Geodesic Structures in 1920s aircraft construction

Jemiba

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In an issue of Icare, I think from 1979, I found this photo of an unfinished
fuselage, shown at an exhibition. I would call this a geodesic structure,
invented, or at least first used in aircraft design, by Barnes Wallis in 1932.
But the photo shows a Latécoère aircraft ! I still couldn't identify the type,
maybe it's a Laté XIV (first type with this designation), but it probably is a
pre-1932 design.
So, is it geodesic or not ? And if so, what's about Barnes Wallis ? ???
 

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Just call me Ray

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Jemiba said:
But the photo shows a Latécoère aircraft !

A wha?

So, is it geodesic or not ?

Uh, it certainly looks like a geodesic aircraft, so why not? It'd be like arguing that a helicopter is not a helicopter because it's manufactured by someone other than Bell.
 

Jemiba

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So again : Was the idea of the geodesic construction, which in most sources is
credited to Barnes Wallis in 1932, have been invented much earlier by another
person, who just missed the opportunity to get a patent on it ?
Or is the shown structure NOT a geodesic one ?

And a helicopter is a helicopter, if manufactured by Bell, by Sikorsky, by Kamov,
or by whoever you like .... ::) Any relation to my question ? ???

And for Latècoére aircraft you should look at Heshams post
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1505.0.html ;)
 

CJGibson

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Check out the R80 airship of 1920, which used a forerunner of the geodesic construction developed by Wallis, later used in the R100 airship first flown in 1929.

KB
 

Michel Van

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Jemiba said:
So, is it geodesic or not ? And if so, what's about Barnes Wallis ? ???

Yes that geodesic
the most famous Vickers Wellington Bomber

180px-Barnes_Wallis.jpg

Barnes Wallis make in 1920 the First geodesic Design for Airship like R80!
later he used it for Vickers Wellesley Light Bomber and Vickers Wellington Bomber
he was genius, inventing like the bouncing bomb ! (also called The Dam Busters )
and did much pioneering engineering work to make the swing-wing concept functional !
more on him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnes_Wallis

15.jpg

this a Vickers Wellington Bomber how enconter a littel Problem with German Flak and Return save to UK.
source http://www.geocities.com/skrzydla/300/300_pic_gal_1.html
 

Just call me Ray

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Jemiba said:
So again : Was the idea of the geodesic construction, which in most sources is
credited to Barnes Wallis in 1932, have been invented much earlier by another
person, who just missed the opportunity to get a patent on it ?
Or is the shown structure NOT a geodesic one ?

And a helicopter is a helicopter, if manufactured by Bell, by Sikorsky, by Kamov,
or by whoever you like .... ::) Any relation to my question ? ???

What I was trying to say is that the construction method used is independent of who manufactured it, i.e., just because it's not an aircraft related to Barnes Wallis doesn't mean it can't possibly be geodesic, which clearly (to the best of my knowledge) this aircraft is.

In terms of the "what came first" question, well...that is a real humdinger you have on your hands....
 

Jemiba

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What I should have asked more clearly, I think :

What characteristics turns an aircraft structure into a geodesic structure
à la Wallis ? Is it just the grid like basis of the skin ? Then the aircraft
from Latécoère clearly is one of this kind and the question is, why this invention is
credited to Barnes Wallis.
But generally a geodesic structure is described as a "much stiffer, lighter and stronger
structure, than the ones, used before" and this, I think, implies consequences for
the internal structure as well, which aren't visible from the outside (even without
the fabric covering), e.g. smaller number of frames and stringers,or lighter frames.
And then the unidentified Latécoère aircraft, which definitely is older, than the Vickers
Wellesley ("A full geodesic structure was first employed in the monoplane that became
the Wellesley bomber" see http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Wallis,+Barnes+Neville),
is just an external look-alike, without a real geodesic structure ...
 

dan_inbox

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Jemiba said:
What characteristics turns an aircraft structure into a geodesic structure
à la Wallis ? Is it just the grid like basis of the skin ?
From the vague memories of my long-forgotten engineering courses:
Not every grid or truss structure is geodesic.
The characteristic of 'geodesic' is that the disposition of the framing is designed so that their length is minimal. (that's a geography/mathematical topology concept).
Additionally, in engineering, in a geodesic structure the frames are designed so that the stress forces are "conducted along" the frames.

(assuming this makes sense in English)
 

Michel Van

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back to unknown Aircraft

Jemiba said:
But the photo shows a Latécoère aircraft ! I still couldn't identify the type,
maybe it's a Laté XIV (first type with this designation), but it probably is a
pre-1932 design.

are your Sure that is a Latécoère aircraft ? ? ?

look on picture
in That Showroom on top of Wall are two Label with "Caudron"
from Caudron Airplane Company (Société des avions Caudron)!
 

richard

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Hello Jemiba
I don't know much about "geodesic"but I think that it allows a cables free fuselage ,the difference being something like the difference between Antoinette 1911 Monobloc and Junkers J-1 ;The Antoinette was not cantilever ,the Junkers was ...
The bird is the Latécoère L A T 6:
Source :" Taschenbuch der Luftflotten 1924/5 & 1927 "
 

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Jemiba

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Ok, yesterday the ND-102 and recently this Latécoère aircraft ...
I admit, I really NEED a pair of glasses ! :-[
Richard, you're right, great identification ! Ad in Cunys book on page 43,
there's another and much better photo of the structure. The construction
of the fuselage is described as a "fail safe" method against structural failures.
It was shown on an aerosalon in december 1921 as an absolute novelty.
But even with this photo, I cannot tell the difference to a geodesic structure
à la Wallis ....
 

Simon666

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This topic is a bit old, but I've recently been looking at quantified advantages of geodesicairframe construction but it's hard to find anyone willing to put numbers on how much stronger such a structure is compared to a conventionalone of equal weight and materials. Anyway, I found on http://constructionhistory.bosenet.com/uploadfiles/CHS_Newsletter_65.pdf:

According to the 21st Profile magazine (Aircraft), vol. 1, issue 1, on the Wellington Bomber aircraft, the French aeroplane manufacturer, Latecoere, exhibited their geodesic aircraft - the L.A.T.6 - in Paris in 1921.

So it is geodesic alright and Barnes Wallis didn't invent it, he had been advised to use geodesics for his R101, from the then Professor of Mathematics at University College London.
 

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