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 Post subject: Tiltrotor Seaplanes ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:42 am 
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I would like to introduce a tiltrotor seaplane similar to the AW 609, but
with hydrogen engines, into one of my settings as a long range explora-
tion vehicle. While I do not see any problem with this idea, I may well
miss something - perhaps someone with a better knowledge of planes
(Cyborg IM1, I am looking at you :) ) could tell me whether there is a
problem I overlooked ?

Thank you very much. :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell/Agusta_BA609


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Shouldn't be a problem, although the body would probably look more like a PBY Catalina ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBY ) since it needs to float. One issue to keep in mind is the effect of surface tension, which tends to hold the fuselage down. This is the reason for the characteristic "step" you see near the tail of flying boats: it allows the plane to break surface tension as it accelerates. Your tilt-rotor will either need a similar step and forward motion to take off from water, or an over-powered rotor system to break the surface tension in direct vertical ascent.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Thank you very much. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Yeah, what he said!

Actually, my concern would be with the rotors and possible damage from the sea spray.

If the blades were designed using the new super-critical airfoil designs, then they could be considerably smaller (say 25%) than the ones on the AW609 which combined with the deeper body and floating shape should allow the blades to stay clear of the water.

Corrosion within the rotator mechanism might be a bitch, but that can be addressed by increased maintenance costs...

Should be OK though.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Thank you very much indeed. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:21 pm 
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If it is VTOL, it should not need a wet fuselage, only pontoons.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:38 pm 
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dragoner wrote:
If it is VTOL, it should not need a wet fuselage, only pontoons.

Yes, like a sea rescue helicopter. However, I think that a "boat hull"
would make it more seaworthy and stable and would make it easier
to maneuver it on the sea surface, for example in order to dock at
a floating port.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:49 pm 
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It could have, I guess it can taxi unlike a helicopter; however, it onlys takes off like a helicopter, so it does not need the same hull as a traditional seaplane. It would be sort of interesting if it had retractable landing gear with inflation devices just for water.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:53 pm 
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dragoner wrote:
It would be sort of interesting if it had retractable landing gear with inflation devices just for water.

I considered this, mainly because quite a few real world seaplanes had both
floaters and a normal landing gear, but since the setting does not have any
land at all it would seem a waste of material.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:33 pm 
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It still needs to land on ships and floating islands, no? The problem with open ocean is how rough it gets, 30m swells can be quite normal.

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