The Prototype

These are some images of the experimental prototype of the Rogallo fighter. The concept of course, is a rogallo winged machine coupled to a solid traditional fuselage, and making that operate in such a way as to be able to fly, and fly with decent characteristics. This was accomplished in this first prototype. In the spirit of inventiveness, I decided to go with a Victorian, Jules Verne-esque theme, and my notion was to make this machine appear as though it was an aircraft that perhaps Captan Nemo would have devised….once he was done of course with perfecting “death-subs”. Hence the “N” on the rudder.

 

The flight characeristics of this prototype were excellent, that is after enlarging the wing area by about 1/4. The first wing incarnation simply would not allow it to leave the ground. After this change however, she was a joy to fly. As you can see in the images if you look closely, the mast also provided for an adjustable AOI,or angle of incidence of the wing, which allowed me to find the  best angle of attack for the performance I was seeking. The flight dynamics are good, with a great slow flying and easy handling feel. The plane is quite docile in the air, and cruises by at a very relaxing pace. Being very stable, it would also make a good video platform. She won’t do much in the way of aerobatics…but slow flying and tight turning are her forte’s, and she will wing over nicely. The only drawback to the design so far is in the event of an engine flame out, (being incredibly stable), when this occurs if level flight is maintained, she simply will not turn very much, no matter how much rudder input is given. This came as a rather rude suprise the first time this happened, and she landed well, just not where I wanted. I did find a solution, and it is entirely in the the way you pilot the machine in this event. I discovered that on the occasion of an engine flame out, if the pilot needs to turn the plane, nosing down to pick up speed, then hitting full up elevator, and full left or right on the rudder would induce a stall turn, and thereby allow the pilot to re-align his direction for a landing. With enough altitude, there is then no issue in navigating back, or at least very close to where the pilot wants the plane. Without enough altitude, well, in that case it won’t matter what your flying, as the reults will all be the same.

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2 comments on “The Prototype

  1. skeatesy says:

    there is enough examples of rogallo kite planes now on the net to suggest a full scale aircraft should be built with to dimention controls as an ultralight and a vwery easy to build and design aircraft ..

  2. I absolutely agree. Most already existing human carrying machines are in the ultralight range and include a pipe frame fuselage. There is however some interesting work being done with this same format and an inflatable, (almost like a triangular rubber raft) type wing….not exactly a rogallo wing, but similar in shape.

    The only downside to this wing desing (and I think there are work arounds) is it’s behaviour once your engine dies. The wing is soooo very stable, that the machine becomes hard to turn, wanting to simply glide forward and land. Now this is great if you happen to be pointing where you might like landing….if not, you have a bit of a problem…lol. The workaround I devised is to simply dive a touch, pull back hard into a slight stall, and kick right or left rudder, this tends to allow you to turn in this emergency situation, and get re-aligned for a good landing.

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