The Clancy Brothers
Jack Clancy was the youngest of the three Clancy brothers who burst into prominence in 1931 with the Skybaby, a single-seat light aircraft they had designed and built themselves. In the era of the Depression, it was the highly successful Skybaby which led them into aviation and an escape from infrequent and poorly paid jobs.
Bill Clancy was the talented designer of the Skybaby. He went on to a career as a noted engineer with the railways. During World War Two he played an important role in the Beaufort construction program.
Allan Clancy became a popular and respected flying instructor with the Kingsford Smith Flying School and later served in the RAAF. After the war he worked for Butler Air Transport but his flying career ended following an unfortunate accident in a DCA aircraft in 1951.
The Clancy Skybaby
The Skybaby was a fully-acrobatic, single seat light aircraft with a strut-braced, parasol wing. It was of all wooden construction and covered with lrish linen. The fuselage was a Pratt truss with 3/4 inch square longerons with l/8-inch ply gussets, and weighed just 16 lb bare. The wing employed a Gottingen 426 airfoil, and had a l/2-degree dihedral. The spars were "I" beams with 9/16-inch by 1/2 inch flanges and l/8-inch ply webs. The aircraft had a divided undercarriage with hard tyres, and a tailskid. Before long, the main wheels were replaced with balloon tyres on 5-inch by 4-inch hubs (the same as the tailwheel on Kingsford Smith's Lockheed Altair).
The Henderson engine, in it's original side valve configuration, ran at its maximum of 3,000 rpm and suffered overheating problems. Bill Clancy replaced the top half of the engine with new cylinders and alloy pistons, increasing the bore by 9/16 inch to 3-1/8-inch Overhead valves of increased diameter were fired in well finned heads cast in bronze for better heat dissipation and to eliminate the need for valve seat inserts. (This was before the appearance of the first de Havilland Gipsy Major engines, which featured similar heads).
A full dual ignition system was fitted and, in its modifed form, the engine delivered 38 brake horsepower at 2550 rpm The compression ratio was increased to 5:1 and it cruised smoothly at 2200 rpm. An extension shaft was bolted to the crankshaft flywheel flange. This shaft was tapered to fit the propeller hub (which was turned down from a Model T Ford rear wheel hub) and carried a shoulder to accommodate a ball thrust bearing in the nose cone, which was fabricated from mild steel sheet.
Gross-Weight 560 lb
Empty Weight 330 lb in original form 350 lb when modified
Span 25 feet 6 inches
Length 16 feet 2 inches
Wing Area 104 square feet
Wing Loading 5.4 Ib/sq.ft
Span Loading 22.2 Ib/ft
Power Loading 14.7 Ib/hp
Cruising Speed at 2200 rpm 55 mph.
Stalling 8peed 30 mph.
Fuel 31/2 Imp Gals at 13/4 Imp gph.
Propeller 60 inch by 36 inch
Differential brakes, 5-inch by 4-inch tyres, coil springs in telescopic landing gear legs.
* The Museum's Clancy Skybaby is a later model, incorporating a Praga "B" 40hp flat twin engine.
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