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Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 2:22 PM


The above picture shows a conceptual design of an aero vehicle designed by me, which I have named it as AVCAR. The car can run on roads as well as can fly in air at low altitudes. Basically it is of V/STOL type. When the car runs on roads, it gets its power from the solar cells located at the front. When it flies in the air, the power from the solar cell gets automatically cut off and the propulsion system provides the power.

I am a student and have designed this solely by studying aerodynamics and propulsion. Any suggestions/comments/help regarding this will be highly solicited.

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#1

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/26/2012 2:27 PM

Solar power should not be cut-off when flying, You waste at least a mph or two of speed. S.M.

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#20
In reply to #1

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/27/2012 7:35 AM

I would encourage you to pursue your ideas in every way. I would advise that you should start with the basic calculation to assess its limits of possibility.

Start by calculating the maximum energy required, the Sun will provide X watts per squ metre. Decide what minimum level of energy storage you require (say, for safety in takeoff!), and this will have a weight penalty. Add to this the minimum weight at which you can construct this machine, if it is manned add the weight of the man.

Do the basic calculation as to whether the energy you can capture is capable of doing what you envisage, or what area of cells are required. Even if the solar cells are 100% efficient, my "guess" is that it would not be feasible, but do not let me discourage you.

Do your dreaming and scheming, and use your imagination, but remember, the Engineering must always come before the fancy styling, the styling is the enclosure of the Engineering requirements, and may in many cases be an integral part of the Engineering solution. Styling and appearance (with its appropriate level of importance according to the project) will certainly be "born in mind" during the solution of the Engineering problems.

Do not be discouraged, concentrate on the Engineering and Science rather than the Artistic.

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#2

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/26/2012 2:36 PM

It takes a LOT of power to lift a vehicle off the ground. This power is not possible with solar power and you don't describe the "propulsion" system for that, so I wonder if it is electric? This will be the biggest hurdle to overcome, by the way.

Notice the amount of room occupied by the cells on the advanced vehicle.Credit

Battery powered airplanes are starting to become marginally feasible, but not too practical. Electric Airplane Wins $1.35 Million Aviation Prize

You've got a lot of work to do, but I salute your effort. Your biggest obstacle will be in finding a way to keep everything light and yet powerful.

Forget the aerodynamic skin design, that's well established. Concentrate on the propulsion/power system. If you have to use two different power systems, you are doomed to fail. That will make it too complex and heavy.

Good luck!

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/26/2012 11:05 PM

Dear lyn,

Firstly I would like to thank you very much for praising my effort.

Coming to the point, as said earlier, I am still a student and still studying all these subjects. I am extremely a novice at this point and I know I have to work hard a lot to crack the nut. Regarding the material of the car, I have thought to make it with carbon composites, due to the fact that it will contribute much to make the car lightweight. Regarding, obtaining power from the solar cells, can you give me an idea, whether it is really possible to drive the car on the road by obtaining power from the solar panel? And, when the car starts to lift off from the road, the solar cells will not be operational. The propulsion system will come into effect. I am thinking of mounting the propulsion system in the following way:

There will be two engines: one aligned to the horizontal and other vertically. When the car starts to lift off, the vertically mounted engine will be operational and the horizontal engine will be kept shut. Now, when the car attains a required height(it must not be too high), the vertical engine will be non-operational and the horizontal engine will begin to function. Also, I am intending to design the engine in such a way, so that the transports/people/or any other thing on the road are not so affected by jet blast. Actually, I want to design the vehicle in such a way, so that, it can lift from almost any places without hampering any other thing.

Now, is it ok? Your valuable suggestions will really help me. Modifications if necessary, can be done.

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/26/2012 11:30 PM

Hi adiptadatta,

Welcome to CR4. It is refreshing to have a student come here with a sound concept and a willingness to learn.

This type of design work is normally done by many people, so be patient.

Your biggest hurdle will be the propulsion system. I think you will need to use the same power source for both propulsion systems, so solar may need some augmentation. That will add more weight. Super capacitors may be a help here.

Carbon fiber is good, but i had a boat once, made of Kevlar, and it was very light and very strong. Look at a combination of both.

Take it a step at a time. It is all very good experience for you.

Oh, the joking about propulsion systems (magneto whatever) is normal for some of us. Just ignore that.

Cheers.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Conceptual Design of new aero-vehicle

03/27/2012 12:02 AM

Dear lyn,

Thank you for your appraisal.

The point that I want to make it run on solar, came to my mind, since the world is now concerned for eco-friendliness. Also, browsing some articles on the internet, I have seen that about 80km/hr speed can be achieved by it. For example, refer to it : http://www.bitrebels.com/design/new-world-record-the-fastest-solar-powered-car/

Regarding the propulsion systems, I want to apply a similar mechanism as used by the V22-Osprey or the fighter crafts, but not fully similar. Since, it will be limited to low altitudes, so I think, very high power is not required.

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#3

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 3:01 PM

Where does the horizontal stabilization come from?

This propulsion system... is it VASIMR?

Where do the people sit? How many cupholders does it have? Can I use it as an underwater boat as well?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 3:15 PM

You card!!!! You know VASIMR doesn't work under water. Neither do solar cells.

You need Magnetohydrodynamic drive for underwater use.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 3:30 PM

I think VASIMR will work underwater if the medium (water) has been boiled in a microwave and then cooled.

Hey, what? Stop rolling your eyes. I read it on the internet so it must be true!

I sort of doubt that undersea adventures are the intended use of this concept car. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 3:52 PM

Won't microwaving the ocean water kill all the plant life it contains?

And the solar cells won't be much use, unless they can be adapted to make electricity from sterile sea water.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 11:13 PM

Dear Doorman,

The people obviously will sit inside. It will be a seven seater including the driver. That picture, I have not uploaded here. I think you can not use it as an underwater boat. But, if you think it can be used as an underwater boat, you can share with me the mechanism. Regarding the propulsion system, which is the main concern here, I am pondering over it. I am a junior to this subject, and so I admit, I have very limited knowledge. If you all can help me, regarding this, then it will be truly beneficial to me and I will remain grateful to you all.

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#7

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 6:36 PM

What's a V/STOL? Where's the engine/s? where's the wheels? Where's the pilot? Where's the prop/s? How wide are the wings? What's the rate of climb? What's the cruising speed? What's the range? What's the ceiling?

Why don't you just buy one of these?

and then work on something like this....or this...

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#14
In reply to #7

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 11:26 PM

The full form of V/STOL is Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing- means an aircraft can lift off vertically from the ground or can take off with a short speeding spree. It can also land at the same fashion as the takeoff. Regarding the location of the engine//s, I have shown in the diagram I think. The detailed diagram I am preparing it. Its just an initial concept which I want to fulfill. Since the vehicle, will be limited to fly at low altitudes, I think the safe cruising speed can be 100km/hr assuming that there is no obstacle ahead. Coming to other queries u asked, I am performing the mathematical calculations. You are warmly requested to support me, in this regard, so that I can progress with it. And, by posting the picture by you, I would like to thank you very much. It will really help me.

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#8

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 7:32 PM

It appears just to be flashy looking shape with almost no thought to any powerplant - other than saying "the propulsion system provides the power." A rubber band perhaps?

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#9

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 10:35 PM

I salute your efforts. I hope you are able to make progress with this.

I am concerned that since people can't stop crashing into each other on the ground, they will be falling like swatted flies when they run into each other in the air. This has been a major concern with combined ground/air transportation.

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#16
In reply to #9

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 11:39 PM

Dear standarded,

I would like to thank you very much for your much appraisal. Refering to the previous discussions, I am really a junior to all these subjects and willing to fulfill my conception very much. I admit that since I am a junior to all these, my knowledge is very limited. If you all can help me, provide advice, suggestions and so on, they will really provide me as an impetus to carry on with it.

Coming to your point, yes, crashing one onto another is a major cause to date. I think it can be eliminated by deploying TCAS, and other traffic proximity warning systems. The only thing, people will have to rely on the navigational instruments more.

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#10

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 10:59 PM

I think you were very wise to put a copyright notice on your design.

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#13

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 11:18 PM

You might want to review the history of the combined car-airplane concept (mostly money-losing failures) from the 1930's to current day. See especially Paul Moller's Skycar. What at first sounds like a good idea quickly becomes an expensive and technically difficult program without much market. It usually resembles the cartoon of a physicist with a black board filling equation which has "and then a miracle happens" in the middle of the equation with a fellow physicist saying "I think this middle part needs further explanation. Getting the FAA to agree to let the average motorist operate the vehicle as an aircraft without going through the private pilot training and licensing process is a major hurdle. Moller is counting on computer-based automation to take over all the piloting tasks with the owner just providing high-level guidance (i.e. where do you want to go?).

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#17
In reply to #13

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/26/2012 11:47 PM

Dear Graycav,

I have already reviewed the M400 X Skycar and I know it was very difficult to design. But, you know, it is a habit of me to take the impossibles as a challenge and try hard to make it possible. So, I think a little contribution from me, who is a new born baby in this subject is worth of it!

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#24
In reply to #17

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 12:27 AM

Just a warning that you don't seem to fully understand how difficult a task you are taking on. I am suprised at all the back slapping, encouragement and praise you are getting from supposedly experienced engineers. My career was spent in technology development for Army Aviation, primarily rotary wing aircraft. I've seen many edge of the envelope concepts proposed and attempted. Some of them managed to get exploratory funding from DARPA and other high-risk takers. In the end, they crashed on the rocks of basic engineering. It's OK to reach out but you can't ignore the findings of previous research efforts and the existing base of scientific/engineering knowledge. You have to understand propulsive efficiency, lift generation, flight control, structural weight and strength, vibration environment and effects, durability and reliability, handling characteristics, etc. An artistic conceptual drawing is OK to generate discussion and start organizing your thoughts, but it is nowhere near the end product. A copyright or patent application on an undefined and unproven concept is not worth much, and even if you could get one, if you don't have deep pockets and a team of experienced copyright/patent protection lawyers you won't be able to defend it. Do some more literature searching and reading, especially Army Aviation research reports from the Army Materiel Command agencies at Redstone Arsenal, AL and at Ft. Eustis, VA.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 10:05 AM

Some sense at last. The design looks like something plucked from a boy's comic book (Buck Rogers perhaps). I cannot understand why the "designer" has bothered to copyright it. Encouraging a student is all very well, but he should be starting with an engineering concept first, not just a fanciful looking shape. This one has no value whatsoever.

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#19

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/27/2012 4:44 AM

This is a revolutionary engineering idea of an young aerospace engineering student. A lot of engineering calculations and modifications may require to be done to give a final shape. Computer simulation of entire system can be done to observe various effects,operational problems etc of the proposed vehicle. Adipta is very wise to put copy right notice on the picture of the proposed car.

Hats off to Adipta

Manindra

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#21

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/27/2012 7:56 AM

An interesting idea that as you know needs much more work. Try doing some basic math to figure out how much power you will need to lift the entire weight including passengers. Seven people would weigh somewhere around 800lbs. (unless you live near me then it would be around 200lbs ) Your propulsion system will weigh something, as will the panels, and structure. Start figuring out what the minimum weight you can lift with the minimum propulsion system. That will begin to give you some goals to reach in your design efforts. Power to weight ratios will be interesting...then you can move on to cost goals!

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#22

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/27/2012 8:55 AM

Keep up the good work.. You may get some ideas from terrafugia.com, Good Luck.

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#23

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/27/2012 10:57 PM

Hi Adiptadatta,

In addition to the other comments made here I will add a couple:

I was looking at your aerodynamic configuration, but the sketch is quite unclear on this matter.

Does it have canards? You will need either canards or a tailplane(horizontal surface) for stability.

If there are canards, the main wings seem a little too far forward, but it is very difficult to judge from your sketch. Centre of lift and cg are critical to the stability your design concept

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 9:17 AM

Center of pressure will come in here. This vehicle looks very unstable, configured more like a fighter jet than a forgiving craft an average person would enjoy.

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#27

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 10:21 AM

energyconversion; Graycav

Climb down off your high horses and give the kid a break.

This is conceptual! Have you never seem concepts before? They rarely look like the final product.

This presentation is one of the best and most frank I've seen from a student in a while.

He knows there is much work to do, but at least he isn't asking us to do it for him, and has even contributed meaningful answers to other posters.

adiptadatta, pay no attention to these naysayers!!!!!

I, and most others I believe, encourage you to continue to follow your dream

If you don't have something positive to say, this theread is for you!!!Is It Safe to Drink Water Boiled In a Microwave?

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 6:35 PM

Lyn,

No high horse here (that comment is funny coming from an opinionated a__hole like you who rains s__t on comments on a regular basis). Telling a kid that he has the inside track based on an artist concept drawing in a high tech area that has consumed tons of dollars and untold hours of high caliber talent with no appreciable product is not realistic encouragement. If he presented a perpetual motion machine would you be encouraging his originality? I keep expecting someone to reveal that this string is an early April Fool's joke.

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#29

Re: Conceptual Design of New Aero-Vehicle

03/28/2012 9:13 PM

Here is a video for Solidworks that imports airfoil curve data in a text file, and allows you to turn it into solid for aerodynamic simulation. Here is part 2 that shows the simulation.

ps.. I'm with Lyn, as to encouraging learners to explore... but certainly be aware that the complete engineering of a modern aircraft is beyond the skills and scope of the the common mortal. It is vitally important to learn the basics prior to risking your life, but by all means, dream away... I'd suggest starting with more youtube training videos in aerodynamics, as well as flying radio controlled aircraft. There is an abundance of training info out there as to building designing aircraft.

you may also be interested in this site, dedicated to roadable aircraft...

and know that your design is somewhat similar to the switchblade roadable. this video of it is very cool.

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