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Geraldc

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I am looking at a long weekend with stay at home orders and expect we may all have an interest in some stay at home aviation entertainment. What could be more interesting than to design the perfect aircraft. As stated many times aircraft design begins with mission specifications.

OK, The clock is running. What are the specifications for the perfect virtual aircraft.

Rules:

1. It must be affordable. Not saying by who or how much it could cost but is must be cost effective. A bicycle is cost effective, A car is cost effective. To some, a boat is cost effective. To even fewer individuals an aircraft is cost effective. A train is not cost effective.

2. It must not violate normally accepted physical principles. F=ma, E=m(C squared), entropy/enthalpy theory, etc.

3. It must function on planet earth within existing physical parameters. No Zeppelin masts on top of tall buildings. That includes Sky Car charging stations.

4. It must be new design requirements. No physical item shown on the internet can meet these specifications.

5. Reserved for additional rules.

Specifications required include

1. Minimum, maximum and designed range and speed.
2. Occupant capacity.
3. Maximum empty and gross weight. or payload. Edit: Per post #8.
4. Maximum operating cost and purchase cost.
5. Storage requirements.
6. Any additional limitations to be avoided.

Note: It is ok to reference and existing design. For example; a tailwind with 45 knot stall speed and wings fold in less than 5 minutes with no more than 25 pound weight increase and 10 hours build time.

Or, A Cessna 150 with room for two, 220 pound occupancy and no more than 150 hp. Other specifications the same except cruise speed of 100 kts.

Be reasonable!
No mention of thread drift.
 

jedi

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Thanks to all that responded. I believe that HBA readers and participants are a sample of the best informed and most devoted of the GA population.

I believe my experiment was a success in spite of the small sample size consisting of 43 responses from 17 participants including myself.

Of the 43 posts roughly half (22) were considered comments or off topic. Of the 17 who posted 14 included comments contributing to a design proposal.

Responses were cataloged into 13 subject areas and tabulated to determine the relative importance of each of those areas. It is important to note that the small sample size limits the validity of any conclusions derived and are only a general indication of possible design goals.

I was encouraged by the interest in single seat aircraft. Seven comments were directed towards development of a single seat aircraft. Typically the first comment the designer of a single seat aircraft receives is “Will there be a two seat version?” It is also noted that many of the single seat comments indicated a desire for increased pilot and baggage weight. One should design with growth in mind.

Six comments were directed towards improved performance, generally speed or range but also rate of climb in a particular class of aircraft.

5 comments requested improved performance for takeoff or landing of Ultra Light or bush aircraft for STOL performance.

Four comments were cataloged in each of the following categories:

Cost – There is a cap to what any particular owner is willing to commit to however the purchaser is looking towards bang for the buck within that limit as defined by the other parameters outlined in this survey.

Cross country performance – There is a sub class of pilots for which range and speed are significant requirements. As noted above there may be more interest in aircraft with UL or STOL performance indicating that aircraft intended for A to B travel are readily available or in less demand.


There were three comments related to utility or trailer (road) ability. There is significant interest in aircraft that are not tied to an airport. The ability to be operated off airport on snow or water or random open area is limited but a benefit to a specific group of pilots.

Two comments each were received in each of the following categories:

Engine development – A better power system can improve any aircraft. There is interest in a low cost, relatively low power industrial engine for aircraft use.

Safety and flight training – Safety and flight training are always important. There is a measured need for both and a desire to improve the status quo.

One comment was received in each of the following areas:

Ease of entry and exit – A recognition of the well known fact that the most difficult task of a pilot is frequently entering and exiting the aircraft

Aerobatic capabilities – A small group of pilots are not satisfied with the position of the earth in space and on a regular basis have a need to demonstrate their ability to turn the earth upside down. This is not to be confused with those fine pilots who reside “down under”.

Inflatable components – This is an area that needs more discussion as there was one brief comment with limited detail.

It appears that multiple members may be interested in follow up on a sporty FAR 103 type STOL off road vehicle that can be transported by road. There is certainly the ability to make improvements in that direction. Agree?

That concludes my assessment. Other opinions are welcome.
 
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REVAN

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It appears that multiple members may be interested in follow up on a sporty FAR 103 type STOL off road vehicle that can be transported by road. There is certainly the ability to make improvements in that direction. Agree?
Maybe a quick survey of the people here that are interested in this type?

Please click the like button on this post if you are in the 'interested' group. This will give us a quick tally.
 

Hot Wings

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I'm interested in the mission but for me a part 103 Gyro is really a better fit. Only downside is more power is required. This is probably way off what others are thinking.......so no 'like'
 

jedi

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Honey Bee is a good FAR 103 gyro. What would you improve in the Vaperware competition?

Then answer the same question about the old Bensen.

I would think first change would be the engine for the Bensen, then a prerotor for both the Bensen and the Honey Bee. Next would be the cost of which the engine is a driving force.

Industrial engines like the small V block Harbor Freight engines lack sufficient power. What is next?
 
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Hot Wings

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Honey Bee is a good FAR 103 gyro. What would you improve in the Vaperware competition?
<< >>
Industrial engines like the small V block Harbor Freight engines lack sufficient power. What is next?
Vaporware improvements?

Tractor gyro to start. Yes, less visibility than the typical pusher but still much better than the average plane. This also streamlines the gyro by getting the high drag pilot out of the wind without adding structure that is there only to streamline.
With a little less drag, a performance tweaked industrial gets into the hp range needed for part 103 performance. At my altitude that probably means a turbo. Durability is a little less important in a gyro.

Next on the vaporware list is amphibious. Floats on a gyro open up all kinds of small ponds and puddles in my part of the world.

Getting high tech would be a set of optimized blades to reduce drag and weight. With composites we could move the center of twist to control rotor speed under different loads and use airfoils matched to each station.

Another off the wall* idea that just occurred to me is using variable weights in a similar manner as gliders do except use the water to weight the rotor tips for high inertia and then drain them for those times when a low inertia blade is desired. Refill in flight from a fuselage supply.

* No, I haven't had my morning tea - it is still brewing. Irish Breakfast today.
 

Victor Bravo

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I think I must have missed the part where this was about a gyro versus a fixed wing. If that's the case, sorry to have drifted the thread with such a lowbrow concept as fixed wing 🤐
 

Hot Wings

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It's vaporware! Anything goes. ;)
Just add a wing, like the Pitciarns or the Carter Copter and it should fall within the fixed wing limitation as well. Probably won't meet part 103.
*
*
*
Agree, it does kind of violate the intent of the thread.

This is probably way off what others are thinking.......
 

jedi

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Vaperware weekend contest did not limit the category of aircraft. My proposal of post #3 did eliminate paragliders as a component of the specifications for a particular proposal. That may have been confusing. The intent was to imply that the structure needed to be self supporting when not being flown. No lay the wing on the ground then go fly.

You may notice that I "liked" the gyro improvements proposed above. I am a sport pilot gyro CFI with experience going back to the Bensen days of 1972. Although I am a member of the Scapoose OR gyro EAA club, gyros are not my primary area of interest at the moment.

My primary area of interest is roadable FAR 103 with combined fixed wing and flex wing technology/characteristics . It is somewhat akin to Mark Stall's project but much much different in concept.

In response to the comment in post #50 above: "Agree, it does kind of violate the intent of the thread." No, that is not true.

The Hotwings gyro was well within the intent of the "Vaporware" thread. Just not in tune with other fixed wing proposals.

That said, mission specifications do not dictate, per se, the type of craft. Example: VTOL could be helicopter, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Hiller flying platform, jet pack, or shuttle resupply booster rocket.

What is in your mission specifications that drives the solution to a gyrocopter?
 
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Hot Wings

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What is in your mission specifications that drives the solution to a gyrocopter?
For me:
Easy and quick to trailer.
All that needs to be disassembled are the rotor blades. For some hub styles this could be as simple as removing one bolt and pivoting the free blade parallel to the other and then supporting the free ends on the trailer.

Short landing and takeoff.
There is enough wind here that a pre-rotator may turn out to be an extravagance. My envisioned mission is to trailer close to my final destination (hiking/fishing) and fly to the final location for the day, or overnight.

Speed is not all that important. Even a true 30 mph ground speed, direct, saves a lot of time and energy that would have to be expended hiking from the road to the point of interest.......which is often surrounded by private property.

Baggage capacity.
Enough to carry a days worth of provisions and fishing gear. 20 pounds would be nice. 15 would be acceptable.
 
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TFF

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A buddy of mine had a RAF. He had a CFI gyro license. I always thought it took a good bit more runway even with a pre rotor than the “advertising”. He mostly turned into the rotor, and I know he had a low rotor takeoff once and was able to land on the road and drive back through the gate. Learn by luck. I would not like to fly back country like a Cub with one. The guys who bought it, ended up totaling it.
 

jedi

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New rules - anything goes!

Stolen from another popular thread but off topic there.

*Is there an average trip distance for private aviation?

My answer - Yes, but it doesn't mean anything.

The question is posed here because range is a part of the specifications for any vaporware project.

There is the story of the importer that decided to go into the business of importing shoes for the native tribes of Africa. He did a quick study and found the average shoe size was 9 1/2 so he applied the standard bell curve and ordered 100,000 shoes.

Bottom line - He did not account for the variations among the various tribes. The short pigmy and the unusually tall Dinka and Tutsi were left without shoes while the Italian importerr was left swimming in his overstock of size eight thru ten.

The typical hamberger run is likey about 50 miles while the annual trip to Oshkosh is probably 10% less than max range.

What are your vaporware range requirements?

*
Is there an average trip distance for private aviation?
 

Hot Wings

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What are your vaporware range requirements?
For me:
Part 103ish STOL on a trailer = 50 miles out and 50 back to refuel at the trailer.
A plane that depends on a prepared runway or smooth field = 200 miles to the next fuel stop/burger......... which also happens to be the distance to the nearest glider field.
 

mcrae0104

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What are your vaporware range requirements?
For me, the range is not an absolute requirement per se but it's a product of endurance and the selected cruise speed.

My mission involves flights to various places at about 1,000 mi. While we could design a plane to haul around enough gas to do that nonstop, it would make for a long day in the saddle (at my cruise speed) and the weight penalty (and therefore rate of climb based on a fixed engine selection) for this single-point long range requirement wouldn't be acceptable. Endurance of 3-4 hours is good for me, making a one-stop day's range of 1,200 mi or so.
 

Victor Bravo

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A Part 103 STOL airplane will have the range automatically limited to about 60-90 miles, no? 5 gallons at 2.5 gal/hr and 55 mph max, and a STOL airplane will have more drag than a cruiser???
 

jedi

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I am more concerned with minimum range. What is the shortest trip you have ever taken? What is the shortest practical trip?

I once took off in an ultralight to get around the Cessna that was blocking the taxiway. That was cool.

Some people want to fly like a bird. I like to watch the birds and and guess how far they will walk versus takeoff, fly and land.

My vaperware would be regularly used to fly a mile anything less I could walk. But, if the UL is right outside the door and the weather is great, why walk when you can fly.

Run the same thought game with a bicycle.. My 60's factory job had bicycles for the foreman. Anything over 1,000 feet, take the bike. Max ride was about a mile between stops.

A bike goes 15 mph. An UL might do 60 mph. Multiply the 1,000 feet by 4 and the vaporware UL should be good for 3/4 mile to 4 mile range short haul trips. Obviously these are off airport operations. This is typical powered paraglider flying.

It is also why post #2 said no paragliders. It does not work with an inflatable wing like a powered paraglider or powered parachute. Wing layout and preflight is too involved. A fixed wing or rapid wing deploy/stow cycle is needed for such operations.
 
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