Posted: 5/28/2010 19:20:52
If you've read my post in the hangar talk area, you know that I'm suddenly obsessed with the idea of a homebuilt flying saucer. It would be similar to the design in that thread that was listed on ebay, except with a couple of modifications. A bubble canopy, still with a pusher-type propeller. Still with a tail and elevator in the same place, but the diameter of the body would be a little smaller. The engine would be similar, I just have to research pushing propellers and engine configuration some more before I actually decide on an engine. I have some questions for anyone who could help. The aircraft type is a flying wing, and most flying wings are a v-shape. The ailerons are pointed out from the area where the fuselage would be, but that would be impossible on a circular flying wing. Would the ailerons and flaps have the same effect if they were pointed inward? And how big do they need to be? How could I calculate useful load, cruise speed, range, gallons used per hour, etc.? If anyone has any experience or knowledge about stuff like this, please help me.
BTW, my dad seems a lot more interested in the flying saucer thing than the Sonerai. But he'll probably go for either one eventually, because my proposed workshop/shed add-on will become a garage once I move out...
Posted: 5/29/2010 21:39:34
Come on, doesnt (I cant use the apostrophe all of a sudden) anyone have any ideas? Any help? How do companies like Sonex calculate their useful load? Do they just do trial and error, or is there a formula for it?
Posted: 5/31/2010 16:16:44
You are asking some very big questions that cannot easily be answered--you're asking for one formula when there are potentially hundreds involved in designing an aircraft. Designing your own aircraft from scratch, especially an unusual configuration, is certainly possible but not for the faint of heart.
Still, for inspiration and ideas you might look to these designs: Wainfan Facetmobile, Dyke Delta, Arup S-2 and S-4, Vought V-173. Google and YouTube searches will turn up some fun stuff. These are low aspect ration designs rather than true flying saucers, but I think they would still give the desired "wow" effect.
Posted: 6/1/2010 18:42:45
Ok, thanks. It's really not a true flying saucer, just a circular flying wing. I'll check out the designs you mentioned.
Posted: 6/2/2010 08:56:40
As Mathew stated, these are really BIG questions. There are some really great books out there on designing aircraft. Pazmany has some great ones as well as Martin Hollman. I encourage you to explore with your ideas, but as with any great new piece of work, it will require a great deal of research and calculations. I have spent hours putting formulas in a spreadsheet to make it easier to run "the numbers" Do youself a favor and buy some of the books, the knowlege that you gain will be invaluable.