Scaled Jets (F-16)

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Acrojet

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I would be interested in some comments about the span loading.
Without ejection seats, what is the plan for sink rate after engine failure?

And the stated 700 pounds thrust with a gross of 2100 pounds is a 1/3 ratio.
What is the RC models thrust ratio?[/QUOTE

What is the planned sink rate? Well it will be higher than a C-152 but less than a real F-16. Seriously, It will be a tad steeper than my BD-5J, which has a best L/D airspeed of 110kts which gives it a 15/1 glide ratio. I'm guessing between 10/1 or maybe 12/1 glide ratio for the scale F-16. Tests will reveal more....
As far as power to weight goes, the RC F-16s will have much better performance (speed, acceleration, climb rate). But it should be a tad better than my -5J. My BD-5J has a 200lb thrust motor and grosses out at 1000lbs ~1/4. The 60% F-16 will be slightly better with 700 and 2100 respectively. Remember that's two people and full fuel. If you go solo and take enough to bomb around for an hour your max weight tops out at around 1400lbs and your thrust is 700lbs = 1/2.....much better numbers!!
That's the equivalent of my BD-5J bombing around with a 500lb thrust motor.... I can't even imagine. Cause it's a dog on take-off, but once the gear and flaps are up, it's a real screamer. The big joke with the BD-5 jet is that "it takes off like a tanker, and lands like a fighter" I would agree......
So it should do very well. The key is keeping it light. That's why I chose 60% scale, any higher and the performance drops off and puts the jet into a difficult position. You lose performance and may need to go to a lager motor which throws everything off. It gets bigger and heavier, and then that requires more fuel, and that makes it heavier, etc, etc. This consequently was the problem with the Viperjet and to a lesser degree the BD-10 they kept out growing themselves into unrealistic numbers which couldn't hold up. So again, it has to be as light as you can make it to get the right performance and still be able to afford to go out and fly it without going broke. Heavy airplane requires more thrust, more thrust burns more fuel, more fuel means more weight, and around you go..... I think you get the picture. We're at that sweet spot. If the empty weight breaks 1000lbs we're basically screwed unless the engine comes out pushing 800lbs of thrust at 40gals/hr at 80lbs of weight..... We'll have to wait and see, but the initial numbers look pretty good as long as we can keep with in the envelope. We saved almost 200 lbs by switching from carbon fiber to aluminum, so that was huge! I'm more comfortable with metal anyway having worked on my BD-5J. So that suits me just fine.
 

BBerson

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Well, it's good to have all that BD-5j experience.
But a two seater is another matter where the risk to the passenger needs to be considered, if this is for sport.

I don't know what the planned span is, the drawing shows around 5000 (millimeters, I guess?) or around 17 feet?
17 feet span and 2100 pounds is 123 pounds per foot span loading.
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
I would be interested in some comments about the span loading.
Without ejection seats, what is the plan for sink rate after engine failure?

And the stated 700 pounds thrust with a gross of 2100 pounds is a 1/3 ratio.
What is the RC models thrust ratio?[/QUOTE

What is the planned sink rate? Well it will be higher than a C-152 but less than a real F-16. Seriously, It will be a tad steeper than my BD-5J, which has a best L/D airspeed of 110kts which gives it a 15/1 glide ratio. I'm guessing between 10/1 or maybe 12/1 glide ratio for the scale F-16. Tests will reveal more....
As far as power to weight goes, the RC F-16s will have much better performance (speed, acceleration, climb rate). But it should be a tad better than my -5J. My BD-5J has a 200lb thrust motor and grosses out at 1000lbs ~1/4. The 60% F-16 will be slightly better with 700 and 2100 respectively. Remember that's two people and full fuel. If you go solo and take enough to bomb around for an hour your max weight tops out at around 1400lbs and your thrust is 700lbs = 1/2.....much better numbers!!
That's the equivalent of my BD-5J bombing around with a 500lb thrust motor.... I can't even imagine. Cause it's a dog on take-off, but once the gear and flaps are up, it's a real screamer. The big joke with the BD-5 jet is that "it takes off like a tanker, and lands like a fighter" I would agree......
So it should do very well. The key is keeping it light. That's why I chose 60% scale, any higher and the performance drops off and puts the jet into a difficult position. You lose performance and may need to go to a lager motor which throws everything off. It gets bigger and heavier, and then that requires more fuel, and that makes it heavier, etc, etc. This consequently was the problem with the Viperjet and to a lesser degree the BD-10 they kept out growing themselves into unrealistic numbers which couldn't hold up. So again, it has to be as light as you can make it to get the right performance and still be able to afford to go out and fly it without going broke. Heavy airplane requires more thrust, more thrust burns more fuel, more fuel means more weight, and around you go..... I think you get the picture. We're at that sweet spot. If the empty weight breaks 1000lbs we're basically screwed unless the engine comes out pushing 800lbs of thrust at 40gals/hr at 80lbs of weight..... We'll have to wait and see, but the initial numbers look pretty good as long as we can keep with in the envelope. We saved almost 200 lbs by switching from carbon fiber to aluminum, so that was huge! I'm more comfortable with metal anyway having worked on my BD-5J. So that suits me just fine.
How did you end up with that number? It's hard to comprehend how one would not gain weight going from CFRP to alu. In an airframe that's well into the flutter-realm, alu is going to be a LOT heavier than carbon to keep flutter outside. Stiffness per kg/lbs is 6 times lower.



Interesting project, thanks for sharing. How are your advanced engineering skills? I'm notably thinking about aeroelastic coupling and transsonic flows (inlet tolerance).
 

Acrojet

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Well, it's good to have all that BD-5j experience.
But a two seater is another matter where the risk to the passenger needs to be considered, if this is for sport.

I don't know what the planned span is, the drawing shows around 5000 (millimeters, I guess?) or around 17 feet?
17 feet span and 2100 pounds is 123 pounds per foot span loading.
BBerson,
Don't know you from Adam.... I sense a cavalier attitude in your written tone. Your little comment about my BD-5jet time.... I actually have 23,000 hrs most in jet aircraft. I fly jets for a living. So I kinda have that thing sorted out. Are you a moderator seeking to squash people's ideas or dreams? I wonder? Risk to the passenger? How about risk to the pilot? Your comment would imply that I would somehow "hijack" a person and force them to fly in my personal jet? Seriously? So I'll let that slide just this one time....
I'm not on here to defend what I'm trying to do. If the aircraft is too hot for you (or anybody else) so be it. Don't like it, don't buy it or even comment. Move on to the next thread. I'm looking for people who are interested in what I'm trying to do, not negative Nellies who sit back and try to squash ideas and efforts being put forth. Keep the negativity at bay. I will freely admit I'm not an aeronautical engineer and I haven't done the math on it personally (I was smart, I hired someone to do that) but I do know a bit about what I'm talking about and while on the surface it appears too good to be true, everyone said the same thing about the UL-39 ducted fan and the PJ-11 and they've both proved the doubters wrong. So you can be part of the solution or part of the problem, the choice is yours.
So now that that is out of the way, the span is 18 feet, giving it a 116 per foot span loading with 180 sq ft of wing area. Yes it will have some high wing loading when fully loaded, but that won't be the norm, used only for long x-country flights when range is an issue. I don't anticipate anyone flying like that unless they absolutely had to. Otherwise the per foot span loading would be closer to 89 for most local acro flights with two people onboard. Remember this is a jet aircraft that will require training (ground school and flight) in order to fly one and then the appropriate type rating will be issued after all requirements are met. This aircraft isn't going to be for everyone, but for many it will be just what they're looking for.

Peter
 

Acrojet

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How did you end up with that number? It's hard to comprehend how one would not gain weight going from CFRP to alu. In an airframe that's well into the flutter-realm, alu is going to be a LOT heavier than carbon to keep flutter outside. Stiffness per kg/lbs is 6 times lower.



Interesting project, thanks for sharing. How are your advanced engineering skills? I'm notably thinking about aeroelastic coupling and transsonic flows (inlet tolerance).
Thanks for inquiring. Well, when we ran the numbers for both the carbon fiber for exactly the same strength and size and ended up significantly lighter, almost 200lbs for the "entire" structure. So that was huge. Interesting to note, I have a friend who tried making a BD-5 out of carbon fiber and he started with the wings and tail and after they were completed he weighed them against a normal metal wing and tail section and his were significantly heavier than the equivalent metal wings and tail section.. Don't know, maybe they way it had to be constructed (spars were different in each case) and that may have been the difference. But whatever....All the engineering has checked out ok and only minor changes can be expected as we start the build, but you never know........

Peter
 

DangerZone

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Thanks for inquiring. Well, when we ran the numbers for both the carbon fiber for exactly the same strength and size and ended up significantly lighter, almost 200lbs for the "entire" structure. So that was huge. Interesting to note, I have a friend who tried making a BD-5 out of carbon fiber and he started with the wings and tail and after they were completed he weighed them against a normal metal wing and tail section and his were significantly heavier than the equivalent metal wings and tail section.. Don't know, maybe they way it had to be constructed (spars were different in each case) and that may have been the difference. But whatever....All the engineering has checked out ok and only minor changes can be expected as we start the build, but you never know........

Peter
There's a carbon fiber 'stretched' version of the BD-5, the LH-10 Ellipse. It is much heavier at more than 300kg than the smaller aluminum BD-5.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LH_Aviation_LH-10_Ellipse

Umm,

I'm six feet tall, weigh in at a lean 220 and wear a helmet and a parachute in my BD-5j. I "will" fit. Remember it won't have an ejection seat and all the side equipment, etc, etc. Listen, it's gonna be tight, but I'm not making this thing to fly x-country in. And yes we've made some tweaks to the canopy and cockpit area, but you'll never notice it with the naked eye. If you're a fat guy you probably won't fit, sorry my jets not for you. If you won't fit in a BD-5, then you probably won't fit in my F-16. Sorry. ;-)

Peter
There is also the option of building the canopy with partial fuselage side panels. This allows more space for entry of pilot&copilot and a lower profile when the canopy is closed. A 6'3" friend has built a 1:2 scale Spitfire replica and this allowed him to get into the seat comfortably.

sajam06.jpg
 

DangerZone

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welded steel frame with wood skin for the fuselage All wood wings. Originally planned on all wood vert & horiz stabs but I didn't like how they turned out.
So I think I'm going to redo them in aluminum.

I'm not disputing your engine specs But they are way better than anything already in production that I'm aware of, in terms of both sfc and dry weight, let alone cost.

Smaller turbine engines generally have a higher sfc
A sfc of .40 for an engine that size would be phenomenal Even for an experienced turbine engine designer using exotic materials and manufacturing Technics.
I certainly hope it works out for you.
There are only a few examples of others modifying the engine I'm using into a pure turbojet. I have no way of knowing how accurately they measured their static thrust.
I only know how the final stator blades were modified in one of those cases. I cut away a lot more of the curved trailing edge then they did. So presumably I'll get better thrust. I just won't know for sure until I run and measure it. Anticipating at least 800lbs static, possibly something approaching 1,000lbs according to one engine model anyway.
Based on their fuel flows I'll be burning 120 gal per hour at T.O. thrust. I'm planning on a 100 gallon fuselage tank. 21 ft fuselage length and 18 ft wing span.
I also have an X-Plane computer model of it flying. I currently plan on limiting Vmo to 270 KTS You probably already know this but RVSM starts at 29K. Consequently I plan on cruising as high as 28K for cross country flying. Air frame is stressed for +9 / -3 G
Your project sounds really interesting, are there any more details about the engine modification and the original wooden plans?
 

Jay Kempf

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I'm curious what changes you've made to enable safe, acceptable handling qualities of a replica of a fighter jet that is both statically and dynamically unstable and requires FBW controls to be controllable by a human pilot. A few years ago I started running numbers on a scale T-28 and found that the horizontal stabilizer area had to be increased to provide an acceptable CG range for a two-seat, tandem aircraft, and the full size version of that is stable. You will be in a far worse position, as you are scaling an aircraft that is, by design, both statically and dynamically unstable. Inquiring minds want to know...:)
There are tons of nice stable large model airplane versions of the F16 and every other fighter for that matter. The F16 is NOT statically and dynamically unstable unless the CG is put in a bad place. FBW is used to go beyond normal attitudes and for advanced mixing of controls for torturous maneuvering at the limit beyond a normal pilots ability to keep himself safe. Normal stuff. Speed kept within limits, normal control volumes, normal CG, docile airfoils, yadda... and it is a pussycat of a design, and fairly low drag. So built light and with a normal amount of thrust and no afterburner should be pretty straightforward assuming the engine controls and starting are all automated. Should be easier to fly than a large prop stuck on the nose.
 

rv6ejguy

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everyone said the same thing about the UL-39 ducted fan and the PJ-11 and they've both proved the doubters wrong.
Proved wrong about the UL-39? I never saw any performance/ fuel flow numbers from flight testing which supported the original claims being made about BSFC or speed/ ROC. I might have missed them however... The UL-39 was a magnificent accomplishment for sure but physics and reality of engine design and performance don't take a holiday for anyone.
 

Lucrum

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Your project sounds really interesting, are there any more details about the engine modification and the original wooden plans?
At the risk of high jacking the other guys thread

It's a GE T-58-8B with the power turbine completely removed. I then removed most of the angled trailing edge of all the turbine nozzles that were immediately in front of what is now the nonexistent power turbine wheel/blades. Since the added swirl would only diminish thrust. The engine is now effectively a 10 stage axial flow compressor turbojet weighing in at 240lbs incl. starter. I plan to use one of the now unused tach drives to turn an alternator for electrical power. Fortunately I have copies of both the training and maintenance manuals for the engine.
 

BBerson

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BBerson,
Don't know you from Adam.... I sense a cavalier attitude in your written tone. Your little comment about my BD-5jet time.... I actually have 23,000 hrs most in jet aircraft. I fly jets for a living. So I kinda have that thing sorted out. Are you a moderator seeking to squash people's ideas or dreams? I wonder? Risk to the passenger? How about risk to the pilot? Your comment would imply that I would somehow "hijack" a person and force them to fly in my personal jet? Seriously? So I'll let that slide just this one time....
I'm not on here to defend what I'm trying to do. If the aircraft is too hot for you (or anybody else) so be it. Don't like it, don't buy it or even comment. Move on to the next thread. I'm looking for people who are interested in what I'm trying to do, not negative Nellies who sit back and try to squash ideas and efforts being put forth. Keep the negativity at bay. I will freely admit I'm not an aeronautical engineer and I haven't done the math on it personally (I was smart, I hired someone to do that) but I do know a bit about what I'm talking about and while on the surface it appears too good to be true, everyone said the same thing about the UL-39 ducted fan and the PJ-11 and they've both proved the doubters wrong. So you can be part of the solution or part of the problem, the choice is yours.
So now that that is out of the way, the span is 18 feet, giving it a 116 per foot span loading with 180 sq ft of wing area. Yes it will have some high wing loading when fully loaded, but that won't be the norm, used only for long x-country flights when range is an issue. I don't anticipate anyone flying like that unless they absolutely had to. Otherwise the per foot span loading would be closer to 89 for most local acro flights with two people onboard. Remember this is a jet aircraft that will require training (ground school and flight) in order to fly one and then the appropriate type rating will be issued after all requirements are met. This aircraft isn't going to be for everyone, but for many it will be just what they're looking for.

Peter
Nope, not a moderator.
If you don't want comments you should have said that. Or start a members log where comments are not possible.
I was just looking at your general numbers.
Since you seem to take simple questions negatively ... that's all from me.
Good luck with your venture.
 

BoKu

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...Risk to the passenger? How about risk to the pilot? Your comment would imply that I would somehow "hijack" a person and force them to fly in my personal jet? Seriously? So I'll let that slide just this one time...
BBerson raises a good and valid point of ethics, one that is lost on many homebuilders and kit developers: For a single-seat aircraft, you can be pretty sure that everyone on board has made an informed decision to partake in relatively risky activities. You can also be fairly sure that they will moderate those activities according to their favored level of risk acceptance. For a two-seater, not so much. There is a good possibility that one of the people on board has not made an informed decision to so partake, and were not fully informed of the risks. There is just as good a possibility that a passenger is not even capable of an informed decision. On that basis, the developer of a multiplace aircraft has an ethical duty to design and build to a higher standard of care than they might for a single-seater.
 

Acrojet

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At the risk of high jacking the other guys thread

It's a GE T-58-8B with the power turbine completely removed. I then removed most of the angled trailing edge of all the turbine nozzles that were immediately in front of what is now the nonexistent power turbine wheel/blades. Since the added swirl would only diminish thrust. The engine is now effectively a 10 stage axial flow compressor turbojet weighing in at 240lbs incl. starter. I plan to use one of the now unused tach drives to turn an alternator for electrical power. Fortunately I have copies of both the training and maintenance manuals for the engine.
Not at all, that's what this is all about!
 

Acrojet

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Nope, not a moderator.
If you don't want comments you should have said that. Or start a members log where comments are not possible.
I was just looking at your general numbers.
Since you seem to take simple questions negatively ... that's all from me.
Good luck with your venture.
No, not a problem. Have a great day
 

VAPORTRAIL

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Umm,

I'm six feet tall, weigh in at a lean 220 and wear a helmet and a parachute in my BD-5j. I "will" fit. Remember it won't have an ejection seat and all the side equipment, etc, etc. Listen, it's gonna be tight, but I'm not making this thing to fly x-country in. And yes we've made some tweaks to the canopy and cockpit area, but you'll never notice it with the naked eye. If you're a fat guy you probably won't fit, sorry my jets not for you. If you won't fit in a BD-5, then you probably won't fit in my F-16. Sorry. ;-)

Peter
I stand corrected! My eyeballs did think there would be a 36" tall cockpit at 60 percent.

Sign me up for 1 plane and 1 shoehorn!
 

Acrojet

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BBerson raises a good and valid point of ethics, one that is lost on many homebuilders and kit developers: For a single-seat aircraft, you can be pretty sure that everyone on board has made an informed decision to partake in relatively risky activities. You can also be fairly sure that they will moderate those activities according to their favored level of risk acceptance. For a two-seater, not so much. There is a good possibility that one of the people on board has not made an informed decision to so partake, and were not fully informed of the risks. There is just as good a possibility that a passenger is not even capable of an informed decision. On that basis, the developer of a multiplace aircraft has an ethical duty to design and build to a higher standard of care than they might for a single-seater.
Boku,

Wow, I don't even know how to answer that....... But I will try. Hmm, so let's get this straight, so I have an obligation to make sure it's safe for a passenger? .. No I don't. I have to make sure it's safe for the pilot and possible people on the ground. Look, again I'm not making this airplane for week-end fliers who don't have high performance complex time. It may indeed require higher than standard flying skills to fly it, but that comes with the territory. The people who will fly this airplane won't be week-end Warriors. It's for guys and gals who want a high performance jet aircraft (not supersonic, not dangerous by many standards, but has the qualities that a lot of people are looking for). But to say that I have an obligation!? Who the heck do you people think you are? I didn't ever claim that this would be an easy airplane that has no nasty characteristics. I won't know that until it's fully tested, then I can make that claim. It may indeed, be " too much to handle for the average guy" may I suggest you fly C-152 and 172 then. Again if it's safe enough for the pilot so that he can fly with average flying skills then great. I never made claims that this would be an easy airplane to fly. On the contrary. If it does indeed become "too hot to handle" for the average guy or gal. I'll say so, but I can tell you flying high performance experimental aircraft come with inherent dangers. Every time I strap into my BD-5J I tell myself, "this airplane can kill you" so I keep a mindset of danger and go thru a litany of problems and how to deal with them. You guys have to understand " all" jet aircraft require a "type rating" and unless you can prove you have the skill to fly one safely you won't attain that rating. As far as this scale F-16 goes. Any potential buyer will get a flight evaluation to see if they have the skill to fly one. After testing it may prove to be very docile, but if it doesn't, we will deal with it accordingly. Certainly if is uncontrollable then it's a mute point. There are a ton of other aircraft on the market that will bite you in the butt if you don't treat them very carefully. This F-16 might be in that same category, and it might not. But for you or anybody else to say I have an "obligation" for my passenger is kinda crazy. I mean, I see what your saying, but last time I checked we don't live in a nanny state with people telling me what I should and shouldn't do....... Seriously? Don't like it, don't buy it or get into it. And if you're worried about passengers then make yours a single seat aircraft. I also believe that people (I would hope) have enough judgement about there own skills and and abilities and would be concerned enough for their passers to know wether or not to take someone along. But you're telling me they're not. It's not my job as a designer to make sure that I take care of the passenger beyond what the FAA says that I do (I also believe that the FAA makes you place a placard in a passenger aircraft that states that "this is experimental and amateur built" placed where the passer can see it) I certainly will try and make it as safe as I can, but these experimental aircraft come with inherent dangers that one has to be willing to accept for them and their passengers, if not, then don't do it. If I listened to you guys, I wouldn't even try. I know the risks, I accept them and deal with them. Some people don't, and that's just fine for them. It's up to each individual to determine what's safe for them to do. I'm not here to hold your hand and say come with me on a magical mystery tour. How about you tell your passenger "that this is an experimental aircraft and is not certified and has been built by an amateur." and still see if they want to go for a ride? You guys sound like you'd blame the designer/developer if you go out and hurt yourself after you wreck one. As long as the designer doesn't make claims that are not true, the there is not problem. I'm not going to continue this thread about ethics. If you don't like it, don't comment.
In closing, "EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ARE INHERENTLY DANGEROUS" if you can't get that, then buy a certified aircraft and go fly it. Do you need to tell your passenger that it is what is? Of course, but to say it's the kit makers responsibility is just ridiculous. Dont like it, seems too dangerous for you? don't buy it. Every airplanes flight characteristics will be different and this one will be no different. Testing will tell in the end. It may imdeed be too much for the average flyer, that will have to be dealt with accordingly.
I'm done with this "ethics" and "morality" issue.

Oh what the heck, you've convinced me to make it a single seater now, screw it!
 

Acrojet

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I stand corrected! My eyeballs did think there would be a 36" tall cockpit at 60 percent.

Sign me up for 1 plane and 1 shoehorn!
Ya it's gonna be tight, but if I fit in a BD-5 at 6' and 220lbs with helmet and parachute then that is a pretty good size.
Again, it won't be for everybody, but if you're under that you should be fine. It's been said "It's not ones size that determines wether or not one will fit in a BD-5, but rather their desire to do so......"

I'll put you down for one..... ;-)
 

Wanttaja

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BBerson raises a good and valid point of ethics, one that is lost on many homebuilders and kit developers: For a single-seat aircraft, you can be pretty sure that everyone on board has made an informed decision to partake in relatively risky activities. You can also be fairly sure that they will moderate those activities according to their favored level of risk acceptance. For a two-seater, not so much. There is a good possibility that one of the people on board has not made an informed decision to so partake, and were not fully informed of the risks.
One of the reasons I fly a single-seat airplane. The only neck at risk from my piloting skills or wrench-turning ability is my own.

While I wish the effort the best of luck, there are a few items of concern.

What the category is certification expected? People who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spare for a single-seat jet kit are NOT the kind of people with 5,000 spare hours to build the aircraft. They'll hire someone. And if the plane is licensed Experimental Amateur-Built, that's fraud. A business plan based on customers willing to commit a felony is not a good one. I presume you're planning for Experimental Exhibition? But that's got more limits....

Next, there's the completion. Why would someone pay all that money for a kit, and the salary of someone to build it, when they can buy a flying L-39 for less?

Finally, there's the weight of history: Aviation is littered with unsuccessful homebuilt jets. The Zipper, the Javelin, the Maverick, the BD-10, and a couple more that I can't remember their names. The BD-5J is the closest to a successful design, but we're still not talking a lot of aircraft.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Acrojet

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There are tons of nice stable large model airplane versions of the F16 and every other fighter for that matter. The F16 is NOT statically and dynamically unstable unless the CG is put in a bad place. FBW is used to go beyond normal attitudes and for advanced mixing of controls for torturous maneuvering at the limit beyond a normal pilots ability to keep himself safe. Normal stuff. Speed kept within limits, normal control volumes, normal CG, docile airfoils, yadda... and it is a pussycat of a design, and fairly low drag. So built light and with a normal amount of thrust and no afterburner should be pretty straightforward assuming the engine controls and starting are all automated. Should be easier to fly than a large prop stuck on the nose.

Jay,

Couldn't have said it better myself. You get it! Took me a while to get that, but the RC large replica F-16's are very docile.
(I'm scaling up an RC F-16 more than I'm scaling down a real F-16)
The key is keeping it light. Once it starts to get too heavy, that's when it gets dicey when we ran the numbers. The powerplant will be our key. And fortunately that's looking really good. The next "available" engine class is the GE-T-58 (modified) and then the Marbore ll, these engines are too heavy for what we want and burn a ton of fuel, etc, etc.

I'll put you down for serial number 2. ;-)

Peter
 

Acrojet

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One of the reasons I fly a single-seat airplane. The only neck at risk from my piloting skills or wrench-turning ability is my own.

While I wish the effort the best of luck, there are a few items of concern.

What the category is certification expected? People who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spare for a single-seat jet kit are NOT the kind of people with 5,000 spare hours to build the aircraft. They'll hire someone. And if the plane is licensed Experimental Amateur-Built, that's fraud. A business plan based on customers willing to commit a felony is not a good one. I presume you're planning for Experimental Exhibition? But that's got more limits....

Next, there's the completion. Why would someone pay all that money for a kit, and the salary of someone to build it, when they can buy a flying L-39 for less?

Finally, there's the weight of history: Aviation is littered with unsuccessful homebuilt jets. The Zipper, the Javelin, the Maverick, the BD-10, and a couple more that I can't remember their names. The BD-5J is the closest to a successful design, but we're still not talking a lot of aircraft.

Ron Wanttaja
Ron,

Thanks for chiming in. We're at the early design/fabrication stage. At this point, we're going to be very similar to the FLS Microjet and the SubSonex except a little bigger (x2). Again, any jet aircraft requires a Type Rating and of course that comes with training. If one has the time to build one on their own then it will certainly be "amateur" category. If they have someone else build it for them, it would be experimental exhibition Catagory. And then there are legitimate builder assist programs that we could certainly set up. Time and testing will tell. You made a good decision about your skills as a builder and pilot and have made a decision to fly accordingly and that's good.
This (60%) F-16 is almost a two place BD-5j (or SubSonex) it's twice the size in weight and we've tried to match the powerplant to suit our needs. Keeping it light (powerplant is the key) and simple (KISS). I'm obviously very familiar with the BD-5J (I own and fly one of Jim Bede's original BD Jets, N152BD. It's 43 years old now and is still running strong!!) and that has kinda been my starting point for this two-place F-16. Being very careful in keeping the weight and sizing down.

With all those "other" jet kits you listed they were riddled with issues almost from the start, Im trying not to have those issues, at least not intentionally.
They (Viperjet, BD-10, maverick, Javelin, etc) are in a total different class - complex, too heavy, large expensive fuel thirsty engines. As I've stated several times, our powerplant will be the key. If it doesn't work, then I won't proceed until the engine technology catches up. But we're almost there. The core engine is a 250lb thrust turbojet (very similar in size and rating as the PBS TJ-100) that weighs a whopping 50lbs and is up and running very well, ceramic bearings and all. The added fan and gear box will increase the weight by 45lbs and the increases the thrust by almost a factor of 3 @ roughly the same fuel burn. Very similar to the Williams EJ22.

As far as who's in the market? That's not my primary concern. The important things is that I want one! Otherwise I wouldn't do it. But having said that, I know lots of guys who will buy one, trust me. I have a buddy of mine who's paying $230,000.00 for a FLS Microjet and he's going thru their "builder assist" program now, and it's got only one seat! So I know there are people out there who will buy it. I'm not doing this to sell hundreds of kits, I mean that would be nice, but that's not why I doing it. I fly with a lot of frustrated former fighter jocks at my airline job and they are all with me! There's not much out there that really turns them on. Sure there were some hopefuls, but they never panned out for various reasons.
I must qualify that by first saying that I'm building this because "I" want one and if it goes well I will offer it to people who can and will buy one at a price-point that is fair for what they are getting.

L-39 comparison - there is none. That's a total different class of jet fun. A decent L-39 will run you ~$200-300,000.00 then there's the operating cost and hanger cost, maintenance costs on a foreign military jet. Remember this designed to be a fairly econimcal jet, simple in design from the start and cheaper to operate than any other military jet available. This scale jets engine is small and very fuel efficient. 30/40 gal of JetA per hour. The L-39 burns that amount just taxiing to the runway. I have a buddy who owns one of those too and he says it's fun, but exspensive to operate.

In your travels did you get a chance to ever fly the BD-10, Viperjet, BD-5J, SubSonex? If so, what was your assessment of them? I'd be curious to know. Great reading your articles.

Peter
 
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