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IAC Discussion Summary

Delivery-Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 23:36:43 -0400

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Disclaimer: These IAC pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.

Collected by: Leigh McCue


Is a Cassutt suitable for aerobatics?

Here is a summary of responses on Cassutt's on acro. I'm sending it to those of you who expressed interest, and to Gunther as I thought you may want to post it with other list discussion summaries.

As a note, I will add that I recieved one very negative response on Cassutts for acro from a quite reputable source. Whether or not it is valid I cannot say as all other responses were quite positive, but I do have enough respect for the source of the opposing e-mail to have stopped consideration of purchasing a Cassutt for the purpose of acro.


A friend and myself completed a Cassutt IIIM (the short winged racing version, a 15 foot wingspan) in 1976. We originally had a 85 hp Continental C-85 engine in it. With this engine it trued out at 204 mph, with a stall speed of 70 mph. It was a hot little plane, very responsive, and quite a handful on the ground. We did build the ailerons one inch deeper in chord than the plans, and got a roll rate of about 400 degrees/second!! Very light and harmonized control forces. If this sounds like a nice akro plane, you're right, but now for some caveats. The airplane with a C-85 in it does not accelerate very well, and when you do get it up to speed, it is very clean and hard to slow down, so for competition it is difficult to stay in the box. The airplane is quite small both inside and out. Hard to judge well because it is hard to see, and the cockpit is diminutive. I fit in it well but I'm 5' 4". My building partner is 6' and he has to cram himself into the plane. We did build in a sliding seat which helped, and if you're the only one to fly it you can customized the cockpit to fit yourself.

I believe the wing is stressed to + - 12 G. The plane is build like a tank. We did all maneuvers in it including lomcevoks (sp?), and never had any recovery problems. The plane had no bad habits except to be very responsive.

So in short, a great akro plane, but not for competition as it takes too long to accelerate and slow down. Small, strong and twitchy.

Jim Tuszka
Cassutt N5JJ

I own a Cassutt, and the spin is definitely very docile. You just give it a hint of recovery and it is out of the spin right away. I first obtained the Cassutt with the hopes of using it in competition. I believe it would do well in the sportsman with a few mods. First, is the problem of inverted systems. Most have the small continentals for which there is no real inverted system. Then the short wing is not good in loops. I added 14" tapered extentions like the "Wittman tip" used on the Tailwind. This improved the looping tremendously as well as increased the climb and reduced the stall without reducing the top speed. However, this mod increased the stick forces in roll and slowed the roll rate. There was a man who in the seventies did airshows in the cassutt and it was great. I forget his name. I could go on and on about the cassutt. I still have mine, but don't fly it much lately since I just completed rebuilding the Atlantis Prototype and am flying it now. If you would like more information, feel free to contact me.

Paul Harris

Leigh try to get a hold of "Pete Myres" I think the spelling is right. He keeps his cassut at "1C" on the south side of Chicago. He has flown airshows for ever with it.


Just got off the phon with Pete he didn't want his number given out. But his aircraft has 2 inches taller fin and rudder. It spins great upringht and inverted. aany other question I'll try to answer.


Hi Leigh,Mbr> the Cassutt is a tiny plane ... and probably would be even more hard to see in the box than an S-1. Similar to a Smith mini-plane perhaps. And they go like stink, too. Some of them are good for 200 mph for sure. You might want to e-mail Carl Pascarell - who is one of the nation's Cassutt experts .. with a question or two. I'll bet he'd be happy to help. His e-mail is cpx2@jaxnet.combr> Good luck.
Harley Carnes

Dear Leigh, I had a Cassutt a few years ago and enjoyed flying akro in it. It's got a great roll rate, and with a climb prop, it's got a super rate of climb. Its main limitation is the lack of an inverted fuel system. A constant speed prop would also be nice since it's got a wide speed range. If you can get those things worked out, the Cassutt would make a neat akro mount . . .
Dave Hirschman
p.s. I spun my cassutt many times and found recoveries to be quick and consistent.

My name is Rod Flockhart from Australia and I use to own a Cassutt Racer rego VH-ITI, it was fitted with a Lycoming 0-235 engine. In my 200 odd hours of flying the machine I did a lot of aerobatics. First of all the aircraft, although fast has very predictable stall characteristics, as for spinning the aircraft will do it, but has a lot of buffetting as it has a small wing and a rather high fuselage turtle deck which blankets one wing in a spin, making it hard to establish a steady spin. However, the aeroplane has to be coaxed into the spin. Aileron rolls superb, very quick, over 400 degrees per second. Slow rolls - will do but needed some sort of inverted system. Stall turns - will do but needed some sort of inverted system. Loops - BIG, will loop quite well but as the aircraft does not have a lot of inertia and a heavy wing loading I needed to initiate them at about 180 knots. Snap rolls - will do them quite well if done at exactly the right speed and power setting, but as with spins did experience quite a lot of buffetting. Wing overs - quite nice as with barrel rolls, point rolls, etc. I never competed in aerobatics in the aeroplane apart from racing it in Skyrace Tasmania in 1996.
Rod Flockhart

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