Prue 215A Mamba Jet

Prue 205 with Baby Mamba Jet.
Prue 205 with Baby Mamba Jet. Source : Jane’s ATWA 1968-1969

Mr Max Dreher, un ingénieur en aéronautique, a étudié et construit toute une série de petits turboréacteur entre 1952 et 1976. Il a monté l’un d’entre eux, plus connu sous l’appellation TJD-76 Baby Mamba, sur le dos du fuselage de son planeur Prue 215A Mamba Jet.

Three Prue 215s were built, all as amateur-builts from plans. The initial one was Prue’s prototype. The second one was built by Ed Minghelli and later owned by Max Dreher, who mounted a jet engine on it. The second and third built are designated 215A

The Prue 215 is an American high-wing, V-tailed, single-seat glider that was designed by Irving Prue in 1949. It is an all-metal design with a short 40 ft (12.2 m) wing with a relatively high aspect ratio of 20:1. The wing uses a NACA 23012 airfoil at the wing root, becoming a NACA 8318 at the wing tip. Airfoil-shaped flaps are mounted below and behind the wing for glidepath control. The aircraft uses a retractable monowheel landing gear

After initial running on the test stand, Max DREHER installed the engine on his Prue 215 sailplane. To do this he designed a jet pack consisting of the engine, the pressurized fuel system and the lubrication unit. the total weight of this first pack was 25  pounds. An auxiliary oil tank is mounted separately and employs an electrical driven gear pump.

A third unit, the jet control pack (engine controls, instruments, switches) is located in the cockpit.

Prue 215A Mamba Jet et Max Dreher
Max Dreher et son Baby Mamba Jet. Source : Popular Mechanics, Mai 1973
Prue 215A Mamba Jet
Carrenage du baby mamba jet sur le Prue-215A. Source : Sport Aviation, octobre 1969
Prue 215A Mamba Jet
Prue 215A Mamba Jet
Prue 215A Mamba Jet