Archive for the ‘ aircraft structure ’ Category

Saving time in building process and still ensuring high quality

There are now several different types of composite parts readily available for use. I was interested earlier in the pultruded carbon rods, but then I was thinking how to connect them with each other easily and there was no good solution for that. I was randomly surfing the web and found this one:

http://www.dragonplate.com/default.asp

Ready-made carbon sheets (could be used as bulkheads and wing ribs)
Pultruded carbon rods
Connection parts for the pultruded carbon rods.

With the connection parts available for example from this company, one could build a new kind of tube-fabric airplane or facet mobile, just glue some rods and sheets together and you are done. No welding required and end result will be stronger and lighter! It could be possible also build wing spar/internal wing structure like on the sky lifts from the rods and connection parts. It could be interesting how much longer wings could be achieved by optimized rod structure (and it could lead to higher aspect ratio for the same weight without aileron reversal and flutter problems).

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Airplane design from structural efficiency point of view combined with aerodynamics point of view – multi-domain optimization

So far I have been looking only the aerodynamics side, but it is quite evident that compromises are needed on the aerodynamics side to achieve the best structural efficiency. I think one good example is Virgin Global Flyer (Scaled Composites model 311). I have not analysed yet the structure, but common sense says that trimaran has weight placed more evenly along the wing span avoiding a very large point load in the middle where the single fuselage would normally exist. The trimaran may have more wetted area than a single fuselage, but on the other hand, weight savings in the very high aspect ratio wing and space gains for the extra fuel are in this concept very important factors.

I find the trimaran configuration quite interesting – several different engine placement configurations for example can be used with this configuration without changing the aerodynamic shape of the concept very much. It is also interesting because it allows placement of the main gear away from the center fuselage and thus provides greater stability on the ground when the aspect ratio is high even if there is fuel placed to the wings very far away from the center of gravity. And as can be seen the same design suits several different missions: Global Flyer is very much like White Knight 2 with SpaceShipTwo under it on the center. Almost the same configuration, adapted to different kind of mission for very different kind of parameters (Global Flyer = long range cruise, White Knight 2 = optimized for climb).

Global flyer drawing Google found from some site
Wikipedia has another great photo, this is from front

The configuration is not really so new and not so unproven either, as people might expect, here is one example where a similar configuration has been used a long time ago:
Northrop Widow
The only difference here is that the Northrop Widow was optimized for different mission than either of the abovementioned and that it had piston engines in front of the outer “fuselages” which were interconnected from the tail section similarly than in Adam A500 whereas the Global Flyer and White Knight Two have two separate tails. It is quite apparent why the tails are separate in these aircraft – because the outer fuselages are placed so widely apart from each other, connecting the tails would have made the tail unnecessarily large which would have caused negative effect for the drag despite it would have had fewer intersections. On the other hand, I have been looking different HALE concepts, and it is quite apparent that the number of intersections is not the major drag source in high altitude aircraft, but the induced drag is, and to minimize induced drag, more intersections can be allowed as the penalty from them is lesser than limiting the aspect ratio would be. This is why there are even some concepts considered at the moment which have wing struts – even if everybody knows that they produce drag, in some concepts, the significance of that drag can be proportionally small whereas the increased aspect ratio has major effect on minimizing the total drag of the aircraft. HALE aircraft have to be quite different than those which are designed to cruise at low altitude, the drag percentages of each contributors are quite different and “one size does not fit all”.

It is quite interesting area to explore when the structural efficiency is added to the equation in addition to the aerodynamics and the result is a compromise on both structures and aerodynamics instead of being optimized for either aerodynamics or for structures. The mission parameters tend to heavily affect both and best suited results can be achieved by combining these two and by knowing the intended use exactly, potentially bigger gains can be realized than in a concept that is a general purpose in everything (GA = GENERAL aviation).

Dynaero MCR-01

I had a chance to see the Dynaero MCR-01 yesterday at Malmi airport. Here are some interesting pictures about it:

Front:

Dynaero smile:

Back:

Double slotted flaps:

Flap mechanism:

Canopy:

Interesting finding: the upper slot is rigid part of the flap. It does not move by itself, and the mechanism is as simple as on plain flap or the single slotted flap found on Cirrus or Diamond. When the flap is retracted, the slot hides under the wing. Very clever design.

Dynaero MCR-01

I had a chance to see the Dynaero MCR-01 yesterday at Malmi airport. Here are some interesting pictures about it:

Front:

Dynaero smile:

Back:

Double slotted flaps:

Flap mechanism:

Canopy:

Interesting finding: the upper slot is rigid part of the flap. It does not move by itself, and the mechanism is as simple as on plain flap or the single slotted flap found on Cirrus or Diamond. When the flap is retracted, the slot hides under the wing. Very clever design.

>Dynaero MCR structure description

>I have been wondering how the Dynaero wing is constructed specifically. It has aluminum skin and composite structure inside. What kind of structure is pretty nicely described in the following document:

LAA TYPE ACCEPTANCE DATA SHEET TADS 301B, Dynaero MCR01 ULC

Dynaero MCR structure description

I have been wondering how the Dynaero wing is constructed specifically. It has aluminum skin and composite structure inside. What kind of structure is pretty nicely described in the following document:

LAA TYPE ACCEPTANCE DATA SHEET TADS 301B, Dynaero MCR01 ULC