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Raptor Composite Aircraft

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BBerson

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Too overbuilt in all the wrong places.
Not logical that Peter would ask his professional engineers and builders to double the skin thickness or whatever you suggest was designed or built overweight at Peters request? Do you have some significant examples of Peters mistake other than the apparent molding error and a few pieces of 1/4" plate?
It's very likely the owner simply requested extra options in process. Happens often, especially military.
 

Steve C

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You're welcome.
Pretty sure that's the whole thing. Patey mentioned 100lbs for Scrappy, but he went for a big enough chute to land softly and have zero damage to the airplane caused by landing.
 

Doggzilla

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Citation needed. You know which incidents you are talking about: please cite verifiable N-numbers, dates and locations, NTSB reports, etc.
You guys should know by now that if I’m saying I’ve read something...I’ve actually read it. This is probably the 8th time this has occurred.

Here are the unexplained loss of control from the VariEze alone. Corkscrew/spiraling are a sign of elevator becoming divergent while pulling into a turn.


N67TR 19 September 1984 Aircraft suddenly nosed up uncontrollably and then bashed straight into the ground.

N23HS 19 Aug 2006 Witnesses report aircraft spiraled into the ground in a corkscrew.

F-PRIQ 11 May 2018 Aircraft wreckage shows aircraft was spinning or spiraling on impact.

HB-PRIQ 29 April 2018 Aircraft crashed after being seen with unusually high nose attitude.

That’s just the ones I had easily available in front of me. There are a few more that blame the pilots for sudden unexplained aerobatics, which usually involve back looping as would be expected during divergence.

At least a dozen fatalities.
 

rbarnes

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You're welcome.
Pretty sure that's the whole thing. Patey mentioned 100lbs for Scrappy, but he went for a big enough chute to land softly and have zero damage to the airplane caused by landing.
He's also building a 2 seater. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if they had the exact same chute more or less.
 

rbarnes

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N67TR 19 September 1984 Aircraft suddenly nosed up uncontrollably and then bashed straight into the ground.
WITNESSES STATED, AFTER WHAT APPEARED TO BE A LONGER THEN NORMAL TAKEOFF ROLL, ACFT ROTATED TO A VERY STEEP CLIMB ANGLE. ESTIMATES REGARDING CLIMB ANGLE VARY FROM 'SLIGHTLY NOSE UP' TO VERTICAL

N23HS 19 Aug 2006 Witnesses report aircraft spiraled into the ground in a corkscrew.
The two commercial pilots told a friend they were going to practice aerobatics, specifically, "loops and rolls."

F-PRIQ 11 May 2018 Aircraft wreckage shows aircraft was spinning or spiraling on impact.
After takeoff, part of the end of the right wing, including the winglet and the right rudder, separated from the aircraft which immediately went into a spin.

HB-PRIQ 29 April 2018 Aircraft crashed after being seen with unusually high nose attitude.

That’s just the ones I had easily available in front of me. There are a few more that blame the pilots for sudden unexplained aerobatics, which usually involve back looping as would be expected during divergence.

It took about 30 seconds to pull up the actual reports. One had something obviously not right and crashed immediately upon rotation. The other was some hotdogs that got what they were asking for, and the 3rd was an inflight structure failure on lift off, and I couldn't find the last one.
 
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BoKu

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Not logical that Peter would ask his professional engineers and builders to double the skin thickness or whatever you suggest was designed or built overweight at Peters request...
Well, the airplane weighs in at somewhere above 3144 lbs, we know that from one of the videos. Apparently there's another where the engine weighed in at around 800 lbs. If we guess that it's up to 900 with all the fluids, bells, and whistles, that means that the airframe weight is 2244 lbs.

Conversely, the Velocity XL advertises an empty weight of 1800 lbs with the Lyc IO 540. According to various sources, the IO540 will run around 450 lbs, so the airframe weight is probably around 1340.

From these numbers, it appears that the Raptor airframe is somewhere around 900 lbs heavier than a comparable airframe.
 

Kyle Boatright

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You guys should know by now that if I’m saying I’ve read something...I’ve actually read it. This is probably the 8th time this has occurred.

Here are the unexplained loss of control from the VariEze alone. Corkscrew/spiraling are a sign of elevator becoming divergent while pulling into a turn.


N67TR 19 September 1984 Aircraft suddenly nosed up uncontrollably and then bashed straight into the ground.

N23HS 19 Aug 2006 Witnesses report aircraft spiraled into the ground in a corkscrew.

F-PRIQ 11 May 2018 Aircraft wreckage shows aircraft was spinning or spiraling on impact.

HB-PRIQ 29 April 2018 Aircraft crashed after being seen with unusually high nose attitude.
The first one was an unexplained pitch-up on takeoff with no causal factors listed.

The second one was a wing failure, possibly due to fuel degrading the foam.

The third one was 2 people doing aerobatics in an airplane that wasn't designed for aerobatics and was probably at or above gross weight when it was crashed (doing acro).

I couldn't find the fourth one.

Bottom line, none of the 3 I found were indicative of a problem with canards. The Rutan and Rutan spawned class of canards has some unusual characteristics, but none of them are show stoppers and none of the accidents you pointed to build a case for a problem with the designs or planform.
 

BBerson

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I see this Raptor saga as an ongoing puzzle. We have several pieces missing to solve for how it got to this point.
Clearly to me, the website specs have been misleading or just not updated.
From these numbers, it appears that the Raptor airframe is somewhere around 900 lbs heavier than a comparable airframe.
But how can a professionally built airframe be 900 lbs heavier than comparable airplanes? Must be some pieces of this puzzle still missing.
I already suggested the parachute for which the comparable airplanes don't have, so deduct 100 pounds for a large chute as one piece of the puzzle. The comparable airplanes don't have pressurization so what should all that add up to if well engineered, for another piece of the puzzle. What else? Leather seats? Avionics? A/C?
Maybe it has extra long range fuel tanks? What does that weigh? What airframe part was too heavy?
Jeff's plane was about 2100-2200 pounds. So maybe the 1800 pound number is suspect. Who knows?
It should be possible to locate all of the overweight items.
It is obvious to me the the original website estimates were flawed or at least not updated as options were added.
Just an interesting unexplained mystery to me.
 

Wanttaja

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Here are the unexplained loss of control from the VariEze alone. Corkscrew/spiraling are a sign of elevator becoming divergent while pulling into a turn.
Thank you! Let's look at the cases.

N67TR 19 September 1984 Aircraft suddenly nosed up uncontrollably and then bashed straight into the ground.
This is before the date range that I have analyzed, but the NTSB report (NYC84FNE07) is easy enough to find. The narrative of these older accidents is usually abbreviated. The findings indicate that the investigator assessed this as a pilot-induced accident:
Findings
1. JUDGMENT - POOR - PILOT IN COMMAND
2. (C) PULL-UP - EXCESSIVE - PILOT IN COMMAND
3. (C) AIRSPEED(VS) - EXCEEDED - PILOT IN COMMAND
4. STALL - UNCONTROLLED - PILOT IN COMMAND


The narrative does tend to support assessment as a pilot-induced accident. It's certainly possible that this was triggered by some sort of aerodynamic/control issue. But it doesn't sound like it repeated for at least twenty years.

N23HS 19 Aug 2006 Witnesses report aircraft spiraled into the ground in a corkscrew.
The NTSB probable cause on this one was, "the pilot's intentional aerobatics performed at low altitude, and his failure to maintain clearance from terrain. A contributing factor was the pilot's poor judgment." (DEN06FA115). Two commercial pilots set out to film themselves doing low-level aerobatics. Again, perhaps there was some sort of aerodynamic issue as you claim. But low-level aerobatics is a killer, in non-canard aircraft as well. One witness said it spiralled in, the other says it dived in after S-turning. Not unusual to have witnesses differ, but obviously they're seeing different things.

F-PRIQ 11 May 2018 Aircraft wreckage shows aircraft was spinning or spiraling on impact.
As a foreign accident, there is limited information about it in the NTSB database (and would not be included in mine).

However, searching "F-PRIQ" comes up with an Aviation Safety Network report on the accident:


You are correct in that the airplane was spinning or spiralling on impact. However, this was apparently due to the in-flight structural failure: "After takeoff, part of the end of the right wing, including the winglet and the right rudder, separated from the aircraft which immediately went into a spin."

HB-PRIQ 29 April 2018 Aircraft crashed after being seen with unusually high nose attitude.
I couldn't find this one online. However, it's odd that the last four of its registration is identical to the previous French accident: F-PRIQ vs. HB-PRIQ. Is the Swiss registration a typo, or is this actually the same airplane?

Ron Wanttaja
 

pictsidhe

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I see this Raptor saga as an ongoing puzzle. We have several pieces missing to solve for how it got to this point.
Clearly to me, the website specs have been misleading or just not updated.
But how can a professionally built airframe be 900 lbs heavier than comparable airplanes? Must be some pieces of this puzzle still missing.
I already suggested the parachute for which the comparable airplanes don't have, so deduct 100 pounds for a large chute as one piece of the puzzle. The comparable airplanes don't have pressurization so what should all that add up to if well engineered, for another piece of the puzzle. What else? Leather seats? Avionics? A/C?
Maybe it has extra long range fuel tanks? What does that weigh? What airframe part was too heavy?
Jeff's plane was about 2100-2200 pounds. So maybe the 1800 pound number is suspect. Who knows?
It should be possible to locate all of the overweight items.
It is obvious to me the the original website estimates were flawed or at least not updated as options were added.
Just an interesting unexplained mystery to me.
"It's built like a tank" - Peter Muller.
 
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