(Nearly) Indestructible EPP Trainer
This is a side project, really - that might come to fruition in the far future - later on in the idea queue. Might resurrect this post when I get around to it.
Concept: Build something that flies like a slow stick, but as frustrating for the ground to break as a human trying to open clamshell packaging without any scissors.
How: Thick flat-bottom EPP airfoils. Coated with 10 mil laminating film. Reinforced with custom reinforcing rods to be stiff but extremely flexible. Idea is to have nothing that can shatter in the plane, even under extreme deflection. No shattering = not much breaking. Thick lamination will resist tearing.
Details: The most pressing issue is reinforcement. I don't think that 10mil laminated EPP would be flimsy by itself, but it wouldn't hold up to a crash as well. My initial thought is using some sort of spring steel wire as a reinforcement. If the wing reinforcement is very stiff, then the wing would deform, but not the rod, causing shearing and tearing on the covering, which shouldn't happen.
Weight shouldn't be a big concern - going for a very slow flyer with a high-lift airfoil. I'm shooting for the AUW to be somewhere around 1100g.
I'm debating about how to do the prop. Pusher prop is sorta out of the question, they can stall a lot easier, like an EDF. A standard configuration would be subject to abuse, even with a prop saver. Folding prop would help. Motor pod above the wings is also an option, but subject to same abuse as any others if inverted, which might happen.
Electronics will be safe and snug inside generous layers of EPP and fiberglass.
Idea seem practical? This is just the musings of a man stuck without any planes during a 2 week vacation. I was sorta inspired by this thread about a 12-year-old who kept crashing a plane every week, and feeling bad about it. Although I do believe he shouldn't take crashing as hard, if he's not to the skill level of staying aloft without damage, then he should be able to fly on a plane that if he crashes, he won't be grounded for a week while his dad fixes it.
Last edited by acetech09; Jul 09, 2012 at 04:17 AM.
Interesting design idea #1?
The link seemed appropriate since it was what we deal with, but more importantly there is a picture of the Focke-Wulf 198 (search the page, couldn't get a decent anchor link). The fact that it was never made isn't important, the shape of it is.
Given a set of heavy duty wings run through a round body like that, with heavy control surface exceeding the outer tips of the propeller (tail fins etc, top and bottom), that might be an idea to shield it from harm, as well as the control surfaces you'd want beefed up to do it with.
Sort of like a roll cage around a prop...which on second thought, might be easier to do on any plane in a simpler, but less elegant design.
Now i'm off in my head wondering what a plane in a circular roll cage would fly like.
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