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back to article Vulture 2 spaceplane STRIPPED to the bone

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is preparing the Vulture 2 aircraft for its eye-catching paintjob, and while we rattle tins of primer and fiddle with wet-and-dry, we thought you might enjoy some intimate bare-bones views of our magnificent spaceplane. Here's the beast in its naked form (more photos here …

COMMENTS

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Anonymous Coward

It's been two years 4 months since the space plane plan was unveiled.

When will it fly?

I'm starting to feel old.

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Patience Grasshopper, patience...

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Pint

Know I know

why the design reminded me of the Vickers Wellington model I built as a kid.

Lets raise a glass to the memory of the great Barnes Wallis

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FFS just launch the bloody thing will you?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

We'd love to, but you're going to have to bear with us. It is kind of rocket science...

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@Lester

But it's not like it's Brain Surgery...

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Just as well, really.

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Thought so...This is patently copied form the Gherkin opposite Vulture Central.

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Thumb Up

I have to admit...

I am looking forward to seeing this all fly! I think its going to be worth the wait.

Measure twice, cut once!

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Re: I have to admit...

"Measure twice, cut once!"

Standards continue to slip. I was always taught measure three times, cut once.

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one word is sufficient to describe this

Elegant.

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FAIL

Barnes Wallace (sic)

Shameful.

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Beautiful, certainly, but what about flight stability?

I hope this craft has a decent autopilot; with no dihedral on the wings, it's not going to have any inherent attitude stability, meaning that it won't glide stably by itself. What do you have planned in terms of flight testing?

Nearly all free-flight model aircraft are designed to have lots of inherent stability to overcome the absence of an active control system. An active autopilot significantly mitigates this requirement, but tuning the autopilot up is a project all by itself. I hope you folks have a few extra copies for the initial test flights.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Beautiful, certainly, but what about flight stability?

ArduPilot Mega 2.6. Flight tests pending...

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Boffin

Re: Beautiful, certainly, but what about flight stability?

When mounting the ArduPilot, remember the vibration damping. Anything +/-5 on the Z axis will throw off the Baro and gyro accuracy. And mount the compass as far away from any electronics as possible.

http://www.diydrones.com is a good source of anti vibe techniques - four corners of MoonGel or Zeal is the most effective "singlle solution, direct mount" approach. To improve your gryo accuracy (which I suspect will be important given the proposed speeds), I'd recommend the zeal route.

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Dihedral

No dihedral? On a glider?

Hope you're going to balance this one properly...

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Re: Dihedral

To be fair the Bell X-1 didn't have dihedral and it was mostly a glider. In fact substitute a B-52 for a balloon and it's pretty much the same flight profile. Mostly...

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Re: Dihedral

Do we have our first clue to what Vulture 3 will be?

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Re: Dihedral

The Bell X-1 had a very experienced test pilot on board, and even then it wasn't an easy ride.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dihedral

I noticed this too. What's the rationale to not have any dihedral even if it does has an autopilot? Wouldn't at least some dihedral assist the autopilot with stability?

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Re: Dihedral

I'd imagine the lack of dihedral is from a desire to keep the thrust line and centre of lift aligned to minimise any pitching moment when turning the rocket on and off.

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But...

... will the bugger actually fly? Has the shape/design been tested in actual flight?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: But...

Well, we'll find out won't we?

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Coat

Stable influence

Who is this "dihedral" and why is so important to have a welsh pilot?

Mine's the one with the inflated sections and webs under the arms.

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