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Drawer Slides for Aeroplane: Case Study

Apr 8, 2016   //   Heavy Duty Slide Case Studies  //  Comments Off on Drawer Slides for Aeroplane: Case Study
Drawer slides for plane

Sliding canopy for plane

Client: Dave Bonsall

Location: UK

Application: Aeroplane 

Brief:   36 years ago Dave decided to design and build an aeroplane. Not from a kit, mind, the plan was to design the aeroplane entirely on numbers, everything from wind velocity, aerodynamics, structural calculations and weight.  Understanding the relationship between air pressure, density and flow provided Dave with the essential mathematics from which the mechanical structure of the aircraft could be designed and built.

drawer slides for plane 02

sliding canopy needed to be strong and secure

“I quickly realised,” confided Dave, “that I wasn’t the first to approach an aeroplane design in this way and as the project took shape it was clear that the design shaped by our calculations was incredibly similar to the P51 Mustang.” The P51 Mustang was an American long range single seat fighter bomber used by the Americans in world war II and the Korean War. Originally the Mustang sported the Allison V-1710 engine, but due to its limited high altitude performance, it was quickly replaced with a Rolls Royce Merlin, transforming the Mustang’s performance at altitudes over 15,000 feet, making it a match for the Luftwaffe’s fighters.

With the plane almost complete, the final piece of the aircraft that needed building was the canopy and this is where Chambrelan UK came in.

drawer slides for plane 03

sliding canopy had to operate smoothly and safely

Solution: The drawer slides needed to extend and retract the canopy and the only heavy duty slides light enough and durable enough were the ST448 at 700mm. The ST448 is a 3 beam stainless steel heavy duty slide offering full extension, with its modest load carrying capacity of 50kg’s per pair. With it’s incredibly tight space envelope this stainless steel slide is able to endure the harsh weather at those heights, but also wind drag, while being a reliable, fail safe slide.

As you can see from the photos, the plane has had two names and used to be called ‘the Galloping Ghost’, but due to a tragic air accident in 2011, which saw a P-51D Mustang – also called the Galloping Ghost – crash into spectators killing 10, including the pilot Jimmy Leeward, and injuring 69 people, Dave decided to change the name to Rosie.

Feedback: “The drawer slides work fantastically and continue to perform. Thanks for all your support and advice.” Dave Bonsall.

To get your application off the ground, call Chambrelan on 01746 761 114