Saturday, August 27, 2011

"printed" aircraft

Engineers fly the world’s first ‘printed’ aircraft

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Description: PrintedAircraft1
SULSA is the world's first "printed" aircraft. Credit: University of Southampton
Engineers at the University of Southampton have designed and flown the world’s first ‘printed’ aircraft, which could revolutioniZe the economics of aircraft design.

The SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) plane is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) whose entire structure has been printed, including wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches. It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which fabricates plastic or metal objects, building up the item layer by layer.

No fasteners were used and all equipment was attached using ‘snap fit’ techniques so that the entire aircraft can be put together without tools in minutes.

The electric-powered aircraft, with a 2-metres wingspan, has a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour, but when in cruise mode is almost silent. The aircraft is also equipped with a miniature autopilot developed by Dr Matt Bennett, one of the members of the team.

Laser sintering allows the designer to create shapes and structures that would normally involve costly traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology allows a highly-tailored aircraft to be developed from concept to first flight in days. Using conventional materials and manufacturing techniques, such as composites, this would normally take months. Furthermore, because no tooling is required for manufacture, radical changes to the shape and scale of the aircraft can be made with no extra cost.

This project has been led by Professors Andy Keane and Jim Scanlan from the University’s Computational Engineering and Design Research group.

“The flexibility of the laser sintering process allows the design team to re-visit historical techniques and ideas that would have been prohibitively expensive using conventional manufacturing," says Scanlon. "One of these ideas involves the use of a Geodetic structure. This type of structure was initially developed by Barnes Wallis and famously used on the Vickers Wellington bomber which first flew in 1936. This form of structure is very stiff and lightweight, but very complex. If it was manufactured conventionally it would require a large number of individually tailored parts that would have to be bonded or fastened at great expense.”

“Another design benefit that laser sintering provides is the use of an elliptical wing planform," says Keane. "Aerodynamicists have, for decades, known that elliptical wings offer drag benefits. The Spitfire wing was recognized as an extremely efficient design but it was notoriously difficult and expensive to manufacture. Again laser sintering removes the manufacturing constraint associated with shape complexity and in the SULSA aircraft there is no cost penalty in using an elliptical shape.”

SULSA is part of the EPSRC-funded DECODE project, which is employing the use of leading edge manufacturing techniques, such as laser sintering, to demonstrate their use in the design of UAVs.

The University of Southampton has been at the forefront of UAV development since the early 1990s, when work began on the Autosub programme at its waterfront campus at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. A battery powered submarine travelled under sea ice in more than 300 voyages to map the North Sea, and assess herring stocks.

Now, the University is launching a groundbreaking course which enables students to take a Master's Degree in unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) design.

This is the first scheme of its kind and from September 2011, postgraduates can take part in a one-year program covering the design, manufacture and operation of robotic vehicles. The degree will cover marine, land based and pilotless aircraft, typically used in environments that are deemed unsafe or uneconomic, such as exploration under sea ice, or monitoring gas emissions from volcanic eruptions. NASA expects UAVs to become 'standard tools' in fields such as agriculture, earth observation and climate monitoring.            


March 2010 Hilton Head Accident

NTSB Identification: ERA10LA175
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 15, 2010 in Hilton Head Island, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2011
Aircraft: SMITH EDWARD I LANCAIR IV-P, registration: N9JE
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Uninjured.
According to the NTSB's probable cause report, the pilot stated that while in cruise flight he observed the instrument panel begin to vibrate heavily and oil begin to cover the wind screen before hearing a loud "bang." The engine then lost power as oil continued to obscure the wind screen. The pilot had no forward visibility and could not maintain the airplane's altitude. He elected to make an emergency landing on a nearby beach and during the landing the airplane struck and killed a pedestrian. Examination of the airplane revealed that the propeller assembly separated from the crankshaft and was missing. The propeller assembly and propeller flange were not recovered.
An examination by the NTSB Materials Laboratory of the crankshaft revealed that the aft face of the fracture contained crack arrest marks. The fracture of the crankshaft was caused by multiple-origin fatigue cracks that emanated at the aft relief radius for the propeller flange. The records for this engine and airplane do not show an entry of a propeller strike. However, multiple-origin fatigue cracks that extend nearly 50% around the circumference of the aft relief radius for the propeller flange suggest that the propeller had struck an object prior to fracture of the crankshaft. In the absence of material anomalies, the fatigue cracking appears likely to have been caused by external impact stress, such as a propeller strike.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be a loss of engine power due to the failure of the crankshaft as a result of a previously undocumented propeller strike.
The engine was disassembled and inspected by a Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) investigator with FAA oversight. No anomalies were noted within the engine assembly. TCM found evidence of fatigue cracking on the fracture face of the crankshaft. At the request of the NTSB Materials Laboratory, TCM made a cut through the main journal portion in an area located approximately two inches aft of the fracture. The two-inch segment was shipped to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination.
An examination by the NTSB Materials Laboratory of the two-inch segment of the crankshaft revealed that the aft face of the fracture contained crack arrest marks. The aft relief radius for the propeller flange contained no evidence of mechanical damage, such as gouge marks. The fatigue crack propagated through the full thickness of the wall of the crankshaft, and extended around approximately 50 percent of the crankshaft circumference. The remaining portion of the fracture face contained a rough texture consistent with overstress separation.
A review of the engine logbooks dating back to September 13, 1996, revealed that the engine was installed on a Piper Malibu, N70DL, serial number 46-8608001, and did not reveal any anomalies that would have been contributing to the fatigue crack. The last entry dated July 28, 1998, at a Hobbs time of 1806.6 hours for aircraft N70DL revealed that an oil and filter change was conducted. There were no entries for this engine for the next four years. A review of the propeller and aircraft logbook entries also did not reveal any anomalies that would have contributed to the fatigue crack. On May 31, 2002, the records revealed that the engine was disassembled, cleaned, and inspected to check for corrosion and overall condition. New exhaust guides were installed; the valves and seats were ground, the cylinders were oversized and new piston rings were installed. The engine was reassembled using parts that were supplied on a work order in accordance with data approved by or acceptable to the FAA. The engine was run in a test cell and returned to service. The engine was then stored for approximately seven years. After the engine was purchased by the new owner, a logbook entry revealed that the engine was converted from a model TSIO-550-C to a model TSIO-550-B in accordance with Continental Service Bulletin M75-6, REV. 1, and dated 6/4/1975. The conversion was completed by the owner/mechanic on January 15, 2009, installed and returned to service after a 100-hour inspection. The engine accumulated 99 hours since it was converted and installed on the current airplane.

In a telephone conversation with the previous owner of the engine, he said that he originally intended to install the engine in an airplane that he was building. The engine was sent to a service center to be inspected, and repaired as necessary. He had no knowledge of any damage to the engine during his ownership. The engine was never installed on his airplane or used after the service.

Wantabee A Bush Pilot ???????????

The length of a Cub is 27’ 7”. Note the landing distance for several of these guys is less than the length of a Cub. How long is your driveway?.. J

Good Stick work...This demonstrates what how great bush pilots have to be.  They would make great carrier guys.

Great Story!!!!

Midair rescue mystery solved 43 years later

By Jeff Jardine, Modesto Bee

Published: Monday, Mar. 7, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

MODESTO - Wayne Hague always wondered whatever happened to the pilot
whose crippled plane he refueled and escorted to safety over North
Vietnam ..

Ron Catton always wondered about that pilot who kept him from having to
bail out of his F-4C Phantom fighter and right into a suite at the Hanoi

More than 43 years have passed since they were linked by their meeting
in the skies over Southeast As ia, even though they never knew each
other's names. But fate has a way of working things out.

This head-spinner happened because two men who live more than 900 miles
apart told their versions of same story to the same people who helped
them finally connect.

Here's the gist of it: Hague, 76, retired from the Air Force, spent 20
years teaching and now is a volunteer counselor at the Merced County
Rescue Mission in Merced . Catton, 78, owns a financial services business
in Spokane , Wash.

In December, Catton spoke to a group of students at a high school that
his  grandchildren attend in Yakima , Wash. Among his flying stories was
his near catastrophe during the Vietnam War and how a pilot and crew of
a KC -135 refueling plane disobeyed orders by flying about 100 miles into
North Vietnam to get him.

That story sounded very familiar to Rick Van Beek, the school's
principal. Van Beek had heard it from his wife, Lolly, who heard it from
the tanker pilot during a medical missionary trip to Ken ya .

"The bells started going off in my head," Van Beek said. "How can  these
be separate stories?"

After seeing Catton again a couple of weeks later, Van Beek went to his
office and called his daughter, who also had gone on the Africa trip.
She knew the tanker pilot's name. Van Beek then did a Google search on Wayne Hague. He printed out
the info, returned to the gym and handed it to Catton.

"I said, 'Here's another pilot who seems to have the other half of your
story,'" Van Beek told him.

The story had its roots in the fall of 1967 as the Vietnam War was
heating up.

Catton served in the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. On this particular day,
he fl ew the lead plane among Phantoms providing cover for bombers on a
mission over Hanoi .

Once the bombers emptied their loads, they returned to their bases.
Then the Phantoms zoomed down and dropped their bombs as well.

As Catton bombed a railroad bridge, enemy rounds ripped into the intake
of his right engine.

As he maneuvered his crippled plane, Catton said, enemy fighter jets
appeared. "I looked over my shoulder and there were three MiGs on me."

After another pilot flew in to run off the MiGs, that threat subsided.

Catton faced another: a plane with one blown-out engine and other major
problems, including the fact that he was still above North Vietnamese
real estate.

"I was heading back toward Laos , all shot up and leaking fuel," Catton
said. "I wanted to bail out over Laos . If I bailed (over North Vietnam ),
I would have ended up in the Hanoi Hilton."

He put out what amounted to a "Mayday" call, and Hague - flying over L
aos in his KC -135 - answered.

"When I heard his voice," Catton said, "it was like the voice of God. I
told him I was heading west toward Laos .  He said, 'Negative, Cadillac
Lead (Catton's code name). I'll come and get you.'" Just one problem:
Hague had strict orders not to cross over the border into North Vietnam .

With a pilot in trouble, though, he didn't hesitate. Hague hooked up
with Catton over the Black River, roughly 100 miles from Laos .

"I just went in and got him," Hague said.

As they positioned their respective planes to connect the refueling
boom, Catton radioed: "Understand I've got a fire warning and smoke in
the cockpit. You don't have to take me on."

Hague's response? "Cadillac Lead, get your sorry ass in position for a
hookup before I change my mind!"

Catton's plane leaked the fuel as quickly as the tanker could pump it
in. So they stayed connected for more than 200 miles until Catton
detached to land at an air ba se in Thailand while Hague returned to his
own at Takhli. Just as Catton touched down, his left engine quit, too.

Hague never told anyone at Takhli about the incident. Someone must have.
His superiors knew, and the rumor mill soon began to churn.

A day or so later, on the ground at Udon, Catton heard that the tanker
pilot likely would be court-martialed for going over into North Vietnam ,
putting his crew and plane at severe risk.

So Catton went to his commanding officer, who had a solution: He'd
recommend the tanker pilot for a Silver Star.

Neither Hague nor Catton can say this for certain, but both heard that
the Silver Star recommendation
arrived at headquarters the same day as the court-martial pap ers,
leaving the brass to weigh an act of heroism that saved a pilot's life
against the military crime of blatantly disobeying orders.

Hague never got his Silver Star, but he didn't get court-martialed,

Through all of this, neither Hague nor Catton learned each other's

It stayed that way until Feb. 6, 2011, when Hague got a phone call that
went something like this:

"Are you Wayne Hague?"

"Yes, I am," he answered.

"Were you in Vietnam in 1967?" the caller continued.

"Yes, I was.."

"Did you enter North Vietnam to pick up a fighter pilot, shot up and
going down?"

"Yes, I did."

"I'm the pilot."

Only then did Hague learn the name of the man he'd rescued more than 43
years ago.

They met a few days later. Hague already planned on traveling to
Lewiston , Idaho , to watch grandson Jason Hague play baseball at
Lewis-Clark State College. So he drove two more hours to Spokane , and
the two pilots saw each other face to face for the first time.

Indeed, Hague always wondered about the fighter pilot whose life he
saved so long ago.
Likewise with Catton.

B24 over Seattle

flying on one wing

Saturday Morning Breakfast

All The Saturday morning breakfast we had was a resounding success. The eggs to order, the bacon fried crispy, the fruit garnish,...