Aerofan anyone?

An unusual aeroplane is among the latest batch of pictures on 1000aircraftphotos.com. It is the Aerofan Single Twin, c1984. It is a clean machine, but details seem sparse. Anyone know anything about it? The name suggests two engines driving one propeller, as in the Learfan.

I have a soft spot for pushers, although few have been commercially successful. I loved the Beech Starship, and always look up when I hear the distinctive sound of a Piaggio Avanti overhead.

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Aerofan Single Twin (Bernhard Klein Collection via 1000aircraftphotos.com)

The Starship was a triumph of aerodynamics over structures (go aero!), great to fly in, and a commercial failure. The stylish Avanti has become a success, belatedly, but history is littered with unsuccessful pushers: the Learfan, JetCruzer, Avtek 400, Prescott Pusher – the list is in danger of becoming endless.

Pushers look good on paper, but maybe they are just too – different – to be successful. Mind you, if there is ever to be an open-rotor-powered airliner, there is a strong chance it will be a pusher – best to keep those whirling propellers well away from the paying passengers.

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Burt Rutan’s proof-of-concept Starship (Johan Visschedijk Collection via 1000aircraftphotos.com)

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One Response to Aerofan anyone?

  1. Jorge Oliveira 25 January, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Starship C-51 is one of most revolutianry Burt Rutan’s development, already concepted and flyed.

    Maybe someday we have the Starship – II on the air.

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