Merlin/Virus/Ranger/Lone Ranger Inspired Carbon Ultralight?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology' started by Staggermania, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM #1

    Staggermania

    Staggermania

    Staggermania

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    I have been following the the Ranger and lone Ranger threads of FritzW and RTMF, respectively, along with the different Affordaplane threads, Quickbuild(ish),as well as others.
    My thought would be to have a molded carbon fiber fuselage in the style of the Merlin PSA or Pipistrel Virus,
    but squashed to sit on like the Ranger/Lone Ranger concepts. Could incorporate the carbon tail feathers and wing proposed by FritzW. Anyway, those are my thoughts.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 at 2:55 PM #2

    radfordc

    radfordc

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    Other than the fact that carbon fiber sounds "so cool" what's the advantage over wood or steel tube (Airbike, Legal Eagle). It's bound to be more expensive and probably much harder to build.

    My old Airbike is still the most fun airplane I ever flew.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 at 3:11 PM #3

    Staggermania

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    I hear ya. I am thinking about building an air bike myself.
    I guess I’m thinking more in terms of an attractive, conventional design, in a quick build kit. Something where you can hang the wings, tail feathers, engine and landing gear on and go flying.
    I don’t know if such a creature could be built to fit into the 103 regs or not, or at least economically, but if it could, and at a reasonable cost, maybe there could be a market for it.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2020 at 3:53 PM #4

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    The Marek Ivanov ZJ "Viera" (or whatever the current nomenclature is) is a viable contender for what you are discussing. If you are in love with carbon, but you want an open ultralight, it's a pretty elegant solution on several fronts. If you used this general layout, and moved the pilot rearward a few inches to balance a small V-twin on the nose, it would b a pretty viable prospect.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Feb 13, 2020 at 4:02 PM #5

    Staggermania

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    That’s a pretty cool looking airplane. I’m thinking more of the high wing though.
     
  6. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:38 PM #6

    radfordc

    radfordc

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    Carbon fiber might make sense in a production environment where you have all the molds and tooling and pop out dozens of fuselages a year. For a one off homebuilt it seems to be a little too much unless the goal is just to "do it". There is an interesting video of how one guy is using carbon fiber in his ultimate STOL machine...he basically builds two planes...one in aluminum and then one in carbon fiber.

     
  7. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:52 PM #7

    radfordc

    radfordc

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    What if the carbon fiber was pre-cured flat panels that are bonded to a wood/metal sub-structure? Think BD-4 and how he used aluminum sheets over aluminum angle framework. That resolves the difficulties of producing molds for a one off design. Still very expensive though with a 4x8 sheet of material running about $500.
     
  8. Feb 14, 2020 at 2:01 AM #8

    Pops

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    He was just to hard to take. I gave up.
     
  9. Feb 14, 2020 at 3:57 AM #9

    lr27

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    radfordc:
    If you're going to have a substructure, why not cover it with fabric, or something else that's inexpensive and non-sructural? If you're definitely going to have the panels, why not use them as structure? (I guess it would be hard to make a conventional wing that way.) Suggest, if you haven't, reading the PAV report at facetmobile.com
    I suspect making one's own flat panels ought to cost less than $500 each. Even at that price, how many panels would you need to make a small airplane fuselage, and maybe tail surfaces? For a kit, cutting out a bunch of panels with some kind of NC machine might not take very much labor and might reduce parts count.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:23 AM #10

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    OK, high wing, open-air, and composite. This is the Start+Flug H-111 "Hippie", which was a mostly composite ultralight primary glider. It was built in the 1970's I believe, produced in very small numbers by a well known German sailplane manufacturing company. Using some of the ideas form this interesting aircraft might get you close to where you are trying to be.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Feb 14, 2020 at 9:15 AM #11

    Staggermania

    Staggermania

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    That is pretty dad-gummed neat! Could quite possibly use the wing and tail feathers, or a variation thereof, mated to a molded carbon fuselage. Perhaps instead of rag and tube tail feathers, could use carbon honeycomb flat panels? Don't know which would be lighter, but the carbon could be simpler to construct?
     
  12. Feb 14, 2020 at 10:25 PM #12

    lr27

    lr27

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    For the tail on something so light, fabric covering will be hard to beat. If you make a really light, all composite tail, you'll probably put a hole through it by accident with your fingers.
     

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