Another Rare Aircraft-The 1936 Rose A-1 Parrakeet Single Place Biplane, Rev. 1

 
Copyright 2007, Doug Robertson, posted on 2007-10-13

 

I first want to thank my friend the late Ron Eyanson, a professional photographer for his wonderful photos of this aircraft, far better than mine, more of which are on the N14881 as NC14881 aircraft Profile page. Please click on the above photo to bring up the aircraft Profile page with many more photographs, including some vintage black and white photographs by Jack Rose, the actual aircraft designer.

Although  the vertical stabilizer and rudder shape may be suggestive of the slightly earlier 1931 Fairchild F-22 C7 series parasol wing two-place monoplanes, the genesis of the Rose Parrakeet single place biplane was the all-wood SS-3 biplane designed in 1923 by Sven Swanson of Vermillion, South Dakota. The SS-3 design was briefly marketed as the production Lincoln Sport of fabric covered wood and wire fuselage truss construction by the Lincoln-Standard Aircraft Corporation of Lincoln, Nebraska. Because of many cheap war surplus aircraft still available, the Lincoln Sport did not sell well, but offered plans of the design in the late 1920s in mechanical handyman magazines excited some early homebuilders of aircraft and the small aircraft stirred up some interest in an affordable homebuilt airplane. Jennings W. "Jack" Rose of Chicago took the Lincoln Sport design lines and modified them substantially to create a new aircraft design, the Rose Parrakeet of 1934. Rose's design featured welded steel tube fuselage, fabric covered with wood-sparred wings also fabric covered and a single diagonal strut wing bracing with a more modern divided axle main landing gear and tail skid. Incidentally, Rose manufactured his own gear wheels to suit his design.

The first Rose Parrakeet homebuilt aircraft by Jack Rose in Chicago used a marginal 25 horsepower converted Heath-Henderson motorcycle engine, but better performance was gotten from the new production Continental aircraft engine, the A-40-3 of 37 horsepower. For production, a Group 2 Approval #2-514 was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority on 8-28-1935, and the little aircraft was manufactured and sold direct by the Rose Aeroplane & Motor Company of Chicago as the production-built Rose A-1 Parrakeet. Eight production Rose A-1 Parrakeets were manufactured between 1935 and 1941. The low selling price was FAF $975 complete, factory-direct. Another reference gives an FAF price of $995, but either provided a complete aircraft ready to fly. A second version with improved performance, the Rose A-2 Parrakeet with 50 horsepower Franklin engine was offered, as well as an A-4 Parrakeet version with the then new 65 horsepower Continental A-65 aircraft engine. I have no record or knowledge of production of the later, higher horsepower A-2 or A-4 models by Rose in the 1930s.

After World War II, several Rose A-1 Parrakeets were re-engined with higher horsepower and some unknown number of homebuilt versions flew. Jack Rose sold some Parrakeet parts to the Hannaford Aircraft Company of Mundelein, Illinois in 1948. He did not license Hannaford for new aircraft construction of the Parrakeet, but Hannaford attempted to do so anyway. Apparently, an injunction by Rose against Hannaford prevented manufacture by Hannaford of the aircraft to the type certificate number. Hannaford did support the homebuilder movement and constructed some homebuilt Experimental-classed Parrakeets. Hannaford sold Parrakeet construction plans for $85 in 1950, according to one of my references.

Douglas Rhinehart in New Mexico was a Parrakeet buff who managed to purchase six of the eight production Rose A-1 Parrakeets from owners over time. Rhinehart obtained a new manufacturing license from Jack Rose in the mid-1960s and Rhinehart with Rose's help updated the design strength to use larger aircraft engines up to 100 horsepower, stressing the design for aerobatics. The airfoil of the Rhinehart-Rose Parrakeet wing root is NACA 2412 and the wing tip airfoil is also NACA 2412. The new Rhinehart-Rose A-4C Parrakeets were built, actually rebuilt, under an Approved Type Certificate covering the modifications to the production A-1 Parrakeets, aided by Jack Rose in the redesign. The ATC was important because these so modified production aircraft could then be used by flight schools and FBOs for rental, something that the homebuilt Experimental Parrakeets could not.

N14881 as NC14881 shown in the lead photo above is a 1936 Rhinehart-Rose A-1 Parrakeet, Southern California based, believed rebuilt in 1967 and again in 2005 of the 1936 original manufacture of this Rose A-1 Parrakeet aircraft. N14881 is powered now by a Continental C85 85 horsepower engine, and is a beautiful example of workmanship and care.

 

My photo of the restored varnished cockpit panel is shown to the right. N14881 as NC14881 landed in the mid-afternoon at Santa Paula Airport SZP, Santa Paula, California on a monthly First Sunday Aviation Museum of Santa Paula Fly-in day, and the easterly Santa Ana winds were  strong, requiring use of Runway 04 all day. The aircraft is beautifully restored with Rhinehart Aeroplane logo shown on one of my tail photos, and is in stunning appearance. Both Jack Rose and Douglas Rhinehart have long ago flown West, but caring owners are still preserving and flying the few Rose Parrakeets still in license. Our FAA lists this aircraft as a 1936 Rose Parakeet, ignoring the original Parrakeet spelling. The specification and performance figures for the Rose A-1 Parrakeet shown below are for the original 40 horsepower production version. N14881 with 85 horsepower now would yield considerably better performance figures.
 
 
 
 
                                             
Specifications: Rose A-1 Parrakeet (varies with reference) 
Eight constructed 1935-1941. 
 
Engine:  Continental A-40-3 37 horsepower
 
Wingspan: 20 ft. 0 in. Ailerons on lower wings only
 
Length: 16 ft. 4 in.
 
Height: 6 ft. 0 in.
 
Wing area: 116 sq. ft.
 
Weight empty: 456 or 470 lbs.
 
Weight gross: 716 or 728 lbs.
 
Wing loading: 6.17 lbs./Sq. Ft. or 6.28 lbs./Sq. Ft.
 
Power loading: 17.9 lbs./Hp or 18.2 lbs./Hp
 
Fuel: 10 US gallons
 
Price FAF: $975 or $995 (1935)
 
 
Performance: 
 
Max speed: 100 mph or 105 mph
 
Cruise speed: 85 mph or 95 mph
 
Stall speed: 35 mph
 
Initial rate of climb: 700 ft./min.
 
Service ceiling: 12,000 ft.
 
Range at cruise: 340 miles
 
 
Please consider these fine performance figures of 1935 on 37 horsepower and the light aircraft weight of the Rose Parrakeet  in comparison with the 1,320 pound USA Light Sport Aircraft gross weight specification. While the Rose Parrakeet is a small single place aircraft, some of the LSA models cannot accomodate the weight of two normal adults, particularly if a reliable, proven and supportable American aircraft engine such as the Continental O-200 100 Hp engine is used in the approved model design.

 

 

 

 


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