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Thread: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

  1. #1
    cypher
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    Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Hi, I'll keep this simple.

    5000nm range with full fuel and payload.
    Minimum 250kt cruise (ideally closer to 350kts).
    Maximum of 20 imperial gallons per hour (440 gallon tank, 400 for flight with 40 gallon reserve).
    500kg payload (4 passengers + safety equipment).
    Price $200,000.

    Is this possible or not?

    The only aircraft that seems to fit is the Scaled Composites Firebird which has a longer range (8000nm) but at a slower speed (200kt) and it has a higher payload capacity (560kg).
    Also, I really like the way it looks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Nalevanko's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Anything is possible if someone is motivated to do it. Your specs can be done. You should try... Let us know when your plane is flying.

  3. #3
    Moderator autoreply's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypher View Post
    Hi, I'll keep this simple.

    5000nm range with full fuel and payload.
    Minimum 250kt cruise (ideally closer to 350kts).
    Maximum of 20 imperial gallons per hour (440 gallon tank, 400 for flight with 40 gallon reserve).
    500kg payload (4 passengers + safety equipment).
    Price $200,000.

    Is this possible or not?
    At the verge of impossible, yes.

    250 kts cruise at altitude (FL250) with a fuel burn of 20 gal/hr is possible, see the Mooneys and Lancair Evolution/IVP. But you are limited to a turbocharged 540/550/580, a turboprop consumes far more fuel and is simply not feasible unless you go to the larger (more fuel-efficient) turboprops.

    So 2650 lbs of fuel plus 1100 lbs of payload. For such a complex (pressurized) plane you will have done an excellent job with a payload weight fraction of 0.4. So our MTOW will be around 9000 lbs. That's a very low power loading (HP/lbs), but not impossible. Many of the earlier motorgliders have similar ratios. No pocket rocket by any means and you'll severly hamper all the other performance parameters, though you might get away with 4500 ft runways...

    Problem is; nobody will fly for 20 hours in a plane without a toilet unless it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Admittedly, my own design has a 5000+NM range too, but that's with a sole occupant and I'm willing to use a relief system. A 20 hour long mission in a any plane, smaller than a King Air or PC12 is just not very realistic, unless it only happens once.
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    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    I'd also have reservations regarding the price. Are you asking whether that's a feasible price for a kit, a prototype, a certified version, what?

    Personally I think it's unrealistic for any of those since your engine, systems and instruments will take up probably half that cost.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Why 5000nm range? The longest overwater leg without a diversion point is from the US mainland to Hawaii and that's a bit over 2300nm. Peter Garrison's Melmoth had a range of about 3000nm and he flew that aircraft all over the world.

  6. #6
    Registered User SVSUSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Your specs can be done
    Not with any reasonable degree of practicality for several reasons (see below). We're working on a design that has the same basic principle behind it (point A to point B as quick as possible). It's a much more complicated issue than one would think.

    Minimum 250kt cruise (ideally closer to 350kts).
    Maximum of 20 imperial gallons per hour (440 gallon tank, 400 for flight with 40 gallon reserve).
    Yeah, that's going to be the kicker. You're probably not going to get that performance for that fuel consumption.

    500kg payload (4 passengers + safety equipment).
    OK so 1100 lbs....so let's say:
    4 passengers: 800 lbs (let's be real here....200 lbs each is much closer to the average than what a lot of people use in their calculations)
    That leaves 300 lbs for baggage and whatever "safety equipment" you're talking about which I take to mean a life raft and survival supplies and equipment.

    The other issue is range and operating speed. 5000 nm and 250 knots is a 20 hour endurance which is not a good idea for a small aircraft because of the issues of crew fatigue. What do you need to do that requires a 5000 nm non-stop flight? The other consideration is the need to go to the bathroom during such psychotically long flights.

    Why 5000nm range? The longest overwater leg without a diversion point is from the US mainland to Hawaii and that's a bit over 2300nm. Peter Garrison's Melmoth had a range of about 3000nm and he flew that aircraft all over the world.
    My point exactly. We decided to use a 2500 nm range as a target with a much higher cruise speed. No desire to seriously try to fly to Hawaii but it would make coast-to-coast flights possible without needing to stop in the fly-over states for fuel.

    Though you might get away with 4500 ft runways..
    ...and precisely why is that something that is a bad thing? I mean, I seldom operate out of anything less than a 5000 ft runway except for proficiency checks (read as: "practice to make sure if I have to get the plane down on something shorter, I can do so"). I've never understood the fascination a lot of folks on here have with super short runways.

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    Moderator Dana's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Quote Originally Posted by SVSUSteve View Post
    ...I seldom operate out of anything less than a 5000 ft runway except for proficiency checks (read as: "practice to make sure if I have to get the plane down on something shorter, I can do so"). I've never understood the fascination a lot of folks on here have with super short runways.
    Because there are a LOT more 2500' runways than 5000' runways. The shorter a runway you can handle, the more airports you can get into... and your choice of emergency landing fields increases drastically, too.

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  8. #8
    Registered User SVSUSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Because there are a LOT more 2500' runways than 5000' runways. The shorter a runway you can handle, the more airports you can get into... and your choice of emergency landing fields increases drastically, too.
    Well, around here there are no shortage of 5000+' runways unless you're looking at grass runways (which are for emergencies only and aren't even a consideration when it comes to the design I am working on). That said, I'm trying to figure out how to keep my aircraft able to operate out of a 3,000 ft runway. The issue becomes that for safety reasons, even if you can get out of a 2500' runway for that to be a safe field for an rejected takeoff, the roll of the aircraft that would clear a 50' obstacle would have to be under 1700 feet (assuming a 150% rule). For a reasonably useful aircraft (unless we're taking a STOL bushplane like a Kodiak or Helio), that's pretty freaking short.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dana's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    You got me curious, so I looked at the FAA runway database. I was surprised... of 5498 public hard surface runways in the US, about half (2231) are 5000' or longer. I suspect the proportion of airports with runways over 5000' is somewhat less, as larger airports are more likely to have multiple runways... with a SWAG that the average number of runways for airports with one runway over 5000' is two, that would mean that a 5000' restriction would rule out 2/3 of available airports, not as bad as I thought... but it would make it harder to fly to smaller towns where the shorter runways predominate.

    Of course a lot of us here don't care about having "reasonably useful aircraft"...

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  10. #10
    Registered User SVSUSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    but it would make it harder to fly to smaller towns where the shorter runways predominate.
    Actually, I've never had a problem finding a long enough runway. Granted, I might have to drive 20 miles to get to exceptionally small towns but that's not a problem.

    Of course a lot of us here don't care about having "reasonably useful aircraft"...
    True. I was making that point because of the nature of the topic of this thread.

  11. #11
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    I worked at Minden-Webster Airport (F24) several years back and we had a runway that was 5,003 feet long. One of the selling points of the field was that the runway was longer than 5000 feet, which opened it up to use by many jets. A lot of insurance companies won't let the bizjets fly into shorter fields. FOr a while we were a refueling stop for Eclipse 500's ferrying to points East from the factory.

  12. #12
    Registered User SVSUSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    lot of insurance companies won't let the bizjets fly into shorter fields.
    Just like a lot of them won't let rental aircraft operate out of grass strips.

  13. #13
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    I recently flew out of John Wayne Airport (as an airline pax). It has a 5,700 foot runway... interesting flying out of a runway that short in a nearly full loaded 737.

  14. #14
    Registered User SVSUSteve's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    I recently flew out of John Wayne Airport (as an airline pax). It has a 5,700 foot runway... interesting flying out of a runway that short in a nearly full loaded 737.
    You should try doing it out of Key West. 4800 feet and the shortest runway in the US serviced by the 737 to my knowledge.

  15. #15
    Moderator autoreply's Avatar
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    Re: Fast, Super Long Range Airplane.

    Quote Originally Posted by SVSUSteve View Post
    Yeah, that's going to be the kicker. You're probably not going to get that performance for that fuel consumption.
    Mooney's, Cirri (turbocharged) the Lancair IV and Evolution and half a dozen other designs do just that.
    ...and precisely why is that something that is a bad thing? I mean, I seldom operate out of anything less than a 5000 ft runway except for proficiency checks (read as: "practice to make sure if I have to get the plane down on something shorter, I can do so"). I've never understood the fascination a lot of folks on here have with super short runways.
    Because you will be in the same position as in a 737. The 4500 ft runway is where you can just drag your wheels over the fence of the far end of the runway. We're talking about an aircraft with 100+ knot approach speeds and a power loading of 1/3rd of a Lancair or Mooney. Mind you, a rough ballpark puts this only a few hundred pounds below Voyagers MTOW, with only 50% more power...
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