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Ho X "Piernífero" ("Leg-trained")

The Ho X "Piernífero" or "L' Alita" was projected in 1949 with the amateur builder - flyer in mind, to be inexpensive and with flight characteristics similar to those of the Grunau "Baby".
It was foreseen that the building of "L' Alita" would demand 2000 hours of man work for an amateur, and that time would be reduced to a  half with the use of adequate tooling and trained workmanship. In such circumstances a Grunau "Baby"  would demand 5000 hours of man work for its building.

With regard to the flying, it could takeoff with a short run of the pilot if he had a hill at reach and a 15 km/h wind. It could also be towed by car or plane, but for that case a skid was provided to ease the takeoffs.

Its structure was only one piece, with plywood ribs and stressed skin 0.8 mm thick. The main spar was laid out at 45 degrees from the ribs, and it had a central hole where the pilot's body was allocated. He was supported by means of a harness and laid on a board inside the wing when the takeoff was completed. 

The first piernífero (Ho X) was ended in july of 1952 by Rogelio Bartolini, Reinaldo Picchio and Roberto Tacchi, whose experiences we transcribe ("Horten X flight testing") as published in "Vuelo Silencioso" magazine of December of 1954.

The second (Ho Xb) was built by Heinz Scheidhauer, with a wingspan of 10 meters, but it was never covered.

A third piernífero (Ho Xc) was projected, but it was never built. 


Model HXa HXb HXc
Wigspan 7.54 m. 10.00 m. 15.00 m.
Wing area 11.20 m2 17.50 m2 15.00 m2
Empty weight 39 kg. 38 kg. 42 kg.
Maximum weight 114 kg. 114 kg. 132 kg.
Payload 75 kg. 75 kg. 90 kg.
Maximum glide speed 170 km/h 150 km/h 150 km/h
Landing speed 42 km/h 36 km/h 39 km/h
Best glide ratio 1:18 a 78 km/h 1:20 a 60 km/h 1:30 a 50 km/h

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