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spduffee

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Triton-turboprop.jpg http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/turboprops/california-startup-unveils-aircraft-made-panoramic-views

Seems like a cool idea to me!
 

cluttonfred

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Another article with a better pic here...

Micronautix unveils Triton single-engined turboprop concept - 4/2/2014 - Flight Global

There are some very strange design decisions going on there. Are there many sightseeing tour operators using 450 hp turboprop aircraft that only carry five paying passengers? The passengers in separate pods seems like a recipe for problems.

You could do the same thing at half the price with something like the Lockspeiser LDA concept. Move the canard up to top of the fuselage to clear the downward view and make the fuselage a truss design or a heavy keel with light fairings so it could be mostly windows and you'd have a great sightseeing aircraft seating more people all together.

Lockspeiser0003.jpg

PS-I have often thought that a new biplane design along the lines of the New Standard D-25 but using a flat engine and optimized for carrying the most passengers at the lowest cost would be a great niche market to be in as an aircraft manufacturer, the aerial equivalent of the Duck Boats for tourists that you see in so many cities now.
 

Victor Bravo

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Twin Otters with big panoramic windows are the standard for Grand Canyon tour operators. Might be hard to beat that by much, at the cost of developing a whole new airplane.

If you really want to make a dedicated tour/sightseeing airplane, why not take an existing older transport like a C-123 or C-119, open up the sides with huge bubble windows, and reduce the maximum cargo load to address the loss of structure? You have more than enough room to install outward facing seats, and probably still put 20 paying customers on each side of the airplane. Insulate the cabin much more thoroughly for noise, you will be able to afford the weight. Since you're only carrying a small number of people instead of Sherman tanks, you can fly on reduced power settings, with the commensurate reduction in fuel and maintenance. If the cost is justified, put turbine engines on it for a quieter ride. If not, leave the piston engines on, and add some more noise insulation.

Another potentially important consideration, for marketing purposes, is that the cargo airplanes have large ramps where people in wheelchairs can board and de-plane easily. Opening up the sightseeing opportunity for people with severe disabilities would be a unique business opportunity, and making a big difference in the lives of people who otherwise are excluded from this type of activity. I have been involved in aviation events that cater to disabled children, and I can tell you that this is a very worthwhile pursuit!
 

JamesG

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But are they ejectable?


@ Victor Bravo: That's a really good practical idea, although its not as sexy as a pointy high-tech looking computer drawings to show potential investors.

I wonder if the little sponson cockpits get their own dummy controls to hold onto? :ermm:
 

cheapracer

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The only place that would work is somewhere like the Middle East where they would have the Pilot and Co-Pilot in the outer pods and 4 to 6 seats in the main pod, bit like a limousine setup.

People don't want to be separated generally.
 

bmcj

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not as sexy as a pointy high-tech looking computer drawings to show potential investors.
Oh, the Micronautics design is much more than a CG image for investors... they have a desktop model too!!! :gig:

I know, because I saw it at their booth at the Palm Springs Aviation Expo this last weekend.
 

Charlee

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People don't want to be separated generally.
One surprise that I received at the Expo was when I suggested to couples that their children could sit in front of each one of them in the outer pods. Every response was "No, the kids go in one pod, we'll go in the other". Mother-in-Laws were also mentioned. This confirmed to me what my wife has been saying: the Triton is about a flight experience for the individual, with nothing else to focus on.
NASA will be starting a project next year to develop hybrid version of the RR M250. This should allow 20 minutes of near-silent flight over areas like the Grand Canyon using today's battery technology. The existing turboprop is what will be used for development and initial production.
The purpose of the Triton is to give the average person the best possible first ride in a small aircraft. It focuses on the passenger views, comfort and safety.
Yes, it will have dummy side controllers for the passengers. The majority of pilots seem to be cold to the idea of the Triton. Many pilots do love the concept, however, along with most women and those who have only had thoughts of being a pilot one day. A major manufacture is currently assisting me in refining the design. More info is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronautix_Triton
Even the B-52 started as a balsa model.

Charlee Smith
 

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cheapracer

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Thanks for dropping in Charlee.

Every response was "No, the kids go in one pod, we'll go in the other". Mother-in-Laws were also mentioned.
That's an old joke, not a business plan.


Respectfully I can't see your layout working out commercially except for selected markets such as the ME, as mentioned, and maybe some into China where the driver is seen as a servant, however 4 to 6 in the center pod and smaller outer pods for fuel tanks and luggage might be a realistic option.

Best of luck.
 

Apollo

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Ugh. I'm not an aerodynamicist per se, but my eyes burn when I see triple fuselage designs like this one. So much wetted area, fuselage weight and costly structure to build. I guess that explains the 155 knot cruise with 450 hp.

While the design is fairly attractive, I think Charlee has misread the market. I don't think the sight-seeing industry will have much interest and neither will the general pilot population. At $1.2 to $1.5 million per copy, there are better planes to be had. In any case, the market is too small to justify the certification costs.

I also disagree that this aircraft "has the potential to greatly influence the number of people who will make the decision to become a pilot". That seems delusional. OTOH, you never know what some investors are willing to back. I predict any investors will never see their money again. Sorry, Charlie!

Some good pictures here: http://aviation-xpo.com/triton.html
 
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Topaz

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Been done before, but for a different reason. Bell Airacuda
That airplane always struck me as a good candidate for an asymmetric configuration: Move both guns into one pod, put the pilot(s) in the other, and then just a slender boom back to the tails, without the central cockpit. Much lighter, performs the same (apparently unneeded) mission.
 

Sockmonkey

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That airplane always struck me as a good candidate for an asymmetric configuration: Move both guns into one pod, put the pilot(s) in the other, and then just a slender boom back to the tails, without the central cockpit. Much lighter, performs the same (apparently unneeded) mission.
There is this but it's a recon plane.
 

BoKu

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This is a very pretty airplane, though its configuration looks like a solution in search of a problem. But if Charlee is looking to tool up a prototype, I've got the technology to do it cost-effectively.

Thanks, Bob K.
 
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