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Old January 2nd, 2018, 02:28 PM   #1
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An updated version of the Flyer I


The Flyer I had a higher TOW/hp and thrust/hp than almost all motorized planes ever built, despite aweful aerodynamics, an extremely low TO speed, an extremely heavy engine at 1,000 rpm, 2 huge, heavy propellers at just 350 rpm, a heavy and drag producing sprocket and chain transmission, and poor building materials.

Unfortunately practically all motor planes designed after her used ever more powerful engines (less efficient propellers) and much lower TOW/hp and thrust/hp. Only useless human powered planes have much higher TWO/hp than Flier one. The only motorized plane with higher TWO/hp than Flyer I is the recent, Swiss, solar electric plane (110 Vs. 62.5 of Flier I)

However, a very efficient plane, made with all the aerodynamic knowledge and materials now available can use a much less powerful engine and higher TO speed:

a 2 hp engine at 4,000 rpm (at cruising speed), weighing a few lb, with a 1 ft diameter, 8 blade propeller, 30 lb/ft2 wing loading (about 20 times higher than Flyer I's), TOW of 260 lb (pilot the same weight as Orville or Wilbur), TO speed > 100 mph (Vs 30 of Flyer I). Wing area is just 8.67 ft2 (Vs 510 ft2 of Flyer I)! the plane is made of carbon fiber, polyamid-imid and she has 2 equal, tandem wings (no canard of horizontal stabilizer). The pilot lies prone in a monocoque fuselage. The tiny propeller is mounted directly on the engine, instead of connected through sprockets and chains, so the porpeller received 100 % of the engines power (no friction losses in the transmission and no drag and weight from the exposed transmission)

This plane has 1/6 the hp of Flyer I, but about 25% the thrust and under 1% the drag!, so despite lower thrust, the engine has much less trouble exceeding 100 mph, than Flyer I's engine pushing the much heavier plane against the monstrous drag of the huge wing with wires, struts, sprockets chains, a huge engine an exposed pilot and 2 open wings at 30 mph.

The tiny engine does not even need cooling fins, the large airflow at over 100 mph air speed and from the small propeller throwing a lot of air past the engine cools down the tiny cylinder quite efficiently, even if its surface is smooth.
The tiny cylinder and a mixture of methanol and hydrazine (the H atoms of the hydrazine form hydrogen bonds with the O atom of the methanol, resulting in a much higher boiling point than those of either compound) allows for higher operating pressures and efficiency than any gasoline or nitromethane engine. When the 2 N atoms of hydrazine form N2, a huge amount of energy is released, without any need for oxygen. Only the hydrogen and carbon need oxygen from the air for combustion.

Last edited by ruthenium; January 2nd, 2018 at 02:41 PM.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 11:34 AM   #2
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Actually, this plane is quite conservative.

An even better version which can carry both Orville and Willbur in twp separate monocoques in the prone position, joined by equal, tandem wings is

210 mph (7 times faster than the Flyer 1. At this speed there is 49 times more drag and lift than at 30 mph).

Same 2 hp engine and prop, producing 0.25 times the thrust of Flyer I

High wing loading of 100 lb/ft2. Owing to much higher speed, a much more efficient airfoil and flapperons (Flyer one had no flaps to provide lift during TO and landing).

Very high TOW/hp of 200 (human powered planes have it much higher and even the motorized, Swiss solar-battery plane lifts 110 lb/hp and is quite inefficient, compared to this plane.

TOW = 400 lb

Wing area is just 4 ft2, split in two equal, tandem wings.

The tiny plane has no wingtips, hence no wingtip drag. She has 220 times lower drag than Flyer I at a given speed, so at 210 mph she has 49/220 = 0.223 as much drag as Flyer had at 30 mph. Since she has 0.25 the thrust and .223 the drag of Flyer 1, she can exceed the 210 mph!

At 210 mph the Wrights can fly comfortably NYC-Boston or NYC Philadelphia, with very little fuel. The high wing loading and tandem wings make the plane at least 20 times more stable and safe than the Flyer I, with its undersized Canard, too close to the huge wing.
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