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Old 10-10-2011, 06:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
Thanks for the input, Phil. I value your input here.

Flexibilty & practicality are definitely what I'm shooting for here. I've looked around at what a lot of people have done. Lots of folks around here have done aerocaps of various constructions, however, there don't seem to be very many folks who still use them regularly. The thing is it's not because they don't help FE. Everybody I've seen who has had one has seen a significant benefit. The issue is that people get sick of either not being able to haul stuff, or they get sick of taking the big, heavy thing on and off a bunch of times. That's the issue that I'm trying to address with this concept. It may or may not be the absolute best theoretical aerodynamic design, but if it's not practical, the theory is irrelavant.

I've been floating several ideas around, but haven't actually constructed anything yet. That's just the way my mind works--I need to let my ideas stew for a while before I start--otherwise they come out half-baked Hopefully I'll get a chance to actually start turning wrenches here before too long.
When I did the inflatable boat-tail,I made a full-scale mock-up attached to my bedroom wall ( not married,not an issue).I used the mock-up to tailor the envelope fabric,then sewed the thing up on an old high school gear-drive Singer sewing machine bought well used for $45.00.
You could create an envelope,sew bow-tubes on the inside,just as a headliner in a car has them sewn on the 'outside,'slip the bows in to stabilize the shape.A few of the bows could incorporate overhead door rollers,and roll in overhead door track,attached to the inside of the bed rails.
As the bows were drawn rearward they would force tension on the fabric,and the bows with rollers would stabilize the envelope against vertical displacement.
When it's in the way,unlatch the beast and shove the bows forward to a stowed position and latch.
Goodyear and others have done inflatable airplanes kinda like this.They used collapsible fabric bulkheads to control the shape.The bows would do the same thing for a non-inflated structure.Just thinking out loud.
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