18 years ago
(Couldn't find it with quick googling)
I used to build those balsa&paper kits as a kid, and mysteriously I just got
an inspiration again after seeing some RC airplanes in a window of a store.
However, I want to build my own. First I'd like to complete my very own
desing with balsa and paper. After that I'd like to create one with
styrofoam fuselage, balsa wings and hardened with carbon fiber cloth. This
will probably be more of a proto model rather than actually well flying
airplane. After this, I'd like to improve on previous model and power it
with an electrical AC motor. This would be a free flighter. Finally, my plan
would be to desing fully controllable plane from scratch.
This probably seems way too ambitious, but I am in no hurry. I'm not so much
excited about flying the device itself. My primary goal is to learn more
And then to the inane questions... (Please point me to the FAQ ;))
1. Is there free available software to simulate aerodynamics properties of
complete structures. For example, I would model the whole thing in some cad
or 3d studio max or whatever, and import it to the aerodynamics software.
Which in turn would run some kind of virtual airtunnel for it, and finally
tell me that my desing flies like a rock :) Ok, I don't understand much
about aerodynamics, so I don't actually know what to expect from such
software. Some kind of visual interpretation of data on lift, drag and so on
would be helpfull while I'm learning the ropes. Reasonably priced software
(sub 100 euros) would sound good too. Once I get more serious about this
project I might consider more expensive solutions. What do the pro's use?
2. Is it theoretically possible to have such software that would also
simulate the internal effects of the models engine(s) to the dynamics? Say,
I would have an engine under both wings, propellers positioned partially in
the front of the wings. Would it be possible to simulate how the engines
airflows affect the environmental airflow? How about the effects on
structural tension because of partial obscuration of the airflow from the
engine (engine trying to bend it's strut because of nonuniformal
distribution of the delivered power from the propeller)
3. How do I work with carbon fiber? My understanding is that I can coat
something with carbon fiber cloth and somehow harden it... What is the
procedure for hardening the sheet? Does it shrink(or grow) while hardening?
4. How to work with styrofoam? What kind of tools are needed to easily craft
5. What should I expect to pay for a crappy&cheap servo kit + radio control
for a plane? Is there such ready made kits, or am I looking forward to also
making the electronics design?
6. Is there some thumb of rule for selecting an electrical motor? At this
point, my plan for getting an electrical motor(s) for the first powered
proto is just to trial an error.
I am an electrical automation assembler by education, and a software
integrator by trade. I also know how to use different brands of 3d modelling
softwares. I can do basic electrical elngineering and have close friends who
can work with microelectronics. I can also program in several languages, so
creating my own approximation software from physics theories is an option
too. (Once I get an idea at what I am throwing myself at)
So, thanks for reading. I'm eagerly waiting for any answers. This is my
first post, and to be honest, I haven't lurked enough here to know if this
proper group for my post. If not, please point me to the right direction.