Bloop 4, Photos & Drawings
Aug 21, 2014Public
Photo: I'm coming into the landing pattern at my home field. I'll use the unpaved runway, which can be seen as a  light colored streak across the cleared fields. This motorfloater is slower than most of the other traffic, so I paint it in bright colors. 
My objective is to build a simple airplane that flies as slow as possible to explore the benefits of this mode of flight.
Photo: The Bloop needs about 100 feet of runway to lift off, less in a headwind. A good headwind on takeoff will make your engine seem more powerful, the climb angle will be steep.
I takeoff and land on the grass or an open field, instead of a runway, when possible.
Photo: My biplane motorfloater may look like the airplanes of  a hundred years ago, but it is quite different, much lighter and simpler. The Bloop is intended to be a rational modern design. The retro style and nostalgia are serendipitous.
Photo: At slow speeds with no propeller wash, the breezy flight can be cool and comfortable. This is similar to a paramotor flight, but without canopy issues and with the stabilizing benefits of a tail.
Photo: The Bloop engine is warming up while the pilot gets organized. My motor is a modern paramotor engine system, 25 horsepower, with mufflers on the inlet and exhaust.
Photo: I fly without ailerons, so rolling on the ground with the nose high works fine unless a crosswind is trying to raise one wing. The deep nose clearance allows the plane to roll with the nose as low as necessary to keep the wings level.
In a strong wind emergency, the pilot can land and put the nose on the ground to stabilize the plane while he gets out.
Photo: The Bloop gets off the ground fast but is not a fast climber because the engine is small.
A small engine results in minimal disruption in flight, less dead weight when landing,  and doesn't require a lot of fuel handling.
Photo: I'm poking around the local flying area on a warm afternoon. I try to fly once or twice a week for fun and satisfaction.
The purple bag covers the emergency parachute, which the pilot can deploy with either hand.
Photo: Bloop 4 on final landing approach with a soaring instrument mounted on the nose tube.
Photo: My motorfloater is made from Styrofoam, fiberglass tape, and aluminum tubes, bolted together,  rigged with steel cables, then fabric covered. Building or repairing a Bloop is simple garage technology. Shown here is the vertical stabilizer under construction.
Photo: I built the Bloop in a functional fashion, (even though it is an airplane with no function). With more craftmanship it could be a work of art, but that is not part of my program.
Photo: Bloop 4 is tied down outside when not in flight. For this kind of exposure the fabric must be well prepared with many coats of protective aluminized dope.
Sometimes there are bird nests, and always bird droppings. The spiders and the webs just go for a ride when I fly, the flying airstream is not strong enough to blow them away. Twol Bloops have been severely damaged in storms by inadequate wing tiedowns, the airframe is strong and really good ground anchors are called for.
Photo: Bloop 4 and Bloop 2 fly about the same, but have some practical and structural differences.
Photo: Looking to the right from the pilot's seat, altitude is judged by looking at the high points of the terrain against the horizon. Bird droppings on the wing are a result of the plane being tied down out in the open and birds perching on the wing rigging.
Photo: No need to taxi a light, well balanced motorfloater. I usually don't taxi anywhere, I just wheel the plane around. This saves the engine for use in the air, is economical, reduces fuel handling, and makes the engine more reliable (because it will have less hot and dirty running time).
Photo: The Bloop 4 has turbowings!  A full set of wing vortex generators has been  installed on both the upper and lower wings. Results are positive at low speeds, and no higher speed problems have been encountered.
Photo: My new hat for the retro look, spring 2017. Ear protection, at least, is necessary.
Photo: Floyd Fronius is belting in as the engine warms up. Some special instrumentation has been installed on the nose tube.
Photo: Racing down the runway, well, actually, the plane is standing still! Bloop 4 is tethered by a rope from the tail skid to a ground anchor,  so the pilot can practice operating the engine and flight controls, feeling the response without moving. The propwash on the tail allows the controls to be effective in establishing the attitude of the plane without airspeed.
Photo: Bloop 4 in Decenber, 2017. Some changes include a triangular horizontal stabilizer, a swept back control stick, and the back of the pilot's seat moved rearward a few inches. Also, the landing gear side struts have been enlarged to one inch diameter.
Photo: Bloop 4 can land on the nose or tail at the pilot's discretion. The small, non-rotating  bicycle wheel on the nose is actually a skid and serves as the ground brake.