailing edges adjustable ( maybe automatic ) to compensate for unexpected flight characteristics when you start your rotational stunts. Maybe the time in the wind tunnel will give you enough data to finish this design. Great idea, but you may end up controlling with two hands instead of one.
Fetcher
This is nothing \"new\" I\'ve been doing it with model airplanes for more then ten years! works fine... the ONLY problem I see is one of G forces, the human heart can take a lot up and down but not much side to side! He could actually rip his heart loose and die wile pulling side g\'s...