The Bucket List

“The Jake 4011, a Self Launched Glider Design”

SSA second place winner, Rik van Hemmen, Team Leader, Virginia Tech, 1982 (apologies to lost teammate names)

Aerospace engineering and naval architecture and marine engineering are very closely related. And a case can be made that naval architecture is more complicated. However, when Rik van Hemmen had to pick his senior design project subject, he went for the design of a self launched home built glider. He always wanted to learn to soar and he figured that designing a glider would be a good place to start. So far he has not made much headway in learning to soar, but this paper is here to remind him that it is on his bucket list.

The paper wilted in the bottom of one of Rik’s desk drawers and over time lost the first page that identified his teammates. There were four Virginia Tech students who poured their hearts and souls into this effort and they were rewarded with a Second Place finish in the National Soaring Society of America student competition. Time and old age have wiped their names from Rik’s memory. Hopefully they will come across this paper and provide their names.

Meanwhile it continues to be an interesting concept. The same year this aircraft was designed Burt Rutan designed a high performance canard glider, the Solitaire, and it was found to be less than optimally effective. The student design was developed completely unaware that Burt Rutan was designing a glider (although it drew heavily on Mr. Rutan’s earlier powered designs). However, rather than asking for super high performance, this design requirement asked for average performance and we chose it to be a tandem two seater, rather than a single seater. The use of a canard configuration in that application may quite possibly be an excellent solution for many technical reasons.

Rik always wondered if the engine installation made sense. At least the Pipistrel Taurus design proves that it works. The engine installation is as near to identical as can be imagined.

To download the full paper click this link:  JAKE 4011 Sailplane design