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Wainfan FMX-4 Facetmobile

Wainfan Facetmobile aircraft

The Wainfan FMX-4 Facetmobile was an unusual one-of-a-kind homebuilt aircraft designed by Barnaby Wainfan, a Northrop Grumman aerodynamicist.

The Wainfan Facetmobile is a lifting body aircraft, meaning that the whole aircraft acts as one giant wing. It is also unusual in the fact it is made up of 11 flat surfaces, rather than a continuously curving body.

The wing section is much thicker than conventional light aircraft. It was constructed using 6061 aluminium tubing for the main structure. The skin of the aircraft is a fabric covering. Control of the aircraft is accomplished though elevons and rudders.

Interestingly, as well as the five large windows surrounding the cockpit, there are a further two in the floor of the aircraft. Access to the single-seat cockpit is through a hatch in the bottom of the aircraft.

Powering the Wainfan Facetmobile is a 50 horsepower Rotax 503 DC engine driving a 3-bladed propeller. Top speed of the aircraft was 110 mph, with a stall speed of just 33 mph.

Only one example of the Wainfan Facetmobile was ever built, and this was grounded after an engine failure in 1995 forced Barnaby Wainfan to crash land the aircraft in a field causing extensive damage to the skin, engine and structure. Wainfan was unharmed.

Both a two-seat and unmanned version of the aircraft have been proposed, but neither project has been realized.

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Wainfan Facetmobile aircraft
Wainfan Facetmobile aircraft

Wainfan Facetmobile aircraft
Wainfan Facetmobile aircraft

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