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Old Jul 08, 2004, 12:50 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
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Boeing Sonic Cruiser Parkflyer

Here are some pictures of my latest project—a parkflyer version of the Boeing Sonic Cruiser. This model is built entirely of BlueCore foam and is powered by two IPS A motors mounted pusher-style on the back of the nacelles. Control is provided by ailerons on the aft wing and a full-flying canard. The finish is a combination of gray craft paint, white lightweight iron-on covering, blue packing tape, and decals printed on an inkjet printer.

Despite its racy appearance, this model actually handles quite well and is a gentle and easy-flying airplane. Due to the light wing loading, it flies quite slowly and can easily fly in a baseball diamond-sized field. The low airspeeds also make it look quite scale in the air.

Here are the specs:

Wing span: 30.9 in
Wing area: 242 sq in
Weight RTF: 10.5 oz as pictured (9.5 oz before the fancy paint job!)
Wing loading: 6.3 oz/sq ft
Motor: Two GWS IPS with A gearing
Prop: GWS 8x6 slowflyer
Battery: 3s 1000 mAh Li-Po
Power loading: 64 watts/lb
Radio equipment: GWS R4P receiver, GWS Pico BB servos, 10 amp ESC

This model is based on a balsa glider design I made back in 2001 while working on the real Sonic Cruiser (I’m a Product Development engineer at Boeing). That glider is shown in the pictures below. While the small glider worked well for testing CG locations and trim, it took quite a bit of work beyond that to get the RC version flying well—including building two prototypes and doing LOTS of testing, modifying, and tweaking. But that was half the fun!

For those that are interested in building one of these, I’ll clean up the plans and post them here in the next couple days.

Steve
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 12:51 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
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Here’s a bottom view of the airplane. One of the problems that had to be addressed with this model is balance--with both motors mounted in the rear of the airplane, the battery and receiver had to be mounted on the forward fuselage to provide proper balance. This requires long wiring extensions to both the aileron servos and the motors (as well as Y adapters for both). While this results in a lot of ugly wiring, at least all the wiring is mounted underneath the airplane so it’s not quite so obvious…
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 12:53 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
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Here are some close-up shots of the full-flying canard, showing full up, down, and neutral. The canard is made of BlueCore foam, with a 4mm carbon tube spar that pivots in a 3/16” diameter aluminum tube bearing.
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 12:55 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
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Here’s a view of an earlier version of the model while it was still bare foam. This also shows the location of the carbon rod stiffeners in the fuselage. I flew the model like this for all of the flight testing, and didn’t paint it until everything was fully tweaked and flying well. Unfortunately, the fancy paint scheme added nearly 1 oz. to the weight of the model, bringing the RTF weight from 9.5 oz to 10.5 oz. Lesson learned—go easy on the finish!
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 01:01 AM
Just One More
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United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Feb 2004
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That is really cool. With that functional canard, I bet the nose will almost touch the tail in a loop.
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 03:56 AM
Ado
Meow?
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Brisbane Intl, Australia
Joined Sep 2001
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Awesome!
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 07:07 AM
Honey,just one more thing
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Rensselaer,IN
Joined Jan 2003
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Interested? How can you not be Was wondering what I was going to do with those dusty A's I have laying around.Bud
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 07:18 AM
RJB
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Steve,

I think that I can speak for a lot of e-zoners - POST PLANS PLEASE!

Cheers!
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 07:24 AM
gpw
“There’s no place like Foam”
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Joined Jul 2002
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Jet , Really a Great looking plane!!! and I really like your "engineering"!!!!!.... Is the wing airfoil flat ? Would an airfoil in the wing help, or would it only make the CG problem worse , by being less "symmetrical" ??? Please keep the pics and comments coming, Thanks!!!
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 08:32 AM
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USA, VA, Centreville
Joined Jan 2003
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Wow! I've got the baby Sonic Cruiser on my desk at work (for Boeing as well), but you have taken it to a whole new level. When you post plans, I may have to make that my first FFF plane! Awesome job!
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 12:39 PM
Parkflyer Maniac
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Atlanta
Joined May 2004
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That is very nice looks sharp. When do we people expect the real version fron the Boeing company? It's just amazing thinking about the future of commercial aviation.
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Old Jul 08, 2004, 06:36 PM
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In my Blu heaven! near Lincoln NE
Joined Mar 2003
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Very sweet! I know there will be many interested!

I am glad you took the time to give it a good look in the end. Makes it all worthwhile IMHO.

Robert
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Old Jul 09, 2004, 12:10 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
5,592 Posts
Thanks for all the comments!

GPW, yes the wing airfoil is flat and the model flies great like that. Fan fold foam planes can be built so light that they fly just fine with the flat airfoils.

Scadavid, it'll probably be a few decades before you see anything like the Sonic Cruiser fly. We shelved the concept back in Dec 2001 since the airlines clearly told us they would rather have an airplane that burns less fuel than one that flies 20% faster. Thus, we stopped working on it and began designing the airplane that became the 7E7, which is the program we just launched last month. Think about it--as a passenger, would you rather pay 20% less for your ticket or get to your destination 20% sooner? Most people would pick paying less...

I've been trying to get some good inflight photos and videos of the model to share here, but unfortunately the Seattle weather hasn't cooperated this week--rain, rain, and more rain. I did go out and fly it in marginal conditions earlier this evening but it was so windy I couldn't get any good shots. I've posted one of those photos below, but it's not a very good one. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get some better photos and videos.

I can see there's great interest in plans, so I'll try to get them cleaned up and posted here as soon as I can!

Steve
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Old Jul 09, 2004, 12:27 AM
Ado
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Brisbane Intl, Australia
Joined Sep 2001
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Send me the current plans and I'll clean them up for you.

Shouldnt take me long.

Cheers,

Ado
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Old Jul 09, 2004, 12:29 AM
Park Jet Guru
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Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 2002
5,592 Posts
Sonic Cruiser Flyby Video

Here's a brief (8 second, 1.0 MB) video of the Sonic Cruiser model doing a low-level flyby. This video was shot with a digital still camera so it's low resolution, but it shows the character of the model pretty well. If the link below doesn't stream when you click it, right-click on it and choose Save As... to copy it to your hard drive. Sometimes videos don't stream well from verizon.net...

<<Link has been removed--I had to delete this video to make room for the second video posted in message #24 below>>

Steve
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Last edited by jetset44; Jul 11, 2004 at 01:10 PM.
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