Posts Tagged ‘MMV’
Monday, August 6th, 2012
We thought we should post a few pictures of our experience at AirVenture 2012 so that people who did not attend could gain a sense of the excitement generated by the Switchblade.
Samson Motors CEO Sam Bousfield giving a talk “Switchblade Flying Car Production” to a packed house of over 100 people.
Sam Bousfield speaking at the AeroInnovate Technology Showcase Stage on “Changing the Face of Personal Travel”.
Sam live on EAA radio’s Hot Start Show with hosts Digital Dave and Fast Eddie. The following morning Don Campbell gave an excellent interview.
Our action packed video showing milestones in the Switchblade development and our 1/4 scale unmanned prototype attracted a steady stream of people to the Samson Motors booth.
The Civil Air Patrol Blue Berets were a captivated audience during a talk about the Switchblade. Over 80% said that they would like to purchase one.
Sam Bousfield and company spokesman Don Campbell admiring the Cessna Caravan that they just finished touring.
Larry Moore, Samson Business Development and photographer with famed Tuskegee Airman, Beu Dunjill.
Sam with EAA Volunteer and Flying Car blogger,Tim, who conducted an hour long interview on the Samson Switchblade project. The video interview is to be used in EAA’s “The History of Aviation” program.
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Changing the cg helped quite a bit, and we continued to change it to get closer to acceptable cg during testing today. The tail now has functioning rudders (not available the first day). The rudders also helped make testing easier and more fruitful. Rudder control and steering by the nose-wheel was uneventful – just what you want to see! We painted the tail of the fuselage (body) red – I would like to say in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, but it was really to give the test pilot better differentiation of the model attitude during testing.
Due to the work needed to ready the model for the second day of flight testing, we started late in the day once again, and did successively faster ground runs, advancing the cg and changing the pitch on the tail as we approached flight speeds. The wheels started to get ‘light’, and we inched closer to flight. Just at the end of the day, we pitched up and were airborne, although I cannot say that it was sustained flight. We could tell that the tail was still not working well for us. The whole vehicle was reduced to quarter scale for this first phase of testing. It is typical for a scale flying prototype that the tail surface area be increased for a scale model to fly well. We found the same result applied to the Switchblade, and are making an enlarged tail. We couldn’t get it ready to fly before AirVenture, so we shipped the model along, and will display it as an ‘in the works test program’ prototype, but now knowing we can fly. All in all, with only five hours of flight testing, we validated the ducted fan design (major accomplishment), verified rudder authority, tested the front wheel steering at speeds near take-off, and became airborne. We will pursue it further when we return.
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Samson Motors eNewsletter 11-4-2010
Our new front end is taking shape, and we are working out the steering for the torsion bar set-up. Cornering looks to be greatly improved, as is suspension and ride quality, but the steering needs some work. We recently had a meeting with Dennis Manning, whose team set the world record for gasoline powered motorcycles at 367mph, only to have it broken just this month. They are dedicated to owning that record, and we are learning some tricks for going fast. Now that we have broken 100mph, we are wondering how fast we can go. Even though we know we will never come close to the motorcycle world record, by racing and pushing the vehicle to the limits, we improve things for everyday operation.
We have been mostly concentrating on growth issues and planning the space for the different businesses involved. It is apparent that we will have some serious production demand, so we have gone from ‘what can we get by with’ and are into ‘how fast can we expand’. The computer simulation flights continue, and call for a steeper and shorter descent on final than most will be used to, but the balance of flight seems very conventional and fun. Take-off is best accomplished with 10 degrees of flaps and a bit of trim, and it just floats up off the runway. After you fly it for a while, you get the trim settings down and flying becomes easy. We have posted a video of one of our flights, which I think you will enjoy watching, and would like to open up a contest soon for others to contribute in the same manner. The contest will be 101 things you can do with a Switchblade, and #83 can be found at:
Friday, December 11th, 2009
The march of progress continues, and we have more pictures available, now that the cfd (computational fluid dynamics) is far enough along to establish the new fuselage shape as being adequate for our use. As mentioned earlier, we have opted for a larger main wing and have removed the canard. The tail feature remains relatively unchanged, as directional stability and control authority seemed adequate without modification of the tail. We hope you like the new fuselage shape – it seems even more sculptural and eye-catching.
We have begun construction of the ground test mules that will be used to test and validate the drive train and suspension. This will continue through December and into January, upon which time we should be able to add a propeller and hub assembly for ground testing of the complete drive train. The design of the propeller is to be done following the completion of the final fuselage/ducted fan design being accomplished over the next few weeks.
We are setting up a progress page on the website to show pictures, and to document the evolution of the construction process. There is quite a bit that we want to work out in the physical world, especially related to the ground handling of the vehicle. While we can show much of what we are doing, some things that may be future patents we won’t be able to share. We know you understand, and we will describe our progress as best we can even if we can’t show all of it. There should be occasional video footage (especially some hot cornering), and we will post choice pieces on YouTube so you can pass it around. The current animation is already on YouTube under Switchblade. Feel free to email that link to your friends!
In the meantime, enjoy these 3D shots of the preliminary new fuselage shape, and look for the progress page on the website coming shortly!
Happy Holidays from Samson Motors Inc
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
We will be putting out a press release shortly, but wanted to keep you up on advancements. As mentioned previously, we had received interim funding and have been progressing at a rapid pace through the very exciting time of finalizing the design of the Switchblade. One of our top targets was the reduction of stall speed. While many options were reviewed, increasing the size of the main wing was deemed the most feasible, and we have widened the chord and found a new hinge point that gave us a bit more wing span.
When all things were considered in this change, it became apparent that we were at a crossroads concerning feasibility on the use of a canard. A canard can be useful when you want to increase the lift of all wings, as seen in the very successful Piaggio Avanti. A canard has several plus points, and several minus points. The chief minus point is that anything ahead of the cg acts to destabilize an aircraft. That includes propeller forces, front wheels, canards and other forward features. DAR Corp ran several studies to determine the relative merits in stability and performance with and without the canard. At the end of the day, it became obvious that the canard was truly an option rather than a necessity with the larger wing. We chose not to include it, although we had grown used to its looks. The chief reasons we removed the canard included less build time, simplicity of design and systems, reducing the potential for wing damage while on the ground, and lower cost. For this we gave up the softer stall characteristics of a canard aircraft.
The rear ducted fan area is being re-designed to enlarge the inlets and reduce the effects of duct drag. The new design is looking even more sculpted than before, so we hope you are fine on people ogling you as you drive by. We don’t think a Lamborghini will give more double takes than the Switchblade will.
The stall speed has been reduced from 61 mph to 57 mph, and it is possible that it could be slowed even more. We have found another engine that we feel could be suitable and the horsepower is augmented by a supercharger, so power is maintained at altitude. Attached is a power/airspeed graph which shows the relative sea level air speeds according to the power settings, up to the maximum of 260 hp for this engine. For those who want to burn more fuel and go faster, 80% cruise will get you over the 200 mph mark. For those wanting a more economical engine, the rotary engine based upon the Freedom engine has been funded and is entering production. This promises to be a very simple, lightweight solution for the certified aircraft engine market. We are looking forward to receiving beta test engines in the summer of 2010.
We attended the EAA Young Eagles event thanking Harrison Ford for his work, and introducing Jeff and Sulley as Ford’s replacements. It was quite an event, and we met with the three of them individually to start the foundation of our future support of the Young Eagles. A photo of Harrison Ford with Sam and Martha Bousfield, of Samson Motors, is included in this newsletter.
In case you missed it, there was a short but enthusiastic article in the November issue of Flying Adventures magazine. We were gratified that they felt it was newsworthy for their readers, as we are still some time before first flight. We have more big news, but we are still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, so we will save it for next time. Coming soon will be wind tunnel testing (after we finish with the ducted fan), and further adventures in simplifying construction techniques and materials to make the kit an easy one to complete. Having the FAA finish their review of the 51% rule gives us a green light for putting together the most complete kit possible under the rules. We hope you will be one of our lucky builders!
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
We are making great progress in product development, which we were able to share with the thousands of people who visited us at AirVenture 2009 in OshKosh, Wisconsin. For those of you who were part of the crowds, we thank you! We made several announcements at AirVenture, most notably that we had passed several engineering milestones and that we were now taking refundable deposits to allow interested purchasers to secure early delivery positions.
The list of depositors is growing, but our main emphasis remains on making good on the ‘dream’. We have received intermediate funding, and we are currently negotiating full funding with several sources. We are continuing with our product development at a rapid pace, with DAR Corp continuing to improve the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. Samson’s CEO, Sam Bousfield, just returned from meeting with Willem Anematt and his crew of engineers at DAR Corp in Lawrence, Kansas. The meeting was very successful, with discussion leading to several potential improvements – most notably in increasing wing size to reduce landing speeds.
We decided to retain Fowler flaps, already included in the design parameters, despite several other options. We did discuss including the recently developed top-wing air dams. These show promise, but they have not yet been flown. We may test them on a prototype, but for now, Fowler flaps are being used for final design.
We are re-designing the ducted fan inlet. As mentioned to you at the show, this is a priority for our product development team. We also feel we can improve the functionality of the rear of the vehicle. Many people like the looks of the existing vehicle, and we will work to retain the overall flavor of the design while making improvements in aerodynamics, function, and ease of maintenance.
We will be putting out another survey soon, and your help with this is always appreciated. We would like your feedback on several items. One thing we will never tire of is hearing from those who are interested in the project. If we are a bit slow in responding to your communication, it is only because of an overload of emails. When we receive 200 emails after a news article is published or a news segment airs, it takes time to get them all answered.
The answers to some questions may be of general interest, so I will mention them here. We are often asked ‘how much?’ We still have a TARGET price of only $60,000 (without engine or avionics). We plan to have available an X-Plane model to fly in the computer.
More news is coming, and you will be the first to hear! Thank you for keeping track of us with the newsletter. It is the easiest way for us to communicate the status of the project, and to give you updates as they occur.
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
WELCOME FROM AIR VENTURE 2009!!
It’s been very exciting week for the Samson Motors team at AirVenture. Setting up our tent (tent 22, across from AOPA) and showing the engineering mockup to the many visitors who have come by to see us has been extremely enjoyable for us.
For those of you who are not able to join us in Wisconsin, we have a special announcement… we are now accepting deposits for delivery positions for the Samson Switchblade MMV at AirVenture and delivery slot #1 has been taken!
We appreciate the patience and support of all our mailing list subscribers, and we are going to treat mailed in kit deposits the same as those we receive at AirVenture. Mail in depositers will receive the next available delivery slot, based on the time stamp when you notify us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you have accepted the deposit agreement and submitted your escrow protected, refundable check and signed deposit agreement by mail. (see attached deposit agreement here)
First flight is expected approximately this time next year, with first kit deliveries one year after first flight. We look forward to seeing your Samson Switchblade flying!
Samson Motors Team
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Welcome to our updated On-Line Samson Motorworks Newsletter format!
The Samson Motors team has just returned from a very productive week at the Sun n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, and we would like to thank everyone who visited us at our display at the event. Your interest in the Samson Motors Switchblade, and your participation in this newsletter, together with our recent survey, helps us move forward toward production of this exciting new drive and fly vehicle!
We would especially like to thank and welcome those of you who joined our newsletter community while at Sun ‘n Fun, as this will be the first time we have sent our newsletter to you.
While at Sun ‘n Fun, we unveiled the new design (Switchblade) and the reaction from the 1000s of people who saw the five foot wingspan model on display was very favorable! We think we have a winner and we are moving ahead on the first build of the prototype.
The initial buildup will determine exact locations for wing pivot and other mechanical component layout and is the first step in building the first flying prototype of the Samson Switchblade Flying Motorcycle.
We are well into our plans for attending EAA AirVenture in July and we will have the prototype there in our outdoor display. We invite all of you to come by our booth, which will be located in a key exhibit space next to Terrafugia and the Molt Taylor Skycar. We are one of the anchor exhibits bringing people down the left-hand lane of AirVentures newly designed and expanded entry area. We are also right next to the new food court!
The founder of the EAA, Paul Poberezny, met with Samson CEO, Sam Bousfield, and told him that people like him were the future of aviation. Many people mentioned that the Samson Switchblade was the best thing they had seen in decades of air shows. Hundreds of people said that of all the flying/driving vehicle projects that had been presented over the years, ours was the first one they thought might actually work! Investor interest was high, as well. We had interest from the Polk County Sheriff department (as well as some fun photo ops with them). Representatives from the FAA also visited us and they were very helpful by providing suggestions and arrangements for meeting the 51% rule and possibly Light Sport Aircraft rules.
Once again, we would like to thank all of you who visited us at Sun n Fun, and welcome all of you who signed up for the newsletter at the event!
The Samson Motors Team
Thursday, July 16th, 2009
We promised a summary of the engineering that is just being finished by Willem Anemaat and crew at Design, Analysis & Research (DAR Corp), which has gone into depth to check stability, control effectiveness, a further review of drag/thrust/lift/weight, the wing swing mechanism, and generally to flesh out any ‘gotchas’ on the Switchblade design as shown at Sun-n-Fun 2009. We anticipated some fair sized obstacles to overcome, and were sadly disappointed. There were none! We are handling a few minor obstacles, but nothing major.
There are basically two things we would like to handle to improve the design. The first is that the relatively high wing loading is causing a fairly fast stall speed of 60 kts with flaps. Part of the problem is the low wing location won’t allow maximum Fowler flap deflection.
One solution is to put a flap on the canard, which we could also use to counter the nose pitching moment often found in canard designs. Quite separate from that, we recently came up with a new flap arrangement that may be suitable for other designs beyond our own, and it looks like it would overcome this handicap. Analysis on this is forthcoming, and we will see how this goes.
The second thing we would like to handle is to improve longitudinal stability. While a canard helps with wing loading, stall characteristics, and can be used to keep the nose down on the ground while driving, it reduces stability overall. The handle for this is to sweep the main wings back 12 degrees. Yes, it is that simple. Look at the LongEze, Beech Starship – most other canard designs. All of them have swept back wings to some degree. So while more work is still to be done, the basics have been reviewed and we are go for lift-off!
Ground handling review is up next. The weight and balance is still very much to the rear with cg, and that helps with ground handling. We may be able to use a lighter engine than the ones used in calculating cornering, and that would help as well. I don’t believe anyone will be disappointed, as it is looking better than anticipated.
We will have a major announcement just before AirVenture, so look for it next week. I think this will be the news that many have been waiting for. Thanks again for all of your help and interest!
Samson Motors Team
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Well, we are ‘cutting metal’, as the phrase goes. Although we are working in composite wing construction, the saying tells the tale. You can see images of the wing construction, being done at Free Flight Composites by Burrall Sanders and his competent crew, at the bottom of this page (click for larger view). This is for the engineering mockup to be unveiled at AirVenture in less than a month. The mock-up will show the wing swing mechanism, how we are getting more span out of the wing than before, and how we are taking the major wing loading off the hinge to reduce maintenance. Although we may not be driving the prototype around AirVenture, it is anticipated that you would be able to sit in the vehicle to get a feel for the size (roomy!) and layout for the Switchblade. We will have a surprise announcement at the show, so we hope to see you there.
Samson motors recently made a very tough decision regarding future development on the Samson Switchblade. A review was done at the end of the last engineering cycle in February, where it was apparent that a three-surface aircraft design may be the winning ticket. It was a hard decision, as Swift has a very good reputation. In the end, however, it was difficult to turn away from the engineers at Design Analysis Research Corp (DAR Corp) with their hard-won commercial experience working on the Piaggio Avanti, also a three-surface design. They also have engineers with vehicle design experience on staff, which fills out the experience needed to pull off this kind of design.
The decision was made and we are now moving ahead rapidly, working with Willem Anemaat, PHD, of the DAR Corp in Lawrence, Kansas. Samson CEO and Founder, Sam Bousfield, and Anemaat have been collaborating on finalizing the design for the Samson Switchblade Multi Mode Vehicle. Additionally DAR has been tasked with creating the engineering mock-up which we will have on display at Oshkosh next month. Branching out has speeded progress and we are expecting to have the first of the wings shipped to DAR this coming Monday.
Our efforts to have a full-scale fiberglass mock-up of the Samson Switchblade at AirVenture turned out to be an exercise in chasing gremlins. A very frustrating month and a half later, we are back to providing the engineering mock-up we promised at Sun-n-Fun showing the wing-swing mechanism. The frustration came when it was found that the 3D program used for our design work could not be utilized for computerized milling machine work needed to produce molds. It was a hard lesson but we move ahead with this experience behind us and look forward to seeing many of you at AirVenture
We should have some news out early next week on the ongoing aerodynamic work. We can tell you that it is almost all good news, but you are going to have to wait for it.
Samson Motors Team