×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Project OpenSky Takes Off

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hard-to-believe-these-spores-could-kill-me dept.

148

Jesrad writes "As was reported two years ago on Slashdot, japanese artists, students and engineers under the lead of Kazuhiko Hachiya have taken upon themselves to build a real-size, fully functional Mehve (japanese website), the small jet-powered glider flying wing ridden by anime heroin Nausicaa. They have made a lot of progress, and are now test-flying the full scale, yet unpowered model by tow-launching it along with its thrilled pilot. They're having a lot of fun, too, judging from the movies of the testing sessions."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

148 comments

Hm... (2, Interesting)

zptao (979069) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553583)

Isn't this sort of thing illegal here in the states?

Re:Hm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553598)

"anime heroin"

I think ANY kind of heroin is illegal in the States.

Re:Hm... (3, Informative)

mamer-retrogamer (556651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553618)

You would have to get FAA clearance to fly it if it does not fall under the classification of an ultralight aircraft [wikipedia.org].

Re:Hm... (4, Funny)

13bPower (869223) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553685)

Oh, I thought he meant getting sued by whomever created the anime.

Re:Hm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553869)

I thought he meant heroin. Drugs are bad, mmkay? /WhiteyTheGeek

Re:Hm... (3, Interesting)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553707)

No, not really, all is legal. It just has to be slow (100 mph I believe) and weigh less than 200 lb (100 kg).

Unpowered verstions of paragliding and hand gliding are very popular and have been around for decades. Re: http://www.ushga.org/ [ushga.org] and http://www.paragliding.net/ [paragliding.net]
And the only reason the story made the front page is because it had 'anime'

Check your state law, however, as some states have certain restrictions on flying over populated areas, cities, etc.
Also, you might get shot down if you try to fly one of those around Washington, DC.

Re:Hm... (3, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553793)

It just has to be slow (100 mph I believe). . .

That would kilometers/hour. 55 knots. 63 mph.

. . .and weigh less than 200 lb (100 kg).

155 lbs. for unpowered craft; 255 lbs. empty (maximum fuel load of 5 gal.) for powered craft.

KFG

Re:Hm... (1)

DRM_is_Stupid (954094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554325)

You know what's sad? Aeronautics majors in the States have to use non-metric for their calculations, which requires extra work.

Re:Hm... who cares (3, Insightful)

tanek (876501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553852)

Isn't this sort of thing illegal here in the states?
U.S. jurisdiction does not (yet) spill over into Japan, so this is sort of irrelevant.

Re:Hm... who cares (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553974)

U.S. jurisdiction does not (yet) spill over into Japan, so this is sort of irrelevant.
Give them a chance! The current administation only just got started on Sweden.

Re:Hm... who cares (0, Offtopic)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554003)

Yeah, good luck with that. A few days later and this is what you get...

ping thepiratebay.net
PING thepiratebay.net (83.140.176.146) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from hey.mpaa.and.apb.bite.my.shiny.metal.ass.thepirate bay.org (83.140.176.146): icmp_seq=1 ttl=40 time=138 ms

Re:Hm... (1)

DRM_is_Stupid (954094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554320)

Isn't this sort of thing illegal here in the states?
You can ride a hangglider, paraglider, or ultra light aircraft (basically, anything small/light enough), or go skydiving without any license whatsoever. If this thing gets popullar, though, there are going to be deaths. Flying isn't the same as riding a rollercoaster.

Re:Hm... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554376)

Actually US restrictions on Homebuilt/Experimental aircraft are about the most liberal in the world. The odds are it is more likely to be legal in the US than most other countries. Check out EAA.org for more information.
This post reminds me of the posts that showed up when some restrictions on High Power model rocket engines talked about on Slashdot. You had a bunch of idiots talking about how much better things where in the EU. Then it turned out that the motors that where going to be restricted in the USA where about 30 times the power of any motor you could buy legally in the EU.

Fuel (0)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553591)

I find it possible that something that small could fly and carry a human passenger. What I find much less likely is that it could carry enough fuel for a sustained flight. And if it can't stay in the air for more than a few minutes on it's own power it will never be more than a novelty. (not even a luxury sporting item)

The Fuel Inside You. (4, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553721)

Sure you can keep it up for hours. See here [wikipedia.org] for a quick run down on human powered flight. Now consider the fact that a lawn mower, with it's tiny tank, provides ten to twenty times as much power as you can sustain and does it for hours on end. It's not far from there to the whole ultralight aircraft industry. [wikipedia.org]

Those things are too dangerous for me but are lots of fun for those who fly them. I like something with a little more power to get out of trouble. Ultralights get blown around and where the wind blows is not always good for you.

Re:Fuel (5, Informative)

Baddas (243852) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553751)

Fuel density:

Kerosene (Diesel fuel): 11,000 watt-hours per liter, 13,000 watt-hours per kg

Typical ultralight engine: 30,000 watts

Assuming you are running at full throttle all the time (fairly unlikely):

a 10 liter tank will last you 3-odd hours and weigh right around 12 kg. Most ultralights have a fuel capacity between 8 and 35 liters.

Does the math work out better for you now?

Re:Fuel (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553777)

This thing is not that small. According to their website [petworks.co.jp] the previous model has a wingspan of 9.6m and this one looks slightly larger.

This is proportionally much larger than what was depicted in the anime. [wikipedia.org]
If we lived in a fantasy world where the atmosphere was denser, then maybe everyone would be flying like this, but in reality things are a bit more difficult. :)

Re:Fuel (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553809)

If we lived in a fantasy world where the atmosphere was denser. . .

LA LA Land.

KFG

Re:Fuel (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553820)

Well, there's this guy [gizmag.com]. Granted it was a flying start, but four minutes at about 50 feet off the ground doing 115 mph is pretty impressive for some fold-up fairy wings and a couple of model airplane engines.

From TFA:

At 7:30pm on June 24, 2004 Rossy dropped from 4000m over the Yverdon airfield. After opening the wings, he glided to 2500m, ignited the engines and waited 30 seconds for them to be able to stabilize and begins to open the throttle. At 16m, he achieved horizontal flight for more than 4 minutes at 100 knots (115 mph).

Re:Fuel (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553826)

it will never be more than a novelty.

As others have addressed the longevity of flight issue perfectly adequately I will simply point out that I don't think the people involved in this project have ever intended it to be anything but.

Well, that and a real kick just to pull off.

KFG

Re:Fuel (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553868)

The smallest biplane ever flown is the Bumble Bee II, designed and built by Robert H Starr of Tempe, Arizona, USA. The plane was 2.69-m (8-ft 10-in) long, with a wingspan of 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in). On May 8, 1988 after flying to a height of 120 m (400 ft) the Bumble Bee II crashed and was totally destroyed. The pilot suffered serious injuries, but went on to make a full recovery.


That was one guy almost 20 years ago. If these professional aircraft designers cant get this thing to work, I bet Burt Rutan can.

"anime heroin" (5, Funny)

DoctorMabuse (456736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553606)

Is anime heroin better than black tar heroin or china white heroin? I'm going to have to go to Tokyo and ask a heroine.

Scooby doobie doo (4, Funny)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553824)

Anime heroin is two parts narcotic, one part soul of the forest, and one part nanobot. Somebody told me they were starting to put in ground Pikachu, but who could harm that little thing? Except Mew Two, that is.

Re:"anime heroin" (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553998)

No, but if I remember the cost of anime correctly, it'll probably cost more than either of those...

Re:"anime heroin" (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554229)

As the saying goes - "Anime: drugs would be cheaper..."

I can totally confirm that... ^_^

np: Underworld - Mmm Skyscraper I Love You (Underworld 1992-2002 (Disc 1))

Re:"anime heroin" (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554260)

You can download drugs from bittorrent now? If you thought the Riaa was extortive, you just wait until the drug dealers find out that their buisiness model is in trouble.

Re:"anime heroin" (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554300)

You can download drugs from bittorrent now?

See, there's those things called "anime DVDs", but I guess you freeloading people who automatically equate "anime" with "bittorrent" probably never heard of those...

np: Underworld - Mmm Skyscraper I Love You (DubNoBassWithMyHeadMan)

Glider? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553609)

Not to be needlessly pedantic, but...well, what the hell...to be needlessly pedantic, if it's going to be jet powered, won't it cease being a glider?

I mean, right now it's a glider, but as soon as it's jet powered it'll by definition cease being a glider, right? So what they've really got is a personal glider that they're hoping to develop in to a personal jet aircraft.

Re:Glider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553705)

yeah... "flying wing" seems more like the right thing to call it

Re:Glider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553892)

isn't it pedantic to use the word pedantic? Seriously, not flaimbait-ing...

Re:Glider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553994)

It sure is pedantic to use the word pedantic! That makes it even more annoying.

Anyway, I think "flying wing" works pretty well, as someone suggested above. It makes no claims about how it's powered in general, how it's being drawn forward at any particular moment, and it's generally pretty descriptive.

Re:Glider? (3, Informative)

bombman (87339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554071)

Well - sort of - in the animated movie, the jet is used only occationally (liftoff etc)
and the wing is often used as a glider.

Re:Glider? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554221)

to be needlessly pedantic, if it's going to be jet powered, won't it cease being a glider?
The space shuttle is a rocket powered glider - it doesn't descend under power.

Re:Glider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554483)

There have been jet powered and powered gliders before. THey are called motor gliders. I have actually flown some motor gliders as well as nonpowered.... usually the motor or engine is used to get up to altitude and is then shut off. It is an alternative to being aerotowed or winch launched. If they do not turn the jets off at anypoint then I would say it is not a glider... It does not look like that design will have a very good L/D (lift to drag ratio), in other words it wont get very far before comming down. I think it is more ment to be pretty and cool though than to be practical.

Laura

Something about this I didn't understand... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553610)

...namely, the rationale. It does not help that I am Slashdotting drunk.

whatever floats your boat... or glider-type-thingy (0, Troll)

vinsanity1 (978226) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553615)

seems like an awful lot of time, effort, and money being wasted on something so insignificant and probably useless...
i say good on 'em!
Good luck guys.

Call me.. (2, Funny)

Visceral Monkey (583103) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553621)

when they get the purple tentacles down so I can start my pr0n career.

Re:Call me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553763)

Troll? Dammit, that's funny you twit!

Now THIS is a troll.

The roll bar (0, Troll)

woksta (895150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553622)

that thing looks really dangerous, there is no roll bar and the pilot is totally exposed. Any kind of crash and that guy is dead.

Re:The roll bar (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553716)

>Any kind of crash and that guy is dead.

That is why it is flown by a girl in the movie and graphic novel.

Re:The roll bar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554365)

If they put a proper cover on it, it'd cease to be a new idea: this thing seriously looks like a WWII German point-defense invention.

I'd prefer if they created an Ohmu :-) (2, Informative)

joneshenry (9497) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553633)

But would Ohmu's be forced to register with the government ...

Mirror! For the love, mirror! (1)

theGreater (596196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553635)

Mehve? (5, Funny)

Mish (50810) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553639)

...have taken upon themselves to build a real-size, fully functional Mehve (japanese website)
Did anyone else read this and find their brain filing "Mehve" away as the Japanese word for "website"? For a minute I found myself wondering what was so special about putting together a Japanese website.

Re:Mehve? (2, Funny)

Al_Lapalme (698542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553713)

I instinctively assumed the Japanese hadn't succeeded in putting together a 'fully functional' website; until now!

Re:Mehve? (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553953)

I thought the same thing....and then I wondered why it took them 2 years to put it together.

Re:Mehve? (1)

FinnWinter (968422) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554152)

But this is a fully functional website. That's quite an achievement. Even Google, with their perpetual beta programs, can't claim that.

Re:Mehve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554267)

The same happened to me.
As it turns out, "Mehve" is Japanese-mangled German for "Möwe": seagull.

Re:Mehve? (1)

kamome (983219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554391)

I stumbled there too ;) Until I realized that it was their anglojapanese way of spelling "moewe" (one of their gliders is named moewe) which is, of course, the "europeanly" correct way of spelling "Möwe" (german, being seagull in english and kamome in japanese) if you don't have german Umlaute.

small jet-powered glider? (1, Redundant)

clintk (907887) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553648)

small jet-powered glider

jet: jet-propelled vehicle, especially a jet-propelled aircraft.

glider: A light engineless aircraft designed to glide

That is quite an invention.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553706)

IIRC from the movie it didn't use the engine all the time.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (1)

gronofer (838299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554062)

The engine is not so important for an anime vehicle. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes just as fast when gliding as it does when using the jet engine.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (2, Informative)

jbrader (697703) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553722)

There are lots of glider pilots who use small compressed air or gasoline engines to take off and then switch to glide mode once airborne.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553754)

there is no contradiction there, if that's what you are implying.

Consider that the Space Shuffle is actually a glider over most of the re-entry (called glide-approach).

A cruise missile [af.mil] is a jet-propelled glider... as opposed to a Russian Satan ss-18 [usec.com], which is a jet-propelled ballista, though such things may use fins and such for stabilization.

In other words, anything that uses wings for flying (and not solely for manuvering e.g. a fighter during afterburn [airforce-technology.com]) is a glider.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553768)

It's been done before:

www.airsceneuk.org.uk/airshow04/sywell/sywell.htm

Shows a regular hang glider powered by a jet engine.

Strangely, regulation of homebuilt aircraft is less stringent than you might assume. The result is that homebuilt aircraft are more likely to have safety features (e.g. modern auto engines, ballistic parachute systems) than commercially built aircraft, because the commercial aircraft would have to undergo extensive safety testing to have these systems fitted. The result is that homebuilt aircraft have as good a safety record as commercially built designs.

Hang glider design places the pilot within a triangle frame - that provides considerable protection from minor bumps and scrapes as I have discovered the hard way. Special aerofoils provide stability - like the design above, hang gliders are flying wings. But somehow, rather them than me on that contraption.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553874)

Strangely, regulation of homebuilt aircraft is less stringent than you might assume. The result is that homebuilt aircraft are more likely to have safety features (e.g. modern auto engines, ballistic parachute systems) than commercially built aircraft, because the commercial aircraft would have to undergo extensive safety testing to have these systems fitted. The result is that homebuilt aircraft have as good a safety record as commercially built designs.
Uh... neither the FAA nor EAA nor Kitplanes magazine nor any of the other reputable sources will back that up. Homebuilts suffer more engine failures (even with 4-cylinder car engine conversions), more structural failures, etc. That ballistic parachutes have lessened the fatality rate (and that's sure a good thing, and they should be added to all light planes) doesn't make them "safer". Just "less deadly".

Re:small jet-powered glider? (4, Informative)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553980)

The result is that homebuilt aircraft are more likely to have safety features (e.g. modern auto engines,

Gotta stop you right there. Automobile engines and aircraft engines are very different beasts for very good reasons. Automobile engines normally run at 20% of rated power with occasional bursts to 80% rated power and only the rarest burst to 100% rated power. Aircraft engines normally run at 80% rated power and will routinely spend several minutes at 100% power during each flight (takeoff and climbout). That critical "expected normal load" results in a very different engine design.

If you try to put an automobile engine in an airplane without substantial redesign to account for the different expected loads, you're basically guaranteeing premature catastrophic failure.

The result is that homebuilt aircraft have as good a safety record as commercially built designs.

Check your facts. Homebuilts have a much higher accident rate per flight-hour. Still pretty low, though.

Regards,
Ross

Re:small jet-powered glider? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554052)

This is patently untrue. Many home-built airplanes use small car engines, such as that from a VW Beetle. I have personally ridden in such a plane; I promise that I did not imagine it.

Re:small jet-powered glider? (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554439)


No you are wrong! I saw it in the A-team! BA (Barracus) duct-taped an automobile engine to a propeller and a bunch
of 2x4s and made a plane that Murdoch (not Ian Murdoch) said he could pilot. Then Face hit BA on the back
of the head, and they loaded everyone into the plane and took off with the cool theme music playing.

"I love it when a plan comes together"

Subaru uses same motor for Car and Airplane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554443)

Also it was very popular for long time to use volkswagon aircooled motors in lightweight airplanes.

I expect the fuel systems to be a bit different. (injection, fuel rails, (or carb) intake manafold and so on and so forth) But that's nothing compared to what modifications people make for racing or for marine use.

Sure this can result in different loads. As long as the motor is mechanically strong and has good cooling characteristics I don't see how it would make a difference. The cooling is most important.

Except for needing 100% power for lift off or whatnot I expect that the loads the aircraft need (like you said constant 80%) would be MUCH MUCH easier then what a motor faces in a car. It's just that usually the aircraft motor has to be of much higher tolerance and quality then a typical car installation.. If your car breaks down then that is fine, you pull over and call for help. If your airplane motor breaks down then that'll usually result in at minimum severe damage to the airplane and possibly death of it's passenger.

So don't say it isn't done or can't be done.. Because have done it and are doing it very successfully.

Okay (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553657)

but are they wearing pants?

Nausicaa wears pants. (3, Informative)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553797)

They're close to skin color, so unfortunately it isn't terribly obvious. This isn't that kind of anime. Sheesh.

FAQ [nausicaa.net]

Every kid's dream machine (4, Informative)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553675)

Anyone who's seen the opening sequence from "Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa [nausicaa.net]" (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind ) can understand the type of flight experience they are trying to produce here.

The freedom with which Nausicaa sails around the skies on a flying machine light enough to carry yet strong enough to carry out some hairy aerobatics has figured in many a daydream. Hayao Miyazaki takes our daydreams and puts them on the big screen.

Of course the reality of FAA regulations and principles of aerodynamics tend to get in the way of truly realizing the dreams but I give kudos to these guys for trying.

Re:Every kid's dream machine (3, Interesting)

joneshenry (9497) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553785)

My dream machine (although it turned out to not be a machine) as a kid would have been an EVA from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I would not have had a qualm about even killing another kid if given an order to do so if obeying such orders was the price of being an EVA pilot. The power to level cities, and if in EVA Unit 01, power without limit, would be in my opinion the most common modern dream in the post video game younger generation, not peacefully flying on a jet-powered glider.

Nausicaa was a scientist who performed careful experiments that led her to her ultimate conclusions about the role of the deadly fungus and forest in the ecology of the post-apocalyptic world. Genre fiction since then has generally preferred to reject science as the mode of enlightenment, preferring anything else from heredity to magic.

I guess this point I am more a cynic about what young people really want if freed from the thin vaneer of civilization, similar to the philosophy of Lord of the Flies.

tell me when they get Zefram Cochrane's ship made. (0, Troll)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553693)

Booooring.. now when they replicate a fully functional version of Zefram Cochrane's ship from star trek, the phoenix [wikipedia.org]

Re:tell me when they get Zefram Cochrane's ship ma (1)

Uncle Ira (586682) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553996)

I'd be more excited to see Kaneda's bike (which is actually plausible, come to think of it).

I see dead people. (1)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553746)

Nobody knows the trouble I see, nobody knows the sorrow.

Disruptive technology is a tree watered by the blood of the brave. Otto Lelienthal is somewhere watching this.

editors of what?? (1, Redundant)

capoccia (312092) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553781)

heroinEEEEEEEE!!!!!! there's an E!!.

else it's under the jurisdiction of the ATF.

on second thought, maybe the editors purposefully insert egregiouss errors to troll readers into commenting, thus increasing ad revenue.

Re:editors of what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15553984)

Why would heroin be under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms?

Re:editors of what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15554427)

heroinEEEEEEEE!!!!!! there's an E!!.

else it's under the jurisdiction of the ATF.

on second thought, maybe the editors purposefully insert egregiouss errors to troll readers into commenting, thus increasing ad revenue.

 
oo oo ooo o oo, i get to nitpick a nitpicker. What do Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have to do with Herion? It's the DEA you want. Now if your firing cigars while drunk out of your potato gun than you have the right acronym.

Impressive work (4, Insightful)

Thagg (9904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553794)

I had seen their previous RC models -- which really didn't look too much like the glider from the movie -- and thought "OK, that's pretty cool".

This is lightyears beyond cool.

They are fighting a lot of aerodynamic issues to make a human-carrying glider that now looks remarkably like the one in the movie. The challenge in flying wings is to fight the tendency of most wings to pitch down. In addition to this natural tendency, this wing has two things going against it.

1) The "jet" causes drag below the CG
2) The person raises the CG so high that there is a tendency to be unstable

Add to this the fact that the design allows very little sweepback (a typical way to get pitch stability in flying wings (see B2 and Northrop)) then you are really in a bind.

They must have a fabulously high positive pitching-moment airfoil. It is possible to make reasonably efficient airfoils with some positive pitch moment, but unless they've invented something truly revolutionary -- the demands on this airfoil for stability might mean that the glide ratio would not be very good.

Still -- unbelivably impressive. Way to go!

Thad Beier

Re:Impressive work (2, Interesting)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553827)

With a fast enough onboard computer, robust software and suitable servos, one could have an aircraft that constantly monitors and corrects for the instabilities inherent in such an aircraft.

As is the case with the F-117 "Stealth" aircraft.

Re:Impressive work (2, Insightful)

firemangreg (964292) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554137)

You seem knowledgable on aerodynamics, so maybe you can answer this. Would it help if the center part of the wing (where the pilot is located) was lowered? You would also have to lower that duct thing on the front, but that seems like it would lower the center of gravity. That may also screw up the whole likeness to the anime though.

Re:Impressive work (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554318)

Surely the obvious answer is to build in a real jet? The extra mass of metal from the turbine etc would drag the CG down again.

I know it's addictive, but... (1, Redundant)

GreyDuck (192463) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553830)

"Anime heroin," indeed. I may have a heroine addiction, but anime's not exactly a drug.

Mind you, my DVD shelf is testament to my occasional desire for a "Miyazaki fix." (And a "girls with guns fix." And a "post-apocalyptic adventure fix." And... well, you get the idea.)

Re:I know it's addictive, but... (1)

firemangreg (964292) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554146)

Wait, wait, I have one...*insert pseudo-witty phrase and/or analogy about heroin and anime heroines here* Seriously, the first one was ok, but it got really tired really quickly.

As a model-aircraft designer... (2, Informative)

inflex (123318) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553862)

I give these people full credit for persuing their idea this far. However they're going to have a very difficult time with a design like this as it is inherently unstable. While it may fly fine when straight and level, perhaps doing gentle moves, it'll be very happy to snap back with some very ugly characteristics when pushed outside of its stability envelope.

A full time computer working on the stability will help a lot, however at some points no amount of computer intervention will re-establish stable flight (ie, tumbling).

Then again, similar things were said about the helicopter :D

Looking forward to seeing what they end up with... especially for the turbine motor.

Yves Rossy has been there... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553971)

A swiss pilot (Yves Rossy) has done it... 2 jet engines and a small deltaving. His homepage (in french) is here.

I used to fly paragliders pretty seriously (2, Informative)

Strolls (641018) | more than 7 years ago | (#15553999)

I used to fly paragliders pretty seriously, and there is NO WAY on this planet you would get me up on one of those things until a few people have died flying them.

Under the FAI [fai.org] definitions [fai.org] paragliders [google.com] and hang-gliders [google.com] are both in the same category of foot-launced unpowered aircraft, they both have loosely similar flight-characteristsics, tend to share the same airspace and consequently in many countries they (now) share a regulatory body.

Thus it was I came to be on an instructors' course some years ago when the subject of accident prevention and reporting was being discussed and one thing I remember very distinctly about that was that the same mistakes tend to be made time & time again. I guess this applies to all fields, programming as well, but on this occasion it was pointed out how accident reports of 5 years before looked pretty much like the accident reports currently submitted to the association. I guess the statistics were probably lower than you might think and the majority of incidents involved sprained ankles and broken wrists but the causes were typically pilot error, over-confidence, carelessness &/or neglect - the same reasons hang-glider pilots had been having accidents for 20 years.

Likewise it took a few dead paraglider pilots before the introduction of a certification regimen under which manufacturers of gliders were required to submit new their models for testing - a regimen which 10 years ago had recently matured but which bore remarkable similarities to the certification schemes under which hang-gliders had been regulated since the 1970s. And of course the testing for hang-gliders had been introduced for the same reason - dead pilots, just in the early 1970s they were the result of simple Rogalio hang-gliders entering "luffing-dives" whereas in the early 1990s the cause was paragliders "collapsing" in turbulent air &/or finding themselves stable in flat-spins or spirals.

A previous poster wrote that "the freedom with which Nausicaa sails around the skies on a flying machine light enough to carry yet strong enough to carry out some hairy aerobatics has figured in many a daydream" but wings that achieve this goal, this dream, are already widely available. Just because they don't look quite like [stanford.edu] the one out of your favorite comic book, I don't think that's a great reason to learn aviation design the hard way.

Aviation design is a really complicated discipline with lots of pitfalls, and mistakes may not show up until a wing has been flown for a number of hours, which is kinda inconvenient if you're flying at a few hundred feet at the time. Tailless aircraft are particularly quirky, and last time I checked (a few years ago, admittedly) there weren't many designs available - a tail is just a really easy way to ensure pitch and yaw stability.

Don't get me wrong - this looks like a really great toy, I'd love to have a play with it and I wish these guys the best, but I hope for their sakes that they've done their homework. The veteran pilots I've known who have lost friends to the sport (and I guess that includes me) haven't really known what they were getting into.

Oh, these japanese are so clever! (-1, Redundant)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554044)

I mean, they have artists, students and engineers working on a japanese website! I suspect it is going to be the best website ever!

Next step in the project (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554122)

Build a fully functional EVA! YAY!!! (Yes I'm in love with Rei Ayanami, so what? You know you are, too) :D

What is Mehve? (Japanese Website) (0, Redundant)

tuomas_kaikkonen (843958) | more than 7 years ago | (#15554502)

I thought for couple of seconds, that the unfamiliar word "Mehve" was a Japanese word for Website. So, I was curous to see how the Japanese websites can be made full size and flown in the sky. And who would "click" on the links in this giant monster in the sky?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...