Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 RAMV-1, Mach one attempt


It's been a while now, hasn't it! I've been diligently working my tail off at my actual job, making enough money to fund some of the projects that I'd like to jump into in the next year.
That being said, I think I've come up with enough funding to start my mach 1 rocket plane project.                  (finally)

I've started to make progress with the RAMV-1 (Ryan Archer Mach Vehicle-1 (for mach one)) design,
here are a few details:


(Black and yellow colors only to designate different aircraft parts)

I've chosen the basic general dimensions and design goals:
RAMV-1 Specifications
Length: 38"

Width: 17"
Height: 5"
Weight: 50 ounces (loaded)


Aerotech 38/720 Rocket Engine

Engine Specifications:
Engine Manufacturer: Aerotech-Rocketry
Engine Diameter: 38mm
Aerotech 38/720 Rocket Engine
Total Impulse(newton/second): 723Ns
Average Thrust (In newtons): 515N
Burn Time: 1.4 seconds
Ready to launch Mass: 23.1 ounces
Burnt Mass: 10.3 ounces

Oh, you may also be interested in this thrust curve graph:
(The motor used is the J500G)

The first thing I did after deciding upon the 38/720 rocket engine, was to draw it up in Solidworks.
I used this nifty little engineering drawing provided by Aerotech:

Aerotech-Rocketry RMS 38/720

Then, all of a sudden this appeared:

I have a lot of things left to draw and engineer. All of the stuff in this first post is subject to change and most likely will. Think of this as a rough first draft, something that illustrates my thoughts, but is in no way a legitimate design just yet. Have a look at my list of things to do for this project:

list of things to do for the RAMV-1 (in no certain time frame) includes (but is not limited to):

1. Finalize design and make engineering drawings of the parts.

2. Carve a solid wood plug of the airframe, Paint the plug and polish to a mirror finish.

3. Take a heavy 2 piece fiberglass mold of the part, seperated top and bottom.

4. Profit

I think that's far enough ahead for now, we'll have to see how it all plays out....Time will tell :D
I go back to work on monday after being gone for nearly 2 and a half weeks, so my time will be limited for a while, but I will work on the RAMV-1 when I can.
to end this blog post, I shall include several screenshots of the RAMV-1 Solidworks model:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


PROGRESS (is awesome)
The Thunderbird is starting to take shape, my rocket motors should be here any day now, my motor mount tube is almost cured enough to take off of the mandrel and the fuselage is almost built!

I rather like the tab together design. It makes building a lot easier, but cutting all of the little tabs by hand is a real pain in the butt.
Showing the rear detail- where I've sanded the bottom of the fuselage to accept the motor tube
Top Right- 3/4 completed fuselage
Middle- Sanded 3 piece wing, joined into one, with a carbon spar impregnated into the bottom skin
Bottom Left- top fuselage skin ready to go on

I made a small mistake when printing- I had the part right, but then for some unforeseen reason i decided to remove the 6mm lip on the top and bottom fuselage panels. I ended up having to attach some 1/4" square balsa wood to the corners of said pieces, all in all I actually think it will work better, being that I would like to fillet the corners and the wood will be harder than the foam, thus staying in better shape for a longer period of time (not that this plane should last long anyways)

Thursday is approaching quickly!
More progress to report later- when I get some more time to work on it :P

Project list for AEF (not necessarily in order of importance)
1. Launch Dolly for Me163 70mm Ducted fan jet, remotely detachable with steering and brakes.
2. Launch mechanism to mount to a Funcub that will release two Hacker Skyfighters, converted to RC gliders.
3. Launch mechanism for a 1ft long glider model of a Space shuttle, also mounted to Funcub, possibly could use same mounting hard points as aforementioned launcher.
4. Hacker models SkyCarver, I have one built, but I would like to build a new one with all of the tips and tricks i have learned from the first.
5. Can't forget finishing the ThunderBird
6. Build side force generator for 2.6m wingspan extra 260 (electric(A150 powered))

                                                        oh right, side force generators...

New SFG, picture does not do it justice. In reality the SFG is about half the area of the old one. (red)

Old SFG (red)

This airplane is an ExtremeFlight Extra 300EXP (48"), I really like the airplane, but the stock side force generators are just too big. I've decided to remedy the problem by  making my own, as seen above. The ones I have created (now covered in red) are 8 grams lighter per side, 8 grams may not seem like much, but every little bit counts with these small planes...I've also reduced the area to about half, which should increase the roll rate without taking a big hit in side area.

stay tuned, Next up....Rock-It plane wing mounting!

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's been a while.....but i'm here now! I've been thrashing my head against the wall trying to think of something cool to build the for the fast approaching Arizona Electric Festival. I think I've finally come up with something worthy of blogging.

So without further distraction-I present project: "Thunderbird".
It's a take on the German WWII plane code named "Silverfish". Silverfish was a Nazi space plane designed to drop nukes' on America, so it has to be cool...right?! So anyways, some general specs.....

Wingspan: 21.50"
Length: 26.50"
Motor average thrust: 54N
Burn time: Approx 1.8s
Guestimated weight: 10oz RTF-Loaded. After burn out- 8.50oz
Controls: Ailerons(2 servos) Elevators (2 servos(for the option of taileron mixing)) Ignition control (1 brushed ESC)
Build Material: Mostly 6mm depron foam- carbon fiber main spars, 0.125" balsa Tail feathers with carbon reinforcement.
Airfoil: NACA 1210, 1.5 deg washout, 0deg Dihedral/Anhedral
Tail airfoil: Flat plate- rounded leading edge
Servos: E-flite S60J
Receiver: Spektrum Ar6115 DSMx
Flight battery: Thunder Power 2s 910mah

Anyways, here are a few pictures.

Showing the internal structure, radio box in front along with Bottom hatch

Front Perspective view

Rear Perspective view

Front Rotated view
The Thunderbird is coming along quite nicely, I have the wing sanded (very tedious and painful), the rocket tube layed up on an aluminum mandrel, all of the Balsa wood parts cut out, the hinges and rocket motor selected and ordered, all brand new radio gear sitting on the bench ready to be installed and all of the plans cut out! now to find the time to finish this all before Thursday morning, which is when the event starts (lol)


Here is a pic of a wing half- Note the 'snow' in the shop

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mach one V2

        So, for a little while now a few friends and I have been discussing mach flight with R/C. The goal is to surpass mach 1 with a rocket powered R/C plane....a very daunting task indeed! With today's modern solid fuel-high power rocket engines the task seems do-able , but the trick will be keeping the plane together throughout the whole flight and successfully recording a mach speed.
   The plane Rocket will house an Aerotech J1999 Rocket motor, which is 54mm in diameter and just under 13" long, which means the plane can be fairly compact, and most of all made in one piece out of carbon fiber and epoxy resin. Also, did I forget to mention it will be two stages ;) The whole assembly will possibly need to be air launched at 500 feet or so, where the first stage rocket glider will accelerate to just over 350mph. After burn out of the first stage, the second stage is released and takes off like a rocket (lol) The top end speed of the RAM1 (official project name) should be close to mach 1.5 with the aforementioned rocket motor. As long as the plane holds together and all systems work correctly, we should have what may be the world's fastest (recorded) ground piloted civilian Rocket plane. The whole flight is expected to take place in a closed range, with permission from both the FAA and Land owners, in the middle of the desert. The flight area is 100 square miles, and the actual burn time of the two motors is just less than 3.5 seconds, if something goes wrong, or the craft blows up it should in theory hit the ground far before reaching any boundary whatsoever. Time will tell with more calculations. For now, I leave you with these pictures,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To glide, or not to glide.

...So it's been several days since the last update, and by several I mean a week ;) Since the last chapter I've Built a 1/2 scale prototype glider to prove the concept, and works! At first the glider was only to throw around and see if the design was somewhat valid, but eventually I got bored with that and with a little help from my friend Scott, we now have a radio controlled half scale missile-glider!

I hand cut the parts from 3mm Depron material.

In this picture most of the framing has been done, only excluding the two outer bottom skins.

aaaaand the finished test glider! Note the pinned control surfaces on the tips. it's almost always necessary to trim an aircraft to optimize performance.

Showing the rear side of the test glider.
 note the control surface deflection

Then, after I was satisfied with the glider performance, I started designing and building this model:

it currently awaits being sheeted in 3mm depron. I still need to cut the holes for the rocket motor tube, as well as installing the radio gear and the nose block.
Oh, and we can't forget the glide test of the 1/2 scale RC model! Dropped off an RC 747 no less (thanks for the tow Scott!). We had a storm front moving through at the time, so Windy conditions were about. In  order to make the glider penetrate we added (6) quarters to the underside located slightly in front of the CG(Center of Gravity). In the video I had to dive at a fairly steep angle in order to have enough forward progression to keep it out of the treeline, which killed my flight time...but the glider is controllable and stable. Overall the test was a success, and I am happy with the design. We'll see what comes about in the time future. I don't plan any immediate large scale attempts because competition season is starting, but I promise to blog about the larger models when I get around to designing/building them. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

so... Airplanes,Yeah. Wait-No. Rocket Planes!

I'll be the first to Admit, I Really like flying things, and I especially like Rocket powered flying things.
Which leads me to my next project. As all 3 of you who have found the site may or may not have seen, Nasa/Dryden and Darpa have designed and flown some really exciting new 'planes' which are capable of  Hypersonic Speeds using Scramjet Engines and...well....that's legit.  The idea of a Rocket Powered flying wing has been kicking around in my head for a good year now, so I think it's finally time to stop daydreaming about and just build it!

I'll just keep this one short and sweet....
This is a Test glider to explore the Aerodynamics of such a craft. Built from depron foam and poster board, it's a fairly simple build and I hope it flies well enough to further develop the plane.