Anyone heard of this concept plane? - RC Groups
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Apr 10, 2007, 02:13 AM
Registered User
Spaaro's Avatar

Anyone heard of this concept plane?

I tried using the search function but it is currently down.

I figure some of the RCG community is aware of this aviation developement, if not a direct contributer/team member outright. It's news to me


Reminds me of the one-man submersible dolphin/racer from "Seaquest" and the "Bongo" from SW:Phantom Menace.
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Apr 10, 2007, 08:43 AM
Registered User
They fly with poorer soaring. They need lots and lots of power.
Apr 10, 2007, 12:59 PM
Registered User
short wingspan=lots of induced drag at normal GA speeds, no matter how pretty the curves are.
Apr 10, 2007, 05:42 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
It's got a lot of X-24B about it:

The X-24B flew about 35 years ago and was a development step toward the space shuttle, so this design is nothing new... It may have a lot going for it at hypersonic speeds but at normal flying speeds the lifting body / low aspect ratio wing design is very inefficient... I can only think this is some form of publicity stunt.

Apr 10, 2007, 06:36 PM
Registered User
The plane, with no power, flies like a brick. I will crash except for a landing flare near the ground.

Think about thrust bigger than weight and no failure thrust with flying.

It mainly flies on thrust.
Apr 10, 2007, 07:23 PM
Lift is cheap - Drag sucks
Tom Harper's Avatar
Yeah, but it really looks neat!!!
Apr 10, 2007, 08:16 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
Just don't contribute to any plea for funds.
This is a money scam, more than anything else.
The X-24B came down like an anvil from 100,000 feet.. on the ground in about 2 minutes.
Apr 10, 2007, 09:56 PM
ciurpita's Avatar
this concept plane looks more like a submarine than an aircraft. if you like cool, you might be interested in the x-36 tailless research vehicle.

the x-24 is one of the last of the early lifting bodies that demonstrated the concept of a controllable decent vehicle rather than being a typical aircraft able to gain altitude. at the time, space vehicles decended on parachutes. liftiing bodies also proved that such a vehicle could land at a high angle of attack without any boost (rockets) to make up for the extra drag. both these concepts are critical in the space shuttle.

i never understood what lifting bodies were until i read "wingless flight" by dale reed when it was posted electronically on the nasa dryden web site. the book describes the original concept tested with models, early evaluation of the vertical control surfaces using an early flight simulator, and tow testing behind a modified pontiac.
Apr 11, 2007, 09:44 AM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
The concept can work. It's called a Smart Fish. I took this photo at Aspach 2002—yes, that was 5 years ago. And it certainly doesn't fly like NASA's X-24B brick. This photo is from my Aspach 2002 report in The E Zone's archive.

Here is what I wrote about the model:

Here’s a bunch of Smart Fishes. The EDF is a fiberglass ARF kit by Rotschi ( and costs about €570 euros, or about US$600. Measurements: wing span 77 cm (30.31 in), length 1 m (39.37 in) and weight 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). Power (used in Ulf Herder's): Lehner 15-30-6Y in a WeMoTec 480 Mini Fan, Schulze Future 18.61 ESC and 16 x Panasonic 3000 NiMH. Flight time is 6 minutes.

Unfortunately that link is 5 years old and today it directs you to an unrelated site with the same URL. (So I assume the original Smart Fish URL was sold.) Ditto for the [same] link posted in back in November 2002 about the Smart Fish in the EDF Discussion Column.
Last edited by James Frolik; Apr 11, 2007 at 09:59 AM.
Apr 11, 2007, 11:25 AM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
Model wing loadings aren't any indication of how the full-scale will (won't) work.
It's a brick/anvil/anchor.
Suitable for a re-entry vehicle, if that.
Apr 11, 2007, 03:53 PM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
Cant hold altitude, she's breaking up, she's breaking up...Col. Steve Austin, a man barely alive...Dah nah nah na, na na nah nah na na nah na nuh
Apr 12, 2007, 12:27 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Low aspect delta wings with jet engine spool up times = lots of dead gen av pilots.

This is just not a good idea for sport aviation. Yes it looks sexy as heck but it will not be a forgiving design at general av type speeds.
Apr 12, 2007, 03:12 AM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
Col. Austin crashed the A model of the X-24, but they say only one was built. That crash looked catastrophic.
Apr 12, 2007, 06:40 AM
Registered User
Hmm, dunno, for a pure delta I'd agree, but this has tail feathers, much like a Mig21. With that shape I'd be most concerned with vertical surface blanking at high AOA, otherwise it should be pretty much like anoy other low wing loading delta, mushing a bit instead of snapping on a stall, and possibly keeping control after the stall.
Apr 12, 2007, 04:56 PM
ciurpita's Avatar
it was actually the m2-f2, not an x-24

the nasa site has several movies showing the various lifting bodies: m2-f1, m2-f2, m2-f3, hl-10, x24a and b.

notice also that there are no wings projecting outward, horizontal from the body that might burn up on re-entry. for those interested, the book is still online from the nasa technical report server

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