Big projects to simple ideas

Trike plane

This plane is inspired from a motorcycle trike. pdf version
This old study of a small ultralight is an example of CAD (computer aided design) becoming available in the mid-1990s. Above is a 1995 AutoCAD 11 3D drawing, only cleaned up a little in my TurboCAD 15. It uses some manikin mesh figures I found online.1994-08-17_pdf-checkplot-trike.jpgSadly, another file is corrupt and won't open. It shows the tail supported by booms back for the wing structure. The pdf check-plot shows that the human figures were just blocks that created from a 2-D profile. Crude but effective. I did make a pdf check-plot of that corrupted drawing. here is an earlier design, by a few days when the tail boom came from the propeller shroud. Dumb. 1994-08-16_pdf-checkplot-trike.jpgThe earliest pdf check-plot shows the tail boom differently, and no fenders or front end.1994-08-11_pdf-checkplot-trike.jpg
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The inspiration for a combination trike airplane ultralight came while I was in Elmwood Correctional Facility. Ride a Harley, go to jail, welcome to Santa Clara county. This first version had a beam backbone that the rider straddles. The concept is a flying car, but one where you detach the wings and tail at the airport, so you can drive the trike around town before returning to the airport.
I also drew up a low-wing version. It has a canard and does not look like I intended it to be a flying car, I can't remember which I drew first. The yellowing means jail did not give out acid-free paper.
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1987-maybe_Ultralight-design-study-2.jpg Three more sketches expand on the backbone design, and show a V-twin motor to power the plane. The main structure is a C-channel with mounting plates attached. Also added is a lady on the back, tandem fashion, like a motorcycle.1987-maybe_Ultralight-design-study-3.jpg
Another sketch shows two ducted fans instead of a simple propeller. The fans should be quieter and its safer to have the spinning bits shrouded by the ducts. Might be a high-wing
A sketch of the ducted fan with a low-wing.
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February 1991 sketch of a low-winged design using guy wires for structure and roll cage.
December 1991 biplane design to lower the stall speed and create a box structure.
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In February 1992 I used a 2D print of two human profiles to establish the overall size. I have put in a proper roll cage. There is a windshield, as evidenced by the "wiper" call-out in the dash area. It also looks to have provisions for air conditioning from the little side-sketch. This version is a mid-wing with a conventional pusher propeller as opposed to ducted fans. The V-twin engine has given way to a Volkswagen Beetle power-train for the rear wheels. I think I planned on taking power from the tail housing of the VW transmission to drive a belt up to the propeller.
A single-seat version with the VW drive-train. A fer lines with a ruler, sketches are one reason I was an early adopter of CAD. I first saw a pen plotter when I was an engineer at Ford motor in Dearborn. It was drawing an F-sized sheet metal drawing. The guy demonstrating it noted it used a 12-cent Bic pen. In 1987 I bought a PC to do schematics.
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April 1992 study of puller vs pusher.
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April 1992, grappling with the power transmission problem, Adding a differential for the axle and the prop.
July-1992, putting a V-twin in the front with a long drive-shaft back to the propeller. High-wing with cage.
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August-1992 study with two shrouded propellers.
November-1992 VW drive-train, mid-wing.
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AutoCAD plot from August 1994, no fenders, blocked out human forms.
The best thing about plots is you can red-line them.1994-08-15_airplane-checkplots-2.jpg

August-15-1994 3/4 view.
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Another August-1994 check-plot of the ergonomics position of rider and passenger.1994-08-15_airplane-checkplots-4.jpg
A plan view of the seating position. This is still using some rough block manikins I made from a 2D profile of human dimensions.
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A rear-view of the seats from August 1994.1994-08-15_Undated-airplane-checkplots-1.jpgBack to the old 2D figures, for a check plot.
With the block figures with the arc uprights to help viability.
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Replacing the block figures with purchased mesh mannequin figures.1994-08-15_Undated-airplane-checkplots-3.jpg
Side-view with the nice manikin figures.Ultralight-study1.jpg

This is an undated odd-ball sketch showing a different structure for the aircar.
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This is an early sketch of the VW drive-train.
The early sketch showing the rough dimensions of a VW Beetle drive-train that I built into the CAD model.

Even in 1994, 3D CAD was helping engineers visualize design problems, allowing some solutions to come to mind.
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