Charterhouse 2016

Tejasva Malhotra, Christina Vogt-Sasse, Alfred Shaw

designing model aircraft

Their story, in their words…..

“We are a group of three aspiring engineers. Tejasva Malhotra, Alfred Shaw and Christina Vogt-Sasse. With the help of the Mark Evison foundation, our ambitious idea of creating a flying model aircraft was able to come to life. This report shows how we progressed through creating and designing out aircraft.

When we started designing our aircraft, we decided to give it a simple looking design. The plane was originally intended to have two engines to make it as fast as possible.Inspiration for our design was drafted from planes such as the Dornier Do 335 which was labelled the fastest ever fighter plane to be powered by internal combustion engines. The plane used the push pull propeller system which was incorporated into our initial design. As well as this, we also considered other aircraft for things such as fuselage design and wing design. This was the Bell X1. This was an experimental rocket powered plane created by America after WW2. The plane was famous for being the first aircraft to travel at supersonic speeds.

Before we started the project, we investigated how our plane will fly by creating some very simple gliders. We experimented with the weight distributions of the glider until we had sustained and stable flight from them. We also used 2 designs to experiment with. These designs were based on the F22 raptor and the Boeing 777. The Boeing flew the best. The parts would be created on a CNC router. Any imperfections would be cleaned up using filler after. Additionally, the 3D model would allow us to simulate airflow over the planes components.After finalising an idea, a rough blueprint was drawn up of our design, but we decided a 3D model would be better in the end as we would use it to create the plane’s components. Additionally, the original idea was going to be made with an airframe which would have been very complicated and time consuming to produce.

After our planning, we started production of the aircraft. We started by routing the fuselage of the aircraft out. It was made in two halves as the router only creates shapes with a flat base. The fuselage came out very nicely and fitted together very easily, however, the wings of the aircraft came out very thin. Luckily, we were able to use filler to get them back to their original shapes. The wings were mounted on the fuselage and then we wired up the electronics. Our circuit was troublesome to begin with but after several rewires, we got a set of working electronics.

After we finished, we took the plane for a test flight. A flat battery made us think that we had wired it up incorrectly, but after charging it, we were able to get some air time from the plane. All the control surfaces worked as planned and the aircraft was capable of sustained flight in the end.”