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Thread: Do you know Eric Clutton's FRED?

  1. #1

    Do you know Eric Clutton's FRED?

    6965189781_911fbd53cd_z.jpg

    For those that don't know them, I just wanted to make a plug for my non-commercial Clutton FRED fan site and the associated Yahoo! Group and Facebook page.

    Flying Runabout Experimental Design (FRED for short) is a classic wood-and-fabric, open-cockpit, parasol-wing single-seater usually powered with a VW conversion, though many other engines have also been used. FRED's party tricks are quick-folding wings and the ability to be stored at home and trailered to and from the airport on its own gear or on a trailer. British-born designer Eric Clutton now lives in the USA and both he and the original FRED are still flying at over 80 and almost 50 years old, respectively.

    Above is a photo of a FRED from Scotland recently added to the site and below is a recent clip of a modified FRED (spring gear, one-piece wing) which has been flying for over 30 years in New Zealand.

    Cheers,

    Matthew

    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  2. #2
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Here's a Timeless Voices of Aviation interview with Eric Clutton, recorded during AirVenture 2003:

    http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=22335971001

  3. #3
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Neat plane, although it's not exactly the most aesthetic design ever.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  4. #4
    Despite multiple off-field, dead-stick landings (Eric went through many different engines in the early days, some of them very unreliable, before settling on a VW conversion and then a Continental A-65), the original prototype has kept it's designer/builder/pilot safe and still flying for 49 years It certainly helps that Eric is an old glider pilot by training, but there are not many homebuilts that can say that. Beauty is as beauty does! ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinindy View Post
    Neat plane, although it's not exactly the most aesthetic design ever.
    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  5. #5
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Beauty is as beauty does!
    Eh....the thing still looks weird, mostly because of the cowling. When it's sitting on the ground it looks like they forgot to put the belly panels on it or something. I am all for form following function, but maybe it's the artist in me that wants to makes something look smooth and blended.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  6. #6
    Ah, in that case let me point out that G-ORAS is one of the very few FREDs with a cowled engine, most have exposed cylinders. Check out the FRED galleries here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cluttonfred/sets/

    Here's one of my favorites, but then I'm a sucker for the 1930s look with silver wings and tail:

    6485934103_115400f68f_z.jpg
    Last edited by cluttonfred; 03-14-2012 at 11:55 AM.
    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant!
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

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