- Jul 30, 2014
- KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
The covering is not a problem at all. There is very little "concave" on the wing, and the "mechanical attachment" of the fabric to the ribs takes care of it completely. Mechanical attachment can be rib stitching, pop rivets, sheet metal screws, and even glue on some systems. It is a lot less of a big deal than it seems. Just think model airplane Solartex or Oratex, with one or two steps added.heh, the difficulties of welding aluminum are why I bailed on the idea early on! Still kicking around the idea of this next project. Flying wings (specifically planks) but am nervous about airfoil selection as I don't have any exp with reflexed surfaces and how does one cover a concave wing?
You don't need experience with reflexed wings, and in the case of the Pelican you don't even have to even think about the airfoil, it's already been figured out safely. Fauvel came up with the basic airfoils long ago that were used with perfect safety on the AV-36 glider, and then just a thicker version used on the Pelican. (the Pelican is just a short wing powerplane derivative of the AV-36 glider)
The super-thick Fauvel airfoil on the Pelican provides very very high strength at low weight, with only a small price to pay in drag. For an airplane traveling at 60 mph or less, the drag is very small, you would not even notice it. Only when you get above 60 mph and up into the 80-100 mph range would the airfoil drag become anything to consider.
The important thing about the Pelican for your purposes is that the wing is big enough and thick enough that you will have the ability to fly it with a gasoline engine or carry the extra weight of an electric system. You could mount the battery pack on a rail or slide system where you simply move the battery pack forward or aft to balance the aircraft, and put four bolts in to keep it from moving in the event of a hard landing. THIS would allow you to use a light electric motor at the rear of the aircraft and not have the balance isues that you might have had with trying to use a 25 or 35 horsepower gas engine.