Heath Parasol

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Heath Parasol
Heath Parasol.jpg
Parasol, photographed in 1935 [1]
Role amateur-built airplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Heath
Designer Edward Bayard Heath
First flight 1926
Introduction Parasol (1926); 1927 (Super Parasol); 1930 (V Parasol; 1931 (LN Parasol)
Primary user Recreational flyers
Unit cost
US$975 fly-away price for a Super Parasol in the late 1930s

The Heath Parasol is an American single-seat, open-cockpit, parasol winged, homebuilt monoplane.

Design and development[edit]

Heath Parasol LNA-40 of 1930 exhibited at Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, New York, in 2005
Heath LNB-4 Parasol (1929)

During the late 1920s and early 1930s it was the only airplane that could be constructed at home from a factory-built kit and be licensed by the FAA. The Heath was extremely popular, being economical to build and operate, and easy to fly.

Modern Mechanix magazine published plans[2] and subsequently, Heath sold nearly 1,000 kits on an installment basis. Fewer than 50 were factory built, but several hundred were completed and flown by homebuilders during the depression. Heath is remembered today for having helped pioneer the homebuilt aircraft industry and for having introduced the kit concept of packaging the materials needed to build an aircraft.

A modified Heath Parasol built and flown in 1934 by Bob Brown and Steve Nielson (right) at Home Hill in North Queensland.
A Heath Parasol at Oshkosh 2003.

The fuselage is built of welded steel tube and is fabric covered. The wings consist of two solid spruce spars, built up wooden ribs, compression struts and internal bracing. The Parasol's empennage is built of wood, the tailplane being externally braced. Two five gallon fuel tanks are installed at the root end of each wing, the fuel being gravity fed. The only tools necessary to assemble one of the Parasol kits were a pair of small pliers, screwdriver, hacksaw (with plenty of blades), hammer, small hand drill, chisel, center punch, file and drill.

A variety of powerplants could be fitted, including the factory-supplied converted Henderson Motorcycle engine (viz. 25 hp (19 kW) Heath-Henderson B-4). Building a Heath Parasol requires basic woodworking skills and tools. Builders also need to fabricate some metal fittings to attach the wooden parts together. Some welding is required. The plans for the Parasol were also originally published in the "Flying and Glider" Manual.

Production of an early version was undertaken as early as 1931, in Australia, by the Adcock-Heath Company.

Variants[edit]

LNA-40
Granted FAA type certificate[3]
LNB-4

Survivors[edit]

Specifications (Super Parasol)[edit]

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 16 ft 9 in (5.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 8.25 in (1.73 m)
  • Wing area: 135 ft² (12.5 m²)
  • Empty weight: 260 lb (117.9 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 560 lb (253.9 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Heath-Henderson B-4 (25 hp), 25 hp ()

Performance

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ Built by Methodist missionary Harold Shepherdson on Elcho Island in the remote Arnham Land region of northern Australia. It was built from an imported kit and fitted with DH.60 Moth main wheels and a 34 hp two-cylinder Bristol Cherub. The Reverend Shepherdson completed a number of ground runs in his Parasol before hitting a tree stump and severely damaging the aircraft. Its remains are now in the collection of the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre in Darwin.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Air Progress Sport Aircraft: 70. Winter 1969. 
  4. ^ http://neam.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=864 "Heath LNB-4 'Parasol'"
  • 1929 Flying and Glider Manual
  • Sport Flying Quarterly, Vol.9 No.7, 1975, pp 54-63.

External links[edit]