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Triplane Flying Wing (Super Secret Skunk Works Project)

#1
If I'm being totally honest I don't know why I built what I did, but I can certainly say why I've never seen it done before. That's because there is literally no practical reason whatsoever to build this. The best reason I can give for why I built it is that nobody told me not to, and if somebody did I would have taken it as a challenge and built it anyway.

Here it is:

IMG_20191212_141650.jpg


Actually this is just a mockup, the wings aren't glued together yet because I want to try to fly it as a normal Versa wing first before I get too crazy, just so I can say I built something once that actually flew. Each wing is actually balanced on rolls of tape in the photo. This is a triplane flying wing, a flying wing with three wings, or sacrilege (whatever you want to call it). It's built completely from extra parts I stripped from my Stearman crash for a total price (for me) of $0. Each wing has/will have (I haven't hooked anything up yet) functioning ailerons for a grand total of six, and it will most likely have rudders too once I get everything hooked up. It's powered by a C-Pack motor and I modified the Versa wing design to accommodate a 10" pusher prop. I'll post better photos once I have the wings more thoroughly attached and can photograph other angles without revealing that the entire thing is balanced together on two wheels and a roll of electrical tape.
I have no idea what the advantages or drawbacks of this will be; it probably won't work but at least it will look really, really cool when it doesn't work. I might get an fpv setup just for this or mount a gimbal, we'll see when I have some more money to throw at this thing.
Really I must be kept busy at all times, otherwise I built stuff like this.

P.S. I was completely sober when I made this.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#2
If I'm being totally honest I don't know why I built what I did, but I can certainly say why I've never seen it done before. That's because there is literally no practical reason whatsoever to build this. The best reason I can give for why I built it is that nobody told me not to, and if somebody did I would have taken it as a challenge and built it anyway.

Here it is:

View attachment 150730

Actually this is just a mockup, the wings aren't glued together yet because I want to try to fly it as a normal Versa wing first before I get too crazy, just so I can say I built something once that actually flew. Each wing is actually balanced on rolls of tape in the photo. This is a triplane flying wing, a flying wing with three wings, or sacrilege (whatever you want to call it). It's built completely from extra parts I stripped from my Stearman crash for a total price (for me) of $0. Each wing has/will have (I haven't hooked anything up yet) functioning ailerons for a grand total of six, and it will most likely have rudders too once I get everything hooked up. It's powered by a C-Pack motor and I modified the Versa wing design to accommodate a 10" pusher prop. I'll post better photos once I have the wings more thoroughly attached and can photograph other angles without revealing that the entire thing is balanced together on two wheels and a roll of electrical tape.
I have no idea what the advantages or drawbacks of this will be; it probably won't work but at least it will look really, really cool when it doesn't work. I might get an fpv setup just for this or mount a gimbal, we'll see when I have some more money to throw at this thing.
Really I must be kept busy at all times, otherwise I built stuff like this.

P.S. I was completely sober when I made this.
Funky! You might want to look at the way the wing of the DR-1 are built, they are not aligned with one another; more stairs looking :). Want to see a maiden video and wish you luck :).
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#3
If I'm being totally honest I don't know why I built what I did, but I can certainly say why I've never seen it done before. That's because there is literally no practical reason whatsoever to build this. The best reason I can give for why I built it is that nobody told me not to, and if somebody did I would have taken it as a challenge and built it anyway.

Here it is:

View attachment 150730

Actually this is just a mockup, the wings aren't glued together yet because I want to try to fly it as a normal Versa wing first before I get too crazy, just so I can say I built something once that actually flew. Each wing is actually balanced on rolls of tape in the photo. This is a triplane flying wing, a flying wing with three wings, or sacrilege (whatever you want to call it). It's built completely from extra parts I stripped from my Stearman crash for a total price (for me) of $0. Each wing has/will have (I haven't hooked anything up yet) functioning ailerons for a grand total of six, and it will most likely have rudders too once I get everything hooked up. It's powered by a C-Pack motor and I modified the Versa wing design to accommodate a 10" pusher prop. I'll post better photos once I have the wings more thoroughly attached and can photograph other angles without revealing that the entire thing is balanced together on two wheels and a roll of electrical tape.
I have no idea what the advantages or drawbacks of this will be; it probably won't work but at least it will look really, really cool when it doesn't work. I might get an fpv setup just for this or mount a gimbal, we'll see when I have some more money to throw at this thing.
Really I must be kept busy at all times, otherwise I built stuff like this.

P.S. I was completely sober when I made this.
If this is what you come up with sober I'd really don't want to know what you'd come up with drunk. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ seriously though I bet if the wings are aligned right it will float well. I'd love to see a video of the maiden too. I think these ideas are what makes this hobby fun.
 
#4
Funky! You might want to look at the way the wing of the DR-1 are built, they are not aligned with one another; more stairs looking :). Want to see a maiden video and wish you luck :).
The wings are going to be arranged more like the Nieuport Triplane, with the middle wing furthest forward. Do you know why they stagger the wings like that? It's so the high pressure area under the upper wings doesn't interfere as much with the low pressure area above the lower wings and actually helps generate more lift.
nieuport_triplane_01_500.jpg

If this is what you come up with sober I'd really don't want to know what you'd come up with drunk. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ seriously though I bet if the wings are aligned right it will float well. I'd love to see a video of the maiden too. I think these ideas are what makes this hobby fun.
I get a sick pleasure from coming up with the strangest idea I possibly can, and then building it. And I totally agree, that's why flitetest flew their Christmas tree!
 
#7
There is a super flying wing with like a mini wing on it from a visionary of the 1930s it has like 20 engines. (While I'm tempted, I don't hate myself enough {yet}). It on the - when it a rainy lunch drawing day table
Oh, that sounds like a tough build

Man, that thing looks crazy! You should paint it up like some of the experimental early WW2 wings that were coming out in the day. I can't wait to see the video for that!
I'm planning on painting it bright red, like Richtofen's Dr.I
 
#8
IMG_20191212_164655.jpg


IMG_20191212_164713.jpg


I got the main struts for the upper wing made up, this is just a test fit in the photo. The outer struts will be single piece as well, I'm designing them after the Dr.I. Like the Dr.I they're actually not needed to support the wing, they just look better and might help yaw stability. Looking at the position of the prop it might be able to do vertical takeoffs Convair Pogo-style, assuming I have enough thrust.
 
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Vimana89

Well-known member
#12
I had an officer in my Civil Air Patrol squadron who would always tell us "if you have enough power you can make a brick fly."
Thanks to that logic, we have the wonderful F-104 to model! Also, awesome idea with the flying wing triplane. I have no idea if that will fly well, but I hope it does. I've been thinking more of a tailed delta mutli-wing build which would be pretty sweet for a number of reasons. A tailless flying wing like that? I'm not sure, but I'm excited to see. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.
 
#13
Thanks to that logic, we have the wonderful F-104 to model! Also, awesome idea with the flying wing triplane. I have no idea if that will fly well, but I hope it does. I've been thinking more of a tailed delta mutli-wing build which would be pretty sweet for a number of reasons. A tailless flying wing like that? I'm not sure, but I'm excited to see. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.
If it doesn't work at least it'll look really cool while it doesn't work. I was a little concerned about yaw stability, but by turning the struts into vertical stabilizers I think I can fix that problem. A Delta triplane would be cool, let me know how it goes!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#18
I'm starting to realize that I have no idea where the cg should be. Right now it's just about at the leading edge of the two smaller wings. Any ideas?
Some times with biplanes I know you can look straight down over the top of the wings and use the 25-33% from the LE rule given the amount of surface visible by all wings. It is a decent place to start. As far as swept wings go I would figure out the ratio of where the CG is for the middle wing compared to the total chord length as a percentage, then look over top like suggested and go from there. Should be close enough to getting airborne then you can adjust in the maiden flight.
 
#19
Some times with biplanes I know you can look straight down over the top of the wings and use the 25-33% from the LE rule given the amount of surface visible by all wings. It is a decent place to start. As far as swept wings go I would figure out the ratio of where the CG is for the middle wing compared to the total chord length as a percentage, then look over top like suggested and go from there. Should be close enough to getting airborne then you can adjust in the maiden flight.
Thanks for the help, I added some extra weight to the front and got the cg about 7" back from the leading edge of the middle wing. Incidentally this is almost where the cg is on a normal versa wing, so it should be good.