Archive for the ‘ external link ’ Category

>Pipistrel 200 kts 4-seat hybrid aircraft

>Pipistrel is working on a new novel concept which would be a four seater and cruise 200 kts with relatively low power (200 kts at 160 hp). I have seen some references to it for quite some time now, but finally bumped into a blog post at Cafefoundation blog which includes also a rendering of the model:

Cafefoundation: Pipistrel hybrid

Looks pretty much like aerodynamically quite much cleaned up Diamond DA40 with some features somewhat resembling Nemesis NXT racer (e.g. the wing geometry) although with higher aspect ratio. I am confident that Pipistrel will succeed with this project and will show how the general aviation planes of tomorrow can be both efficient and fast and will not require many hundreds of horse power to be fast. I think this is one of the most interesting ones of the new production aircraft coming in sometime in the future.

The blog post says it is not a parallel hybrid, would that indicate then that it would be a series hybrid. It will be very interesting to see what will come up from this project. I will write more about it when I find more details.

UPDATE: Noticed from Cafefoundation page the bottom note; (Editor’s Note: Pipistrel will roll out the airplane in the new year, and will not allow disclosure of more than what has been shared here until then.) – this may mean that we don’t hear more about this aircraft before 2012.

UPDATE 2: The new year referred on the previous post was written 2010, so if we are lucky, we will see roll out of the craft this year 2011 then. Lets wait and see. I am sure it will have specifications that will make some jaws dropping. Will be very interesting.

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PSRU for automotive engines

It seems that the usual condition for an aircraft PSRU is to fail. It appears to be difficult to design one (which is incredible, because similar speed reduction units are widely used in industry elsewhere and I am quite sure that there are established ways to design them properly).

I bumped into this manufacturer about which somebody flying a Ford engine was very happy about. So I decided to share the link if that interests you any.

http://www.alternate-airpower.com/

Not sure if the price-what you get ratio is anywhere one could call affordable (7500 per unit) taking in account that this is a chain drive unit rather than a sophisticated reduction gear. However, reportedly this works. And the web page says at the moment “PSRUs are temporarily unavailable “. Maybe this is temporary I hope.

Propeller design rethought

Most manufacturers design propellers in the same way and they read the old books and reports and the prop gets no more than 80-85% efficiency at best. It is written in books that propeller efficiency will be about that at best and it is left often open how low it can be at worst.

Here is an interesting article about a guy that made a prop that was 90 percent efficient by not abiding the “old truths” but thinking out of the box:

http://www.eaa.org/experimenter/articles/2009-02_elippse.asp

Having a strong taper certainly makes sense since the propeller tip travels very much faster than the root through the air. Also the old saying that single blade prop is most efficient does not make sense if you think it in detail: the air that enters in the next blade is not the same air that went through the previous blade because of the forward movement of the aircraft. This could be extrapolated in a such way, that the faster the aircraft travels, the more blades the propeller can have without sacrificing the propeller efficiency. This should not actually require very high mathematics, but I am quite sure that it could be estimated with simple calculations where the downwash of the previous blade goes in relation to the next blade on the speed range intended for the aircraft being designed.

High altitude propeller will require some additional thinking for the tip chord because the Reynolds number will become low if the chord is this short. The TAS is much higher at high altitude, therefore the air travels faster through the prop, that would mean that the prop could have more blades. The high altitude propeller does not require full efficiency at low altitude because to be able to operate at high altitude, there needs to be a lots of excess thrust available regardless.

Nice collection of tech papers (3LS and more)

Here is a yet another collection of tech papers, however, in this time in a quite hand-picked manner – those most interesting ones (Voyager liquid cooled engines, Rotary engines, three lifting surfaces papers etc.):

http://www.protonet.org/doc/

Go to get them, good stuff.

Rutan Proteus photo collection

NASA has nice photo collection. If you like the looks of the Proteus (in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful aircraft ever done), have a look:
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/Proteus/index.html

SpaceShipTwo unveiled

Here is a great article with pictures and video:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8400353.stm

Awesomely pretty machine. I would like to fly that thing (as a pilot rather than passenger).

MIT course materials online

I found this site quite interesting:
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm#AeronauticsandAstronautics

MIT course lecture material online for everybody for free.