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,
...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 well...it 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.
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.
Oh hey there.
If you're reading this you've probably read most of the other posts in this blog. In that case, please feel free to browse some of my random and crazy projects that haven't been put into a blog post just yet!
please feel free to comment and ask questions on anything seen below.