Friday, July 15, 2011

Thinking: Curtis Channel Wing VSTOL considerations

I was just thinking about Curtis channel wing. I have a concern that this kind of design will result in tip stall in addition to the other problems there could be if something would fail.

However, what if you use electric motors instead and place that channel as a C on the tip of a wing? There is this 3D effect that flow tends to want to slip towards the tip and it causes wake turbulence and reduces Clmax. However, what if there is this C and then there is a prop inside the C. The flow comes to the prop and the prop sends it away and causes even bigger pressure differential between lower side of the wing and the upper side of the wing. With brushless DC electric motor it could be technically doable - one could not think about putting a Lycosaurus to the wing tip. You could even add redundancy by adding two motors in cascade. Should one fail, the another one would still be operational.

I think there are two kinds of aircraft that would be needed to cover the needs of personal air transportation: super stol/vtol for flying to airport from home to the pressurized long range plane that can cover large distances. I think today's general aviation falls in the middle of these, but I think it could be obsolete with these new two categories. I think the today's GA is not popular exactly because it falls between these two categories and does not fit in either purpose properly. And they are neither good toys nor good tools. This first VSTOL would cover the toy part and day to day short distance travel, and the HALE the serious transportation case.

I will write another blog entry about this split of concepts later because I believe I have - as a GA customer - found what's wrong with it. What are the needs and what is the gap. I think I have the answer.