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Thread: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    A couple of days ago, over in the Cheap Air Racing Class thread, I basically volunteered nerobro to share his design process "out in the open" on the boards. He accepted the challenge and he's moving forward with his design in the Designing the Cheap Air Racer thread. Definitely take a moment and check that out.

    In fairness, I've decided to put my time and money where my mouth is, and do one myself. Matt G. put it best:

    It would be a good way for me to learn more about things I don't know as much about, and for others to learn about stuff I do know a thing or two about.
    I'm going to start and maintain two threads. The main thread, in the "Build Log" section, will show the work on the project. Build Log threads are locked to everyone but the OP, so I'll be the only one posting there. This thread, in the Aircraft Design sub-forum, will exist so that I can talk with you folks about the project, ask for your advice, and answer your questions. I hope you'll learn some things, and I hope you'll teach me some things.

    Thanks for your interest!
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Registered User Jay Kempf's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Excellent. Needs to be done.

    Can't way to see how it develops. I know how I would proceed. The first is the definition of inexpensive and how good of a glider it will try to be.
    Jay K.

    VT USA

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    Registered User Matt G.'s Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    It sure would be nice to have a very small single-seater to use as an experience builder, a testbed to try out some of my ideas before committing to them on the larger project and, when it's done, a simple fun-flier while the two-seater is in the build process. The low-cost aspect especially interests me, much as it does many of you.
    I've been thinking the same thing. I suppose I should follow your lead and try to collect enough of my thoughts to start a thread.

    Hopefully when the soaring season is over I will have time.

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    Registered User BBerson's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    I would like to see the material list for the "$500 glider". Must be covered with cheap plastic or something.

    Also, a link between these threads should be on each post, or we will get lost.

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    Registered User proppastie's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    whats it made of, how much will it weigh, how much a pound for the material, add in instrument cost, and engine. whats the problem

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    Registered User Brian Clayton's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    I would like to see the material list for the "$500 glider". Must be covered with cheap plastic or something.

    Also, a link between these threads should be on each post, or we will get lost.
    There was that russian? fellow that popped on here last year with a basic glider he built himself. It was bare bones, couldnt have been that expensive or difficult to build.
    Basic Flying Rules:
    1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.
    2. Do not go near the edges of it.
    3. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    whats it made of, how much will it weigh, how much a pound for the material, add in instrument cost, and engine. whats the problem
    That's exactly what this is all about. There's a well-defined process for getting from "dream" to that point.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    ...Also, a link between these threads should be on each post, or we will get lost.
    That's a good idea. I'll try and remember to do that.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    That's exactly what this is all about. There's a well-defined process for getting from "dream" to that point.
    so you are talking about more than expense, Would the title be better as Conceptual Design......as I see it the expense is a direct function of the weight and materials, and I do not see any mystery there.

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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    You can't do a weight * cost of materials calculation until you know the weight of the materials - which means that you need to know the exact size of all the parts in the airplane. Which depends on the requirements, reflected through the process of design.

    How about letting me actually get into the process before tearing it down as needless?
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Registered User Victor Bravo's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    I'd be very thankful if someone (who has the background and engineering ability) was going to go through an exercise like this out in public. The opportunity for a cheapskate balsa basher like myself to learn more about real aero engineering, just for tuning in to this forum, is just fantastic. As a soaring pilot, the concept of an inexpensive soaring machine of any type is worthwhile.

    As a guy with a powerplane half torn apart up on blocks for almost two years, looking out at the August cumulus clouds floating over the mountains only 3 or 4 miles away from my home 'drome... laughing at me... it's maddening not having a sailplane

    If your selection/design/materials/cost process happens to yield a cleaner, lower parts count, faster build, and higher performance version of the GOAT - I'll buy plan set #1 cash on the barrelhead.
    "Everything in this book may be wrong."
    Richard Bach, Illusions


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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    And the greatest tool for setting your wing is a good digital level. Don't leave home without it. Dan
    Pops

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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Bravo View Post
    I'd be very thankful if someone (who has the background and engineering ability) was going to go through an exercise like this out in public. The opportunity for a cheapskate balsa basher like myself to learn more about real aero engineering, just for tuning in to this forum, is just fantastic. As a soaring pilot, the concept of an inexpensive soaring machine of any type is worthwhile.

    As a guy with a powerplane half torn apart up on blocks for almost two years, looking out at the August cumulus clouds floating over the mountains only 3 or 4 miles away from my home 'drome... laughing at me... it's maddening not having a sailplane

    If your selection/design/materials/cost process happens to yield a cleaner, lower parts count, faster build, and higher performance version of the GOAT - I'll buy plan set #1 cash on the barrelhead.
    What is the real world cost and time to build a goat? The electric assist version of these sorts of gliders is pretty impressive. A slightly rearranged version for more performance (L/D) would be a pretty good target. The glider on a stick method of construction ALA Strojnick S2A with an attention to simplification could be another benchmark. Those are real world examples of existing airframes that probably bracket the ends of the cost range and maybe the performance range as well. Of course I am partial to twin booms to facilitate a pusher folder.
    Jay K.

    VT USA

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Bravo View Post
    I'd be very thankful if someone (who has the background and engineering ability) was going to go through an exercise like this out in public. The opportunity for a cheapskate balsa basher like myself to learn more about real aero engineering, just for tuning in to this forum, is just fantastic.
    To that end, you might browse the threads in the design/aerodynamics section for educational discussions: Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology

    Pay particular attention to the "sticky" threads at the top of each forum... they have been deemed to have extra value to all members.

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    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Kempf View Post
    Of course I am partial to twin booms to facilitate a pusher folder.
    If you are going electric trade the twin booms for twin pusher motors. If you're worried about asymmetrical thrust just cant the motors in so the thrust line makes a "motor out" a non-event.
    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

    "--and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out."
    Richard P. Feynman

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
    Frank Zappa

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