Posted: 4/14/2010 19:24:18
I have always like the "Baby Curtiss Robin" looks of the Alco Sportplane featured in (the EAA reprint of) the 1930 Flying and Glider Manual. Google turns up a few scale models but I haven't seen any photos of aircraft build from the plans except the Allsion brothers own prototype.
I did find one much modified example called the Alco Coupe here:
Does anyone know of any other than the prototype that were actually built and flown?
Thanks and regards,
Posted: 4/17/2010 21:25:12
Wow, first the Gipsi voice GPS post and now this one...two posts in a row with absolutely no response whatsoever.
No Alcos out there at all except the one I found and mentioned in my initial post? I gave two links, but they appear to be the same aircraft at different times. I can't believe that considering that so many of the Flying and Glider Manual aircraft were, in fact, built in significant numbers for the time.
Posted: 4/18/2010 11:00:06
Modified: 4/18/2010 11:08:43
That Alco on the San Juan link is a good looking airplane. I have always been curious about the Alco, too. I never found anything on them on the internet either. I wonder how many were really built.
Posted: 4/19/2010 21:45:10
The Alco Sport Plane has long been a favorite of mine, ever since I built a small rubber powered model of it when I was about 14. I've never seen another full size one built, and I suspect that part of the reason is the airplane's size. A Heath Parasol is a tight fit unless you're a small man like Ed Heath, and the Alco is about the same size (about a foot longer in wingspan, 2 feet longer than the Heath), but with a little "doorway" on one side so you can wriggle into it. Not the most convenient method of entry!
Still, it is a cute little cabin job, and with lightweight materials and an appropriate engine, it would make an interesting lightplane.
H.G. Frautschy, Executive Director, VAA
Editor of Vintage Airplane magazine & Vintage Aircraft Online
Posted: 4/20/2010 04:53:54
HG, thanks for the reply. I hear you about the size and find it very entertaining that the Allison brothers described it as a "one or two place" machine. Still, I think it would make a good starting point for a modern LSA with an old-time feel, though it would certainly need some redesign around the cabin area to provide easier access. If I had my druthers I would use the Alco as inspiration for an original and genuinely two-seat design, perhaps with "motorcycle-style" or staggered side-by-side seating. With a cantilever wing it would look like a baby Fairchild or Fokker bush plane, but I think the baby Robin look is the way to go.
Posted: 4/21/2010 23:49:24
I like the Alco too. I think you should make it a two seater, so it's big enough to fly as a single when you eventually sell it to me. ;-p
I kind of like the Driggs Dart, but I'd never fit into one of those either, and I bet it's more complicated to build.
Posted: 4/22/2010 17:29:20
I am not as svelte as I used be, either...and hey, I already sold you a boat, don't be greedy. ;-)