Bellanca Skyrocket II

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19-25 Skyrocket II
Bellanca Skyrocket II.jpg
Skyrocket II under aerodynamic evaluation by NASA.
Role Utility aircraft
Manufacturer Bellanca Aircraft Engineering Inc.
First flight March 1975
Produced 1

The Bellanca 19-25 Skyrocket II was a prototype light airplane built in the United States in the 1970s. Despite its advanced design and exceptionally good performance, it never achieved certification or entered production.

Development[edit]

The aircraft was the result of Giuseppe Bellanca's son, August. Bellanca formed Bellanca Aircraft Engineering Inc. company in Scott Depot, West Virginia to develop a new design conceived in 1957.[1] The Skyrocket II was a six-seat, low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional configuration with retractable tricycle undercarriage. It was constructed of composite materials, an advanced feature for its time, and test flying proved it to be extremely fast in the air. Within months of its first flight, the prototype claimed five world airspeed records for an aircraft in its class, with all but one still standing as of 2013. The aircraft attracted the attention of NASA, which conducted an aerodynamic analysis of the design, in order to investigate natural laminar flow as a factor of its high performance.

Plans to produce the aircraft commercially were scrapped due to the downturn in the civil aviation market in the United States in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s, the design was developed into a kit and sold as the Skyrocket III to help fund a new certification programme. The Skyrocket III features greater speed, payload and range and was re-engineered for modular construction. By 1998 eleven kits had been delivered but it is uncertain if any were completed and flown.[2]


Specifications (Skyrocket II)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: 5 passengers
  • Length: 27 ft 0 in (8.23 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
  • Wing area: 183 ft2 (17.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,490 lb (1,129 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,200 lb (1,905 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental GTSIO-520F, 435 hp (325 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 340 mph (547 km/h)
  • Range: 2,300 miles (3,700 km)
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,080 ft/min (10.6 m/s)

References[edit]

  1. ^ George C Larson (April 1973). "Whatever Happened to August Bellanca". Flying MAgazine: 51. 
  2. ^ Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, Fifth Edition, page 120. BAI Communications, 15 July 1998. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1