On Monday, Oct 19th Jim Dalton and Doug Erhardt delivered a new aircraft to the museum, the Sparrow. Offered by Jim and accepted by the Museum’s Acquisition committee, the aircraft was designed by Raymond Fredette of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the early 1970s.
The Sparrow was part of Project Teleplane, the evaluation of remotely piloted vehicles for military purposes. The design represented the groundwork of a concept that remotely piloted vehicles would emerge as an operational platform conducting missions flown by manned aircraft.
This particular aircraft was a ½ scale version of the original design and, as noted by Dave Scully, a member of the project team, “was built as an engineering aid, and proved to be extremely useful as a low-cost method of evaluating performance, and developing fabrication techniques relative to its full-scale counterpart.” (American Aircraft Modeler Sept. 1973)
“Sparrow exceeded our expectations in its flight characteristics, and its suitability as a test bed for future experiments.” Team members included Dave Scully, Jim Cline, and Don Lowe – AMA President from 1987-1995.Dave noted
In the American Aircraft Modeler article, which was also a construction article, Dave noted that modelers might be interested in utilizing the design themselves. One modeler, Luther Hux, did so with his Project Snapshot. An article on this airplane appeared in Model Aviation magazine, June 1979, and it was donated to the museum in 1983.