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        Idea Project Leaf in the Wind

#1 Jon Snow May 13, 2012 04:24 PM

Project Leaf in the Wind
When Richard posed his question re swept wings or planks,I thought why not both ie a swing wing.Not wanting to clutter a serious discussion with what is probably fantasy I thought I'd post a new thread.
First thoughts were the hinge;scissors type,which would mean a step to keep the wings in the same line,or separate hinges for each half.Bearings shouldn't be a problem,plain sliding surfaces or a light weight ball race.
How to move the wings;a scissors mechanism driven by a threaded shaft motor.Could this also move the cog to suit the wing configuration.
It was while considering the force required to do this that I thought about the wing tips used on planks and gliders.If these were movable,when"toed out" would they assist in moving the wing tips apart and therefore forward.
At this point I googled" swing wing flying wing" to see if this had already been tried,and of course it has.I hope this works www.google.com/patents/US4605183
If not do the search it's on the first page.
This idea seems to be to automatically adjust the sweep angle to find the best glide speed for the wing; does any body have any more info on it?
The pages wouldn't scroll down for me,if someone could gets the plan and specs I wouldn't mind having a tinker with this.

#2 Shedofdread May 13, 2012 05:25 PM

I object to having any discussion I started refered to as 'serious'.... ;)

I'm really not sure what the advantages of this approach would be. Unless of course supersonic flight is on your 'to-do' list.

If you want to look at something that [I think] has merit and satisfies the mad-inventor urge in all of us have a look at - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_SB.4_Sherpa . Someday, I'll build something that works on that principle - why? Just because...


#3 Jon Snow May 13, 2012 05:43 PM

Richard,It's another one of those" I wonder if"things.:)I find the best way to stop them cluttering up my skull is to subject you guys to them.Once they're
knocked back I can get on with something worthwhile.Who knows,one day.....
I've seen the Sherpa before;can't help equating it with a flying van:D
Regards Stuart

#4 nmasters May 13, 2012 06:57 PM

Variable sweep has been mentioned many times in the last 60 years as a potential way to get pitch trim without using trailing edge control surfaces for that job. I can't remember anybody actually building one though. It should work after all it's basically just weight shift. There could be a problem going fast though. Light, low profile, hinges can lack adequate stiffness.


#5 HerkS May 13, 2012 07:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Stupot46 (Post 21603048)
The pages wouldn't scroll down for me,if someone could gets the plan and specs I wouldn't mind having a tinker with this.

Stuart - there is a button at the top of that page (Download PDF)

You can save the entire patent application on your computer. Or you can get it right here. All the pictures and description are there - 21 pages

#6 Jon Snow May 14, 2012 03:00 AM

Thanks for that Herks.I've tried searching a bit more,drawn a blank.I'll have to experiment with this when time allows.
Regards Stuart

#7 macboffin May 30, 2012 03:32 PM

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Norm, some info for you. Barnes Wallis designed "Swallow" and "Grey Goose" swing wings way back. Scaled prototypes of both were first flown in 1950 by radio control, the Swallow was powered by two jet engines, was about fifty feet span. Made about thirty flights, on last flight got out of control and crashed in a farmers field, killing a cow. Prior to failure of the rather primitive radio control system, (adapted from a type of system used to control Queen Bees, radio controlled version of the De Havilland Tiger Moth used as a gunnery target) flew very well with wide speed range and good manuovrability. More recently there have been small ducted fan and even turbine powered R/C model versions. There is a wealth of info on the Net about these designs.

#8 macboffin May 30, 2012 03:48 PM

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Regarding the force needed to move wings for and aft, the Bell X5 swing wing aircraft had manually operated wings, a single lever moved the wings, so obviously not a lot of effort needed, although I would imagine that the "Lancer" B1 and the F111 have powered swing arrangements!

#9 birdofplay May 30, 2012 10:02 PM

The IcarusV and Easy Riser UFM hang gliders used weight shift and drag rudders.

They were also Swept with dihedral and washout.

Weight Shift might be much easier to Build and fly with than Swing Wings

#10 lincoln May 30, 2012 10:57 PM

On a small and light model, maybe just twist the entire wing instead.

#11 macboffin Jun 01, 2012 04:14 PM


Originally Posted by lincoln (Post 21758350)
On a small and light model, maybe just twist the entire wing instead.

Been done a lot from way-back.

#12 Jon Snow Jun 01, 2012 04:45 PM

Not much good with links,but demondriver started a swing wing build over on electric sailplanes.Seems to be stalled at the moment,but he's an experienced builder,maybe he'll make the thing work.

#13 Undercarter Jun 05, 2012 01:44 AM

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Just when you think you've got a handle on aviation history, something new pops up.

Here's a pic of Barnes Wallis's Wild Goose design. Is that Wallis bending over on the inside of the launch trolley? A manned version called the Heston JC.9 was commenced but cancelled before completion. The aircraft had no control surfaces, relying on sweeping its wings together or independently. Wallis called it the wing-controlled aerodyne.

I believe the second pic is a model of the Swallow airliner.

Sir Barnes Wallis website is worth a visit.

#14 Jon Snow Jun 05, 2012 03:17 AM

Thanks for all these guys.That's what's so good about these forums;throw an idea out and info just pours in.
Designers like Wallis and the guys who came up with the kind of ideas on Luft46 for example had the know how but lacked the technology to put their theories into practice.
Regards Stuart

#15 Undercarter Jun 05, 2012 07:39 AM

I'd say what put the kibosh on Wallis's designs was lack of funding and other support, rather than any technological issues. Duncan Sandys' Defence White Paper gutted the UK aircraft industry after 1957. According to the Barnes Wallis website, the variable geometry wing technology for the F-111 was based on Wallis's work, to the point that Vickers considered suing General Dynamics for breaching their patents.

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