Thursday, February 6, 2014

Designing the XF-11

Completing the XF-11 airplane in less than 3 months proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the Aero Telemetry team.  Joe and his team had to design, build, and test a custom set of hydraulic, retractable landing gear, fabricate an ultra-strong airframe, coordinate a complex airborne flight control system, and integrate all of these systems seamlessly to overcome the aerodynamic stresses of high speed and heavy payload.

The primary scale models for The Aviator were the Aero Telemetry XF-11 and the H-4 Hercules or Spruce Goose. Both of these airplanes would be designed and fabricated over a period of 3 months by Joe Bok and his Aero Telemetry team. At the time, they were the worlds largest (unmanned) flyable scale aircraft ever flown for a big budget Hollywood movie.

The aerodynamic profile of the wing, engine thrust-lines, CG location, main airfoil angle of attack, incidence angles (between wing and horizontal stabilizer), counter-rotating propellers, and vertical stabilizer offset angles were just a few of the critical design criteria addressed and implemented correctly by the Aero Telemetry engineering design team. All these specific details contributed directly to the success and margin of safety exemplified in all the flights of the Aero Telemetry XF-11.