Just in case you missed coming by our booth at Oshkosh this year, thought you'd better at least have an update on the progress we have made since last year's AirVenture. After five years of design and engineering, we are getting very close to flying!
Samson Motors continues to march forward in its bid to develop the first ‘flying sports car’. Over the past several years the Switchblade has undergone extensive CFD (computerized fluid dynamics) engineering and accomplished several things. First was to prove the original forward canard unnecessary for good flight. Secondly, the CFD indicated some design changes in the ducted fan that resulted in significant improvement in the airflow dynamics. These changes required an overall redesign of the fuselage and fan duct which have now been completed.
More recently the company has finalized a new tail design, and put behind one major milestone in April with completion of their “final” wind tunnel testing at the University of Washington. Their new VT tail worked exceptionally well, increasing pitch stability by a whopping 14%. And besides the new tail being lighter, the design also lowered the Switchblade’s overall drag by 7%, a significant improvement that will of course equate to less fuel consumption and better economy.
Samson also took receipt of the ‘US Made’ MOTUS V-4 engine, chosen for the first-flight vehicle because of its horsepower to weight ratio and its ability to develop high torque at low RPMs, two characteristics that make it ideal for the Switchblade. After installing the supercharger, crews are now in the process of preparing the engine for dynamometer testing and computer chip design. It will then be outfitted with an A/C unit, plus redundant fuel and electrical systems for safety.
The team is simultaneously using their GTV (ground test vehicle) to test performance, handling and roadworthiness of a new torsion-bar suspension system and other components. And finally they are cheering the completion of ailerons, flaps and other carbon fiber parts that will actually be installed into the first-flight vehicle – slated to leave the runway sometime early next year.
As you can see, Samson is in serious pursuit of their goal to take to the air (and the road) ASAP.
[ home ]