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Welcome to Mitchell Wing Aircraft
Made In The USA
About Mitchell Wing, It's founder, It's History and It's Current Owner
A Scottish immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1922, Don Mitchell attended the Boeing School of Aeronautics and then was employed by several aircraft companies during World War II. He made design contributions to the northrop flying wing (YB-49) and collaborated with aviation notables including "Dutch" Kindelberger, Donald doubles, and John Northrop.In he mid-1970's he was asked to produce a flying-wing hang glider that was safer and with increased performance over other designs of that era. The Mitchell Aircraft Corporation was founded in 1976 in Porterville, California to accomplish this goal. When the foot launched Mitchell Wing B-10 flew in the 1977 USHGA Nationals, the hang gliding world was completely astounded. the Mitchell Wing B-10 went on to set and hold every world record in it's class. In 1980, George worthington soared to 17,000 feet and then glided 105 miles, setting two new rigid-wing records.
Mitchell aircraft was swamped with orders from all over the world. With the addition of a tricycle gear and a power plant, the B-10 became an ultralight aircraft. In this configuration, the B-10 won awards for design and performance in the early 1980's. Soon two other designs were added, the U-2 and the P-38, diversifying the company's offerings in the market. These three designs was available in plans from Richard Avalon, Richard was a close personal friend of Don Mitchell and was wealth of information as well as being an all-round good guy.All of these Mitchell models were built from either plans or factory supplied component kits. They were of wood and fabric construction and took an average of 500 to 700 hours to complete. Many kits were sold, with a relatively low percentage of them every completed and flown. the airworthiness of these home-built aircraft depended on the skill and experience of the individual builder.
In 1982 two new designs were developed to better meet the growing demand for these high performance ultralights. The A-10 was a refined upgrade of the B-10 with the same airfoil and performance characteristics, but with an aluminum-clad wing, and new main gear suspension, a beautiful fiberglass pod, and the control stick on the floor. AND it came from the factory ready to fly. It was Grand Champion at Oshkosh in 1983 and continued the unmatched performance of the earlier Mitchell models.The T-10 MitchellWing was developed as a two-place, side-by-side ultralight instructional vehicle. It provided dual controls so that students might quickly and safely learn to fly "the wing". Again, demand soared until in 1983 Mitchell Wing, Inc. of Porterville sold manufacturing rights for the A-10 and T-10 models to a group in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a price of $1,250,000. The sale included all tooling, molds, and patterns and only enough raw materials to complete ten Mitchell Wing A-10's, plus three months of hands-on training to teach the Tulsa personnel the techniques for building this high-tech ultralight.The Tulsa Mitchell Wing, Inc. company was well capitalized by its principal, Dr. Robinowitz. their goal was to produce one new A-10 off the assembly line each day, and at their peak employment of 100 employees, they were about to accomplish that goal. During this peak production period, much testing, research, and development was accomplished. Also, vast supplies of raw materials and component parts were acquired. An extensive dealership network was developed. They envisioned law enforcement and military markets and the nearing reality of personal aircraft for practical transportation as well as pleasure. Sales remained strong through 1985 with 125 units sold that year. However, absentee ownership and management problems persuaded Robinowitz to sell.In mid-1985 John connor, manager of the wong production department purchased Mitchell Wing, Inc and all production rights for the A-10 and T-10 models.
Unfortunately Connor was injured in an industrial accident. In near continuous pain it became nearly impossible to attend to the business and orders began to fall. This caused him to seek out a buyer for the company.In 1992 Higher Planes, Inc., a Kansas Corporation was formed to save the floundering Tulsa Company. All tooling, component parts inventory, and raw materials were relocated to the rural Kansas site - an old missal facility. Connor provided technical assistance as new personnel learned the production process. A full parts line became again available. Advertising efforts led to a restoration of sales with 11 units produced and sold in the first year of renewed business. Flight instruction in the T-10 Mitchell Wing was again offered with persons traveling from all over the country for flight orientation in this unique aircraft.
Requests for information packs soared. However, the missal facility business began to interest the president of Higher Planes more and more as people began to contact him as to how they too could purchase such a facility. This caused him to give his attention less and less to building ultralight aircraft and ultralight trainers. It was time for a new owner. In 1997 Larry Smith, America's only business broker who had dedicated himself to selling aircraft businesses was asked to find a buyer for the Mitchell Wing. After six months of offering the business to the buying public and finding many interested buyers who had no money - he bought the company himself. On April 15, 1998 Smith took possession under the corporation name of AmeriPlanes, Inc. and moved the company to Iowa. While continuing as AeroBusiness Broker the company has once again attracted the attention of the ultralight and experimental aircraft industry. Owning all the original jigs, molds, forms, equipment, etc., that had been produced to manufacture these aircraft. Each aircraft or kit is built to the buyer's personal requirements. The original A-10 and T-10 have been renamed A-10D and T-10D - the "D" to reflect the word "Deluxe". this was necessitated by the addition of the new A-10B. "B" stands for basic. It is identically the same aircraft as the A-10D but does not have any of the fiberglass parts except those necessary to the completed construction.
Tom Cook and Jim Gordon of Mid-Indiana, Our goals bring manufacturing of the Mitchell Wings up to date. We will still handle the A10 T10, and the New LsC10 Raptor aircraft and adding high-performance, and possibly offering the M10 Mitchell and RPV’s to the list.
Jim Gordon has over 30 years dealing with gas turbines and is the one that built the Jet Powered Mitchell B10J that picked up Technical Innovation at Sun N Fun 96, and Special Achievement Award Ultralight/Lightplane at Oshkosh 96! Tom Cook has over 30 years in the airline industry manufacturing and troubleshooting.
We are a big fans of the Wing!
Empty Weight 254 lbs
Gross Weight 550 lbs Wing Area 156 sq. ft. Wing Loading 3.5 lbs/sq.ft. Power Loading 19.6 lbs./hp Stressed 6g's + 5.5 G's Engine Zenoah G25B Power 23 hp Cruising Speed 55 mph Top Speed 73 mph VNE 80 mph Stall Speed 28 mph Rate of Climb 850 fpm Glide Ratio 16:1 Min. Sink 240 ft/min. Service Ceiling 12,000 ft Take Off roll 150 ft Fuel Usage 1 gal./hr. *Kit Assembly Time 80-120 hrs
Empty Weight 400 lbs Gross Weight 835 lbs Wing Area 170 sq. ft. Wing Loading 4.9 lbs/sq.ft. Power Loading 18.2 lbs./hp Stressed 5g's + 4.5 G's Engine Rotax 467 Power 55 hp Cruising Speed 65 mph Top Speed 75 mph VNE 80 mph Stall Speed 32 mph Rate of Climb 650 fpm Glide Ratio 14:1 Min. Sink 260 ft/min. Service Ceiling 12,000 ft Take Off roll 190 ft Fuel Usage 2.3 gal./hr *Kit Assembly Time 100-150 hrs
*Those wishing to license as "Experimental", factory will complete less of the aircraft kit allowing the builder to complete more of the aircraft than the traditional kit will allow.
Stalls and Rudder only
Check out this great video
1996 MitchellB10J Jet mitchell wing
On going project
Our new bird Mitchell U2 with 70 hours on it been setting for in a nice hanger for 30 years removed nose and canopy for trip home.
We also have Dick Rowley's U2 that will
be restored and flown
New coming Aircraft
LSC10 and the Raptor
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious, burning blue, I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or even eagle flew - And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high untresspassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee No 412 squadron, RCAF Killed 11 December 1941HIGH FLIGHT
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B10 Mitchell Wing Plans
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Complete full scale 14 page set. Asking $275 shipped CONUS Message me directly if interested. Thanks Paul
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Mitchell Wing by U.S. Pacific
From the U.S. Pacific website
Video of Howard Long's Mitchell Wing glider
Thanks to jcoyier of the Rigidwing yahoo group, i found this video again in which a Mitchell Wing competes with a lot of different hanggliders. He is visible at 05:44 in this video. The video also has a Easyriser competing.
Howard Long's tailless glider
Here you already see that this glider is totally different from any other early hangglider. The pilot is nearly IN the wing. He looks OVER the wing. Control is by those surfaces just below and behind the wingtips trailing edge and by spoilers which come out on top of the wing (see next chapter).
In this competition he overshot the target, which was very very hard to avoid due to the much higher speed of this glider. I was amazed by its speed when comparing it to the other gliders at this competition.
Although this construction is a wooden one, the glider is still light enough to be carried by its pilot.
These are stills of the video you can find more below. This is a note i recieved from towforce (Martin) of the Rigidwing Yahoo group: "For those who might not know...what made this Mitchel "rare" was the the pilot sitting into the wing, no tip rudders and had a set of boxed spoilers (can't recall if they linked for yaw control or not). I find it pretty funny the announcer suggesting he blew is landing.... I look at it as having pulled off a pretty good one give the crappy postage stamp he was trying to get it into ;-)"
Why the later design doesn't use the spoilers any more (MUST READ)
If you look at this picture below, you can see the spoilers sticking out of the left wing. I guess they hinge upwards. they give some drag at the wingtip. This results in a yaw towards the wing with the extended spoilers. Also it breaks the air flow over the wing, which would result in less lift by that wing, which makes it drop and that leads to some roll towards the wing with the extended spoiler. So ...it should have both things needed to make a nice turn. But ...those things work fine ...when air speed is high enough. During take off it can go wrong due to the low air speed.
The next article, written by George Worthington, is a MUST READ when you consider making a Mitchell Wing with spoilers instead of wingtip rudders!!! It might save your life.
So ...now you know. Do NOT build the Mitchell Wing with the original spoilers!
I got a note from the team of Predrag Devic, who made the design of my own rigidwing (the BirdGlider ):
"Read the post on Nest of Dragons about spoilers.
Interesting that we came to similar conclusion doing CFD for BirdGlider and the effect of spoilers. That is way we choose not to use them.
It was obvious that their effectiveness lowers as the AoA rises and that they can induce early separation when glider is on high AoA. That means that you could spin the glider when you are flying slow by applying roll command. Also roll/yaw response at high AoA would be low. So, vertical surface gives much better control.
One thing that can increase effectiveness of spoilers on high AoA is to put them both on top and the bottom of the wing like on Ho-229, but that increases complexity."
Letter from William Wixon and Chuck Rodes
William Wixon wrote in the U.S. Hang Gliding Digest in November, 1998:
... A friend sent me pictures of the Mitchell wing and it was being used as a hang glider. I was amazed! I had never seen it being used as a hang glider. I'm wondering why guys aren't still building and flying Mitchell wings as hang gliders.
There was a response by Chuck Rhodes:
My name is Chuck Rhodes. I currently own Mitchell Wing # 3, the original FAI World Record wing that George Worthington set the first official world records ever in a hang glider of any type and 6 total FAI records between 1977 and 1981. I bought the wing from him in 1982 and have several hundred hours flying it as a hang glider and ultralight sailplane. I have not only foot launched it many times but have ground and aerotowed it as well.
Although its performance is not as good as today's Millemnium or Swift, it still has an honest 15-16:1 L/D and a respectable sink rate. It is an incredibly strong glider; Don Mitchell, the designer, and the one who built mine, said it he built it for 6g's positive and negative.
It is still an outstanding glider for soaring but like a lot of rigid wings it does have drawbacks. These are more difficult to transport than a rag wing and it is more difficult to repair if you do not know what you are doing. If your are familiar with its construction and building techniques it can be easily repaired in most cases.
As for flying characteristics, it is full 3-axis once in the air but on take off, if foot launching, you only use tip rudders and weight shift for pitch. The hang cage is set up very similar to the Millennium. Using shoulder straps to support the weight of the wing it is easily foot launched. In fact in high winds it is much easier to ground handle and launch than any rag wing. Using the stick to work the elevons to control pitch and roll the pilot can easily keep the wings level and neutral for the launch run. I have stood on take off in 25-30 mph winds totally controlling the wing on my own and then merely running a few steps forward into the wind and am off.
It does help to have 2-3 ground assistants to help you lift the wing up initially and get into the hang cage and shoulder straps however. For towing I simply sit in the hang cage ready to fly and let the tow vehicle pull me along into the air on the landing wheels that I have built.
The wing can enter a stall/spin if you are not careful in a slow turn and you stall the inboard wing. This can happen if you get your weight to far back in the hang cage and aft of the CG. Standard sailplane 3 axis control spin recovery works very well to recover however, provided the pilot has the altitude to do so. Don't stall in a turn only 100 over a ridge etc.
Building the wing takes about 500 hours depending on the skill of the builder but is not especially difficult. Using Carbon Fiber the builder can reinforce ribs, spar, and trailing edge etc. to add strength to the wing. I did so and mine does just fine. The original M-Wings made for non-powered flight weighed only about 80 pounds. Mine now weighs about 120 due to the extra weight of the streamlined pod around the hang cage, and the paint I used on the wing covering. If I recover it in the future I will not paint it and that will easily knock 10 pounds off. However the weight is no hindrance in foot launching as the wing is so efficient in lift even at 134 square feet that it flies its own weight in 2-3 steps in low wind and I have foot launched it in winds of less than 8 mph.
Overall it is a classic glider and still has great performance but with flex wings like the FUSION and the new rigids like the Millennium it would be better to invest in one of those if you can afford it. If not build a Mitchell Wing and I am sure you could get all the materials to build it today for under $2000.00
Chuck Rhodes U.S. Ultralight Soaring Assoc. Cedar Point, NC
Some More info on the Mitchell Wing
* U.S. Pacific's website. U.S. Pacific sells plans for the Mitchell Wing B-10, adaptable as a foot-launched hang glider or as a wheel-launched ultralight. You can also contact U.S. Pacific by e-mail or call Richard Avalon at: (650) 583-3665.
Pictures of later Mitchell Wing edition
Comments of a Mitchellwing B-10 user
"Mike Peters, i just wonder. The Mitchellwing had a inverted steering stick. It hung from the wing downwards. How did it feel to use it? Was it confusing afterwards when going back to a normal stick?"
His reply: "Not really! The direction of travel is the same. It was quite comfortable, in that I could rest my arm on the diagonal cage support and control it with finger movements. Tip rudders did most of the roll work, though.
Lot of adverse yaw, if you used aileron only.
Very efficient flyer! Once, I was flying along with the KFM 25 HP engine and one of the spark plug leads came off. I didn't wire them, thinking that they weren't upside down, so they wouldn't come off. Bad assumption! Anyway, I flew home on one cylinder. :)"
I found some more talk of Mike Peters about his B-10.Buzz Shannon: " Didn't they have like a 16:1 glide ratio?" Mike: "Yep, Buzz, and about 250'/min sink rate."
Mike:"The A-10 had a much longer stick on the floor which dampened the control movements some."
Mike: "The control surfaces were balanced on the B-10. They were counter weighted."
The most modern edition of the Mitchellwing was the U-2. Here you see a U-2 in action in a video.
The old B-10 News bulletins
Thanks to Craig Hopkins i got these old newsletters about the B-10.
Click the links below to get the PDF's. They are not in time order.
March 1984 B
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Wicks Selling B-10 and U-2 Airframe Kits
Wicks Aircraft has reached an agreement with Mitchell Wing to market complete airframe kits for the Mitchell B-10 and U-2 ultralight kits.
Don Mitchell, who spent considerable time experimenting with flying wings, built over 30 aircraft in a long, illustrious career that began in 1921 when he was a high school student. He spent much of his life pursuing the optimum sailplane. His designs have stimulated homebuilding projects around the world and have been popular in Europe.
For more information on the Mitchell flying wings, visit U.S. Pacific . For more on ordering, visit Wicks Aircraft .
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Mitchell Wing B-10
Designer Don Mitchell built his first airplane in 1929 while still in high school. Along with sailplane designer Hawley Bowlus he founded Bowlus Sailplanes Inc. in 1937. The company produced kit planes such as the “Baby Albatross.” During World War II they built CG-4A gliders for the U.S. Army. The Mitchell Wing began as a foot-launched hang glider in 1975. Soon thereafter a powered version called the B-10 followed. This version intended for homebuilders is manufactured of wood, aluminum tubing, fiberglass, and covered with fabric. Mitchell Wings have been used to set several distance and altitude records for microlight aircraft and hang gliders.
Built by Mr. Harry Warr of Riverside, California. Completed in September 1982.
November 1991 Sold to Peter McEvoy, Brea, California.
December 1993 Donated to the Pima Air & Space Museum.
Markings Peter McEvoy, 1993
Serial Number 285
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Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.
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Kits/Plans: ... 96, 10, 37, Sport Aviation, Jet Powered Mitchell B-10 at Oshkosh '96 ... 83, 10, 26, Ultralight, 2 Licensed Mitchell Wing Manufacturers.
The Mitchell Aircraft Corporation was founded in 1976 in Porterville, California to accomplish this goal. When the foot launched Mitchell Wing B-10 flew in the
Complete full scale 14 page set. Asking $275 shipped CONUS Message me directly if interested. Thanks Paul.
The Mitchell Wing B-10 is an American high-wing, open cockpit, single-seat, tailless, ultralight aircraft and motor glider designed by Don Mitchell and
Mitchell wing B10 G-MJXC (single engined microlight aircraft) ... The Mitchel B10 Wing is an American designed ultra light flying wing of ... of plans.
Then in 1974, with the advent of hang glider mania, the Mitchell Wing resurfaced. It was at that time Dr. Howard Long took an interest in the half-forgotten
Wicks Aircraft has reached an agreement with Mitchell Wing to market complete airframe kits for the Mitchell B-10 and U-2 ultralight kits.
The Mitchell Wing began as a foot-launched hang glider in 1975. Soon thereafter a powered version called the B-10 followed. This version intended for
Épisode 3 : Les premiers essais avec le Mitchell Wing sur le lac geléNov. 2016, Mario a fait l'acquisition d'un vieux Mitchell Wing B-10
By 1980, more than 500 sets of plans or kits for the B-10 had been sold. Previously only sold as sets of plans or as a kit, the B-10 Mitchell Wing has been