10/23 Raptor Video

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bmcj

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This new design reminds me of the most recent evolution (contortion?) of the Terrafugia - not in appearance, but in going from bad to sci-fi daydream.

BTW… what does the loss of the prototype do to his relationship with his new investors?
 

Wanttaja

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My suggestion is to follow what the folks at Otto Aviation did with the Celera. Build it and fly it first in secret. Release actual specs after testing is complete. Though Otto did release some numbers which seem incredible to me and I see they've blocked the Flight Aware data from prying eyes. If the performance was so spectacular as claimed, why block that data?
Probably to avoid the incredible magnifying glass effect that Raptor had to contend with. It's a test program, hiccups are to be expected. Yet how much publicity did Raptor get when it flew outside ADS-B coverage ("It's lost in the middle of Kentucky!!!") or made systems checks that didn't involve opening the flight envelope ("It's just flying figure eights!!!")? By not enabling tracking by ADS-B, they eliminate a ton of meaningless speculation.

At some point, they'll need to have a media day to let the independent press evaluate it and verify the by-then-official performance claims. Until then, they've avoided a large amount of speculation, which, judging from the Raptor debacle, is likely to be intense and negative.

To quote the Klingon Guide to Rapid Prototyping, "One does not practice combat forms in the marketplace, and neither should Engineer-Warriors perform their craft in public view. "

Ron Wanttaja
 

rv6ejguy

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Otto did part of it right but IMO, should not have released ANY performance predictions until testing was complete. Once they did, they have lots to live up to, regardless of when the truth is revealed. If it was achieving projected performance goals, no need the hide the FA data. The 'net would be awash with praise and admiration. You only hide stuff when the reality is not so flattering in my view.
 

231TC

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This new design was alluded to over 2 months ago by PM. One wonders why the" test flying" continued and why attempt to fly the original marginal design to Idaho over the rocks when it would never really be used for anything other than a static display? This seems like a big waste of time and money and added yet more risk.
Yep, that's what I've been saying to anyone who will listen (and my wife who couldn't care less). To a conservative aviator like me, it's insanity. Risking your life for a static display? There was no utility to the test flights or the ferry flights of the original after deciding to go with the new version since none of the tests are relevant to the new design. Seems like it was ego-motivated to prove the critics wrong. He's darn lucky it ended in corn and not a mountainside 48 hours later.

I certainly won't say they won't build this new concept, since Peter has shown the perseverance to keep going much longer than most people would. But once built, the dream will again face off with reality and the laws of physics. At least he's not saying numbers beyond more weight guesses and "better performance" than the current Raptor. The new company is apparently keeping development somewhat under wraps so maybe he'll surprise us in 3-5 years, but I wouldn't bet on it. But I don't have billions of dollars burning a hole in my pocket like some of the tech guys do.
 

Alessandre

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I think he forgot that the swept wings of the canards has an additional function positioning the winglets more rear as possible from the CG, I think he could save the raptor doing a twin engine version using 2 auto-converted engines already tested like Viking or Aeromomentum.
 

PPLOnly

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Yep, that's what I've been saying to anyone who will listen (and my wife who couldn't care less). To a conservative aviator like me, it's insanity. Risking your life for a static display? There was no utility to the test flights or the ferry flights of the original after deciding to go with the new version since none of the tests are relevant to the new design. Seems like it was ego-motivated to prove the critics wrong. He's darn lucky it ended in corn and not a mountainside 48 hours later.

I certainly won't say they won't build this new concept, since Peter has shown the perseverance to keep going much longer than most people would. But once built, the dream will again face off with reality and the laws of physics. At least he's not saying numbers beyond more weight guesses and "better performance" than the current Raptor. The new company is apparently keeping development somewhat under wraps so maybe he'll surprise us in 3-5 years, but I wouldn't bet on it. But I don't have billions of dollars burning a hole in my pocket like some of the tech guys do.
His biggest hurdles will be the prime mover—>EDF configuration. A Diesel engine connected to a propeller is easy enough to crudely adapt. This new Powerplant he will be inventing pretty much from scratch.
 

Rataplan

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well the coming years we all can be relaxed. sure he comes with a new bla Bla secret performance of engines. decade old ducts which seldom were successful . mounted on top of the best part of the wing with sharp angles.... etc etc waiting for the projected speciations
 

231TC

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BTW… what does the loss of the prototype do to his relationship with his new investors?
Sounds like they weren't planning to use it for anything but a static display anyway. The reputation of the original isn't great publicity, but they probably plan to change the name and promote it to people who haven't followed this saga anyway. We're a relatively small group. Even among his biggest fans, most seem to be more general population than aviation people.
 

PPLOnly

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Sounds like they weren't planning to use it for anything but a static display anyway. The reputation of the original isn't great publicity, but they probably plan to change the name and promote it to people who haven't followed this saga anyway. We're a relatively small group. Even among his biggest fans, most seem to be more general population than aviation people.
The homebuilt market is tiny, the electric light twin canard biplane homebuilt market is going to be microscopic. There’s no scenario where this thing reaches any kind of mass exposure. Does Joe Public even know about aircraft like Cirrus or what they offer? I seriously doubt it. Cessna is the only plane with brand recognition and they use the name like “bandaid” where every light aircraft is a Cessna.
 

Wanttaja

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Otto did part of it right but IMO, should not have released ANY performance predictions until testing was complete. Once they did, they have lots to live up to, regardless of when the truth is revealed. If it was achieving projected performance goals, no need the hide the FA data. The 'net would be awash with praise and admiration. You only hide stuff when the reality is not so flattering in my view.
I don't think your attitude is unreasonable, but one has to consider the shark-tank conditions of social media these days. Say that Otto flies ten flights that are accessible via Flightaware, and none of these flights exhibit the range or speed figures claimed.

Does this mean the plane cannot meet them? Since we don't know the test plan for any of those ten flights, no.

Does this mean people won't criticize Otto for NOT demonstrating that they are making the goals? Heck, no. So why should Otto feed the trolls?

As you say, ideally, Otto wouldn't have released any predictions prior to verification by flight test, but I think this is difficult to do in a marketing environment. In any case, I don't think they are obligated to provide what is effectively raw flight test data to the public.

Most of my space system career was on classified programs. The easiest ones to handle were the ones where NOTHING was released. Because if SOMEthing can be said about the program, somebody outside the program is going to make some assumptions and ask probing questions.

For a long time, I wasn't even allowed to admit I was working on spacecraft. But then, we didn't have to do any marketing, other than to appropriately-cleared Government people. Later on, they relaxed that a bit. When we started buying microsat chassis and systems from a Dutch company, the security folks allowed us to admit it was for a space system. :)

Ron Wanttaja
 
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Rataplan

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hybrid in planes only usefull if you take advantage of their small size and put the gerator elsewhere. but a hybrid car uses lot of energy in acceleration and gives while decelerate . but cruising is at low power. in a plane the weight disadvantage and power loss must be compensated by a smart sleek aerodynamic design that takes advantage of electric engines small size. imho two ugly pods mounted direct on top of the wing doesn't.
 

231TC

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The homebuilt market is tiny, the electric light twin canard biplane homebuilt market is going to be microscopic. There’s no scenario where this thing reaches any kind of mass exposure. Does Joe Public even know about aircraft like Cirrus or what they offer? I seriously doubt it. Cessna is the only plane with brand recognition and they use the name like “bandaid” where every light aircraft is a Cessna.
Think about it like a successful tech guy with money to burn. I talk to some of them on a regular basis in my day job, although most of them are not at all interested in our pitches because we deal in real businesses that are already producing and selling boring real things rather than exciting imaginative vapors. These guys are visionaries, not looking for existing markets to claim a share, but believe in creating new ones out of thin air. (And that's how some of them have made their many millions.) The air mobility startup sector couldn't care less about the homebuilt market or even competing with Cirrus. They're out to revolutionize the world.

Look at how much has been dumped into all the electric VTOL startups, most of which are clearly going absolutely nowhere. And these guys aren't gullible suckers, most are quite brilliant. They're aware that most of their money put into this stuff is going down the drain, but betting that 1 in 1000 may turn their "modest" investment into a billion. It's not even really about the money for many of them, but about being part of "shaping the future."

Now, those are the folks I've dealt with, not Peter's mysterious investors. I've asked around and nobody I've asked is really familiar with them, but I'm guessing it's something like that. It looks like the new company already has at least several million from new investors if Peter is paying back the old ones. Anyway, this is mostly utter speculation.
 

dave wolfe

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Any "air mobility" craft needs to center around the emergency system that propells the the thing up to parachute height when the shtf. Everything else is childs play. Unless of course you are a visionary.
 
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