Our final part of the drag cleanup on the rear quarters of the vehicle included running the whole vehicle through CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to check airflow and that we haven’t created any adverse pressure zones on the vehicle sides. We also re-checked the airflow through the duct to ensure that the propellers were getting air flowing at nearly constant speed across the propeller diameter. The image above is one of many that were used to show the pressures (colors on the vehicle) and the airflow (streamlines along the wing in this case). The duct was of critical importance to check, as we had enlarged the ‘running board’ at the inlet to the duct to increase fuel storage, and we wanted to make sure we did not adversely affect the air flow through the duct in doing so. A shot of the enlarged running board is shown below. The running board is just above the wing storage area, and runs, horizontally, over top of the fuel tank and then down into the propeller area. No red flags were raised, so we are moving to the next phase, which is incorporating door handles, lighting pockets, and such on the vehicle body.
The wing has progressed, with the bonding in of the two wing tip ribs, the combination flap/aileron rib, and getting the linkage for the aileron trimmed and fitted. Below you can see Ron working on bonding in one of the brackets that provides hinge support within the wing.
The aileron linkage is shown below, all trimmed, fitted, and ready to attach to the rocker arm (called a bellcrank) at the wing root (part next to body) with a large diameter but light weight aluminum tube (not shown).
With the ribs in place, we bolted up the ailerons and flaps again, and all worked beautifully. Below, Sam and Ron are testing the fitment and workings of the flaps and ailerons. There is a larger gap between the aileron and wing than we would like, so we will revise the hinges for the production models to eliminate that.
The metal hinge beam is being manufactured, as well as the brackets that bolt to the spar (main wing beam). These pieces will allow us to complete the wing, including bonding on the top skins to wing and flap. Then we will be ready for mounting the wing to the wing hinge beam for testing of the wing swing mechanism. Check again soon, as we will have some images up of the lighting testing, using the wind tunnel model. It looked very futuristic and cool!