- Aug 24, 2021
this plane has had a good reception reddit, mostly for the energy source https://www.reddit.com/r/AerospaceEngineering/comments/pkmdz6
hi, this type of aircraft could be used thetered to a balloon (filled with hydrogen or biomethane) as cited in the thread world travelling hybrid aircraft-balloon airship powered by the jet stream and an array of isothermal air motors and solar stirling engines., however solar stirling has 40% efficiency compared to 20% PV and isothermal compressed air has 4 times the capacity of lithium ion and solar stirling can be used to compress air for night flight, so this airplane alone could outperform range and flight time of solar impulse that had problems with battery heating and completed a 7.200 km during the longest leg flight from japan to hawaii in 117 hours.
these are recent developments and i tried to include an appropriate mix to improve the handling and safety of a tailless flying wing that was chosen because it has plenty of wing area for solar energy, wider cabin and stronger structure all based in the wing, compared to the sailplane design of solar impulse aircraft where structural support is wasted in the fuselage and engines pods. this is a high efficient airplane which can increase flying over the sea by using the ground effect, and it's the only seaplane or airplane that doesn't disturb whales, marine, birds or human populations because both stirling engines and rotary vane pistonless air engines can be silent. this is a four seater cabin with reclined position and can be used as unmanned vehicle for valuable cargo transportation as pharmaceutics or disaster relief. there are some reasons and sources behind this setup.
this is an STOL, however to reduce reliance from infrastructure there's the possibility of make it VTOL by changing the propellers placement and by using pneumatic actuators moving the propellers from 90º in the few seconds of hoovering for take off and landing to 0º in climbing and cruising mode, and also can be made a seaplane by modifying the fuselage shape.
push propellers are less efficient but give stability to tailless aircrafts.
mini fresnel lenses are a recent possibility due to developments in tracking-less solar concentration, for example this paper "Solar concentrator based multipurpose sunlight harvesting system without tracking 2019"
isothermal air technology comes from recent ICAES storage plants publications. it can use molten salt or soy wax as heat storage to heat the air when is released from the tanks trough a heat exchanger system, some fresnel lenses can be used to reheat that molten salt or soy wax.
the aircraft can be built with fiber reinforced recycled or bio thermoplastics as well with biobased carbon fiber and bioepoxy (as well recyclamine hardening) using diy additive manufacturing techniques as braiding for the tanks, cnc tape layering for the skin and fiber reinforced 3d printing and post printing cnc milling for accurate parts using recycled nylon for example and all those machines can be built diy. on the other hand salt annealing of thermoplastics is a curing process that increases the strength necessary for aerospace use.
thermoplastic fiber reinforced air tanks are being developed for hydrogen cars, in case of collision they puncture releasing the air. the air tanks can be made meters long used as structural wing spars.
the ducted propellers could be retracted and the stirling engines could power 4 isothermal compressors in multistage connection using intercooler feed with high altitude cold air to refill the tanks and extend range, so the plane can fly in gliding mode to extend range or fly during the night.
to reduce the weight further the wings can be made with tensairity (already published) or inflatables inside using tensairity concept that is used for emergency bridges.
the airfoil shape and twist comes from nasa prandrl-m that has 53:1 glide ratio or L/d ratio and the overall shape is similar to lauk cygnus with 50:1 l/d ratio.
the counterwise propeller to counter the wing tip vortice comes from nasa DEP electric aircraft x-57.
distributed propulsion with ducted propeller array comes from "Aerodynamic Performance and Interaction Effects of Circular and Square Ducted Propellers 2020".
boundary layer ingestion comes from "A Review of Distributed Electric Propulsion Concepts for Air Vehicle Technology 2018".
45 degree rudders come from several recent uav research.
tensegrity morphing elevons comes from several scientific papers.
morphing study in aircrafts comes from darpa smart wing program and other papers.
c-wing comes from "Investigation and Design of a C-Wing Passenger Aircraft 2016".