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can a plane made of wood fly supersonic?

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posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 02:02 AM
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Am I mistaken or was the nazi stealth bomber made of wood..?



The H.IX was of mixed construction, with the center pod made from welded steel tubing and wing spars built from wood. The wings were made from two thin, carbon-impregnated plywood panels glued together with a charcoal and sawdust mixture.


If I remember correctly they used wood to make it even lighter and faster
edit on 2-10-2014 by Ridhya because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 05:17 AM
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are we allowed metal screws or glue etc, the basis of the question gives lots of room to wiggle, and most basically must the engine be made out of wood? it could be fun trying to make a wooden engine that could break the sound barrier but i'd expect it would be something that would be a one time only thing at best



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

Maybe you could float up with a giant balloon and just freefall/glide like Felix Baumgartner. No engine necessary. Removes most of the reason you'd need metal in the airframe.
edit on 2-10-2014 by _Del_ because: Now that I think about it, you could use a chute to recover and eliminate the need for landing gear with that set up, as well.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 10:25 AM
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originally posted by: Ridhya
Am I mistaken or was the nazi stealth bomber made of wood..?



The H.IX was of mixed construction, with the center pod made from welded steel tubing and wing spars built from wood. The wings were made from two thin, carbon-impregnated plywood panels glued together with a charcoal and sawdust mixture.


If I remember correctly they used wood to make it even lighter and faster

Early helicopter rotor blades were wooden and the tip speeds were very close to Mach 1. They took a lot of abuse without failure. The centrifugal forces must have been huge to held together with glue.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

are not some modern propellers also wood?

second line.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: theboarman
The first airplane (J3 Cub) that I owned had a wooden prop with metal leading edges. I would fly it back to my family farm on the weekends and land on the the driveway...real short and between trees.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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originally posted by: Ridhya
Am I mistaken or was the nazi stealth bomber made of wood..?



The H.IX was of mixed construction, with the center pod made from welded steel tubing and wing spars built from wood. The wings were made from two thin, carbon-impregnated plywood panels glued together with a charcoal and sawdust mixture.


If I remember correctly they used wood to make it even lighter and faster


Yep,the Horten 229 was wood but it didn't quite break the sound barrier,almost though:top speed 620 mph,speed of sound 766mph.
Pretty damn impressive for its day,and could have been a disaster for the allies if mass produced a year or so earlier.

en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 3/10/2014 by Silcone Synapse because: link added



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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originally posted by: Silcone Synapse

originally posted by: Ridhya
Am I mistaken or was the nazi stealth bomber made of wood..?



The H.IX was of mixed construction, with the center pod made from welded steel tubing and wing spars built from wood. The wings were made from two thin, carbon-impregnated plywood panels glued together with a charcoal and sawdust mixture.


If I remember correctly they used wood to make it even lighter and faster


Yep,the Horten 229 was wood but it didn't quite break the sound barrier,almost though:top speed 620 mph,speed of sound 766mph.
Pretty damn impressive for its day,and could have been a disaster for the allies if mass produced a year or so earlier.

en.wikipedia.org...

There nothing wrong with wooden structures. It many applications, wood has a better resistance to vibration and flight loads that some metals. Wood doesn't suffer from historesis (sp) like metals. You can flex it repeatedly unlike metal that will fail in time.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:44 AM
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a reply to: theboarman

I remember reading that the Me163 was close to supersonic. I think Dittmar's speed record was not broken until Chuck Yeager flew in the X1. Important to note that the X1 was dropped from a plane while the Me163 had to fly from the ground. This was 1940's tech based on Lippisch tailless designs.

I think the Me163 is unstable in the transonic speed range, but with new computer modeling these days and old blueprints of the Me-163, maybe something could be made supersonic.

Also, one of the major issues with the Me163 is the rocket fuel and motor. It was quite touchy and a plane that lands on skids is not really very safe with the rocket motor and fuel combination in the Me163.


edit on 4-10-2014 by pzkw3 because: mispelled Me 163 as Me162



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: pzkw3
The Me 163 was towed to altitude by a Me 110 when the record was broken. You are correct in that the Me 163 was unstable at high sub Mach number. The designer (Lippish) of it went on to build the F92, F102 and F106 for the USAF in the post war period. All were sonic.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: buddah6

Thanks for the Info that the Me163 was towed for the record event. I think the Me163 was damaged in some way during the event and the flight was cut short. (I should really look for that old pocket book or that Large luftwaffe reference book)

My guess is compressibility could be the culprit just as the P47 and P38 suffered during dives during the early days.

Did not know Lippisch went on to design the delta planes of the USAF.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: pzkw3

You're spot-on with the damage to the Me 163. Over the years I've collected many videos with interviews with the notables of WW2. I was interested in the Lippisch and Horton aircraft to the point of building R/C models.

I think that compressibility on the P47 and P38 was due to the "air dam" formed in front of the props. They couldn't push through it without blanking out the tail surfaces and losing control. On the Me 163, compressibility was much more complex. The aileron and elevator functions were through the same control surface on the wings. Subsonic air flows smoothly over the wings but as the speed of the air increases the smooth air separate from the trailing part of the wings. This gives the pilot no control at sonic speeds. This may cause control flutter and failure.

Lippisch came to the US as a part of Project Paperclip as did one of the Horton brothers. The other brother went to Brazil and designed planes there.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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I'd consider wood construction for aircraft to be just another variation on composite materials. If you build with modern methods (combined with epoxy or some other resin and laminated), then there shouldn't be any reason why you couldn't build supersonic aircraft with wood.

The only reason why there hasn't historically been supersonic aircraft made of wood has more to do with structural design. It's easier to anticipate stresses and stress distribution in metals and design around it. With wood you really have to be aware of the grain structure in construction (and it's not made via a controlled process like the synthetic fibers, you'd have to narrow down the source to the best stock material which may get expensive), and if the loading is wrong or past the stress point you don't get much warning before SNAP! (But with modern methods you could anticipate stresses with modeling, and design around known limitations. So it's still possible in the technical sense.)

---Edit---
Looked it up out of curiosity, and some woods used in traditional aircraft construction (such as balsa) are stronger per unit weight than metals commonly used for aircraft (aluminum or titanium) in some regards. Then again they're also susceptible to humidity and temperature variation during construction and the thing about grain direction is quite important. When wanting to build a lot in a production run, those things count more against it than for it.
edit on 4-10-2014 by pauljs75 because: added some stuff



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: pauljs75
I have flown helicopters with wooden blade (TH13) and moisture does change the blades mostly in balance. After you get the rotor RPM up the moisture is slung from the blade and the vibrations go away.

You're correct about the alignment of grain direction does make the wooden structure stronger. Getting a good straight grain wood is difficult and expensive. In aviation, woods like spruce and cedar are used because they have a good strength to weight ratio but again very pricey. Balsa is good but is difficult to work with in certain glue-ups.

When I build with wood whether furniture or airplanes, I watch the moisture content pretty close. I keep most of my wood in my shop at least 48 hours before using it. This gives the temperature of the wood to come up to the shop temperature then it's checked for moisture content (7-12%).

DeHavilland used plywood for construction because of it's a stable material that is not affected by atmospheric changes.



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 05:11 AM
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a reply to: buddah6

Many thanks for the confirmation of my suspicion of compressibility. Your interest with Lipisch and Horton are quite admirable. Such aircraft designs are kind of off beat in those days, but quite common to see today.

The ME163 was such a stable design that pilots complained the darn thing kept flying. The Horton planes just needed technology and engineering to catch up.

I wonder when the pilot lying down configuration will ever work itself into mainstream aircraft design.

Concerning strange designs of aircraft, I think there was a German WW2 propeller aircraft where the crew were in a crew compartment on the wing while the single engine was attached to the front of the airplane body. It looked like a normal single engined plane, but instead of the crew being behind the single engine in the front, they were on the (port or starboard) wing part of the plane.

I would imagine that aircraft design is still going to be a bit weird even today.



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: pauljs75

Moisture and temperature effects on wood is a major issue indeed. Metal is more predictable in it's behavior and consistency.

Aside from moisture and temperature effects, I remember the TA154, which was suppose to be the German Mosquito had problems with it's wood glue. If ever anyone wants to use wood glue in a supersonic wooden aircraft, they will need to check the bonding materials as well.



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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originally posted by: pzkw3
a reply to: pauljs75

Moisture and temperature effects on wood is a major issue indeed. Metal is more predictable in it's behavior and consistency.

Aside from moisture and temperature effects, I remember the TA154, which was suppose to be the German Mosquito had problems with it's wood glue. If ever anyone wants to use wood glue in a supersonic wooden aircraft, they will need to check the bonding materials as well.



Glue is still used in metal aircraft construction. The joining of two pieces depends on many things. The most important is the amount of forces acting on the joint. Today, the glues available far exceed the strength of the bonded material. On aviation projects, I use a glue called T88 on wood components. I have found that the wood fails before the glue.

Metals are bonded with glue when the metal is so thin that welding or riveting actually weakens the joint. New techniques like stir welding overcomes some of the bonding issues.

The Ta 154 and DH Mosquito both had glue issues. Both for different reasons. DeHavilland's glue failed in the tropics due to moisture. When the source of the failure was discovered they modified the glue formula and continued to build the Mossie for another ten years. I have not been able to research the Tank glue formula used in the Ta 154 only that it failed in a European environment so I have to assume it was glue quality. Both companies used civilian furniture worker to build these aircraft so I don't think the failures was due to poor workmanship.

I do recall the German airplane that you're talking about. IIRC, it was an observation plane and was used on the western front but can't remember it's name. The German aviation industry was probably 10 years ahead of the USA at war's end. I think that the famous homebuilder Burt Rutan built a plane with similar configuration from styrofoam in the 1980's. He only built one...I don't know why there wasn't more interest.

edit on 5-10-2014 by buddah6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: pzkw3
Concerning strange designs of aircraft, I think there was a German WW2 propeller aircraft where the crew were in a crew compartment on the wing while the single engine was attached to the front of the airplane body. It looked like a normal single engined plane, but instead of the crew being behind the single engine in the front, they were on the (port or starboard) wing part of the plane.


A bit off-topic, but I believe you are referring to the Blohm & Voss 141.



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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originally posted by: _Del_

originally posted by: pzkw3
Concerning strange designs of aircraft, I think there was a German WW2 propeller aircraft where the crew were in a crew compartment on the wing while the single engine was attached to the front of the airplane body. It looked like a normal single engined plane, but instead of the crew being behind the single engine in the front, they were on the (port or starboard) wing part of the plane.


A bit off-topic, but I believe you are referring to the Blohm & Voss 141.

Del, You're spot-on! It's interesting since Blohm & Voss were seaplane builders.

I've just remembered that glue joints maybe weakened by the way it's cured. Several years ago, an engineer friend, retired from Sikorsky, pointed out to me that the my use of vacuum bagging in my glue joints caused "out gassing" bubbles in the glue. He said that the voids caused by the bubbles weakened the joint to unpredictable levels. Sooo, vacuum bagging is OK while building furniture but not airplanes or rotor blades in my case.

Back to the main question. Can a wooden airplane fly faster than sound? YES! Is a wooden airplane as durable as a metal or composite airplane? NO!
edit on 5-10-2014 by buddah6 because: lobotomized through superior pain meds.



posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: _Del_

Thanks! That was exactly the plane I was thinking off.

Now back to the regular scheduled program....



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