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  • Wheeler Express (aka EDI Express)




    The Wheeler Express (or later known as EDI Express) is a four-seat low-wing composite homebuilt aircraft.

    General Information

    Developed by Wheeler Technology as a high-speed homebuilt aircraft for cross-country flights and the first of the kit built prototypes was first flown on 28 July 1987, a factory built aircraft first flew in 1990. Wheeler Technology went into bankruptcy and the assets were bought by Express Design Incorporated (EDI) of Redmond, Oregon. Kits that were under construction were completed by EDI and they continued with kit production. A six-seat variant was produced by EDI as the Loadmaster 3200.


    By the late 1990s the aircraft was being produced by Express Aircraft Company in Olympia, Washington.


    The composite compound curve fuselage was chosen to reduce the number of stiffeners and stringers needed. The design used an unusual seating position where one rear seat faced forward and one aft to maximize interior space. The fuselage was built with similar construction methods to Glasair aircraft. The aircraft was only produced in kit form with five main packages that included pre-cut ribs, pre-welded steel assemblies, and a spar prebonded to the upper wing surface. The cabin width is 46 in (120 cm)


    Wheeler Express FT

         Fixed gear
    Wheeler Express RG
         Retractable design




    Wheeler Express RG





    Crew: one Capacity: three passengers
    26 ft 0 in (7.92 m)
    31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
    Wing Area:
    130.0 sq ft (12.08 sq m)
    Wing Loading:
    24.6 lb/sq ft (120 kg/sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    1,825 lb (828 kg)
    3,200 lb (1,451 kg)
    Fuel Capacity:
    92 U.S. gallons (350 L; 77 imp gal)
    1 × Lycoming IO-540 , 250 hp (190 kW)
    Maximum speed: 196 kn (225 mph, 362 km/h)
    Cruise Speed:
    190 kn (220 mph, 350 km/h)
    Stall Speed:
    47 kn (54 mph, 87 km/h) flaps down
    1,600 nmi (1,800 mi, 2,900 km)
    Rate of Climb:
    1,800 ft/min (9.1 m/s)
    Service Ceiling:
    24,000 ft (7,300 m)

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    The specifications and performance data on these profiles is usually obtained from Wikipedia, and many items are not listed. The specification field names are preset in the data entry form. Where an item is not listed in Wiki, a close alternative is chosen and the correct heading is included, or the item omitted. eg. specifications may quote a Gross Weight and not MTOW. These figures are different, so the Gross Weight heading is included to clarify. The POH for the Wheeler Express shows:




    It would appear that the Wiki figures differ somewhat from the POH., but that may be the difference between the fixed gear and retractable models.

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    And just to note - 4 of 6 pics in the initial posting have the modified tailplane which is both lower on the fin and larger to address instability issues that did exist in the original express.


    Grom Google image search is appears the Wheeler expresses in OZ are the original high position tail and would be expected to have some potentially unpleasant behaviour around the edges of the flight envelope in some conditions. 

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