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Thread: The Stelzer Wing Suspension for Improved Ride Quality in Turbulence

  1. #46
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Sultan, WA USA

    Re: The Stelzer Wing Suspension for Improved Ride Quality in Turbulence

    These pictures are very nice and they support my general thoughts as to why the Stelzer wing has not (excuse the pun) taken off. If you look at the mechanism as a free body diagram you will see that the pivot is too close to the wing in comparison to the size of the wing and the placement of the "sprung" support behind the pilot. Too much force of the gust loads will go directly into the frame and not the spring. In order to work properly the layout must be like the patent sketch which puts a majority of the load into the spring while the pivot only, well, pivots! Otherwise this is a great attempt at using the concept. Another way to get the pivot point out front would be to use a non-symmetric scissor mechanism but this would require some way to lock the wing from rolling relative to the fuselage.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Melbourne Australia

    Re: The Stelzer Wing Suspension for Improved Ride Quality in Turbulence

    Coming late to this thread but did study the concept in some detail --I published a paper in 1971 proposing the use of a floating wing for a sailplane which used simple vertical plunging of the whole 'rigid' wing relative to the fuselage and incorporated a means to power a boundary layer suction pump as a way to reduce drag (the lower G in turbulence was simply a bonus although feeling fine atmospheric turbulence while soaring is part of the art -- encountering heavy gust loads at high speed in older stiffer winged gliders of lower wing loading could be quite brutal ( I recall a pilot of a BG 12 glider showing me the callouses on his shins from hitting the instrument panel in rough air --that was in 1968 --your legs are essentially straight out in a sailplane and they will rise up in negative G ) Anyway,,-- efforts to mitigate the rough ride in turbulence have in
    cluded 'canard' wing vanes (French ) and spring loaded struts (Cessna mod and Waldo Waterman tested a shock absorber on a low wing strutted design --detailed in "Pioneer airman" his biography . ) also Dan Zuck incorporated the freewing principle in his "Planemobile" roadable aircraft --described in "An airplane in every garage" --he found the problem of lack of roll damping with unconnected wings (the aircraft just kept on rolling rather than righting itself even on the ground -- ) A Sander Veenstra built an ultralight with separately rotating 'freewings' with unsatisfactory control feel about 1983 . as an experiment .

    The damping could be acheived by means of a skewed hinge to give delta three as on a helicopter rotorhead (or tail rotor in most cases) --they in fact even out alpha by this means . The effect on passengers of being thrown around in rough air is not to be underestimated as a reason for disliking small aircraft (or flying cars potentially...) riding a bicycle with and without suspension is an eye opener also. On the other hand it IS unnerving initially for a conventional pilot as a passenger in a HG trike to be waiting for the round out but the nose doesn't come up! --the wing being separate --this is also the case for Flying Fleas I believe but at least the tail end must drop as speed decreases and gives some indication unlike a Rogallo wing .

    It seemed that the gentleman proposing the wing suspension got a pretty rough reaction from you guys overall which might be 'pragmatic' or seem like tough love but I think the concept itself is worth pursuing --there was another approach to this taken by a brilliant but eccentric engineer of Croation extraction in Australia in the early 60s (Rudy Paspa by name) --he patented a design where the fuselage ,and tail, was hung under a beam that pivotted at the centre of gravity and had the wing and it's own tail attached to it ( ie a boom connected the wing and tail as usual but the fuselage and it's tail feathers attached like a Rogallo trike --free to swing in pitch . His idea was that the wing-tail combination would have low inertia in pitch and act like a weathercock so seeking a constant angle of attack (and zero net moment about the pivot ) --the tail on the fuselage meant that it was damped and would take up the same angle regardless of speed. Interesting idea and only tested by models on 'car top' and possibly RC but not at full scale. The theory is sound. After the Bosnian conflict I heard he went back to claim ancestral property in the former Yugoslavia and ended up running guns and nearly got shot ...

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