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Fuselage proposals

Choose your cockpit

Once the wing is designed, the fuselage needs to be created. I had so much freedom and ...so much inspiration.

Here is a selection of my own thoughts. Some were just "what-if", others were real possibilities.

The first and most easy fuselage

If i would have stayed with this design, all would have been more simple to finish. The prototype would have flown. But ...i saw the possibility to create a "alien starship". Was too tempting to let go. So i went for not so simple. And now i would give you the advise: KISS! Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Below the pilot is carrying that blue cover on his back. It also had the turtle back on it to help the streamline. Pilots legs could be in hangglider sack.

I feared a bit bad performance due to air leaking through the fuselage from bottom hole to head hole. Leaking air pressure means less pressure difference, which results in less lift. I prevented that leak with a fabric with zipper at the top. Kind of same fabric as hangglider sacks.

IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT MAKING THE DRAGONWING BECOME ALIVE, DO THIS ONE !!!!!

SW Naboo inspired

In this kind of thinking i made two proposals. A seated one and a prone one. The seated one is very open air. It was not footlaunchable. Might have been a very easy to make edition.

At first i feared that the view in the seated edition would be impossible. But ...i found out by testing that is would be possible due to something that Lindbergh used too in his Spirit of St. Louis. A periscope! Really. I tested it in a mock up. Was like looking though a hole in the wing. I was looking "through" the spar. Periscope was installed just behind it to avoid making holes int he D-tube.

Side view to the bottom could be done by transparent parts at the sides of the pilot.

To improve aerodynamics, the pilot could have a kind of sack over his body. That way only his head would to in open air.

The seated edition would be a perfect ultralight sailplane.

But i admit. I like the idea of a prone pilot position. Especially when working on a Horten revival! The next one was made after i heard Al Bowers give the tip to avoid air separation behind the pilots position. It would degrade the wings performance. So ...i made a nice streamliner. And ...it has a handle to pull/push the glider on the ground.

Later i added a extra transparent part at the side.

Landing is on a skid that is located between the legs of the pilot. The skid acts also a bit as seat/support for the pilot.

A hangglider like sack could have covered the legs of the pilot to increase the streamline.

And yes ...i like StarWars.  ;)

Closed and very KISS

The Naboo prone edition had very much transparent parts that might be difficult to make. I wanted to reduce that work to a single transparent part. More like a kind of visor.

This easy looking canopy was the result. Same landing skid as previous one.

My only fear would be the turbulences. If you get shaken around by the wind, you will smack your face against the very close side. A real problem ....or was i thinking too far away?

Inspired by Horten HV

Still prone pilot position. But i guess you see the link with the Horten HV.

Burt Rutan, you are a inspiration

I wanted the pilot IN the spar. I thought that this struss inspired spar might work. But ...getting a good look with such a structure might be hard. And i really went outside the box and ...found Burt Rutan in my memory. Thank you.

I call it the Spider Eye.

It looks a bit "too much", but ...it really gives a good all-round vision!

 

I really really really liked this one. But my entire team told me ..."DON'T"! Cracked a bit the self-confidence about this design. :(

The on-top pod

After i saw on a National Geographic documentary how they made the transparent parts for that Horten HIX (Go 229), i thought that curved parts might be possible if they were not so large or so hard curved.

So ...i didn't need one big bubble, but ...several smaller ones or one that was not so deeply curved. Well, i combined both in this proposal.

The seated pilot would have less trouble with the spar. And ...he would have good visibility.

But this could not become a footlaunched glider, which was my goal. so, only possible as ultralight sailplane or ...motorised ultralight.

 

The blended pod

The previous one had not the possibility to become a footlaunchable hangglider. So, i needed maybe to place the pod BELOW the wing.

One concern of me is the bad balance of the side areas around the CG. Too much in front of CG. Not good for the directional stability.

The sleek one

Looks very similar to a previous proposal, but here i have no longer a skid. I intended retracting central wheels. Mono-trace.

The Race pod

I saw that the Blended Pod had too many side area in front of the CG. Here was a proposal to solve that problem. I was inspired by my old WAW-velomobile.

I made it a bit more accesable and a bit more rigid with those "struts".

Single surface bend pod

I like the Race pod. But i liked to have more performance due to better streamlining. But ...i wanted to avoid complex curved transparent parts. So ...only single surface bended perplex sheets.

This design was nearly the end-product. We all liked it a lot. Was king of  link between Horten and the well known hangglider called SWIFT.

Reason why it did not made it to production: right wingtip, left wingtip, mid section AND pod. That makes FOUR parts! One too many! If i could include the pilot in the mid section it would be super.

Pilot in wing-with pod below

We learned that it wold be possible to create a slightly bended spar. The pilot would be laying over it. His arms at the front of the spar. I tried to make side view still a bit possible. So i used a partly pod below the wing. What would you think the problem was here? Read under these pictures.

The bend which we could have in the spar was not so deep. So, i could not create a pod as low as this one.
So ...if the spar could not be bend, why not return to a old concept? Place the pilot IN the spar.

Hmmm ...like it, but ...the looks. It is missing something. it misses that X-factor.

X-FACTOR


Oh boy, i am proud of my work. Oh, yes, it has the X-factor!

But it was a bit too alien to my team members. Really ???

DragonWing

So ...this is what it would become.

I like it! I like it! I like it! Do you too?

Several landing gear proposals

 

DRAGONWING

ORIGIN OF PROJECT

WING DESIGN BY ALBION BOWERS

WHY?

MOCK-UPS

WING CONSTRUCTION

WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?