Exciting news from the Applied Aeronautics Team!

First off, we want to thank the great DIYDrones, Amateur UAV, and RC community. Without your guys input and support, a project like this wouldn't be possible.

The Albatross airframe has undergone many aerodynamic, structural, and aesthetic changes. Most recent changes include, reduced airframe weight, increased wingspar strength, and carbon fiber landing gear. (The landing gear helped reduce over all drag and weight, as well as increase ground stability and landing gear strength, helping to extend unprepared surface operation.)

Among structural testing, we are also ensuring that the real world data (see yarn attached in various locations) we are collecting coincides with our computer assisted (aerodynamic) theoretical design. So far, after careful analysis of flow conditions over the wing, fuselage, and body intersections, we are very pleased.

We are structurally testing this airframe well beyond (what will be) our rated limits. We want to ensure that the product we release is solid and will perform at the maximum quoted specifications for the entire lifetime of the aircraft. We have been testing at a Useful load fraction in excess of 0.66 (66%), so we can ensure reliable daily use in excess of 0.58 (58%). 

The Albatross has been flown in winds exceeding 20kts and gusting, at runway-relative angles greater than 45 degrees (crosswind). Impressively, the airframe handles it quite well. We are doing our best to flight test airframe-characteristics in less than desirable conditions to ensure mission success. 

The flights in this video were all under manual control. The main reasoning is to ensure that our feel of the airframe is not affected by the stabilization of an autopilot. Also, this allows us to put the aircraft into maneuvers that an autopilot wouldn't (currently) be able to cope with. During manual testing, we push the limits of stall and post stall maneuvering, as well as high positive and negative G loadings, while testing wing structure, and air flow.

In addition to the airframe, we have been working on a very exciting PC-based, dual 1000 nit screen (daylight readable) ground station. The ground station will incorporate Telemetery and video receiver inputs, external video inputs and outputs, external USB inputs, an internal battery system as well as a complete power supply and charger. These are only a couple of the features this awesome little machine will offer. Stay tuned for more news on this!  

In other news, we will soon be announcing a fun contest which will offer up an award and allow the community to play a role in the airframe design process! Once again, stay tuned for more info!

Sincerely,

Justin, On behalf of the entire Applied Aeronautics Team.

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Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Tommy Larsen on September 26, 2014 at 2:15am

Good news! :)

Comment by Applied Aeronautics on September 26, 2014 at 2:32am
Thanks Tommy. It's been a fun and interesting journey so far. Looking forward to showing everyone this and quite a few other things.
Comment by Hans Miller on September 26, 2014 at 2:40am

Personally, I'm quite happy to wait. If this turns out to be as good as it's looking so far, it will be worth it. 

Comment by Tommy Larsen on September 26, 2014 at 3:05am

I'm looking forward to buying this AC :)

Hope that the price range is as you planned initially?

Comment by Daniel Lukonis on September 26, 2014 at 5:37am

The design looks very aerodynamic and efficient. Love the boom/tail.

Comment by Paul Scholz on September 26, 2014 at 9:58am

What are those plastic bottles for and what are they filled with?  Is it just ballast or what?

Comment by Giovanni Esposito on September 26, 2014 at 10:21am

Hi Justin, if I remember correctly you were planning for two version of the plane, a "hobby" and a "pro" grade.

Is it still true?  Are you testing a gas version?  Will it still  be available in 2014? 

Comment by Albert Pienaar on September 26, 2014 at 10:32am
Well done Justin.
Comment by Applied Aeronautics on September 26, 2014 at 1:25pm

Hey Guys, thanks again for all the support!

We do want to clarify that this is a high performance aircraft, and it is truly a pilots (or autopilots) plane. It flies hands off flawlessly and is very stable, however it definitely is not self correcting like a skywalker, or other trainer style aircraft. This being said it also needs to be flown with the mindset that this is a BIG plane, and it reacts like a large plane. This means that attention needs to be given to specific  flight paramaters such as air speed, stall speed, and G loading.

As for price, we are still aiming for a final price of $650. We spent considerable time making sure that we did not sacrifice quality or function yet still were able to keep it at the price discussed initially. This was quite a task but something we felt we needed to achieve. Just to clarify, this is a completely  fiberglass, honeycomb, and carbon fiber airframe. On top of that there are a few exciting extras and details we'll share with everyone in the coming weeks that I think will make everyone even more pleased. 

Guy, our original plan from the beginning was to use CF landing gear. The wire landing gear was an attempt to save weight by utilizing existing wing structure. The wire landing gear was plenty strong enough, but due to its springy-ness, the airframe rocked back and forth. On top of not being happy with the looks and feel of the wire gear, the community's input on the otherwise not-so-great looking wire struts persuaded us to take a deeper look at mounting and securing CF gear to reduce any additional weight. After scratching our heads for a bit and playing with some ideas, we actually got the CF gear to be slightly lighter (although only by a matter of 40 grams or so.).

Daniel - Thank you. Glad you like it. Its function does meet its form which is always an added benefit and part of the great detail taken to the initial design and testing. As for the aerodynamics and efficiency, we are looking forward to releasing the figures. 

Paul, the plastic bottles are filled with sand and water and their purpose was to increase the overall weight for testing purposes as opposed to CG ballast. We needed to put a substantial amount of weight into the airframe for stress testing of different aspects of the airframe and the bottles worked very well. With and without, the plane flew flawlessly.

Giovanni, there are two models but the initial release will be with the "hobby" one although it is becoming more difficult to call it that given its construction and flight characteristics but yes a "pro" grade one will still be released but at a later time and with added and different parameters. We are really focusing on making this first aircraft as good as it can be for everyone. I should note that besides these two Albatross airframes there are a few other models that we've been working on but all in due time... Gas testing is already on the books, with the design adaptation already underway but on top of that I think everyone will also be very pleased with some of the alternate power sources we are looking at.


100KM
Comment by Trung Nguyen on September 26, 2014 at 1:29pm

That is one sexy airframe.  (I don't care how geeky that sounds)  It is looking very well executed thus far.  The under-boom fairing/cradle built into the flaps: was that done to clean up the aerodynamics aft of the boom-wing intersection or for mechanical reasons?

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