Mitchell U-2 Superwing

Mitchell U-2 Superwing

     

Scottish immigrant, Don Mitchell, designed the successful series of ultralight, all-wing airplanes called the B-10 and the U-2 Superwing. He began work on the B-10 in 1975 and the aircraft first flew in 1976. This simple inexpensive, fun flyer became so popular that Mitchell decided to design a new version that he designated the U-2. He made many improvements and first flew the new version in 1979.

To convert the basic B-10 airframe into a U-2, Mitchell modified the wing and added a completely enclosed cockpit, but he gave builders the option to install fixed or retractable landing gear. The pilot could operate the wingtip rudders either independently to provide yaw control or simultaneously for aerodynamic braking. Stabilators suspended at the trailing edge of each outboard wing panel provided pitch and roll control. The U-2 had nose wheel steering and braking. A small, two-cycle pusher engine propelled this single-seat, single-engine, flying wing. The factory had sold more than 1,500 Superwing kits by the mid-1980s, largely because Mitchell initially priced the basic kits to sell at $2,795, less power and paint. He estimated that the builder with average skills could complete a Superwing airframe in 250 hours, and spend another 100 hours or so installing the engine and painting the ultralight.

Pilots could either fly the U-2 as a powered aircraft or switch off the engine and soar as a sailplane. Advertised lift-to-drag ratio was 25:1. A pilot flying a U-2 set the World Record Altitude for Class C1 (single-engine land aircraft not exceeding 297 kg/661 lb gross weight) in 1984 when he flew to 7,886 m (25,940 ft). Pilots generally favored the ultralight's flying and maintenance qualities but some reported difficulty handling the airplane in all but light winds.

Gift of Frank X. Marsh.

Physical Description:
Pusher-engine flying wing; kit-built with 35hp Cuyuna engine; white wings, white fuselage, green front and maroon stripes.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Mitchell Aircraft Corporation

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 10.3 m (34 ft)
Length: 2.4 m (8 ft)
Height: 0.9 m (3 ft)
Weights: Empty, 136.4 kg (335 lb)
Gross, 192 kg (630 lb)
Engine: Cuyuna UL2-11 two-cylinder, two-cycle, 35 horsepower

Scottish immigrant, Don Mitchell, designed the successful series of ultralight all-wing airplanes called the B-10 and the U-2 Superwing. He began work on the B-10 in 1975 and the aircraft first flew in 1976. This simple inexpensive, fun flyer became so popular that Mitchell decided to design a new version that he designated the U-2. He made many improvements and first flew the new version in 1979. A small, two-cycle pusher engine propelled this single-seat, single-engine, flying wing. Mitchell Aircraft Corporation of Porterville, California, sold approximately thousands of plan sets, kits, and finished aircraft to build and fly the B-10, and the U-2 was equally popular. The factory had sold more than 1,500 Superwing kits by the mid-1980s.

To the basic B-10 airframe, Mitchell modified the wing and added a completely enclosed cockpit, but he gave builders the option to install fixed or retractable landing gear. The pilot could operate the wingtip rudders either independently to provide yaw control, or simultaneously for aerodynamic braking. Stabilators suspended at the trailing edge of each outboard wing panel provided pitch and roll control. The U-2 had nose wheel steering and braking. Mitchell initially priced the basic kits to sell at $2,795, less power and paint, and he estimated that the builder with average skills could complete a Superwing airframe in 250 hours, and spend another 100 hours or so installing the engine and painting the ultralight.

Pilots could either fly the U-2 as a powered aircraft or switch off the engine and soar as a sailplane. Advertised lift-to-drag ratio was 25:1. A pilot flying a U-2 set the World Record Altitude for Class C1 (single-engine land aircraft not exceeding 297 kg/661 lb gross weight) in 1984 when he flew to 7,886 m (25,940 ft). Pilots generally favored the ultralight's flying and maintenance qualities but some reported difficulty handling the airplane in all but light winds.

Mike Bourquin, Steve Hornyak, Jerry Pashia, Bernie Steinbaugh, and Ray Taylor aided Frank Marsh in the construction of the Mitchell U-2 Superwing now at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. They first flew this aircraft during June 1987 and then donated it to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on July 1, 1989.

Scottish immigrant, Don Mitchell, designed the successful series of ultralight, all-wing airplanes called the B-10 and the U-2 Superwing. He began work on the B-10 in 1975 and the aircraft first flew in 1976. This simple inexpensive, fun flyer became so popular that Mitchell decided to design a new version that he designated the U-2. He made many improvements and first flew the new version in 1979.

To convert the basic B-10 airframe into a U-2, Mitchell modified the wing and added a completely enclosed cockpit, but he gave builders the option to install fixed or retractable landing gear. The pilot could operate the wingtip rudders either independently to provide yaw control or simultaneously for aerodynamic braking. Stabilators suspended at the trailing edge of each outboard wing panel provided pitch and roll control. The U-2 had nose wheel steering and braking. A small, two-cycle pusher engine propelled this single-seat, single-engine, flying wing. The factory had sold more than 1,500 Superwing kits by the mid-1980s, largely because Mitchell initially priced the basic kits to sell at $2,795, less power and paint. He estimated that the builder with average skills could complete a Superwing airframe in 250 hours, and spend another 100 hours or so installing the engine and painting the ultralight.

Pilots could either fly the U-2 as a powered aircraft or switch off the engine and soar as a sailplane. Advertised lift-to-drag ratio was 25:1. A pilot flying a U-2 set the World Record Altitude for Class C1 (single-engine land aircraft not exceeding 297 kg/661 lb gross weight) in 1984 when he flew to 7,886 m (25,940 ft). Pilots generally favored the ultralight's flying and maintenance qualities but some reported difficulty handling the airplane in all but light winds.

Gift of Frank X. Marsh.

Physical Description:
Pusher-engine flying wing; kit-built with 35hp Cuyuna engine; white wings, white fuselage, green front and maroon stripes.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Mitchell Aircraft Corporation

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 10.3 m (34 ft)
Length: 2.4 m (8 ft)
Height: 0.9 m (3 ft)
Weights: Empty, 136.4 kg (335 lb)
Gross, 192 kg (630 lb)
Engine: Cuyuna UL2-11 two-cylinder, two-cycle, 35 horsepower

Scottish immigrant, Don Mitchell, designed the successful series of ultralight all-wing airplanes called the B-10 and the U-2 Superwing. He began work on the B-10 in 1975 and the aircraft first flew in 1976. This simple inexpensive, fun flyer became so popular that Mitchell decided to design a new version that he designated the U-2. He made many improvements and first flew the new version in 1979. A small, two-cycle pusher engine propelled this single-seat, single-engine, flying wing. Mitchell Aircraft Corporation of Porterville, California, sold approximately thousands of plan sets, kits, and finished aircraft to build and fly the B-10, and the U-2 was equally popular. The factory had sold more than 1,500 Superwing kits by the mid-1980s.

To the basic B-10 airframe, Mitchell modified the wing and added a completely enclosed cockpit, but he gave builders the option to install fixed or retractable landing gear. The pilot could operate the wingtip rudders either independently to provide yaw control, or simultaneously for aerodynamic braking. Stabilators suspended at the trailing edge of each outboard wing panel provided pitch and roll control. The U-2 had nose wheel steering and braking. Mitchell initially priced the basic kits to sell at $2,795, less power and paint, and he estimated that the builder with average skills could complete a Superwing airframe in 250 hours, and spend another 100 hours or so installing the engine and painting the ultralight.

Pilots could either fly the U-2 as a powered aircraft or switch off the engine and soar as a sailplane. Advertised lift-to-drag ratio was 25:1. A pilot flying a U-2 set the World Record Altitude for Class C1 (single-engine land aircraft not exceeding 297 kg/661 lb gross weight) in 1984 when he flew to 7,886 m (25,940 ft). Pilots generally favored the ultralight's flying and maintenance qualities but some reported difficulty handling the airplane in all but light winds.

Mike Bourquin, Steve Hornyak, Jerry Pashia, Bernie Steinbaugh, and Ray Taylor aided Frank Marsh in the construction of the Mitchell U-2 Superwing now at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. They first flew this aircraft during June 1987 and then donated it to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on July 1, 1989.

ID: A19890117000