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Jun 05, 2009, 05:58 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP

Blaue Maus

At the behest of Don Bailey I'm starting a thread related to the seriously
"Vintage" glider called the Blaue Maus. Blue Mouse

This design was on the cusp between Gliding and soaring.
For all the wood in the pix it only weighed 117 lbs. spec below.

Here is a brief history site with pix ( turn on your translator )

I was drawn to this design as I am a Sucker for anything with Pants.
Planes similar to the Northrup Alpha Beta and Gamma series.

The Blaue Maus sports a pair of pants with skids mounted on the bottom.

Starting from a few old pix and two "conflicting" 3-views, I've been at it in
3D Cad attempting to develop a structure for construction.
So far I have developed Formers and ribs but I lack certain details
and still unsure as to how to proceed.
I'll be fiddling around in CAD until I feel comfortable enough to cut
parts on my CNC.

I've decided on 1/2.5 scale as it'll be ~ 4m.
Plug in wings will be part of the package at this size.
So for now I've decided to design in a straight foil stub as part of the fuse.
The Unusualy deep foil at the root is "interesting".

My progress to date is shown in the Pix below.
I have been acquiring pix, such as they are off the net also.

There is even an ancient vid on u-tube of this thing flying.
Look at the pix below 1st then watch for it in the movie.
It's in a 6 wheel tractor towing it plus a bungie launch.

The non flying model hanging in Elmira was built by a local guy , Craig Aho.

I plan to just put a regular tow release in my design for local aero towing.

Blaue Maus FVA-2 Specifications
Wing Span: 31' 10"
Length 18' 5"
Wing area: 147 ft sq
Empty Weight :117 lbs

anyone with more info or design details please join in.

I believe that this was a Wolfgang Klemperer design.
He migrated to USA before WWII and eventually did work for NASA.
Last edited by birdofplay; Jul 18, 2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Jun 05, 2009, 10:02 PM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
There is a good drawing of the Schwarzer Teufel/Schwatze Düvel in Martin Simons book "Sailplanes 1920 - 1945," along with some pictures of the Blaue Maus. I recall an article in Soaring some time in the early seventies on those planes, but the exact date escapes me. I was learning to fly sailplanes at the time and was a member of SSA, so had the magazine.

I have some crude drawings of Vampyr that I want to use make a small glider out of. Martin Simons has drawings of that as well but somehow missed the fact that it is the first glider/sailplane to stay aloft for over an hour, and blew the minds of everyone interested in gliding. You could just about say that soaring did not exist until Vampyr came along.

I learned to fly at Wurtsboro NY and Klemperer was well known there, but a bit before my time.

I look forward to following your progress.

Last edited by PeteSchug; Jun 05, 2009 at 11:22 PM.
Jun 05, 2009, 11:27 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks Pete !
I dont have any of Martin books at present. oh well ...

There seems to be several version of the Blaue Maus.
IF you study all the pix you can find minor differences in Wing, aileron,
covering, pants and tail.

Yup yup yup even the Hang glider guys think of this bird as The Beginning !

I'm thinking of making the second and third rib with the Pants parts all one piece.
Plus I'm going to need a "big" dummy for this one - cant leave that big of a cockpit
unmanned, ya know.

I'm also waiting on what info Craig has.
He is poking around finding his stuff just now.

The delicate structure almost begs for a Split Bamboo type construction.
At least around the nose.
But then again thats where the weight will be required to balance this thang .

This is among other things just a really unique subject.
Jun 06, 2009, 01:36 AM
Registered User
That sounds a most interesting project and will keep an eye on its progress. In the meantime here are a couple of pictures that I am pretty sure you haven't got as this is the first time on the net
Jun 06, 2009, 04:13 AM
SB-28 UK Display Pilot
GeeW's Avatar
There is quite a lot of info about the BM in the Flugsport yearbook 1922 (i think). Next time I'm over my parents I'll dig it out and report back.

Jun 06, 2009, 06:40 AM
dare to thermal
Do you know this:
May be you can ask them direktly about more informations.

Jun 06, 2009, 04:38 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the photos VincentC.
Looking forward to your research results GeeW, thanks.
Bernd: your link is a German version of the French click that I had discovered.
Thanks for the info.
I have written to them regarding any more info that they may know of.

Nothing more yet today as I went to a HAM fest in Seaside today with "the guys" !
Last edited by birdofplay; Jul 18, 2014 at 02:14 PM.
Jun 06, 2009, 06:33 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
OK I've dome some screen captures from my CAD work and I'm submitting them for
a "peer review" of the "details" !

I know the Horizontal stab needs some rework for strength at the corners.

But I kinda wonder about the Nose treatment and rear fuse treatment.

The Fuse / Wing-root area is a bit of a departure from the full size which built the
Fuse "Front half" and wings in one piece , adding the tailcone and empenage.
For the model to be more transportable I believe that the wings need to be
removable, so, I've designed in a stub wing as part of the Fuse.

The rest of the fuse conforms to the "Conflicting" 3-views that I currently have.
At least as best I can.
I used the 3-views to create a 3D skin then took Sections for get the formers.
The stringers were placed by taking sections of those formers with planes
placed in-line with the fuse and then rotated copys of the plane to get
stringer locations on each former. ( did that make any sense ? )
There is ONE set of stringers ON PLANE with the H-stab throughout
all the formers. The wing root is set at about 2 deg.
I plan to build in some washout also.

All ply in the front and all balsa in th rear.
This thing is going to be "interesting" to balance. IMHO

Regardless, it's been fun attempting to DERIVE all these components.

Opinions and critique welcomed !
Last edited by birdofplay; Jun 06, 2009 at 06:38 PM.
Jun 06, 2009, 07:45 PM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
If you look at the rudder of VincentC's first picture you will see that it is braced differently than yours. Their version probably gives more strength to the lower rear corner.

In the drawing in Martin Simons' book the stab has a brace for each rectangular bay. In yours the outer two rectangles have one brace.

There may be no right or wrong with this stuff, since these planes probably needed lots of repairs and revisions, often without the benefit of a formal drawings.

Edit: Digging s bit deeper I see the rudder as you have it in a drawing from the URL of the French site, and there too is the stabilizer as you have it drawn, but in this case it is structure showing through the covering of the plane in flight.

I guess my last pre edit sentence sums it up. There may be no right or wrong, all of these things may have been valid at some time.

Looking at these pictures I have to wonder at the bravery of the guys who flew these things. They remind me of the pre gossamer condor human powered aircraft in their delicacy.

Last edited by PeteSchug; Jun 06, 2009 at 08:07 PM.
Jun 06, 2009, 11:49 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the critique, Pete ! good stuff

This type of hang glider is still better IMHO than some of the early Hang Glider
Bamboo and plastic bag stuff, ya know :-)

You are right I need to work a bit harder on the tail group structure.
It depends on "which" pic you want to emulate as there are lots of versions.
I kinda LIKE the "sandow.jpg" as it has aero-balancing and appears to be
just a bit taller. ( the one with 19 on the tail )

I've been working at developing the Nose and tail parts so that they have an interlocking fit.

Still, nobody has commented at the "gross" looking covering job that I THINK
I'm seeing in some of those pix.
I think a 4" house paint brush could "get me there " :-))) heh heh heh

Then again all that wonderful structure in ply with all those lightening holes et al.
Simply Amazing !

The Swartz Devil version has an almost transparent covering, intriguing !

Does anyone know WHEN good thin ply became available - back then ?
Today, we're so used to 1/64, 1/32, 1/8 ac grade plys PLUS good glue.

YES, it was after improvements accumulated after WWI but still ...

It had to take major GUTS to fly those things.
Last edited by birdofplay; Jun 07, 2009 at 12:22 AM.
Jun 07, 2009, 06:02 AM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Originally Posted by birdofplay
Does anyone know WHEN good thin ply became available - back then ?
Today, we're so used to 1/64, 1/32, 1/8 ac grade plys PLUS good glue.

YES, it was after improvements accumulated after WWI but still ...

It had to take major GUTS to fly those things.
I don't know how far back the really thin stuff goes, but when we first started cutting foam wings you could get 1/128th ply for covering. Haven't seen it since.

As for good glue, old fashioned hide glue is about the best stuff around for strength. True it is not waterproof, but having tried to take well glued stuff apart using hot water and steam I can attest to the fact that it will fight you to the last! It is also used for frosting certain fancy glasses. They pour it on and as it shrinks it tears the surface off the glass leaving intricate patterns. The glue along with glass fragments is re melted, the glass sinks to the bottom and the glue is reused many times. Epoxy sticks to glass but it won't tear the surface off the way shrinking hide glue will.

One of my other hobbies is making fiddles and hide glue is the only stuff we use. Tops are lightly glued with well diluted hide glue for easy removal (ha!) but the center seam of most old violins are intact after hundreds of years. Seams do open up, but only where the grain of the two pieces of wood approach a right angle. Where the grain is parallel the stuff won't let go.

I babble on about this because hide glue was probably the most common wood working glue of that era.

Jun 07, 2009, 11:44 AM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks again, Pete

I just knew that this project was going to be a great History lesson.

Now about that 1/128 ply, you could "see thru it" right ? :-}
Jun 07, 2009, 06:13 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
Todays progress report:

I discovered that I'd placed too much root attack angle and further that I'd
gotten the TE too far down. Actually that was my "Clue" things were going awry.
A rework netted a bit thinner sectionand a better fuse wing intersection ( IMHO).

I like the outcome as the 3-views depict a horrifically thick foil.
Yet the pix show the foil crowning at the cockpit combing with the
TE only down to the second fuse stringer.
This realization effectively pulled the foil bottom UP somewhat and yielded
the thinned foil at root.

Since the wing root thickness changed I redid all the ribs.
This time I estimated root and tip thickness from the pix as opposed to the sloppy 3-views. I used those measurements to ratio out the foil thickness at mid-wing and then after lofting took sections to arrive at the foils.

I've worked up a couple of alternate tail parts sets also.

Revisiting the tail cone parts, I gutted them with large lightening holes.

Viewing my CAD ISO I'm starting to dislike the distance I have chosen for the
root stub.
It changes the appearance a bit too much IMHO.

I will probably rework that area by changing the exit angle from the fuse
to match the rest of the Wing Top.
I still want the stub to extend to include the Pants and Skids.

So much for todays effort.
Last edited by birdofplay; Jun 07, 2009 at 06:26 PM.
Jun 07, 2009, 09:07 PM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Originally Posted by birdofplay
Thanks again, Pete

I just knew that this project was going to be a great History lesson.

Now about that 1/128 ply, you could "see thru it" right ? :-}
Light shines through 1/64th. The 1/128 showed discoloration from glue. I admit that I was tempted to get some just to have, but it was expensive. I also think that ordinary veneers are probably better for skinning wings. I have no idea how they made the 1/128th stuff or for that matter how they make 1/64th since the plies have to be 1/3rd that thickness. Probably cut and then thickness sand over a curved plate with the wood under tension.

Jun 09, 2009, 02:36 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
Thread OP
OK I have a design question now.

Let's say the wing is built from thin ply Ribs and thin ply Spars.

Looking at the PIX (nez.jpg) I see that the ribs and spars are full height where they intersect.
Also noting all the little spar stiffener strips both diagonally and vertically.
Of course all Half ribs will have to be individually placed.

So should the ...
1. ribs be cut into pieces Front, two middles and rear ( 4 pieces )
With full length spar Cap strips at top and bottom of each spar. maybe both sides.
2. Slot the ribs to slide narrower spars though the slots
using one piece ribs. then just fill in the top spar between each rib.
Not as strong I'm presuming :-(
3. try to notch each rib to accommodate the full length spar Cap strips
leaving somewhat weakened one piece ribs.
or , or, or ...
4. any ideas ?

I'd kinda like to build the ribs with cap strips before assy.
But using # 1. above would mean placing cap strips over each rib
AFTER rib spar assy.

I'm also thinking that a wing jig will be useful to get the angles, dihedral and washout just right.

I've cleaned up all the spar drawings and arraigned all the ribs into cutable
sheets. Two at a time when possible.
God ! thats a lot of ply wood.

Balsausa will be hearing from me soon !

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