The Great Ongoing General Aviation Thread

I saw a Concorde take off once (I think it was from Bradly Intl. in Hartford, Conn.), and remember it was beautiful but very loud, even through the sound-deadening glass windows of the air terminal. A college friend worked for a big Wall Street firm in the go-go Eighties and got to fly on the Concorde once for a business trip. She loved it.

Here’s more on the plane we will probably never see IRL: Aerion AS2 - Wikipedia

Radial engines have a lot of disadvantages. They use a lot of oil, and tend to blow it onto the airplane. They have a large frontal area, so they increase drag and reduce visibility over the nose. They can be operationally difficult to use, because they are more prone to shock cooling and proper engine techniques are more important. Oil can collect in the bottom cylinders leading to hydraulic lock, etc. They can be more complex and as a result they often have low time between overhaul - the Pratt and Whitney R-985 has a TBO between 1000 and 1200 hours, depending on application. A comparable inline engine might have a TBO of 2000-2400 hours.

There are still good uses for radials. Crop dusters like them for the power to weight ratio, and the high frontal drag can be a feature. They can be wasier to work on, and you can blow a cylinder and the engine keeps running just fine. And you can get high power for less weight.

They also have some advantages:

Air-cooled radial engines have quite a few advantages over their inline cousins. They’re lighter than liquid-cooled inline engines and since they don’t rely on coolant, they’re more damage-resistant. Radial engines are simpler - the crankshafts are shorter and they need fewer crankshaft bearings. They’re more reliable and run smoother.

Then it goes on to the disadvantages. :wink:

Yeah, like pretty much everything in aviation, they are a trade-off.

34 years ago Friday, Mathias Rust landed a Cessna 172 in (or near) Red Square.

After watching the PBS show on electric planes that truism is about to be change. Electric motors allow a complete rethink of wing design.

You’re absolutely right that electric propulsion will be revolutionary, not evolutionary.

But there will still be tradeoffs, just different ones. There will be massive changes in the types of trades available and the terms of the trades.

Just like aluminum airplanes made things practical that wood & fabric planes could never have been made to do.

Just like composite airplanes made things practical that aluminum planes could never have been made to do.

Just like turbojet engines made things practical that piston engines could never have been made to do.

Just like high bypass turbofan engines made things practical that pure turbojets engines could never have been made to do.

For sure the next 10-15 years will be nearly as exciting in aviation as was the 1960s.

This is an article about a near miss between two planes, but can anyone identify the glider in the photo? It looks unusual.

The glider is a Fouvel AV-36

I need to research what was said on the program but I don’t think there is a tradeoff for commuters using turboprops. Lithium batteries are a non-starter but hydrogen fuel cells would be an energy swap with jet fuel. I could have mis-heard what was said but they said the energy density is there.

and we are just a few short years away from some serious personal airplanes. The one most impressive was the design from Joby which is making every piece of the airplane including motors and propellers.

I remain skeptical of electric flight. The only use-case I’ve seen so far that comes close to being realistic is the Harbor Air project with the electric Beavers. They are an island-hopping transport company where most flights are around 15 minutes. That’s a pretty rare use case, but one that actually works for electric power.

Beware scam companies. ‘Green’ solutions are ripe for scams, because we are raining money on people who claim to solve vexing global warming problems, and we’re suckers for ‘disrupting’ designs and fancy CGI marketing. The vast majority of the futuristic electric airplanes we see breathlessly reported in the tech press will never be certified.

And there are always tradeoffs. While hydrogen is similar to kerosene in terms of weight, it needs about four times the volume - and apparently it’s not easy to store in wing tanks. You need something like a 700 bar carbon fiber pressure vessel to hold the hydrogen, which could present its own certification problems. I’d hate to be in a crash with one of those in the fuselage. Then there are problems with hydrogen embrittlement, which will necessitate new inspection regimes before we certify these planes.

I will say hydrogen fuel cells look to be more promising for electric flight than batteries as of today.

That’s pretty much how I see it. I saw some VERY interesting ideas like a hybrid 337 and another plane that used a turbine generator to power the motors.

What I really liked was the concept of using a thin wing for high speed that uses multiple smaller electric motors to create a blown flap arrangement or even a tilt rotor transition. Very easily done.

That’s a very cool glider! Looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.

Fly the kinky skies:

The first thing I thought when I saw it was, ‘yikes, that thing is short-coupled, and doesn’t have a swept wing. It must be a handful to fly.’ But yeah, it looks super cool. and it could be a really efficient glider with that flying wing. And stealthy. It definitely belongs in a Mission Impossible film.

I noticed something novel in my spam box today:

Please be noted that Reporting of Safety Incident (ROSI), Air Traffic Control (ATC) has been initiated due to the following incident information attached for your immediate action.

WIth a phishing or virus link. Kind of odd, you’d think the proportion of the randomly chosen population for whom this could plausibly be genuine would be tiny. Maybe something like got hacked, I can’t remember if I gave them my email.

What is it about SWA and flaky pilots in the news?

the German rocket plane ME-163 started out as a glider that morphed into a powered version known as the Lippisch Delta IV. Germany was prevented from developing war planes after WW-I but they could develop gliders.

These aircraft were the progenitors of Delta wing aircraft.

I’m guessing the point was just to attempt to get past spam filters by including some text that appears in legitimate emails.

I would check with Google to see if your email address appears in any hacked databases that might be aviation related. Or, someone may have bought a mailing list from a company that tracks online usage and flagged you as a pilot or interested in aviation.