The Super Orion, which was designed to succeed the original Orion became more popular than the latter. As a result of its popularity, I began to consider designs for the "Orion II" (as it was codenamed at the time) to succeed the Super Orion. In the design stages, the airplane began to take a shape very similar to the original Orion, albeit with a modernized swept tailplane. In constructing the first prototype, I tried to fly the aircraft without its horizontal stabilizers fitted, and to my surprise, it flew marvelously. As a result, I redesigned the aircraft slightly to be semi-tailless. This reduced the weight of the airframe, and thereby its wing loading.
Just like the Orion and Super Orion, the Manx is very versatile, and is suitable for use as a fighter-interceptor, research testbed, and stunt/demonstrator airplane.
Some usages for educators could include studies of:
- Glide ratio
- Hangtime versus other aircraft
- Weight and balance
TAA USAF Designation: D186-1