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Old 12-01-2019, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Folding Aerocap

Hello Everyone -

This is the latest version of the Aerocap that I am working on for my truck. It consists of steel frame which is covered by a nylon/ canvas type material. The steel frame folds up similar to how a car's convertible top works and this Aerocap goes from "open" to "closed" in seconds. In the open position I have full access to the truck bed and I can load large items. This Aerocap can be completely disassembled and stored in a corner of the garage. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to assemble/disassemble this Aerocap and it weighs roughly 40 or 50 pounds. I will be building a new version of this Aerocap soon as I would like to make some changes to the linkages of the steel frame and use a thicker, convertible type material for the top. I want to make sure the material is pulled tighter and the wrinkles are removed.

Here is a picture of the Aerocap closed:



And a picture of the Aerocap open:



I would like to get any feedback from you guys (and girls) and any suggestions would be appreciated. Any thoughts on the aerodynamics of flexible materials, such as nylon canvas and convertible top material?

More pictures and info to come....

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Old 12-02-2019, 09:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good!
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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fabric

It would be susceptible to aeroelastic effects,causing it to deform from its intended shape when under load.A look through the rear-view could confirm.Other than that,she looks pretty sweet!
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you post more of the folded images and closer up from different angles?

Overall it looks very cool.

How is the sound?

Any flapping or cascading ripples?


I like it.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
It would be susceptible to aeroelastic effects,causing it to deform from its intended shape when under load.A look through the rear-view could confirm.Other than that,she looks pretty sweet!
Would the deforming be necessarily bad? If there was a high pressure area and it could push in vs a low pressure area that it could expand into. I guess the problem being the rigid parts that have to stay in one place.

How much does material make in the surface skin drag at say 70 mph? Would it be worth using a smooth fabric like Sunbrella vs rough duck canvas?

Actually Sunbrella is also woven, maybe PVC vinyl?
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The local upholstery shop might have some tips on fit and material selection. Looks good.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sweet.

Haartz cloth? Radiused leading edge?

How about cam-locks or inflated tubes to rigidify the shell. Is it rigid or flexible when not fastened to the bed?
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great build!

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Old 12-05-2019, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
It would be susceptible to aeroelastic effects,causing it to deform from its intended shape when under load.A look through the rear-view could confirm.Other than that,she looks pretty sweet!
Thanks! I didn't build windows in this version of my Aerocap, so I can't see what it happening when I drive, but I have observed the Aerocap from a chase car and sure enough the shape does deform. What suprised me was that it seemed to "inflate" into a nice rounded shape. From looking at the tufts, the are seemed to flow smoothly over the inflated shape. Below is a screenshot from a short video i took (I will post the video later if I can figure out how to remove the sound).

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Old 12-05-2019, 06:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kach22i View Post
Can you post more of the folded images and closer up from different angles?

Overall it looks very cool.

How is the sound?

Any flapping or cascading ripples?


I like it.
Thanks Kach22i! There is no flapping or ripples that I am observing. My fabrication and sewing wasn't perfect, so when it is at rest, it is a little loose. But, once I get moving through the air it seems fill in pretty well. On my next version I hope to use a thicker material that fits tighter around the frame. I am hearing no sound from the aerocap. In fact, my truck seem queiter when I have the cap on. Here are more pictures:






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