Posted: 8/13/2010 16:59:12
Since my surprisingly successful Horn on an Airplane thread got over 10,000 views, I thought of another hardware store accessory for airplanes.
How about putting one of those Stanley ultrasonic tape measures on the bottom of the plane, and then put a remote display in the cabin to give you a Height Above Touchdown indication? At about five feet, or whatever value works best, you pull back on the yoke for a smooth flare to touchdown just like the big airliners.
The downside is the airlines have voice notification, while this would be a silent display unless the co-pilot calls out the numbers. The main obstacle may be the environment the sensor has to be in during the trip and when the plane is parked.
Posted: 8/14/2010 14:35:21
The problem with a lot of thos ultrasonic tape measures is that their response rate isn't fast enough. It would need to be in milliseconds. The airliners have Radar Altimeters. The response with these is virtually instantaneous.
Posted: 8/15/2010 14:59:57
I've got another one for you; How about those cheap backup cameras they sell for cars? The prices are down around $100 now including monitor and they run on 12 volts.
You could place one on the belly of your tail dragger and be able to see in front of the plane. Certainly no one would want to taxi with their head down in the cockpit, but it would be nice to check every once and a while especially before hitting the starter button.
I'm building an Acro Sport II and there is a huge blind spot in front of the plane when you are sitting in the rear (solo) seat.
It would be really nice to have the camera mounted below the pilots seat looking forward between the gear legs.
Just a thought.
Posted: 8/15/2010 22:59:32
These are just a low cost "lipstick" camera. The output will work on just about any small screen. I'm not sure, but I think you might even beable to get an IR camera and It might be a poor man's synthetic vision for night landings..??
Posted: 8/16/2010 07:09:56
One Russian canard designer is experimenting with automotive parking radar (ultrasonic). Some success was reported even at takeoff speed.