I found this on the Dragonflylist. It says it all!
"The Dragonfly is a low-cost, homebuilt sport plane with a
canard planform. The canard design provides low wing loading to
produce exciting performance with a wide variety of engines and
brings the added plus of exceptional stall resistance.
You can pick from three different landing gear
The original Mark I (MK I) is best suited for paved runways and
wide taxiways, due to its wide wheel spacing.
The Mark II (MK II) was designed to allow builders to fly from
narrow runways and grass strips. It would be suitable for operation
from any field that would be used by factory built aircraft.
Although not an official designation of the designer, there is a
variant of the MK II that is know as the MK IIH due to its hoop
style landing gear. The landing gear may be made of composite
materials or aluminum.
The final aircraft in the Dragonfly family is the Mark III (MK
III) which has a tricycle landing gear configuration. It was
designed to retain all the good looks of the Dragonfly while
offering excellent ground handling and easy landing
Thanks, Jeff LeTempt, to let me use this text.
When you look at this drawing, you clearly see that it looks like
the Quickie. Call it a copy of the Quickie? Euh ... I think that
the concept is the same, but the total design is different. First,
the Dragonfly appeared BEFORE the Q2. So..., Bob Walters, the
designer, could not have copied the Q2. And when you compare the
wings you will see that the Dragonfly has larger wings. 97 sq. ft
for the Dragonfly, 67 sq. ft for the Q2. The Dragonfly has a wing
loading that is 30% less than that of the Q2. Later I will discuss
the differences some more in detail. Lets first see some
The Dragonfly made its maiden flight on 16 June 1980 near San
Diego. Bob Walters was flying the machine. One month later it was
presented at Oshkosh after a total flight of 14 hours with a
average speed of 225 km/h and a consumption of 5,5 litres/100 km.
it got the award "Outstanding New Design". Back home, Bob was
drowning in request to buy Dragonfly plans. He sold plans for
several months. But he sold the license to the firm HAPI (with Rex
Taylor as president) after he found a new job as airliner
HAPI did what Bob Walters didn't want to do. They changed the
plans to the demands of the customers. I found out about three
versions. Mk I, version with wheels in the wing tips. Mk II, having
a straight front wing and a classic landing gear under the wings.
Mk III, a trigear (one wheel in the nose and two at the middle of
the airplane). Another change was that the windscreen opened
forwards. the prototype had a sideways opening windscreen. the
change was made to allow access to the cockpit from both
What amazed me was the data regarding glide-ratio (how good it
glides without power). Normaly one does not mention it when
describing a light motorized airplane. Here they did. 14,5!
Outstanding for a airplane of its kind.
There is yet another Dragonfly landing gear. It is known under the
designation Mk II H. You can recognize it by its bended
I got this info about it from Dave Morris:
"The reasons for the hoop gear are:
- Simpler, 1-piece construction, all fiberglass
- Attaches to fuselage, not canard, so
- no cutting on canard
- drop canard while aircraft sits on gear
- Raises fuselage several inches higher off ground for better
The IIH was designed after the II."
Rich added on this info on the Dragonflylist:
"The IIH can raise the nose if desired.
I can't remember if the H came after or before the wing socketed
variation. It was, however quite early in the development. The
originator of the idea was Gene DeVincenzo.
One additional benefit is that the landing forces are shunted to
the fuselage rather than the spar, and being a hoop, the absorption
of less than perfect landings are absorbed by the gear splaying out
and then gently returning, rather than bending backward. (ALA Rutan
with the EZs.)"
Now back to the design talk. The Dragonfly had problems with its
Mk I version.
Owen Strawn gives me this remark:
"The only reason I know for putting the wheels on the ends of
the canard is that the original Quickie was a very marginally
powered design, and this configuration reduced the total weight and
the dragof the airplane. This didn't work as well for the
Dragonfly, because the canard span is so much greater and the
airplane so much heavier that the "springiness" is a much more
significant concern. Many MK I Dragonflies ended up with broken
canards because of bouncing, which is why the inboard gear was
designed (MK II). The Q2/200 has a somewhat smaller canard span and
has not had as much problems with this issue."
In the old days the plans and so of the Dragonfly are sold by
Slip Stream Industries. Their site is non-active. Who sells that
Specifications of Dragonfly according to Slip Stream
9.5 sq. ft.
Vc 75% Power 165
Rate of Climb 850
Service Ceiling 18500 ft.
Takeoff, 50 ft. obs 1200 ft.
Landing, 50 ft. ob 2000 ft.
Range, 75% pow 500 mi.
Wing Loading 11.4
Power Loading 19.2
G load +
G load -
45.6 sq. ft.
Aspect Ratio 10.6
6.3 sq. ft.
8.8 sq. ft.
Span at Rudder: 3.0
.2 sq. ft.
2.0 sq. ft.
I got this remark from Jeffrey Letempt: "If it were me I would
change a few thing on your web site about the specifications. First
of all the original MK-I had a 20' canard span. Second is that I
would say there are very few newly built Dragonflys that use the 60
HP VW. Next is the canard incidence, it is -1.25 degrees not zero.
Next is the gross weight, it could be 1300 pounds with the
additional spar lay-up."
Oh, yes, nearly forgot. I mentioned above that the Dragonfly
doesn't have the Roncz airfoil. That seems to be true. No Dragonfly
has yet been made with the Roncz airfoil. But I know that somebody
is working on one! I wonder what airfoil they are using now.
I got this remark from Ted Forringer: "The dragonfly still uses
the GU airfoil for the canard. While some would say it is a
bad airfoil, dragonfly fliers would say, "it works." There
are two major complaints, bugs and raindrops, both of which can
seriously degrade the performance of the canard. Light
sanding 200 grit takes care of the rain problem or vortex
generators take care of both problems. Many would say there
is no reason to change. I say, if a better airfoil exists,
why not try it. [ed.: Ted is actually doing what his heart is
saying: building the dragonfly with a Roncz airfoil]"
When you read this one would think that the Dragonflies have a
problem. Wrong thinking. Clever people always find a solution and
it was found for the Dragonfly. Just read the next remark.
I got this remark from Owen Strawn:"The Dragonfly still uses the
GU25 (modified) airfoil for the canard. One person built an LS-1
canard like the Q's use, but he retired and cut up his airplane.
And of course as you know the Raptor group is working on Roncz
canards. But as far as I know all Dragonflies currently in
existence have GU25 (modified) canards.
For those Dragonflies that suffer noticeable loss of lift when the
canard is wet or bugged up (some don't have the problem), vortex
generators added to the top of the canard seem to resolve the
see: the Dragonfly is still going on strong. There are a lot of
them still being constructed. If needing help in construction,
mailinglist of the Dragonfly builders. I am sure you will enjoy
your flights in a Dragonfly. I hope to see one at a meeting and
getting a flight in it.