# Raptor Composite Aircraft

Discussion in 'Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology' started by Dexacare, Mar 28, 2016.

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1. Feb 21, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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I came across some more information on the Raptor team. Jeff Kerlo is listed as the director of engineering on the project. He worked at Velocity, on the Maverick jet, S51 and designed and built the Orion canard among others. So it seems they have an experienced designer here after all. What's not clear is if Peter makes a lot of the design decisions and whether these are overseen and approved by Jeff. What is hard to understand is how things like area ruling and some of the performance figures and systems design issues have come out with an experienced designer involved.

Anyway, they've got the wings closed out now and are working on getting all the avionics and electrics working.

2. Feb 21, 2019

### Topaz

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One of the things I've learned in 28 years as a different kind of designer - graphic arts - is to never judge another designer on the basis of one piece of his or her work. You never know what absurd requirements, meddling, or outright stupid orders the paying client imposed upon them over their protest. My tendency, assuming some parts of the project look professional, is to assume that, somewhere, there's a designer saying to him or herself, "I wonder how I can keep my name from being associated with this mess?"

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3. Feb 21, 2019

### BoKu

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His LinkedIn profile doesn't show much in the way of formal engineering credentials.

4. Feb 21, 2019

### Turbine Aeronautics

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5. Feb 21, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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Jeff must have a ton of drive and energy to be putting in 5 full days a week on the Raptor project as well as doing this on the sideline. Cool stuff. He certainly does nice composite work.

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6. Feb 27, 2019

### anvegger

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Jeff Kerlo has real long history of canard carbon fiber design and construction experience. However by his quote : "Raptor" is not his design , she is by all the means Peter's baby. Jeff has also participated in prototyping Commuter Craft plane. So the long story short - his input into Raptors prototyping is enormous . His recommendation to acquire 5x CNC for inhouse plug curving and Peters programming skills to make that CNC do the magic - save the team 50 % of the real headache

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7. Feb 27, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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This would explain some things like the unlikely performance number predictions, the belief that area ruling is applicable to this design for drag reduction and many of the do-overs on the doors and control surfaces and actuation. Seems like Jeff is there to mainly to do the composite side of the project.

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8. Feb 27, 2019

### anvegger

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Yes - the decision making directives of the Raptor's airframe construction is Jeff's expertise , the Avionics and Power plant selection, the conceptual design, all the calculations and general design development and execution of the project including marketing-less success of the 1500 deposits already sitting on escrow.com - that all of Peter Muller' success. The core team , seams to me , has a few more back office players who are facing the FAA and EAA collaboration and managing all Mechanical Expertise . But as far as I know the only man behind the Composite Construction airframe work is Jeff Kerlo. His crew has been vary over the period of time, only Davin Kerlo , Jeffs' son - picking up all the father's and grandfather's skills and works full time for the project from the very first day to the moment. We wish them all the best and truly believe that the success of this project may create a lot of exposure around the globe.

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9. Feb 27, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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Jeff clearly knows his way around composites and does very nice work. Peter is a smart guy but is out of his league on many of the design decisions I've seen in the videos. The multiple snafus shown in the videos prove it. You can take the trial and error route to design and actually get something workable in the end but it will add years to a complex project like this.

I'd like to see the project succeed but it will need multiple parts re-designed before it makes it into production. No way someone with no background in aero, mechanical design, engines, turbochargers, thermodynamics etc. can pull this off the first time around. It will be years before this kit is in production and it won't be at the price or performance initially published.

We've seen this too many times before with the same result every time. I see no reason for this to be any different.

Getting deposits is easy, lots of people have done that before on other designs with a flashy website, optimistic (and unproven) specs, some CAD renderings and some videos. None of these things prove the design will do what these folks think it will. I look at the comments in the videos and 95% of the folks commenting don't have a clue about anything. That's an easy audience to impress...

Kudos for actually getting the airplane built which is a tremendous achievement but I predict the testing phase isn't going to go smoothly or quickly.

10. Feb 27, 2019

### anvegger

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Will see very very soon. The history knows some alternatives as well. Nobody has walked this path before - meaning Peter's way is different and his patience and his approach to the project management is outstanding. We are at the important milestone of that journey from more than 5 years ago. Anyone could fail by that time. Peter and Jeff are still alive and working hard every week. If anyone can present anything as informative as Raptor Project does all of these years - be my guest

11. Feb 27, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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I'd certainly agree that Peter has tremendous gumption. This is a required trait when you have to do things over multiple times like the doors, elevators, redrive, windows etc. because you don't have any previous background in those things. It's really trial and error.

The 2 videos a week makes it a fascinating project to watch take shape- agreed but it just draws out the project even more. Shooting and editing even simple vids like this chews up more time which could be spent moving the project along.

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12. Feb 27, 2019

### BoKu

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http://hpaircraft.net/hp-24/

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13. Feb 28, 2019

### rv6ejguy

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We had the LP-1 project before this. Also very cool and even more amazing carbon work but no way it was going to meet the projected fuel flow and TAS numbers either. Both projects need an engine guy to set them straight on the facts about BSFC in about 1 minute.

We had the Cobalt, I think with 10s of millions of dollars in pre-orders. Now sold to another entity. We'll see where that ends up.

I can think of some other designs which were going to change the world and when they flew, they didn't do anything better than existing designs.

Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
14. Feb 28, 2019

### Marc Zeitlin

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No, no, no, Bob - he means something that hasn't flown and isn't proven to work...

Crap. I told myself I'd try to shut up about this. I can't count the things being done poorly or incorrectly in this project, although it LOOKS great. I just hope no-one gets hurt.

Anyone interested in a pool on what the empty weight will be? The Velocity XL-5 (one of which I just recently did a CI on) has a BOOK empty weight of 1800 lb. The W&B was done so poorly we couldn't even figure out what the empty weight was - he's coming back for a new W&B soon.

Raptor is estimating 2300 lb. empty...

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15. Feb 28, 2019

### Marc Zeitlin

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There's not going to be a lot to see. I just hope all the orders are actually in escrow...

Everyone thinks that they're going to reinvent physics or the 2nd law of thermodynamics - reverse entropy, have negative drag, make everyone that came before them look like a moron. Commercial aircraft MFG kill to get 2% better performance. Is there better performance to be had in the single engine piston world? You bet. 50%? Nope. Where are all the Synergy aircraft that were going to revolutionize flight? Just build one **** thing and prove that it works.

All it takes to build a prototype single engine piston aircraft, to prove the OML and flight characteristics, is $100K -$200K in materials and a bunch of elbow grease by one or two people over a couple of years, if they're working full time.

I've got a friend who's got a design for a 2-seat BWB aircraft. He showed it to me 5 years ago and has spent the past 5 years searching for \$2M in funding to build one. Molds, etc. I told him to build it like a Long-EZ - no molds, foam, fiberglass, etc. Prove the aerodynamic IDEA works first - then go attempt a lightweight, production version. He's just coming around. He believes that it will have a few percent better performance, but mostly he's interested in tons of interior space.

Sorry for the OT rant.

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16. Feb 28, 2019

### canardlover

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Guys ,
I will keep this short and sweet. You can read whatever you want to in between the lines. I was asked to come on board and given a title but by no means full control over direction. I had to correct the aero on the RC model I built and flew to test basic stability characteristics and was always second guessed when every issue was discovered and my advice/recommendations given. As Andrey (anvegger) stated THIS IS NOT MY DESIGN !!!!! I do indeed have a lot of experience and a good track record having been involved in some significant programs ( Styling design and tooling execution for Velocity XL, My Orion TS and smaller GT ( silver canard on website in the our story section), My RA2 Acro, My present Voodoo/Stryker/Talon exercize,Maverick Twinjet, Stewart S51,Commuter Craft Innovator (NOT MY DESIGN),Was asked to join Synergy by John, and probably some I have foorgotten , as well as professionally building a dozen or so other homebuilt kits, etc. Give me a fair shake here and go visit my website as Turbine Aeronautics ( Dave) suggested and as well our Facebook page X- Project . There you can see the level of experience, creativity, insight, execution , and professionalism which we normally and faithfully impart in OUR OWN PROGRAMS!!!!! Thanks guys.

17. Feb 28, 2019

### canardlover

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BTW, my " Formal Education" came from decades of aircraft design ,along with my late father, starting at the age of 9 in the model airplane world ( many dozens of designs between the two of us) grew up to become a successful world class competitor in the RC Formula One Pylon racing world ( 200 plus mph models 30 feet off the deck around the poles). Full scale aviation was both boring and not very challenging compared to what we did in the modeling world ( not every modeler , mind you). I then discovered EAA and experimental aviation and was attracted to the idea of pursuing full scale formula 1 racing and aerobatics probably designing my own racer,and acro ship. Well here we are today and I have designed and prototyped the largest most advance successfully flown Canard Kitplane( Orion). Flown by one of the most capable professional/ex military Test Pilots in the world and he stated it is the best flying canard he had flown ( hes flown all of them , Longs, Velos,Cozy Jet, etc) .I have desgned my own succcessfully flown Acro ship( tested by Skip Holm ). There are many more designs, awaiting completion of the Voodoo program, that will come into being as well. One of which is a badass looking 4 place Amphib that as a 9 fot RC model flies amazing and puts the ICON to shame Aesthetically. For the record, I attended and excelled in the University of Been There/ Done That, with a masters in Aircraft Design from the School of Hard Knocks and hold a minor in Practical Application of Hard Earned experimentally refined real life hands on no bull**** Aircraft Design experience. I hope this dispells any doubt as to my abilities. Remember Wilbur and Orville, I dont believe they attended Georgia Tech, or Parks, or Purdue,etc. LOL !!!!

P.S. The Racer is coming !!!!!!!

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18. Feb 28, 2019

### BoKu

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Actual pro tip: When boasting about professionalism, use paragraphs and avoid ending your sentences with exclamation points.

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19. Feb 28, 2019

### Topaz

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Forgive me if I missed it, but you're Jeff, yes?

One of the really challenging things about this discussion is that we don't have access to the thinking behind some of the design decisions we've been discussing, so we have to resort to speculation. If you can shed some light on any of these matters, it'd be very helpful. I'm sure you'll see some of them debated, but that's the nature of a forum, and I hope it won't dissuade you from continuing here at HBA.

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20. Feb 28, 2019

### canardlover

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Bob, we have met at Oshkosh and got along famously.

This response was not an attack directed at you, but rather an attempt at clearing the air of doubt with regard to my ability and credentials. Please accept my apology if you took it as an offensive response.

I will admit It was typed in haste and some degree of ire. I have done good things in this industry and am respected amongst my peers and former clients,etc. However I will not stand by idly when being questioned of my abilities and potentially falling prey to a situation of " guilt through association".

Please dont assume I am directing the program and making the decisions you collectively question in your observations of this development program. I am not a principle in this company, just an employee,