Okay, it's an efficient design, although made from exotic composites which translates into "not that cheap." What's really missing from the equation is the hardware and software for mostly automated flight controls, so that even Grandma can punch in a destination and let the aircraft fly itself there.
The Punch in a destination and "let the plane fly grandpa there", is already a possibility..
Talk to FAA, JAA, CASA, etc as to their motivation for restricting the field in terms of Automation and Liability....
Would you as an engineer (If you were an engineer) take the blame for every time some dimwitt flies the plane to fly itself into an inner city condo... Hey I just wanted to get home real quick....
One of the real problems is idiot proofing the control and navigation system.
Maybe it would need an on-line controller approving each and every flight plan filing, then monitoring the flight in real time.... And stepping in if it diverges from the "Plan"
Traffic avoidance etc is easy to do, as long as all of the traffic are fully automated....
That one maverick who Loves flying by the seat of his pants, in the "automated control space" would really mess things up.
As my old professor would have said....
"The first disaster with any sort of Automatic aviation, would be the last..." It really ain't that necessary. There are other ways of getting places... These toys will always be the province of those who can afford to jump through the hoops.... Not Grandpa.
Must be an electric plane because those wings look incapable of carrying fuel.
No this is the just right common sense design. Even the other comments can't criticise it but put in additions which will be in the future design, this is only prototype. This is also the actual future flying car concept. It's fuel efficiency also makes it more affordable. This is the jackpot if it can move forward. If the wings could be made from lithium polymer, this could eventually be an electric. Congratulations and good luck.
Is the design concept and intended effect scalable. If you can make this work with say a 747 carrying capacity, it becomes extremely interesting for both investment and reduced cost for travel.
A staggered box wing is a good amount better in being lighter, lower drag and much better stability than this structurally weak design, thus has to be heavier to make up for it, flight of fancy.
Now a nice staggered box wing seaplane with twin rear props, one engine done in medium tech composites has real possiblities.
Is this not just another potential toy for the wealthy? Also, Boeing has a staggered wing airliner project in the works.
First with the efficiency they are talking about why would you need to put fuel into the wings.
Second the wings are hollow three dimensional objects why can't you fill them with fuel?
It seems disingenuous to compare a very small prop-driven plane with a jet, and crow about its theoretical economy.
1) Brag when you have actual fuel economy figures from an actual plane.
2) How does it compare to a conventional single wing, single engine plane of equivalent size?
How many times have we heard a similar story about a new and better light aircraft in development? I am not saying that this is particular project is a bad concept, just unproven as yet.
And when the 'low costs' skyrocket and the plane is basically unmarketable on a large scale, everybody sighs and starts over with another project that intends to do the same thing as the last only this time better and cheaper.
When manufacturers are NOT saddled with the kinds of regulation and liability they currently work under, they just MIGHT be able to push a concept like this all the way across the finish line and into the mass market.
Unfortunately, those conditions only exist in places like China as of now.
The things I see is the extra stress on the wing, a low glide ratio and the pusher prop does not meet virgin air. It looks great if you fly fast, don't make any mistakes and no stunt flying.
"I'm a husband and father of four, a consultant and professional designer, a veteran manufacturer of composite products, and one of the more advanced students of the big picture in fluid dynamics. Synergy is my resume, and I'd like to think it speaks for itself."
I notice McGinnis doesn't say anything about having any experience whatsoever in aeronautical, structural or mechanical engineering or even being a pilot. I'm supposed to take this guy seriously? By "designer," I suspect he means an industrial designer, and we've seen so many terribly impractical designs from such people here on Gizmag. He doesn't even give us any examples of what products he has designed in the past.
the day is almost here where not just the rich travel in their own airplanes.
Hmmm, so into that small, central fuselage module they're going to pack all the avionics, engine, fuel, flying controls, hydraulics, instruments, landing gear and a pilot ?
Not a lot of room left for passengers and their bags...
Have a look at the VP-400 emergency landing system covered on Gizmag recently ! http://www.gizmag.com/vp-400-emergency-landing-system/22308/
There's a good reason why planes don't look like this. It's been styled rather than engineered. A real concern is the proximity of the main and tail wing - tail plane ratio. This will create a very pitch sensitive aeroplane which will be difficult to fly.
If you compare the homebuilt aircraft, the successful designs are the all-rounders which are capable in all segments of the flight - take-off/landing, climb, criuse. This design is more prioritised to cruise with its sleek shape and low drag. Look at the past pusher aircraft - Vari-Viggen, Long-Eze, Cozy, Prescott Pusher, etc. Their numbers are small compared to more conventional layouts, such as Vans RV's, Glasair, etc. There's a reason for this.
Donwine,.. it appears you started with a flying wing, then added verticals, then horizontal stabs to increase the "tail moment", but integrated them all together so the verticals not only give yaw stability, but also reduce tip vortices. Interesting and ingenious. I love the "sexy design" Do you see an increased usable CG range due to the longer "tail" compared to simply a flying wing? Is there any washout,...i.e. twist like a horton, or relies only on the verticals? Avid modeler and also private pilot although I'm not current and active in fullscale at the moment.
If you'd like to see a model flying (21ft wingspan) and tech details of the model, here's the link to Gizmag . . .
Gary W....Don't know why you mentioned my name. I am building a twin sailplane that uses water ways for a runway. It is battery powered and can recharge in flight for the next take off. NiteRider makes some good points even though I am all for new attempts.
Why not use the Continental Voyager liquid cooled?
it would be perfect if it had an e-gas (methan) engine
I love this design! I heard about it via avweb and flicked them $10 via kickstarter - I urge anyone and everyone to do the same. They're a bunch of enthusiastic, can-do aviation nerds ... my kind of people :-)
@ Jon A - I agree - comparing these to business jets is silly. I'd say this thing will do 180 to 200 knots on 200 hp with great fuel burn so a better comparison would be a Cirrus SR-20 or -22. It is goes faster, thats awesome but a good comparison with business jets would be a TBM 850 or Pilatus.
@ Jack Bourke - I am surprised that engine never made it into production, especially for canards etc. I bet the diesel flogs it for specific fuel consumption though.
@ Niterider - that's what I thought too but after reading the designer's comments on the topic on some online forums, I am somewhat convinced. He reckons that the distance between the wing and tail is not the full story, due to other aerodynamic implications of the design. Remains to be seen, though. The RC model doesn't appear any more pitch sensitive than other models ...
a couple hours after the GizMag post, their KickStarter got pushed over the goal!
GizMag is a great resource; you guys do a fantastic job.
Looks intriguing. Making a model fly safely doesn't always translate to stability & control in a full-sized machine, but it does look like a nice rigid configuration. I wonder how much pitch control they've got with that short moment-arm on the tail.
Here's a link to a plane my Dad and his team designed for Rohr Industries back in the 1970's. The Rohr 2-175 FanJet was aimed at competing with the Cessna 150 - and at being street-taxiable to the owner's home where it could fold up to fit into a single-car garage.
Unfortunately Rohr went broke building light-rail cars for both BART and the Washington Metro System, and the bank forced the destruction of all three prototypes.
What a waste!