Cirrus VK-30

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VK-30
CirrusVK-30N94CM02.jpg
Role amateur-built airplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cirrus Design
Designer Jeff Viken, Alan and Dale Klapmeier
First flight 11 February 1988
Introduction 1989
Number built about 13
Unit cost
$64,000 USD (Airframe kit without engine in 1995)
Cirrus Design VK-30 at Sun 'n Fun 2006

The Cirrus VK-30 is a single-engine pusher propeller homebuilt aircraft originally sold as a kit by Cirrus Aircraft, and was the company's first design.[1]

As a kit aircraft the VK-30 is a relatively obscure design with few completed aircraft flying. Its most important legacy is that the work done on designing and marketing the aircraft convinced the designers that the best way to proceed in the future was with a more conventional layout and with a certified production aircraft. Thus the lessons of the VK-30 were directly responsible for the design of the very successful Cirrus SR20 and SR22.

Design and development[edit]

The VK-30 design was conceived in the early 1980s as a kit plane project by three college students, Jeff Viken and Alan Klapmeier from Wisconsin’s Ripon College and Alan's brother, Dale Klapmeier, who was attending the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Jeff Viken's wife, Sally, designed the VK-30’s flap system. Together, in the Klapmeiers' parents' barn in rural Wisconsin,[2] they formed Cirrus Design as the company to produce the VK-30.[1]

The aircraft was designed to achieve natural laminar flow over the fuselage as well as the wing and tail surfaces to provide a very low-drag design, using a NASA NLF(1)-0414F airfoil. The prototype incorporated some parts from production aircraft, including the nose gear from a Piper Cherokee and the main landing gear from a Lake LA-4. The VK-30 was designed to be a five-seat aircraft from the start, which made it considerably larger than most other amateur-built aircraft of its day. The VK-30 incorporated a mid-engine design, driving a three-bladed pusher propeller through an extension shaft. The powerplant was a Continental IO-550-G developing 300 hp (224 kW).[1][3]

The VK-30 first flew on 11 February 1988 and kit deliveries commenced shortly thereafter.[1]

Operational history[edit]

The company estimated that there were 13 VK-30s completed and as of April 2011 ten were still registered with the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA.[1][4]

Accidents[edit]

On 22 March 1996, retired astronaut Robert F. Overmyer died at age 59 in the crash of the Allison turbine-powered VK-30 he was testing for stall recovery characteristics at aft CG limits.[5]

Aircraft on display[edit]

Specifications (VK-30)[edit]

Source: EAA AirVenture Museum[7]

General characteristics

Performance

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f EAA Aviation Center (undated). "Cirrus Design Corporation VK-30 – N33VK". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  2. ^ Di Piazza, Karen and Di Freeze (January 2007). "Cirrus Design's Alan and Dale Klapmeier: "Dumb Enough to Start and Smart Enough to Finish"". Free Flight. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Lednicer, David (October 2007). "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  4. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (April 2011). "Make / Model Inquiry Results". Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  5. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (March 1996). "NTSB Identification: CHI96FA116". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  6. ^ Steen Aero Lab (April 2006). "Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2006". Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  7. ^ EAA Aviation Center (undated). "Cirrus VK-30 Specifications". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Cirrus VK-30 at Wikimedia Commons