Crimble Moments
Genesis 2 CWs Blog
How To
Slope Sites
NNAWGC Friends
Items For Sale

SushiA species of flying fish or a model aircraft

You have already seen the first of the prototypes of this new model, but may not have realised that it was a model under development. I find great deal of pleasure in building and flying models, also from experimenting with different type of designs, not necessarily with much in the way of mathematical equations, and software modelling, but using tried and tested aerofoils and applying them to a chosen application

 and I do like things to be a little different.


The Story So Far......


Some time ago, whilst clearing out my attic I came across an old flying wing I designed many years ago "Wotsit" and I thought that it could do with seeing the light of day, maybe a bit of a face lift and put new life back into the model. The wings were still good, although the fuselage needed some attention.


A new lost foam fibreglass fuselage with an integrated balsa fin, using the techniques much like those used on the SmArt model was made and offered up to the old wing. It certainly looked the business and needed to be given an outing up on the slopes.


In the fairly light conditions on the day, the model performance was ok, but speed seemed slower that I remembered from the old model. Flight during higher wind speeds on other occasions also left me thinking that an 'ok' performance wasn't what I was looking for, it could be better. Whilst the model looked good, I figured that I also wanted a slightly different look to the model, and after a little pondering and sketching a number of images I decided to put the original wing back in the attic.. It served the purpose of getting me thinking of a new flying wing, something a bit different..... The old wing will get used again one day; I now had other ideas. Fuelled by the fact that to create a brand new wing I didn't have to create templates to cut the foam cores, I just needed to work out the parameters and enter these into the computer, introduce the foam to my CNC wing cutter, press the button and wait for the results.


The fuselage was given a new tapered wing with an MH 61 aerofoil section, which I have used on a number of flying wings before. The wing went together well, vac bagged to glue the obechi veneer to the foam then covered with some left over profilm that I already had in the model cupboard. Within a couple of weeks, the model was test flown on my local slope and proved more promising that the initial swept back design. After a couple more outings, I decided to take it on holiday to the Long Mynd, a modelling expedition that had been planned for a couple of months to meet up with my flying buddy, Neil. Our "frostbite" news article in February 2013 reflects, in part, on flying of this model.


Tweaking the CofG position and more flying found that a hyper stall situation could develop in normal flight, seemingly without provocation. The model still wasn't as slippery as I wanted, but it did show promise other than the pitch oscillations, however, this did not occur all the time. I experimented with the CofG position further, reduced the amount of reflex on the wing but again something was not quite adding up, so it was back to the drawing board.


Currently the model design has undergone further change. It keeps the same lost foam fuselage now married to yet another new wing; similar taper but a different aerofoil section thinned to 8.5%  which works much better than the previous versions. In fact, I am quite pleased with the outcome. Speed range is good but not lightning fast and the wing shows no sign of the previous hyper stall tendencies. It's very manoeuvrable, with no bad vices even when slowed down with significant control input, It also maintains a true line whilst inverted and demonstrate in increase of speed with a slight forward stick pressure to maintain height. Still not as fast as I'd expected, but it probably needs a higher wing loading to get it to move and maybe a slightly less cross sectional area to the fuselage to reduce drag a bit more.


Just last weekend (Apr 2015) I flew it in a variety of conditions from the hill at Roundway, Devizes, Wiltshire. Conditions started off on the Friday with around 15mph South Easterly wind with good lift and some thermal activity. The wind speed, increased throughout the weekend and gradually moved round to Westerly on Saturday afternoon and back to a South Westerly direction by Sunday morning.

Sunday saw wind speeds gusting up to 46mph where most people would not have even considered flying in the gusty and sometimes unpleasant conditions.


A group of us had planned a long weekend on the slopes of Wilstshire and we weren't going to be deterred. Yes it was very windy, but some of us had flown in much worse conditions on other hills. On the day though, I think that the vertical component of lift was being reduce by the horizontal wind component as it was not easy to get much more than about 20ft height above the slope. "Volitan" the name given to this model design coped well with the conditions and given its light weight, kept up with the lead sled mouldies that had been brought out for the occasion.


I am currently trimming and tweaking the set up to gain more performance, but pleased with the model so far. Indeed, so please I have now started to fabricate the plug to make a formal fibreglass fuselage. This will have a slightly reduced cross sectional area to reduce drag, which I also think is a contributory factor in improving the overall speed of the model.


Yes its a lot of effort, but as I said, I like building and experimenting with different designs and shapes. I also like the feeling that when you get something right, it looks and performs well and its something different to frequent the slopes with that often turns a few heads and gets people talking.



So what's in the name?


Well most people ask what the model is, if you don't have a name then that's not a good starting point is it. So what could I call it? 


Going on the shape of the fuselage I initially thought of a name that would reflect its appearance, especially the shape of the fin. The name of a number of sharks came to mind; Mako,Tiger, or even the general name of Predator but other models have adopted these type of names and they seem a little too aggressive. The Name "Sharky" came to mind, thinking of Sharky and George the cartoon characters, then of "Bruce" the character in Finding Nemo (a Great Film!), but I wasn't quite sure. I think I wanted a name that was a little more subtle. Then the name Sushi came to mind which seemed fitting, although this may have been a little too subtle and tenuous in its connection. Whilst Sushi is the name of the rice, it is more commonly associated with fish, however, I have another new model which has yet to be revealed, that I think the name Sushi would suit better. Looking around the internet for inspiration for a name that I felt had to be associated with a fish, I found it, "Volitan". A species of flying fish - rather an apt name I think considering the shape of the model.


Well, given the actual names of flying fish, I could hardly go with Exocoetidae, Meaning family of sea fish more commonly known a flying fish. More specifically, Exocoetus monocirrhus or Exocoetus obtusiostris, to name but a few species of flying fish. Like most people, I didn't do Latin at school and hate those TV programmes that also insist on using the Latin names for most things like garden plants etc. For one, I wouldn't know how to pronounce those names or understand what they actually mean, and would it be a catchy (no pun intended) name, something that most people might remember?... Sadly No!


So off with "Exocoetus", Latin for Genus and retain the actual species name, in this case Volitan.  I think even as a Yorkshireman, I shouldn't have a problem with the pronunciation, although some might think otherwise. That said, I'm going for a lay down as I've used too many big words today............




There's more to come with the development of this model. Watch this space for further updates in the near future ......



[News] Home ] NNAWGC ] Crimble Moments ] Models ] Genesis 2 CWs Blog ] How To ] Slope Sites ] NNAWGC Friends ] Links ] Items For Sale ]

The content of other websites linked from this website is not controlled or influenced by slope-dudes