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Old Oct 07, 2015, 07:16 AM
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A new yet old idea

I am starting a new thread to let miniphase have his own.

I have been wanting to build a full size ultra light glider since I was 12 years old. My dad inspired me with his ideas and sketches. He worked at Convair in San Diego in the early 50s. He was a wind tunnel model maker during that time. Projects like the F-102, F-106, and B-58. Lippisch was involved in these projects. Some of his friends at the time were fellas that loved gliders. I was taught early on to be a good model builder. Go figure.
Anyway, my love of flying wings began when after building so many airplane models that were typical cruciform planes with fuselages. I became lazy and figured if all I needed to do was build a wing.... I could save time, and get my ideas done faster. I was good at building wings, not fuselages.
So here it is 60 years later, and I have spent 25 yrs. building model flying wings. Hang gliding is my passion, but my body is not getting any younger. Sitting is easier. So that is my desire. Sit in an ultralite and soar like a bird in comfort. The model of this new glider is underway. I am trying some different building ideas {no epoxy} for one. I am very allergic to the stuff,so I have to be very careful.
So, stay tuned and hopefully in the coming weeks this thing will get finished.

Vern
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Old Oct 07, 2015, 08:09 AM
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Vern:
Sounds like an interesting childhood!

Sounds like an interesting and fun project ... I hope you'll be posting pics soon.

Regards-
Dave
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Old Oct 07, 2015, 08:33 AM
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Old Oct 07, 2015, 08:48 AM
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Any idea what the approach will be for the full size structural elements Vern? Will you get calculations done or take a steer from tried and tested designs for the spars/d box etc?

Looking forward to seeing the project progress
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Old Oct 07, 2015, 11:39 AM
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No epoxy...........yikes. That's going to be a good mental exercise.

I volunteered at the Wings of History Museum to help restore an all wood Baby Bowlus. When repairing a broken canopy frame, I asked for some wood glue. They didn't have any, just epoxy and these guy specialize in restoration of vintage wood aircraft. They bought a 3oz bottle of wood glue just for me and labeled it "Kent"

Later I found a set of shop drawings for the same glider from the 40's and it listed "casein waterproof glue" on all glued joints.
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Old Oct 07, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Great,,,, so there is interest in this project. I hope I don't disappoint you.

The spar will based on known and proven design. A "D box" structure, with wood and carbon tow ribs. I know I said no epoxy. I meant no epoxy on the model. Have you seen the price of that stuff recently? When I use it I will suit up. Double gloves etc. First the model has to fly, and fly alot with great result. I'm trying a new airfoil that is designed for full size gliders. It.s pretty thin . because of a very narrow chord, But. after studying ultralite gliders for many years I feel confident.

Vern
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Old Oct 10, 2015, 02:00 PM
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Old Oct 10, 2015, 02:08 PM
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Attached is an article about a flying wing I did years ago. Many models preceded this molded version. I spent many months an years getting to this final design. So I was sure it flew like a dream. The only problem was it wore me out, So I stopped and took up hang gliding. Anyway this kind of design is sorta what I'm doing now. Just a hint.

Vern
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Old Oct 10, 2015, 04:44 PM
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With the higher aspect ratio, are you anticipating stretching the span beyond the likes of the Swift, Atos etc?
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Old Oct 11, 2015, 07:19 AM
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Miniphase,

I am thinking that the span will be around 42 ft. That is what I have envisioned, and the model I am building is 1/3 scale of a 42 ft. glider. The model has an 11' chord, So the full size will have a 33 in. chord. Very skinny. Maybe I'm going too far with this aspect ratio. but we will see after the model is flying. I'm willing to give it a chance. It will be a beauty just sitting there.

Vern
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Old Oct 11, 2015, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vernon Hunt View Post
Miniphase,

I am thinking that the span will be around 42 ft. That is what I have envisioned, and the model I am building is 1/3 scale of a 42 ft. glider. The model has an 11' chord, So the full size will have a 33 in. chord. Very skinny. Maybe I'm going too far with this aspect ratio. but we will see after the model is flying. I'm willing to give it a chance. It will be a beauty just sitting there.

Vern
Here are the span and area of various gliders
Swift =39 ft, 135 ft^2 AR=11.27
Atos VX = 46 ft., 172 ft^2, AR=10.24
Archeopteryx = 44.6 ft, 138 ft^2, AR=14.4

Your design with a span of 42 ft and a chord of 33" has 115.5 ft^2 area and AR=15.3, definitely high AR and somewhat low on wing area for foot-launch and foot-landing. With a 33" chord and a 15% thick airfoil you'll only have 5" max spar depth at the wing root. This will require a lot of carbon in the spar to avoid the dreaded wing bending short period coupled flutter mode that plagues many swept flying wing designs. It can be done, my friends and I designed the Swift in the 1980's and the main spar depth is less than 5" on the Swift where the wings are joined. The main spar joiner has a lot of carbon in it!

The Swift also relies on the generous inboard flap for reduced drag at trim and increased CLmax. Swift is actually an acronym which stands for Swept Wing with Inboard Flap for Trim = SWIFT. Your design uses more sweep than a Swift (25 deg vs. 20 deg) so you should be able to use a higher fraction of the wingspan for the inboard flap. Your drawing shows a fairly small flap, have you considered a larger span for it?

Steve
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Old Oct 12, 2015, 05:53 AM
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Steve,
Thanks for response to this design. I have admired the swift since it began, and wanted one badly. I could not afford to by one ( 3 kids and a mortgage). So I built a 1/3 scale model in an attempt to realize a dream to build my own version (full size). That never came to pass. I was lucky one day when a friend put his Millennium up for sale. I bought it the the very next weekend after flying it. My wife was not very happy. I had just started hang gliding a year before and was flying a Saturn intermediate hang glider. I loved the Millennium and flew it almost every day for a year. Great fun!

I have studied hang gliders and sailplanes my entire life, and I must say the Swift and Millennium changed my life. I became a flying wing believer. I understand your comments on this design and agree with you about the carbon usage. This wing is not intended to be foot launched or landed. Aero tow only. I live very close to Wallaby and Quest. So I can get towed almost anytime. I'm almost 70 years old and will be flying my Atos for as long as my body can hold up. But, sitting in a glider is preferred at my age.

I agree with you about the flap size. The model drawing was done almost 16 years ago, and was shown here only as an early example of the concept. Since the Sky project and the AK-X design from Germany began it has me excited to design my idea further. There will be I'm sure many changes as this project advances. Wingspan, chord, pilot position, winglets are all being carefully designed. I have studied the narrow chord wings of the Sparrow Hawk, SG-1, and others so I'm aware of the pitfalls. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thankyou so much for your interest. This is a great place to learn and advance the flying wing concept.

Vern
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Old Oct 12, 2015, 11:23 AM
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Considering that Vern's glider is not foot launched, he has the freedom to build heavier than the other rigid wings. I would think that a prototype would indeed be heavier than a fully developed 2.0 version. Assuming a 200 lb. empty weight, and the skinny wing, this plane is really going to move.

Kent
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Old Oct 13, 2015, 02:22 AM
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Vern,

I'm still flying a Millennium too, mostly foot launched at the coastal sites but also with a twin electric motor system I threw together with components from Hobby King. An ultralight towed tailless airplane sounds like a good idea, there's no need to suffer through foot launch and landing as we get older. I'm only 54 y.o. and I can easily imagine the day where I don't bother foot launching anymore.

Thanks,

Steve

Electric Powered Millennium at SCFR 2015 (6 min 19 sec)
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Old Oct 14, 2015, 05:17 AM
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Kent,

I hope to build this glider at under 200 lbs. To be a legal ultra-light the glider can't be over 150 lbs. The 150 lb. limit may be un doable, but thats the goal.

Steve,

I've seen your electric powered Millennium. Very cool, and somewhat inexpensive. Electric power is advancing pretty quickly. An electric ducted fan would be a possibility for my project.

One step at a time,

Vern
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