Register here

Author Topic: Aircraft Without Wings  (Read 7732 times)

Offline Matej

  • Deputy Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 2617
  • Multiuniversal creator
    • Hitechweb - bizare aviation
Re: Aircraft Without Wings
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2011, 10:16:44 am »
if we're talking about classic aerodynamic lift-based type of flying, flying without wings is probably not an efficient proposition unless you are flying really fast or at very high dynamic pressures anyway, at which point you can probably rely on body lift. The Rockwell penetrating bomber platforms, with oblique wings come to mind. Because they were flying fast at low altitude, they could pivot the wing along the fuselage and get great gust tolerance among other things. At low speeds, if you don't have some sort of spanwise distribution of lift, induced drag is a killer.

More generally, I guess much depends on what you call "wings". Even in the Rockwell bomber case, the fuselage happens to be a long, thin flat structure you could still call a "wing". Anything that generates aerodynamic lift by generating a pressure differential between its lower and upper surfaces could be a "wing".

Well said. I just add that its really a good idea to rely on the aerodynamically produced lift. You can build helicopter-like thing without rotor, but it simply will not be effective. Your goal should be to make the aircraft, that can fly fast enough, for the long enough distances and with the as low energy consumption and costs as possible.

Regarding the topic title, I think that it is somehow... too much depending on the past experience. As many current experiments shows, aircrafts in the long term future wont have only one fixed shape. Together with the progress in the computing power and material research I expect morphing structures. Not only the wing but the whole fuselage. Aircraft that will addapt to the airflow in the specific moment. For example aircraft, that will transform itself to the sharp arrow for the high speed cruise and during the landing it will transform to some sort of flying wing/lifting body or that can form the small movable canard surfaces when needed and later blend them into the fuselage structure.

Bizarre aviation expert.

Offline Simon666

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 106
Re: Aircraft Without Wings
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 12:41:46 am »
You must be thinking of aerodynes
Indeed, Lippisch was one major aerodynamicist who believed in aircraft without wings. Me I'd think that although friction and profile drag would be a bit less without wings, lift induced drag would be a show stopper. Anyway, Lippisch was a genius, it is probably possible but not practical.

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7924
Re: Aircraft Without Wings
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2011, 02:16:42 am »
About the Aerodyne, as built I'm not sure, if it doesn't qualify as a kind
of ring wing, similar to the BTZ/SNECMA Coleoptére. And those other
"wingless" Lippisch designs actually may be just a sort of lifting bodies,
as they were clearly designed for high speed. The only true wingless projects
from the past I can remember, are amongst those "Flying Pig" designs by Bristol

Well, in the future perhaps we'll see morphing structures, as Matej pointed out, but what a
grueling task for everyone busy in the field of 3-views, profiles and the like ...   :-\
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 02:20:44 am by Jemiba »
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline hesham

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 22580
Re: Aircraft Without Wings
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 05:06:32 am »

Offline steelpillow

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 441
  • So many projects, so little time...
Re: Aircraft Without Wings
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2018, 12:16:18 pm »
There are three broad ways to get rid of wings:

The aerostat was first flown by the Montgolfier brothers over two hundred of years ago and is better known as the balloon or airship.

The lifting body was conceived at least as early as the 1920s, although Scroggs' patent shows a hybrid pyramidal lifting body with narrow, dart-like delta wings. More famous are the NASA X-planes of the postwar period. Many supersonic missile weapons fly pretty much as lifting bodies, though their aft stabilizers are often called cruciform wings..

Direct thrust has been around since the days of the Rolls-Royce "flying bedstead" which paved the way for the Hawker Harrier (maybe the Aerodyne was a little earlier?). I believe a personal air vehicle comprising a twin-fan backpack has recently been sold to some emergency services.

BTW, contrary to popular belief, the "flying saucer" has rotten aerodynamics at any speed and its stealth characteristics are not much better. Whether the Lockheed SRA aerostat, the Avrocar lifting body or the Moller Volantor powered-lift "flying car", wingless saucers have always sucked. (A saucer wing such as the Vought "flying flapjack" or the frisbee toy is a different matter!)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 12:24:10 pm by steelpillow »