Fletcher FL-23

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Fletcher FL-23
Role Two-seat liaison/observation aircraft
Manufacturer Fletcher Aviation Corporation
First flight 1950
Number built 1

The Fletcher FL-23 was an American two-seat liaison or observation aircraft designed and built by the California-based Fletcher Aviation Corporation. It was entered into a competition and lost against the Cessna 305A as a liaison or observation aircraft for the United States Army.

Development[edit]

The FL-23 prototype was designed and built as a private venture, it was a high-wing cantilever monoplane with an all-moving tailplane mounted at the top of the fin. It had a fixed tricycle landing gear and powered a 225-hp (168 kW) Continental E225 piston engine. It had room for a pilot and observer in tandem; the observer had an unusual acrylic plastic enclosure to give an all-round visibility.

Operational history[edit]

The US Army issued the specification for a two-seat liaison and observation monoplane and the prototype was entered into the competition. During trials the aircraft was badly damaged in a flying accident when it lost its tail, and was withdrawn from the competition. The competition was won by the Cessna 305A which became the L-19 Bird Dog.

Specifications[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
  • Wingspan: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)
  • Wing area: 277 sq ft (25.7 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 4412
  • Empty weight: 1,500 lb (680 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,450 lb (1,111 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 60 US gal (50 imp gal; 230 L)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental E225 air-cooled flat-six, 235 hp (175 kW)
  • Propellers: 7 ft (2.1 m) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 133 mph (214 km/h; 116 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 118 mph (190 km/h; 103 kn)
  • Stall speed: 38 mph (61 km/h; 33 kn) (flaps extended)
  • Range: 485 mi (421 nmi; 781 km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,500 ft (5,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,180 ft/min (6.0 m/s)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bridgman 1951, p. 239c–240c.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1951). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.