Ducted fan design has been accomplished, with results better than expected. A duct has many features that are beneficial, and some that are not. Of course, every propulsion system has both drawbacks and advantages.
In the case of our duct, we have increased static thrust (good for take-off) and decreased noise (good for neighborhood relations). This came at the expense of 4-5% hit on cruise performance in relation to what we could get from the same size free- propeller.
Even so, our refined speed numbers came within target, for the fixed-pitch propeller hub version. Maximum speed with the 160 hp engine is projected to be 161 mph. Maximum speed with the 200 hp engine is projected to be 184 mph. Cruise speed, at 75% power, is projected to be 139 mph and 160 mph, respectively. We have the goal of increasing speed above this and will keep you posted. A variable pitch propeller should give us significant gains on the top end of our flight speeds.
The diagram below is a horizontal cross section through the ducted fan area of the vehicle. You can see how the duct is being altered with a larger radius on the inlet (1), and also a larger radius at the intersection of the body to the prop hub area (2). We are also showing a pusher hub (5) that we will use to gain a bit of extra thrust off the pressure recovery (slowing down the airflow creates high pressure areas on the back side of the hub (4) pushing us forward). It is amazing how little details can make such a difference.
Some really big names have joined Samson’s executive team, from the top ranks of American auto and aviation industries. Some you may have heard of, and some are known more by their amazing achievements. This is a tremendous vote of confidence for us, and their participation in the program will be a huge boost to Samson. When our funding is completed, and we have launched that portion of the business, we will be announcing these teammates with the fan-fare they deserve.
We have also upgraded the website with new images showing the ducts for the radiators, which are located just behind the additional side windows. This arrangement takes the turbulent air created by the windows and pulls it through the radiator. This should reduce the drag from both. The new side windows were included to increase visibility. A ‘moon roof’ will be analyzed structurally to further improve visibility if possible. Though we may look like a Ferrari, we are designing this vehicle to be a useful and safe aircraft as well. On the Models Page / Switchblade, there is a new 360 degree view feature available.
Also available now on the website is an option to download wallpapers and screen-savers of your favorite Switchblade images for your computer, iPad, or phone. They come in different sizes, and some have a series of images that will rotate through automatically. These are accessed from the Images Page at the top righthttp://www.samsonmotorworks.com/gallery. Now your computer can be decorated with real ‘conversation-starting’ images!
No matter how much or little you fly, the future is waiting for you. That future is in the air, and your adventure is coming soon. Perhaps not tomorrow, but it will come.
Best, Sam Bousfield
CEO Samson Aircraft, Inc.