Bellanca Skyrocket II

Summary

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.

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

DevelopmentEdit

The aircraft was the result of Giuseppe Bellanca's son, August Thomas Bellanca. 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 layout with retractable tricycle landing gear. It was made of composite materials, an advanced feature for its time, and test flying proved it to be fast. In 1975, within months of its first flight, the prototype claimed five world airspeed records for piston aircraft in its class. Three still stand in 2022:

Class C-1c (takeoff weight 1000 to 1750 kg): average 296 miles/hour on a 500-km circuit[2]

Class C-1d (weight 1750 to 3000 kg): average 326 mph on a 500-km circuit[3] and 314 mph on a 1000-km circuit[4]

The aircraft attracted the attention of NASA, which conducted an aerodynamic analysis of the design, investigating 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.[5]

Surviving aircraftEdit

The prototype Skyrocket II is owned by the Delaware Aviation Museum in Georgetown, Delaware.[6]

Specifications (Skyrocket II)Edit

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77.[7]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: five passengers
  • Length: 27 ft 5.6 in (8.372 m) Tip of spinner to tail
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 10.7 in (10.635 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
  • Wing area: 182.6 sq ft (16.96 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.667
  • Airfoil: NACA 632215
  • Empty weight: 2,300 lb (1,043 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,100 lb (1,860 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental GTSIO-520-F air-cooled flat-six, 435 hp (324 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 331 mph (533 km/h, 288 kn) at 29,000 ft (8,800 m)
  • Cruise speed: 255 mph (410 km/h, 222 kn) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m), 65% power
  • Stall speed: 65 mph (105 km/h, 56 kn) flaps down
  • Range: 1,465 mi (2,358 km, 1,273 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,900 ft/min (9.7 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 24.45 lb/sq ft (119.4 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.106

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ George C Larson (April 1973). "Whatever Happened to August Bellanca". Flying Magazine: 51.
  2. ^ http://fai.org/record/1605
  3. ^ http://fai.org/record/8030
  4. ^ http://fai.org/record/8036
  5. ^ Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, Fifth Edition, page 120. BAI Communications, 15 July 1998. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  6. ^ "Bellanca Skyrocket II". Delaware Aviation Museum. Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  7. ^ Taylor 1976, pp. 237–238.
  • Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1976). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77. London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 152.
  • "Bellanca SkyRocket back on launch pad" Flight International April 12, 1996.
  • Wynbrandt, James. "AviaBellanca SkyRocket gets Orenda power" General Aviation News August 7, 1998.
  • manufacturer's website
  • Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records page for this aircraft
  • Summary of NASA test programme