Model Airplane News|
Model Airplane News Cover Art for January, 1951
by Jo Kotula
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The Fletcher FL-23 was an American two-seat liaison or observation aircraft designed and built by the California-based Fletcher Aviation Corporation. The airplane was designed by John Thorp, whose Sky Skooter was featured on the August, 1947 issue of M.A.N. It was entered into a competition and lost against the Cessna 305A as a liaison or observation aircraft for the United States Army The FL-23 prototype was designed and built as a private venture, it was a high-wing cantilever monoplane with an all-moving tailplane mounted at the top of the fin. It had a fixed tricycle landing gear and powered a 225-hp (168 kW) Continental E225 piston engine. It had room for a pilot and observer in tandem; the observer had an unusual acrylic plastic enclosure to give an all-round visibility.
Thorp/Fletcher Design and the Winner
Design Patent D-163,913
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The US Army issued the specification for a two-seat liaison and observation monoplane and the prototype was entered into the competition. During trials the aircraft was badly damaged in a flying accident when it lost its tail, and was withdrawn from the competition. The competition was won by the Cessna 305A which became the L-19 (O-1) Bird Dog.
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