New kit lines

Discussion in 'Supplier / Manufacturer Announcements' started by orion, Nov 17, 2004.

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  1. Apr 29, 2005 #81

    CNCRouterman

    CNCRouterman

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    CANOPY

    Perhaps a break just aft of the front seat back. Less LOS obstruction for the pilot (if the pilot is in the front, which make sense to me) and you could hinge the two sections any way you want. The front could hinge forward or back, and aft section forward, sideways or back, or possibly even slide the aft section?
     
  2. Apr 29, 2005 #82

    CNCRouterman

    CNCRouterman

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    Another Canopy thought.

    What if you use the depicted (or close) version and used a 3 or 4 point pantograph arm set? You could then have the works lift up and back.

    5-2-05 edit to stay on topic.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  3. Apr 30, 2005 #83

    dustind

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    How does the acrylic compare to other composites in strength, weight, and fatigue? Is it repairable?
     
  4. Apr 30, 2005 #84

    orion

    orion

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    Just as in the automotive panel applications, the acrylic is not the primary structure. The vacuum formed plastic sheet is the outer finished surface of the airplane and as such, the eventual builder will not have the endless hours of finishing that you now have with composite kit assembly.

    The plastic has the structure laminated on the inside surface. It is therefore still a composite kit but now more closely resembles the ARF (almost ready to fly) type of kit you see in radio controlled airplanes. Outside of the finishing issues, the other benefits are simplified tooling for the manufacturer, simpler fabrication processes, less floor space needed, less mess for the manufacturer and the eventual builder, and somewhat easier handling and storage.

    The material is very durable and scuff resistant. If one does scuff or scratch the surface, it can be buffed out simply by using a micro-finishing compound (a very fine rubbing compound), just like you would on paint.

    Deep gouges can be filled with either a colored methylcrylate or a similar type of catalyzed acrylic. Although the point of all this is to reduce the finishing time for the builder, if one does wish to paint the outer skin, the plastic does accept acrylic paints very well.

    Weight wise, the extra layer will add a bit of weight to the airplane, but I estimate that the penalty will be minor since in composites one does tend to use surface fillers, primers and paint, all of which can add up to quite a bit of weight also. But the point of these airplanes is all around performance and safety. It is understood that they will be a bit heavier than others in their class but the benefits should outweigh the bit of extra mass.
     
  5. May 1, 2005 #85

    whirlybomber

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    Sorry for the off-topic-ish post,

    What software are you using at the moment orion? It looks like it gives you some very nice renders, and I am assuming they are coming from the CAD you are working on to design the whole airplane?

    Cheers,
    Brad
     
  6. May 1, 2005 #86

    orion

    orion

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    All surface and solid models are created in Rhino3D (www.rhino3d.com) and rendered in Flamingo. I could probably get even better, more photo realistic results in the renders but I've never really had the time to sit down long enough to really learn all the ins and outs of the software. It does however do pretty well with just the defaults.
     
  7. May 24, 2005 #87

    PTAirco

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    Durability and Ruggedness

    Nice to see that someone puts these qualities somwhere near the top of the list; so many kit aircraft out there are flimsy beyond belief when it comes to normal everyday abuse (as opposed to airloads). I once rebuilt an Auster 6 (British 2/3 seat aircraft with Taylorcraft ancestry) and was amazed at the ruggedness of the fittings and general design. Yes, it weighs; (the seat adjustment mechanism must have weighed 20 lbs, for example), but it gave off the same aura of indestructability as an old Land Rover.

    My current design follows the same philosophy, knowing I will pay a weigh penalty, but this airplane will outlive me by decades.

    My only question is: yet another 2 seat, low wing cross country machine...? The kit market seems to be awash with Kitfox-type derivatives on the one side and two seat, low wing cruisers on the other. Seems to me there is a big hole in the middle waiting for someone to fill up.

    Still good luck; I would give my right arm to be running my own kit factory...
     
  8. May 25, 2005 #88

    Captain_John

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    HEY, I resemble this comment!!!

    :gig:

    NP, to each his own! I like rivets and that is good for me, as I have plenty to squish!

    :D CJ
     
  9. May 26, 2005 #89

    Falco Rob

    Falco Rob

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    Captain John,

    I must confess that when I'm covered in sawdust and waiting for the glue on some part to set so I can get on with it, I have sometimes thought to myself: "Why didn't I build an RV !!"

    I'm sure you'll be flying while I'm still sanding!

    One of the guys at our local airport (Jandakot, near Perth) had the first flight of his RV-7A last weekend - all went well.

    So well in fact that the test pilot, who has quite a bit of experience in RV's, said it was all rather boring, which I guess is exactly what you need to hear for a first flight. Boring = no problems = good!

    This was the first -7 I've seen up close and I'm surprised at how much bigger it is that the -6, however I can see why Van's have decided to supersede the -6. It makes no economic sense to run parallel production lines for such similar products.

    Keep banging those rivets . . I'll just mix up another batch of glue . . . sigh..

    Rob
     
  10. May 26, 2005 #90

    orion

    orion

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    Sorry it took me a while to update this conversation - I've been a bit busy with a bunch of other work that came in and since customers come first, this project got shifted to the side of my desk. Also, my wife insisted that I go on a short vacation with her this week, which is where I am now (theoretically anyway).

    Regarding the question that PTAirco posted earlier regarding the size. First of all, the airplane is well beyond most out there now in terms of size, comfort and performance potential, although as I said before, the latter is not the overwhelmng primary goal. Furthermore, the two place is only a single model in what I plan will end up being a family line of airplanes from the single to a four place. The key to this will be a commonality of parts. For instance, all four airplanes will use the same wing and empennage. There will also be a commonality of tooling, assembly techniques, as well as many fuslege components, especially between the single and two place tandem; and the two place side-by-side and the four place.

    I hope to get back to this next week so I'll try to be a bit more current in my updates.
     
  11. May 27, 2005 #91

    Captain_John

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    Falco Rob,

    Thanks for the inspiration! Well, lemme tells ya... it still isn't a snap together kit like the earlier builders might want to joke about! I am going slow build, but it is coming along!

    Fuse will be ordered at OSH this year!

    Orion, looking forward to seeing the updates!

    :D CJ
     
  12. Jun 7, 2005 #92

    orion

    orion

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    A bit of tweaking here and a bit there and finally I think I have a loft that will work for the single and stretched, for the two place tandem (tail end was raised another inch and a half). At this point I think I have to gell the design or I'll drive myself nuts (some say it's too late).

    Other minor changes, which may not be as obvious, include a slightly smaller horizontal (tail volume is still .69) and a raised lower canopy line. The latter was done for structural and tooling reasons.

    Now onto the details.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  13. Jun 9, 2005 #93

    orion

    orion

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    One more addition: The 3 view of the two place tandem as it now stands.

    Now that the geometry is finally gelled, next will come the performance results. I should have those done by the end of this week or so.
     

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  14. Jun 9, 2005 #94

    orion

    orion

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    OK, finished the analysis of the single place aircraft. The particulars will be as follows:

    Single Place Tigr Configuration (tricycle - fixed gear; 250 hp IO-540 or equiv.):

    Composite fuselage with acrylic outer finish
    Metal wings, bonded and riveted
    Hybrid empennage surfaces using composite and metal subcomponents

    Span - 27.47 feet
    Length - 25.19 feet
    Height - 8.4 feet

    Cockpit internal width - 29 inches
    Cockpit length - 8.3 feet (from firewall to aft cockpit bulkhead)
    Internal height - 48+ inches

    Estimated empty weight (250 hp IO-540) - 1,200 to 1,350 pounds (depending on options - conservative estimte)
    Estimated gross weight - 1,700 to 1,950 pounds
    Wing fuel capacity - 55 gallons
    Allowable CG travel - 8.5+ inches

    All performance estimates are for sea level and assume a cruise prop configuration

    Max. sea level speed - 228 mph
    Sea level cruise speed - 190 mph
    Stall speed at gross - 58 mph
    RoC at gross - 1,800 fpm (RoC with constant speed prop is estimated at over 2,200 fpm)
    Range - 700 miles with VFR reserves

    Take-off (ground roll) - 730 feet
    Take-off (50 foot obstacle) - 1,000 feet

    Rudder alone spin recovery

    I'll be putting together the web site description page next week or so - first I have to do the analysis for the two place tandem airplane.
     
  15. Jun 10, 2005 #95

    orion

    orion

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    And now the two place tandem aircraft.

    Two Place Tigr Configuration (tricycle - fixed gear; 250 hp IO-540 or equiv.):

    Composite fuselage with acrylic outer finish
    Metal wings, bonded and riveted
    Hybrid empennage surfaces using composite and metal subcomponents

    Span - 27.47 feet
    Length - 27.07 feet
    Height - 8.4 feet

    Cockpit internal width - 29 inches
    Cockpit length - 9.8 feet (from firewall to aft cockpit bulkhead)
    Internal height - 48+ inches

    Estimated empty weight (250 hp IO-540) - 1,300 to 1,450 pounds (depending on options - conservative estimte)
    Estimated gross weight - 2,100 to 2,300 pounds
    Wing fuel capacity - 55 gallons
    Allowable CG travel - 11.3+ inches

    All performance estimates are for sea level and assume a cruise prop configuration

    Max. sea level speed - 220 mph
    Sea level cruise speed - 185 mph
    Stall speed at gross - 64 mph
    RoC at gross - 1,450 fpm (RoC with constant speed prop is estimated at over 1,800 fpm)
    Range - 700 miles with VFR reserves

    Take-off (ground roll) - 1,130 feet
    Take-off (50 foot obstacle) - 1,520 feet

    Rudder alone spin recovery

    There are still a few details to work out on this somewhat larger variant however I would currrently estimate that the numbers are within about 5%.
     
  16. Jun 13, 2005 #96

    Falco Rob

    Falco Rob

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    Same wingspan, heavier aeroplane . . .
    Different chord or higher wing loading for the tandem?
     
  17. Jun 13, 2005 #97

    orion

    orion

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    The whole trick to this line of airplanes is commonality of parts. As such, all the various models of this airplane line are at this time anticipated to use exactly the same wing. Given the higher gross weight of the two place tandem, the wing loading goes up and as the numbers reflect, several of the perfomrance numbers change respectively.

    When I begin looking in more detail at the four place, I'll determine at that point whether I can comfortably keep the same wing there too or whether I'll have to increase the planform. If the area has to grow, the parts will stay the same but the span will get longer.
     
  18. Aug 12, 2005 #98

    dustind

    dustind

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    Is it possible to make the wing ribs out of thinner aluminum plate (1/4th inch, give or take), but then wrap a thin one inch wide (give or take) piece of aluminum plate around the outside of the ribs?

    Maybe you could glue, weld, or rivet the inner ribs to its outer hub and then attach that to the skin. Hopefully it could save on material costs.

    Have you made any progress or changes on the airplane, or are you still working on the Reno racer?

    I was wondering how you knew so much about swallows, but I guess when you are the configurator you have to know these things. :D
     
  19. Aug 12, 2005 #99

    orion

    orion

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    I'm still working on the ideas but other work has distracted me a bit for now. The racer is on hold for this week - the customer wishes to have a meeting with the current holders of the Aerostar's manufacturing and design rights. We're hoping to get them excited about the idea and contribute drawings and any engineering info they might already have (no sense in reinventing the wheel). Hopefully that project will restart within the next week or two.

    The configuration of the kit airplane has not changed - that I think is a good sign in that the configuration looks to be what I envisioned when I started this whole exercise. I still haven't had a second meeting with the company that has the vacuum forming equipment but if time allows, I'll try to get that done within the next couple of weeks.

    As far as the ribs are concerned, I still think they'll have to be cast as one piece. I looked at doing them out of a stamped sheet but I'm not getting the strength and rigidity, especially for the leading edge components, where I also have to incorporate a rather sizeable bladder. There is still a chance I might be able to do the stamped ribs, probably out of .050", for the rib between the two spars, but I haven't decided.

    For now, I think I'll get Eric (CNCRouterman) to cut a series of trial wax patterns for the first couple of test ribs. The ribs are to be investment cast so they should be very nice and accurate. I'll post pictures once I have some hardware.

    As far as the swallows are concerned, all I know is what the supreme source of Monty Python tells me and of course what little I learned about the ones in Capistrano. Outside of that, all I know is that they're pooping all over my boat up on the island - I'm hoping they'll migrate away soon.
     
  20. Feb 3, 2006 #100

    orion

    orion

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    Just a brief update to all this: As of the first part of January, the Reno racing aircraft program is officially authorized, funded and instigated. Furthermore, as of about a week ago, we discovered that there are virtually no wings available out there that would allow us to simplify the program (the original design was to use wings from a Piper Aerostar). Turns out the most common Aerostar accident is a very hard landing, which tends to punch the landing gear up through the wing structure. The subsequent expensive runway noises pretty much render the wing structure unusable for anything but a metal recycling program.

    As such, this is now a full, ground-up development and as such, looks like my time will be rather booked from now 'till about the end of the year. Given the lackluster market of the last year or three, this is great news but it does tend to put my own projects on the back burner for a bit longer.

    But to book my time even more, within the next couple of weeks I am expecting another program to initiate, which will be a development of a "simple" two place jet aircraft. The customer seems to be commited but for now they're in the classic company building mode so the actual start date is not firmed up yet. We'll see.

    Between the two programs I think my time will be rather accounted for so my company's kit development will most likely be slowed down for some time.

    As far as the kit itself is concerned, I've backtracked a bit on some of the ideas, mainly due to some of the associated costs of development and subsequent production. The initial kit will therefore be simpler (and hopefully cheaper) but should still deliver some pretty impressive performance. I'll start a new thread once I have more information and pictures.

    Thanks for all the ideas and offers of support. I haven't abandoned the project but as many of us know, customer work always comes first.
     

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