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Open Source Airplane Project  
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3046 times:

With the vast resources of many aircraft enthusiasts and technical people, I thought I would bring to everyone's attention a n open source aircraft design project...

The goals of the project are :

Quote:
Range:
Minimum requirement out of the box is 500 nautical miles. Targeted objective is 1,000 nm. We need to be able to get to the larger airports from small rural fields; at this point I'm not interested in transcontinental performance (I've flown from Hawaii to California in a turboprop, seriously, get a ticket on a jet for the long haul).

The intent is to allow the operator to make two round trips before having to refuel, each round trip to be approximately 200 nautical miles in length on average.

Initial range and performance to be done with Jet A, or the current commercial equivalent. Once we have that, then we can do a trade study to switch to ethanol or bio-diesel. From what I've read in the trades, hydrogen is a long way down the line, but I can buy ethanol today.

Payload:
Twenty paying passengers with two air-crew. I'm not familiar enough with part 135 operations to know if a cabin crewmember will be required.

Remember, this is an air-taxi and not a scheduled operation we are supporting. Therefore, twenty seats may well be at the large end. My thought is that at ten seats and below, we are competing with Cessna and over forty seats, I think we go head-to-head with Bombardier. I don't have any real data that supports my assertion that there is a hole in the market at twenty seats, but that's my feel. Clearly, we want to stay out of the hundred seat (give or take twenty seats) market.

Building a four to ten seat personal airplane is very do-able. Getting a twenty-seat airplane built for commercial use is a very different project, but still in the range of quite feasible. We aren't talking billions of dollars here. In fact, with good academic support we may well be able to build the prototype for very little indeed.

Cruise Speed:
250 kts.

Engines:
Tentatively planned to be a Pratt and Whitney PT-6 of some form or other. The reason I am specifying a turboprop instead of a small turbofan is because of the short, soft field that I expect to be a significant part of air taxi operations all around the world. Turbofans have a bit of a lull in acceleration, which can be operationally significant. I'm willing to trade performance at altitude for better short runway performance. As for other engines, I'm perfectly open to whatever you guys have data for.

The initial configuration, the baseline if you will, is a high-wing, tricycle-gear, three-surface turboprop with the engines situated above the wing in the same manner as the YC-14 and the QSRA for upper surface blowing.

The trailing edge flaps are single slotted and plain with variable camber Krueger flaps on the leading edge. This is entirely notional at this point.

The main deck of the aircraft is the upper surface of the broad keel beam that forms the structural backbone. A "crown beam" extends from the wing center section forward to the cockpit (41 section) and aft to the pressure bulkhead at the end of the 46 section. The main and nose landing gear attach to the keel beam.

The keel-beam volume is to be “protected,” or blocked from penetration by other systems in order to be able to use that volume later in the program for extra fuel.

There is no cargo deck, no separate cargo compartment. Baggage is all carry-on to be stowed beneath the passenger's seat, in the overhead bin or in the closets. There are still unanswered questions about what to do for skis and golf clubs.

The seats face aft for better crashworthiness. Seats are designed to allow baggage tucked underneath

The body resembles the Piaggio P-180. The intent is to get some lift from the body, or at least a very nice nose-up pitching moment.

After exchanging emails with John Leslie of the UK, we are adding some cool features:

Multiple large and powerful landing lights with big off-axis taxi-lights as well.

In lieu of an FMC, add a GPS/IRS moving map like the Garmin’s G1000.

The cockpit windows are all interchangeable so that a crack in a windscreen won’t cause a grounded aircraft. Just shift that pane from the front to the side and re-dispatch.

Large, aerodynamically-balanced control surfaces for good low-speed control. No wing spoilers for roll control, just ailerons. No hydraulic boost, no fly-by-wire, just manual control.

The tires are big and soft to operate out of grass fields. The mains are duals using the same tire as on the nose. Gear is retractable.

A large main-deck cargo door forward of the wing on the freighter, combi, and air-ambulance variants. (A “combi” is a Boeing term for an aircraft that is designed to fly both passengers and cargo on the main deck at the same time.)

The aircraft is designed for pressurization, but the initial model likely to be designed and built without the air-conditioning pack for systems simplification and weight.

Single-pilot certification for cargo-only.

We are still discussing whether a lav should be on-board or not. The comfort argument is obvious, but the weight and complexity argue against it. Perhaps the best thing to do is to block out space, structural, and systems provisions for a lav, but not to design it in on the initial models. Anyone have any thoughts?

The guy behind the project has setup the world airplane blog http://worldairplane.blogspot.com/


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Beech 1900D.

As for building it without packs...bad idea. Really, really bad idea.



09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineBAe146QT From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 996 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

I hate being negative, but;

Is this a serious proposal, with the intention of gaining funding/manufacturing capability/certification/etc, or is it a mental exercise?

He calls it "Linux with wings" which immediately sets alarm bells going. Not because Linux is no good, (quite the contrary) but because the ethos of Linux promotes high levels of niche adaptation and drastic evolution from the community at large, (even in server-class products). That model doesn't seem to fit with the change and release management controls that an aircraft manufacturer needs to have in place to avoid support and re-certification nightmares.

:::EDIT:::

I've just seen this;

Quote:
The cockpit windows are all interchangeable so that a crack in a windscreen won’t cause a grounded aircraft. Just shift that pane from the front to the side and re-dispatch.

That can't be right. First, it would require all side windows to be the same shape and strength as the forward screen. Surely there are some real weight penalties there? Also, does that mean that the aircraft is unpressurised, (square/trapezoidal windows) or does it mean that the forward-looking windows are oval/round, (visibility issues)?

[Edited 2007-09-04 19:19:32]


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User currently offlineWPIAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

High wing with above mounted engines might be a pain for maintenance, also, the propwash should have a large enough area so it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference if the engine was situated above or below the wing.

Also the interchangeable cockpit windows, that seems like a lot of aerodynamic trade off for the maintenance ease, especially if he wants to keep the Avanti shape

-WPIAeroGuy



-WPIAeroGuy
User currently offlineWPIAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3011 times:

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 2):
That can't be right. First, it would require all side windows to be the same shape and strength as the forward screen. Surely there are some real weight penalties there? Also, does that mean that the aircraft is unpressurised, (square/trapezoidal windows) or does it mean that the forward-looking windows are oval/round, (visibility issues)?

Well that makes me think now, maybe its like White Knight and Spaceship One with the circular porthole windows.

Sounds a lot like an L-410 or Do-228 with a glass cockpit. It would be interesting to see what sort of advantages this airplane offers already existing ones.

Quoting Zeke (Thread starter):
Building a four to ten seat personal airplane is very do-able. Getting a twenty-seat airplane built for commercial use is a very different project, but still in the range of quite feasible. We aren't talking billions of dollars here. In fact, with good academic support we may well be able to build the prototype for very little indeed.

Looks like he is going to try and actually make this. If there is academic support, it seems like it could almost be more of a study into the wiki principle rather than aircraft design. Get a few core people to work together on integrating everything, then farm out all the parts design to someone with a CAD program. Now that I think about it that seems to be what the project is, not about the final airplane but getting virtually free input from the entire world and making it all come together. An airplane sounds a little ambitious, but hey you never know it might work.



-WPIAeroGuy
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

Quoting WPIAeroGuy (Reply 3):
High wing with above mounted engines might be a pain for maintenance, also, the propwash should have a large enough area so it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference if the engine was situated above or below the wing.

Actually, if you do it right, you could use the wing upper surface as work platform. Not a bad idea.

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 2):
Also, does that mean that the aircraft is unpressurised, (square/trapezoidal windows)

Most largewr aircraft use flat square windows even if they are pressurized for ease of manufacture. Curved windows are more difficult to make and more expensive.

Jan


User currently offlineBAe146QT From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 996 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

Quoting WPIAeroGuy:
Well that makes me think now, maybe its like White Knight and Spaceship One with the circular porthole windows.

That's exactly the picture I had in my head. It just seems to me that such a configuration wouldn't do much for visibility, which is going to be important at a commuter airfield. White Knight's job description is a little different from the norm, after all.

Quoting MD11Engineer:
Most largewr aircraft use flat square windows even if they are pressurized for ease of manufacture. Curved windows are more difficult to make and more expensive.

Yes, that was covered off in a thread here recently.

However, it seems I mis-read the original spec. I read it to mean that the design called for all the windows to be interchangable. As in, passenger windows could be changed with cockpit windows. It's probably because of this;

Quote:
Just shift that pane from the front to the side and re-dispatch.

Reading it all again, it looks like he means that all the cockpit windows are interchangable with each other. This would be less of a tall order, I imagine!



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