Lemurs
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MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:24 am

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15580898/

I wonder what they've done to address the vertigo issues that most past studies have cited as obstacles to flying wing passenger service, along with the egress and other safety issues. It's tempting to say: "This has been done before", but these people are far too smart to be dismissed out of hand like that. I am sure there is some really innovative ideas in there. I can't wait to see this.
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Bobster2
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:03 pm

I couldn't wait until tomorrow.  Smile So I found their web site and it has a flyer with pictures. They look very similar to what we've already seen from the Nasa and Boeing research.

http://www.cambridge-mit.org/research/sai

flyer: http://asp2.miuk.com/cmilive/documents/SAI_flyer_2006.pdf
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 1

Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:04 pm

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 1):
So I found their web site and it has a flyer with pictures. They look very similar to what we've already seen from the Nasa and Boeing research.

No surprise there -- they're certainly well aware of all the prevous work and some of the same people are involved (for example, Karen Wilcox, who works on this stuff at MIT, has done BWB research with Sean Wakayama of Boeing-Long Beach, who did a lot of the BWB stuff there and before that was in the group at Stanford that worked with NASA and Douglas early on in the BWB program and built the first two generations of flying models for control system design).
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lehpron
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:00 pm

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 1):
They look very similar to what we've already seen from the Nasa and Boeing research.

There is a difference between looking similar, being similar, and being the same thing. To many, that concept is just another BWB and while may facinate people, there are those (idiots IMO) who figure if it is not immediately successful, why build it?

I'd rather judge aircraft by definition rather than image, I don't care what they look like.

Still, does anyone find that concept's cabin appear small with respect to the overall scale? I know it is my perception and it is probably the camera angle (in CAD renderings there are camera angles, I know its not a photo).
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darkblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:37 pm

Reading through the flyer made me curious on a couple things:

"Ingesting: some of the aircraft boundary
layer flow is ingested into the engines,
increasing propulsive efficiency and reducing
fuel burn."


I'm interested to read more on this. Ingesting boundary layer air is generally not a good thing. I wonder what analysis they have done that shows that pulling in "dirty" air improves propulsive efficiency.


"Multiple-Fan Geared Engine Configuration: three cores and nine fans are
easier to embed in airframe, reduce weight and nacelle drag, enhance
boundary layer ingestion, and the low fan tip speeds lead to low noise"


This multiple geared-fan configuration is interesting, although I didn't see any turbine to drive the fans. The cross section diagram shows a single stage HP turbine to drive a 4 stage axial compressor plus a centrigul compressor. This is followed by a 3 stage IP turbine that appears to drive a traditional 9 stage compressor. To drive that huge 20 BPR, 3-spool fan you would need an enormous LP turbine. I sure hope they don't expect the little 3 stage turbine to able to do this in addition to the compressor that it's already powering.
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 1

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:51 pm



This image isn't specific to the article, but I thought it would be worth sharing:





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YYZSaabGuy
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:58 pm

Interesting proposal. Wonder how they plan to protect against the damage associated with a catastrophic engine failure - having the engines below-wing and away from the fuselage solves that problem more effectively, I would've thought, than having the engines embedded in the wing. How have the British rationalized this issue in, for example, their "V" series aircraft?
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:04 am




Quoting YYZSaabGuy (Reply 6):
Wonder how they plan to protect against the damage associated with a catastrophic engine failure

I wonder about the measures taken by the V-bomber engineers, as well. As for modern solutions, though, Kevlar-style materials have come a very long way in the past few decades. Somehow, I don't think it will be very difficult to find a suitably light weight material to reliably contain engine debris.



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YYZSaabGuy
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:07 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 7):
As for modern solutions, though, Kevlar-style materials have come a very long way in the past few decades. Somehow, I don't think it will be very difficult to find a suitably light weight material to reliably contain engine debris.

It would be informativeto calculate the mass/momentum behind a fan blade spinning at several thousand RPM vs. that associated with a .45 round, then compare both against Kevlar-type materials. Somehow, looking at the damage on that Emirates engine cowling from last week, I'm not as optimistic. Having said which, here's hoping you're correct: those are some great-looking designs!
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 1

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:51 am

Good pic here: http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/rss/story/0,2789,925332,00.html


My favorite quote from http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/11/06/silent.aircraft.ap/index.html

The design, to be announced in a news conference at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, would blend fuselage and wings together so that the entire airframe provides lift -- an approach that to date has been confined largely to payload-carrying military aircraft such as long-range bombers.

Because as we all know, airliners don't carry payload.

[Edited 2006-11-06 18:22:54]
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Bobster2
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:45 am

Here it is, unveiled:

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Lemurs
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
Because as we all know, airliners don't carry payload.

Bombs and cruise missles don't get sick or care if there aren't many windows nearby, though.  Wink
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Starlionblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 11):
Bombs and cruise missles don't get sick or care if there aren't many windows nearby, though.

Very true. But I bet for REALLY low fares you could pack your average Joe Public in without windows too.  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Bobster2
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:22 am

Another view:

"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
3201
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 1

Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:51 am

Quoting DarkBlue (Reply 4):
Ingesting boundary layer air is generally not a good thing. I wonder what analysis they have done that shows that pulling in "dirty" air improves propulsive efficiency.

This has been a specific research topic for a while -- here's one example:

http://www.desktopaero.com/Publications/AIAA-2002-5665.pdf

Ingesting the BL is worth doing because even though the propulsive efficiency goes down, the aerodynamic efficiency goes up enough to make up for it. This is one of those ideas that only makes sense when you look at the whole big picture instead of isolating individual systems.

[Edited 2006-11-06 21:06:07]
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787atPAE
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:20 pm

Quoting 3201 (Reply 14):
Ingesting the BL is worth doing because even though the propulsive efficiency goes down, the aerodynamic efficiency goes up enough to make up for it. This is one of those ideas that only makes sense when you look at the whole big picture instead of isolating individual systems.

This is an interesting coincedence. My lead engineer was telling the folks in my aisle today about a Boeing vs McD competetion before the C-17 came about. It was supposed to be a replacement for the C-130. The Boeing version had jet engines on top that blew over the wings and flaps, thereby creating an even lower pressure than normal.

Anybody have any more info on this?
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:37 pm




Quoting 787atPAE (Reply 15):
Anybody have any more info on this?

Of course....this is Tech/Ops!

Boeing YC-14:


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Photo © Mick Bajcar



http://www.answers.com/topic/boeing-yc-14





McDonnell-Douglas YC-15:


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http://www.answers.com/topic/mcdonnell-douglas-yc-15


Welcome to the forums, 787....great to have you aboard!



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futurecaptain
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:43 pm

Now, blended wing a/c are nothing new and the clastrophobia issue has been discussed before.

Now, one thing that has got me thinking. Does anyone have any theoretical cabin data on these a/c? To me it seems the a/c gets very wide as you go back, appears significantly wider than a commercial airliner flying today. Now, my question is if the worst should happen, God forbid, and one of these goes down how much of a walk will the people in the back have to get to an emergency exit? It seems to me the people in the last row, middle seats will have quite a distance to travel to get out.

Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:05 pm

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 17):
Now, one thing that has got me thinking. Does anyone have any theoretical cabin data on these a/c? To me it seems the a/c gets very wide as you go back, appears significantly wider than a commercial airliner flying today. Now, my question is if the worst should happen, God forbid, and one of these goes down how much of a walk will the people in the back have to get to an emergency exit? It seems to me the people in the last row, middle seats will have quite a distance to travel to get out.

That's why they call them the cheap seats.  Wink Seriously though, would the distance to an exit really be more than those sitting far from an exit in today's tube + wings?

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 17):
Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?

Differential thrust and split ailerons come to mind. But I don't know about their relative efficiency.
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2H4
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:31 pm




Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
Seriously though, would the distance to an exit really be more than those sitting far from an exit in today's tube + wings?

Maybe not to the nearest exit, but don't aircraft have to be certified for an evacuation using only the doors on one side? If that's the case, I would imagine it would be a very long way to the opposite side emergency exits...



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vikkyvik
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:10 am

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 19):
Maybe not to the nearest exit, but don't aircraft have to be certified for an evacuation using only the doors on one side?

Believe it's with half the doors unusable, where the test passengers don't know which doors will be unusable.

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 17):
Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?

Well the A/C does have two rather large winglets, which would provide some yaw stability, and maybe some control if there were control surfaces mounted in them.

I also wonder what the longitudinal stability would be like on that thing. Looks like it could be a nightmare, but who knows.
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?

If it's anything like the BWB concept, the vertical fins/winglets would provide some static directional stability, and stability augmentation would do the rest via the ailerons. The BWB flight control system also helped with static pitch stability and various dynamic modes. Lots of closed-loop control.
 
113312
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:20 am

The devil is always in the details. There are big risks by embedding the engines within the body of the plane. This has not been done since the Comet and the TU-104. Also, consider the noise and vibration of the machinery to drive additional fans from each engine as is shown in their expanded diagram.
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:54 am

Quoting Aerogeek (Reply 21):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?

If it's anything like the BWB concept, the vertical fins/winglets would provide some static directional stability, and stability augmentation would do the rest via the ailerons. The BWB flight control system also helped with static pitch stability and various dynamic modes. Lots of closed-loop control.

Nice. But note you misquoted.  Wink
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aerogeek
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:19 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 23):
Nice. But note you misquoted.

Oops, my mistake. Meant to quote Futurecaptain. Noted.
 
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:41 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
Seriously though, would the distance to an exit really be more than those sitting far from an exit in today's tube + wings?

I was looking into this. According to http://www.twitt.org/bldwing.htm they specifically state an a/c of this design could potentially be large enough to hold 800 pax in a 50 abreast configuration!

50 abreast! So, back row center pax will have to climb over no less than 24 people to get to the exit, assuming they are in an exit row. Even assuming everything is intact and everyone uninjured, it would take quite a while I would think to get so many pax off such a wide a/c.
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Bobster2
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:59 am

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 25):
50 abreast configuration

Forget about emergency exits. How would they even get to the bathroom? Imagine 5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5 seating, and that would be first class.  Smile

They would need some innovative new kind of emergency exit. Maybe doors in the ceiling with ladders to climb out?
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futurecaptain
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:17 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 26):
Imagine 5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5 seating,

Ryanair would have 25-25 seating.  rotfl   rotfl 
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787atPAE
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:23 am

Quoting Aerogeek (Reply 21):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
Also, no rudder? Now, I'm not ignorant and realize planes can fly without one, but they are a very good way to control yaw. What devices will be added, if any, to help with the natural yawing motions of a/c?

If it's anything like the BWB concept, the vertical fins/winglets would provide some static directional stability, and stability augmentation would do the rest via the ailerons. The BWB flight control system also helped with static pitch stability and various dynamic modes. Lots of closed-loop control.

Does the configuration/structure of the aircraft really matter anymore? Ignoring certain factors, I would say no. Fly-by-wire flight control systems can work a lot of magic if you have the right people doing the thinking and dreaming. I can't wait for the 787 to come out and play in a couple months just for this reason!!!  Wink

But there are certain factors that makes Airbus and Boeing still go for the tube and wing design. The biggest being the infrastructure of the airports, and the second being just plain old experience with the design. Imagine having to knock out a couple gates to fit one BWB plane instead of a couple 747s or A380s.

2H4, thanks for the welcome. I've been a long time lurker (1.5 yrs or so), but recently got permission (from my wife) to join this club. I hope my experience will add to the interesting threads on this website!!  Smile
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 1

Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:31 pm

Quoting 787atPAE (Reply 28):

Does the configuration/structure of the aircraft really matter anymore? Ignoring certain factors, I would say no. Fly-by-wire flight control systems can work a lot of magic if you have the right people doing the thinking and dreaming. I can't wait for the 787 to come out and play in a couple months just for this reason!!! Wink

But there are certain factors that makes Airbus and Boeing still go for the tube and wing design. The biggest being the infrastructure of the airports, and the second being just plain old experience with the design. Imagine having to knock out a couple gates to fit one BWB plane instead of a couple 747s or A380s.

Quite right. However you still have to consider the G forces felt by "outboard" pax. Not that we are talking air combat maneuvers, but imagine what will happen to your drink as your part of the aircraft descends at 1 negative G.

[Edited 2006-11-09 13:31:48]
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Blackbird
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:35 am

To be absolutely honest. The big problems I remember hearing about BWB-aircaft is structural integrity at a reasonable weight.

Regarding the claustrophobia complaints-- the airplane could be fitted with a camera system much like the A-380 has. That way using those personal-TV systems fitted to the backs of most airliner-seats, the passenger could see a view dead-ahead, on the sides of the plane, etc.

Even with a BWB design, though you could use rudders-- just put them on the winglets. However, you can produce yaw without any rudders. You could use aileron's and split-brakes to induce roll like the B-2.

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Starlionblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:44 am

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 30):
To be absolutely honest. The big problems I remember hearing about BWB-aircaft is structural integrity at a reasonable weight.

Indeed. Like it or not, cylinders and almost cylinders like the current tubes with wings are great pressure vessels. Very low weight for the strength required. The pressure vessel for a BWBs is somewhat like a saucer with another saucer upside down on top of it. Lots of flatness. Like a long, self-supporting, very shallow arch.

Imagine the saucers are joined hermetically. Further imagine that they are made of thick cardboard and you now suck the air out from between them. Crunch! Try the same thing with an imaginary perfect cylinder (forget the ends right now) and it would hold for a much greater differential without collapsing.

Sure, you can put reinforcing beams between the saucers, but these beams add weight, and lots of it.

For a current example, look at the 747. That relatively flat part on the sides of the fuse where the hump sits caused headaches during design and needed to be reinforced.
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David L
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:23 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 31):
Imagine the saucers are joined hermetically. Further imagine that they are made of thick cardboard and you now suck the air out from between them. Crunch! Try the same thing with an imaginary perfect cylinder (forget the ends right now) and it would hold for a much greater differential without collapsing.

I take your point but wouldn't it be a better test to force high pressure air into the structure since that's the more usual scenario? It can't be easy to get the cabin pressure much lower than the outside pressure in a real aircraft. I suspect that's where you'd see a bigger difference in strength between the cylinder and the saucer shape.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:33 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 32):

I take your point but wouldn't it be a better test to force high pressure air into the structure since that's the more usual scenario? It can't be easy to get the cabin pressure much lower than the outside pressure in a real aircraft. I suspect that's where you'd see a bigger difference in strength between the cylinder and the saucer shape.

I agree. Brainfart. But this doesn't really change the situation.
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David L
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:01 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 33):
But this doesn't really change the situation.

Agreed. If you try to inflate something, it'll try to from a sphere or cylinder so starting out with a cylinder gets you there with less bending.  Smile
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06

Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:45 am

Quoting David L (Reply 34):
If you try to inflate something, it'll try to from a sphere or cylinder so starting out with a cylinder gets you there with less bending

Lol!
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