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Thread: Hello from London, England

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    Hello from London, England

    Hello everybody.

    I've been lurking a good while and learning a lot from you guys and I guess it's time to finally break cover.

    I currently fly gliders (1985 vintage LS6), used to fly toy aeroplanes, did an Aerospace Engineering degree getting on for 20 years ago and have my eye on designing / building some kind of SSDR (sub 300kg, single seat, 35 Knot stall speed) thing.

    What really got my interest going was the recent proliferation of small electric aeroplanes so the idea is to build something efficient, cheapish and low powered with off the shelf (read toy aeroplane) parts. Doesn't seem to me that I need any new technology - the power train was worked out five+ years ago, the aerodynamics and structures 30+ years ago all I've got to do is tie it all together nicely(!)

    I'll be popping up around the place asking dumb questions for the next little while as I work out what might work.

    Here's a brief outline of what I'm after:

    250kg AUW
    500fpm climb
    90 Knot cruise(!)
    1 hr+ endurance
    composite construction (infused carbon probably because that looks fun)
    Must be possible to build most of it in pretty confined space.

    That's about it really.

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    Registered User Toobuilder's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from London, England

    Welcome to the club. Dont worry about dumb questions - those seem to get the most air time around here!

    As an aside, I spent 2 years of my life near London, stationed with the USAF at the now closed RAF Upper Heyford. That experience cured me from ever needing to see another drop of rain again (which explains my current address).

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    Re: Hello from London, England

    I can't imagine what you do with your time without the constant wondering about / complaining about the weather.

    Upper Heyford is just rows of cars these days - true for most big runways round here.

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    Re: Hello from London, England

    One thing I learned about England's weather: If you don't like it at the moment, wait a few minutes because its going to change.

    I've "Google mapped" the present Heyford site, and yep, lots of cars on the runways and taxiways. I always wondered about that. All this incredible airfield infrastructure - and they use it as a parking lot.

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    Re: Hello from London, England

    Quote Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
    One thing I learned about England's weather: If you don't like it at the moment, wait a few minutes because its going to change.
    I thought that was only in Ohio. You know you are in Ohio if you use your furnace and air conditioner in the same day.

    Visited Upper Heyford once. My brother was stationed at RAF Fairford for a while, when he was in the USAF, and several of the family went over for a visit. I'm surprised they would close the place.

    And welcome to the forum, Foundationer!
    ___________________________
    Optimist: The bottle is half full.
    Pessimist: The bottle is half empty.
    Engineer: The bottle has a Factor of Safety of 2.0

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    Re: Hello from London, England

    Greetings Foundy

    Interesting idea for a new class of light plane. I'm sure this general concept will be in a lot of peoples' minds, particularly as battery technology inevitably evolves.

    I note you're thinking of infused carbon fibre as the basis of construction. How would this sit with homebuilding? I'm a wooden aeroplane man myself, but have dabbled in low tech epoxy/glass detail work.

    To optimise the weight & structural potential of your proposed materials, wouldn't you need to autoclave? Or at the very least, vacuum bag at controlled temperature & humidity? How easily & cheaply could you manage this as a one off home build?

    As regards structural integrity, would you need to destruct test primary structure, or could you be sure enough of achieving theoretical c.f. properties in your shed? Or do you simply allow sufficient factor of safety to be sure of meeting structural minima? (I think this is how it works on homebuilts like my recently completed MiniMax, using wood & epoxy in uncontrolled conditions.)

    I solved the temperature/humidity/weather issues by moving from Devon to Australia, but some may consider that an extreme solution.

    I look forward to following your design (& hopefully build) process.

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    Re: Hello from London, England

    Hi Bruce,

    Re. Infused CF... No idea yet but I'm going to find out - currently I just like the idea of it / have seen some other people using it successfully. I don't think autoclave is necessary - curing at elevated temperature maybe but then that's fairly easily done (I think). I'm hoping that infusion will make more reliable pieces than wet layup and I can get away with testing smaller coupons to destruction and the main components to some extent.

    I really would love to build a wooden aeroplane one day though - there's something sort of 'proper' about it!

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