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Rutan Ski-gull

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lear999wa

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Here is a interesting video on Burt Rutan, and his latest project.

Burt Rutan - "Struggles of a retiring airplane designer" - YouTube


After watching this video I was able to disseminate the following features.


Twin 70 hp engines.
Long-ez type construction, ie The availably to build from plans
Folding wings, that can be folded on the water and fit in a garage
Sailplane like wings
Amphibious
Try haul sponson configuration
Burt mentioned that the ski gull would be able to land in high sea states due to the water ski type configuration.


Does anyone know anything else about the Rutan ski gull? I think this might just be the perfect airplane for me.

Thanks
 

Autodidact

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Re: Rutan outa clue ?

We're Not Anywhere Near Peak Oil - YouTube

I found these comments pretty interesting.
If we mine the oil until the point where the market says that we can't afford it any longer, then we will be cutting the future inhabitants of this planet off from accessing the difficult to get at oil that is left. If they need it, it will be at a time when they have little energy and they will not be set up to get at the oil without great difficulty. This is gross mismanagement and shows a lack of forethought.
 

Aircar

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I cannot access the audio without getting my own headphones (will soon) on this public access computer --I was surprised to read a report a few days ago that cited Algal bio fuel at over $1300 per barrel and other synfuels at hundreds of dollars (it was an article on aviation fuels specifically ) -- LNG and liquified petroleum gas are shorter term options in the still 'fossil' camp --I presume shale gas is LNG . Burt is iconclastic but I believe is more right than wrong on global warming catastrophists . (check out "the real global warming disaster' book for some background or Burt's posting on it )
 

Jay Kempf

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Burt Rutan is one of the few people I consider a hero. I don't feel bad about not agreeing 100% with everything he says.
Rutan is not the only one that is debunking the entire carbon footprint climate nut bag stuff. He is pretty objective about it actually. I think his presentation is one of the most well rounded that I have seen. As a scientist I am so tired about hearing about how a majority of scientists agree. I know lots of scientists. They don't agree on ANYTHING!

Anyway, has anyone seen a picture of Rutan's Ski Gull or has he just not leaked it yet. I am very interested in seeing his design.
 

Tiger Tim

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In lieu of spy photos or official releases for now, what would the Ski Gull look like based on what we know? There's a bunch of little details given up in the video plus Mr. Rutan has had decades to show us his style and decision making process.

Twin 70 hp engines.
These can be tractor, pusher, or one each. Historically it seems he doesn't like twins that yaw with an engine out and I doubt we'd see something asymmetrical here so I'm thinking maybe a push-pull setup. Two engines geared to one prop or a contra prop setup are possible but they don't seem to have Rutan's usual elegance.
Long-ez type construction, ie The availably to build from plans
Relatively boxy?
Folding wings, that can be folded on the water and fit in a garage
Given the wing length they must either food back for a conventional plane or forward for a canard. Unless he meant a double car garage (but how would you trailer it?) I think tail booms and structure linking lifting surfaces are out.
Sailplane like wings
I think you could assume the usual Rutan high aspect ratio planform here.
Amphibious
I think it was mentioned that there will be small wheels that stick out the bottom of the skis. I don't know if they would be independently retractable, or if they'd even have to be.
Try haul sponson configuration
without sifting through the video again, I believe it was mentioned this plane was to be a taildragger. Assuming the wheels are in the skis and there's one ski per hull, that puts the sponsons fairly far forward. I would guess the aft edge of the sponsons is just ahead of the centre of gravity. This, conveniently, would make the nose nice and wide for a roomy side-by-side cockpit. For displacement and tail wheel/ski placement reasons I expect the centre hull to be the full length of the airplane with no tail booms or any of that sort used.

So what do you all think? Agree/disagree with any points? Have any ideas of your own? Post ideas or sketches, this could be fun.

-Tim
 

autoreply

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These can be tractor, pusher, or one each. Historically it seems he doesn't like twins that yaw with an engine out and I doubt we'd see something asymmetrical here so I'm thinking maybe a push-pull setup. Two engines geared to one prop or a contra prop setup are possible but they don't seem to have Rutan's usual elegance.
He's been fairly outspoken against pushers lately (totaly unjustified IMHO), so I doubt it'll be a push-pull. I'd bet on pull-pull, something like the Honda-Jet or the HP TT62.
 

Jay Kempf

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He's been fairly outspoken against pushers lately (totaly unjustified IMHO), so I doubt it'll be a push-pull. I'd bet on pull-pull, something like the Honda-Jet or the HP TT62.
This is why I want to see the configuration. I pretty much study the configuration part of aircraft design as a core to everything else. All other component design and compromises are reconciled in configuration. It is customary to come up with some sort of strategy to keep all or most of the spray out of the props as a primary feature when you add in the amphib restriction. So I am thinking some sort of pylon mount that has the prop above one of the lifting surfaces and on a single place most likely above the main wing. If I know Rutan at all he always combines functions into parts meaning everything is doing one or more primary functions and one or more secondary functions. What he is describing is some sort of amphib glider like config (canard or conventional unknown) with some retractable or not skis. I think in the video he describes a very high aspect ratio. Vari Eze construction lends itself well to being a boat hull.
 

autoreply

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I'd personally go for a configuration like the Privateer:
Privateer™ Industries - The First New Amphibian in over 60 years....

And then put the engines on pylons over the "floats". Suspend the floats for a much smoother ride and much less strength required in the rest of the structure. Do that by hinging them in the rear and retracting the front flush with the wing/pylon and your drag penalty just disappeared, combined with the usual troubles of wing incidence/float incidence mismatch.

With separate outer wings, you have a similar configuration to my design (trailerable if you only remove the wings)
 

DangerZone

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Anyone found any pictures of this thing yet?
Maybe it's still a concept idea, doesn't the 'Sailplane like wings' and 'amphibian' seem a bit contradictory..?

A picture would be helpful cause this way we still don't know if it is a canard, tandem wing or conventional aircraft...
 

bmcj

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Maybe it's still a concept idea, doesn't the 'Sailplane like wings' and 'amphibian' seem a bit contradictory..?

A picture would be helpful cause this way we still don't know if it is a canard, tandem wing or conventional aircraft...
I see no issue with sailplane wings and amphibous operation, as long as you don't dig a wingtip into the water.

As for configuration, amphibiosity (thanks for allowing me the latitude to make up a word :gig:) might benefit from a canard. I would much rather try to lift the nose out of the water rather than push the tail down into the water.

Other than that, the only thing I recall noting from his talk is that he showed an interest in (retractable?) skis. I was surprised to learn that he was not previously familiar with the Sea Dart.
 
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karoliina.t.salminen

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Maybe it's still a concept idea, doesn't the 'Sailplane like wings' and 'amphibian' seem a bit contradictory..?
Please tell me one single scientific reason why they would be contradictory. The fact that amphibians do not usually look like that is not a valid reason.

Sailplane-like wings are good for all subsonic flight, the reason long slender wings are usually avoided is rather structural than aerodynamic or configuration related. Of course long wings will also cause the difficulty of storing the plane in standard size T-hangars, but on the other hand, availability of hangar space and also the cost of hangar space is so unfavorable that in latitudes where there is no snow and ice on winter (unlike here, where planes must be hangared during winter at any cost), I would not think that to be important consideration even.
 

autoreply

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Sailplane-like wings are good for all subsonic flight, the reason long slender wings are usually avoided is rather structural than aerodynamic or configuration related.
Even structurally, there is no longer a structural penalty to high-AR wings in composites up to an AR of 10-12 or so as witnessed by the last 2 generations of kits and production aircraft. Essentially it's just the dreaded "metal thinking" attitude all over again, it was obsolete 35 years ago already.

A decent amphibian could use all the help it could get from long wings since it's inherently limited to lower speeds where induced drag plays a larger role. Not to mention climbs performance etc.
 

DangerZone

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I see no issue with sailplane wings and amphibous operation, as long as you don't dig a wingtip into the water.

As for configuration, amphibiosity (thanks for allowing me the latitude to make up a word :gig:) might benefit from a canard. I would much rather try to lift the nose out of the water rather than push the tail down into the water.

Other than that, the only thing I recall noting from his talk is that he showed an interest in (retractable?) skis. I was surprised to learn that he was not previously familiar with the Sea Dart.
Is that not enough, dipping a wingtip into water..? :D

Totally agree on the canard for amphibiosity (man, this word rocks!)... :)

Please tell me one single scientific reason why they would be contradictory. The fact that amphibians do not usually look like that is not a valid reason.

Sailplane-like wings are good for all subsonic flight, the reason long slender wings are usually avoided is rather structural than aerodynamic or configuration related. Of course long wings will also cause the difficulty of storing the plane in standard size T-hangars, but on the other hand, availability of hangar space and also the cost of hangar space is so unfavorable that in latitudes where there is no snow and ice on winter (unlike here, where planes must be hangared during winter at any cost), I would not think that to be important consideration even.
Sailplane like wings are excellent, but for sailplanes, not seaplanes. One reason is already obvious, dipping a wingtip into water would spin the airplane and most probably turn out to be fatal. So whats the point in having an amphibian which cannot 'land' safely onto a water surface?

The other thing that comes to mind is manouevrability, landing on water is different than landing on land. Water tends to 'glue' an airplane onto the surface, so the transition from flying to floating would be quite harder with long sailplane like wings.

Finally there's the question of floats on wings, if such a sailplane-like winged aircraft would not touch the water surface with both floats symetrically, every flight would be quite 'bouncy', if possible at all.
 
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