NRC Pterodactyl VIII

NRC Pterodactyl VIII
NRC Pterodactyl VIII
Role Research Glider
National origin Canada
Manufacturer National Research Council of Canada
Designer Geoffrey T. R. Hill
First flight 1946
Number built 1

The NRC Pterodactyl VIII was a two-seat tailless research glider designed and built in Canada from 1945.


Design & Development

To research the control and stability of tailless aircraft. The National Research Council of Canada initiated a research programme using a specially designed glider, the NRC Pterodactyl VIII. During the inter-war years a visionary aircraft designer, Geoffrey T. R. Hill, designed and built a series of tailless aircraft with support from the Royal Aircraft Establishment. initially and later in partnership with Westland Aircraft Limited as the Westland-Hill Pterodactyl. During WWII Geoffrey Hill served as the British Scientific Liaison Officer at the National Research Council (NRC) in Canada, where his experience and knowledge were welcomed in the design of the Pterodactyl VIII research glider.[1]


The Pterodactyl was constructed predominantly from wood with a single spar built from laminated wood supporting wooden built up ribs covered with a relatively thick plywood skin, which resulted in a smooth surface with minimal distortion.[2] The wing had three distinct sections, comprising the constant chord un-swept centre section flanked by swept tapered outer sections. Primary flight controls consisted of elevons on the trailing edges of the outer wing sections for pitch and roll, with fins and rudders on the wing-tips for yaw stability and control. Trim in pitch was achieved by adjusting the incidence of movable wing-tips using screw jacks. For approach and landing split flaps were fitted to the wing centre section trailing edge.[2]

The undercarriage consisted of a retractable tricycle arrangement with auxiliary skids which could be lowered in case the undercarriage failed to extend. Differential brakes were fitted to the main undercarriage wheels.[2]

The pilot and flight test engineer were accommodated in two separate cockpits protruding from the top surface of the wing centre-section with the pilot in the port cockpit and test engineer in the starboard cockpit.[2] A comprehensive instrumentation package was fitted, with automatic recording of time, airspeed, altitude, wing tip incidence, flap angle, side-slip, roll rate, pitch rate, yaw rate, elevon hinge moment, elevon angles, rudder angles, ambient air temperature, normal acceleration (gy), longitudinal acceleration (gz), gyro attitude, pendulum attitude and bank angle. In addition radio transmissions from the pilot and test engineer were recorded on the ground.[2]

Operational history

Flight testing of the Pterodactyl VIII began in 1946 at Namao, Edmonton, flown by S/L. Robert Kronfeld, A.F.C. RAF initially and continued by S/L. E. L. Baudoux, D.S.O., D.F.C., F/L. G. S. Phripp and F/L. G. A. Lee. Mr. T.E.Stephenson was in overall charge of the flying operations as well as scientific observations in the starboard cockpit.[2] Ground handling of the glider was found to be good, using the differential brakes. Launches were carried out as aero-tows behind a RCAF Douglas Dakota with a 350 ft nylon tow-rope, at a normal towing speed of 100 mph, but tows at 140 mph were found to pose no difficulties.[1] Flight testing was carried out predominantly in the glide after a tow to between 6,000 ft and 10,000 ft, testing being terminated at 4,000 ft to allow positioning for enterring the landing circuit. Flight characteristics were found to be good with the exception of poor yaw control at low speeds.

In September 1948 the Pterodactyl VIII was towed 2,300 mi (3,701 km) across Canada to Arnprior, Ontario for further testing, completing 105 hours before the project was terminated.[2]

Specifications (NRC Pterodactyl VIII)

Data from [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 18 ft in (5.48 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 8 in (14.22 m)
  • Gross weight: 4,150 lb (1,882 kg)


  • Maximum speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,048 m)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”