# twin boom pusher plans

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##### Well-Known Member
Yep. There's a reason I'm doing my flying wing single seat for the first version... I wouldn't be terribly comfortable asking anyone else to get in it with me. But I'm designing, constantly, with the idea towards a second version with a second seat.

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Well, are you pushing the envelope, or are you building within the norm? For instance, no doubt, someone could build a Cub-type airplane as a two-seater. A flying wing is a different beast. Also, the presence of two seats doesn't require you to have someone with you...

But it does complicate the process.. and it does lead to temptation. I ride motorcycles and when I started, that was the toughest thing. There was a cute girl.. and I had two seats... but I was a new rider. I knew I shouldn't... but dang... she was cute... odds are, nothing was going to happen... I'd take it slow... Temptation arises.

Nothing wrong with starting out two place, but you do have to appreciate the complication it adds to the design... and the risks of human factors (such as horny-ness, for example) creeping in...

I'm just saying... :roll:
Ah yes... while most truly revolutionary experimental prototypes are built as a single seat, let us not forget the 3-seat Spaceship One! Of, course, the X-prize requirements did dictate 3 seats.

As for the rest of us who are stretching the envelope without the X-prize mandate, we can always extend our motto from "Share the joy" to a broader concept: "Share the joy, share the terror". :roll:

Nothing wrong with building a prototype with more than one seat, but I'm sure we would all agree that thorough testing is in order before populating the extra seats.

Bruce :gig:

#### MalcolmW

##### Well-Known Member
Okay, Cheetah650;

Here’s a glimpse of what I believe you’re looking for in a short take-off, high-visibility (observation) aircraft. I found more pictures of it, which should give you an idea of what a well-designed aircraft should look like. Apparently this is a derivation of a design (about ten-years old) called a ‘SAI G97 Spotter.’ Aero Motor Academy | index

And, to confirm that it is a ‘STOL’ aircraft, here’s a short clip of it taking off…
I hope that you can finally figure out what you can ‘compromise’ upon, since there never is a perfect aircraft, especially when you intend to build it yourself. Too bad the SkyMaxx went out of production.

Oh, I've added this as an edit - it's a 'Power-Point' of a SkyMaxx sales brochure with lots of pretty pictures. I hope you can open it http://www.all4education.de/downloads/sky.ppt

All the best, and fly safe.
MalcolmW

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#### cheetah650

##### Member
this is a catia drawing i made back when i was playing with idea of mid-engine pusher configuration. wings look out of proportion since i was after relatively higher wing loading cruise Cl of 0.4 or so.

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#### CNCRouterman

##### Well-Known Member
Greetings,
The Ion seems to meet a lot of the original goals stated. Some posts indicate concerns about Ion Aircraft's lack of updates on the website, engine changes, wing changes etc. and importantly the question of whether it is still an active work in progress. So, having Steve's number on my cell phone, I called him.

Ion Aircraft is definitely alive and kickin'. Here are some updates on their project.

The original Jabaru engine has been retired do to several plaguing issues that were not surmounted during the flight testing regime: Cooling- Difficulties in maintaining even cooling for all cylinders proved a moving target. They did get them reasonably close, but Steve did not like the contortions required, and they still varied more than Steve felt was appropriate. Unexplained loss of static RPM. This problem arose after a number of test flights, and there was no traceable cause. Steve explained (when it happened last year) that they check, rechecked, and re-rechecked everything, prop, balance, track, runout, fuel, air, oil, etc. etc. and could not figure out why they suddenly lost 300 or so RPM on static runup. They returned the engine to the distributor who still doesn't know why they had the problem. As the flight testing of the airframe still has to get done, Steve and company selected their alternate choice, the Rotax. He is now, as I type this, building a replacement engine cowl to accommodate the new mill. Steve did say that the Rotax does have a couple of benefits over the Jab. It is about 60 lbs lighter and is liquid cooled. Knowing from past conversations that this prototype, like many, ended up a bit tail heavy (relative to target weights), the lighter powerplant is a good thing. The one slightly less than optimal characteristic mentioned is that the Rotax has a PSRU gearbox, which was one reason Steve had banked on the Jabaru direct drive 6 cylinder initially on the airframe.

Regarding the new wings- this is not quite accurate. The wings have suffered a few dings and dents during the long development period, and spent a lot of time off the airframe, however, they were reconditioned and sound for the initial test flights. Recently (Steve did not say just when) the right wing lost an argument with an errant fuel truck so Roger is making a new set with the same airfoil and aerodynamic specs. This is actually somewhat of a good thing, as the new wings are going to be lighter. The first set used solid ribs and spars where the new set will be using the updated versions with appropriate lightening features, more in line with what will be used in production.

Regarding the overall lack of documented progress. Steve is busy with the aircraft, and less concerned about the website. From an advertising standpoint, not a great result, but Steve and company are self funded, and not dependent upon outside/customer deposits to keep the lights on. This is both good and bad, good because they do not want to treat others the way Dreamwings (copyright or trademarked) treated them, and bad, because they do not have depositor's funds in the bank to expedite the remaining tasks to bring the product to market.

Steve Schultz is a meticulous individual who has a good grasp of project management, and who is not willing to trade expediency for safety. From a fiscal standpoint, and I have done business with him, Steve is a conservative, pay as you go, stay out of debt, get the best bang for the money, build it right or don't release it until it's ready type of businessman.

The apparent lack of progress is just that, apparent, there is a lot that goes into a project like this, and it takes real discipline to dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's", discipline that Steve has demonstrated admirably. This is the kind of operation a customer can have real confidence in.

I believe/hope that Steve will be looking for a few, select individuals to take the next step, after flight testing is done, to build several flying platforms concurrently to prove out the production steps and methods before final roll out of the kit. Assuming I have the discretionary funds, I hope to be one of them (unless I build one of Bill Husa's designs first and run out of room/money). Time will tell.

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Well, that's good to hear. I still question whether or not they're "tweaking" the design for too long, but I'm not there and don't really know what's going on.

I will agree that yes, they're making a huge mistake by allowing their website to go 'cold', and the speculation that's taken place here - of which I was a part - is prime evidence of that, and also evidence of the bad PR that can result from neglecting their interface with the community and potential customers.

I'm happy to hear that Steve's funding is secure, but this is still not a time to let their marketing slide, no matter what's going on with the airplane. I completely respect their desire to distance themselves from DreamWing's practice (and am glad to hear it!), but "marketing" goes far beyond "advertising" and is fundamental to running a sound business practice. You have to keep your customer base aware of your product - and involved with its development if it is not yet on-sale. Letting that customer/community involvement lag now is going to kill sales later on. They need to keep the 'buzz' going, or they'll turn around and find that nobody remembers who they are when it comes time to start selling kits.

I wish them well, and hopefully they'll bring the airplane to market soon. Thanks for the update!

#### CNCRouterman

##### Well-Known Member
Legitimate points Topaz, I will see if I can entice Steve to read this thread and contribute, but I doubt he has much spare time. Having sat in the Ion several times, only once when everything was attached, I can say that it feels good, really puts a grin on your face. I could just imagine enjoying the thrill of flying with such a great view. I hope to get a ride or two this summer. I would bet that it will be ready for a full function fly in at the next Osh though. The instrument cluster was full up when I sat in her last year, cool little glass display with all kinds of features. Center stick fore and aft, regular pedals, almost F16 like canopy.

I don't think that "tweaking" in the sense of reworking something that is already up to spec is accurate. The craft is functional now (except re-engine-ing), just not quite up to expectations (well, Steve's anyway). The current work, and a major delay, has been centered around a cantankerous powerplant (the Jab). Re-engine-ing means a new cowl, new motor mount, new exhaust, adding a radiator, including ducting, moving the oil cooler, re-calculating weight and balance, adjusting the nose ballast (battery), possibly a new prop and prop extension due to change in torque curve from one engine to another and positioning of the engine's axial position. Plus, I remember Steve saying that he still had to shave weight from a number of components, rework the main gear spring or mounts, and he would like to change the front gear as well. All of these thing require careful consideration, evaluation, engineering, fabrication, test fitting, actual testing etc. Since Steve is careful and safety conscious, it all takes time and resources, and more time.

I will encourage Steve to update their website.

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Oh, it's a neat design, and if they're capitalized and handle the marketing at all competently, they'll sell quite a few, IMHO. I've mentioned elsewhere here that I'm happy to see something that isn't a low-wing tractor monoplane come to market again - we're in another phase where most of the main competitors look alike, and that's no good for anyone. I don't know if you remember the old Acura TV ad from the late '80's, where a couple comes out of a restaurant and the valet brings the wrong car up to them, repeatedly. "No, mine's the black Buick." The thrust of the ad was that all the period mid-range luxury cars of various models parked in the valet area looked exactly alike - except the Acura. And they were right. Apparently that ad really torqued some heads in the auto industry. Whole design departments were born of the aftermath.

It's nice to see someone breaking the mold in aviation, too.

What you describe sounds - to me - like classic "endless tweaking", especially when you say it's "...just not quite up to expectations (well, Steve's anyway)" [emphasis mine]. Babbage was a classic example - the world would've had a programmable mechanical computer (his "analytical engine") back in the 19th century if Babbage hadn't been such a perfectionist about his designs. Someone recently built a module of his last design - which he rejected as "unacceptable" - and it worked perfectly.

Please don't interpret this as any kind of shot against Steve or his company - I don't know either personally - but rather just a concern based upon outward appearences. It's very easy for designers and engineers to get caught up endlessly 'perfecting' their design and never actually "let go" and let it get off to market. I've seen it many times before. Heck, anyone who's known me long enough on these boards could tell you that I'm probably more guilty of this behavior than Steve ever would or could be - at least he's got hardware that he's working upon! :gig:

Again, I'm not at all involved in ION Aircraft or the design of the Ion, but on the surface it seems to me that it would be better to fix the cooling problems (new cowling/baffling) and possibly install a different Jab engine to resolve (or at least test) the static RPM difficulties, rather than redesign the airplane for an entirely different motor.

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#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
this is a catia drawing i made back when i was playing with idea of mid-engine pusher configuration. wings look out of proportion since i was after relatively higher wing loading cruise Cl of 0.4 or so.
I think you need to talk with Grey_Out. :gig:

#### cheetah650

##### Member
I think you need to talk with Grey_Out. :gig:
yes this is pretty much like what gray is working on now. the only difference being structure is all composite. it is mostly drive shaft concerns that has scared me away. i was thinking of filament wound drive shaft or a aluminun one supported with many bearings between the ends.

#### sconner

##### New Member
Just found this thread, because I was looking for information on the ION and I found in this 3 year old thread exactly what I was afraid I would find. I have searched the Yahoo group and I do not see any "updates"
So the best I can tell, this plane has been flying now for 5 years and they are still not to production or kit sales?
CNCRouterman, if you are still here and still have Steve's # maybe you could give an update for the ION?

Scott

#### etterre

##### Well-Known Member
Just found this thread, because I was looking for information on the ION and I found in this 3 year old thread exactly what I was afraid I would find. I have searched the Yahoo group and I do not see any "updates"
So the best I can tell, this plane has been flying now for 5 years and they are still not to production or kit sales?
CNCRouterman, if you are still here and still have Steve's # maybe you could give an update for the ION?

Scott
Last significant update (fall 2011?) from the Yahoo group that I saw on the ION was that work was progressing on prototype #2 and the goal was weight reduction. I did ask for pics of proto #2, but haven't seen any. My guess is that they're busy building it, but don't think updates are worthwhile since it looks just like proto #1.

#### topspeed100

##### Banned
this is a catia drawing i made back when i was playing with idea of mid-engine pusher configuration. wings look out of proportion since i was after relatively higher wing loading cruise Cl of 0.4 or so.

This would work if the electric engine on the back and batteries in front cone.

#### CNCRouterman

##### Well-Known Member
Re: twin boom pusher plans- ION

Greetings,
I haven't talked with Steve for a while now. Last time I was at Janefield we were discussing a re-do of the engine cowling, and a new vendor for the nose gear. Sounds like he has the main gear sourced, the avionics, motor and prop pretty well dialed in. There was a ground adjustable prop on it at the time. Current (at the time) issues that equate to a burr under Steve's saddle were: Engine cooling on the ground, debating on keeping flaps or no flaps, trimming some additional weight from the aft section, and settling on a canopy latching system, and a checklist of miscellaneous details.

One thing to bear in mind is that Steve is doing the majority of the work himself. He hires engineers, Carbon Fibre Layup shops, and various other assets as needed, but at our last meeting, he was adamant that the whole works was "pay as you go", and it is all coming out of his pocket (and a few other co-investors). Steve has been doing the development full time, I believe he cashed out his previous business to run this program, and I don't think he is getting paid, not till the company actually starts selling the product, so I have confidence that he is not sitting around wasting time, and he has demonstrated the integrity and will power to make sure that the final product is what he says it is, and is as safe as he can make it.