Air Racing

*For quite a while now, and especially since the "Kitplane Class" was started, I really wanted to go racing with the LP1. The design is a natural for competition and, by no accident, is built with large amounts of race components and ideas.

I have been involved in racing cars almost all my life, driven in competition for a number of years and been part of winning some of the world's great races. I think I can come up with a perfect package for this exciting class, based on the LP1. It, as the rules state, would still be a kitplane, but would be modified in certain ways to increase safety and performance.

One important change would be to increase the strength of the main cabin. It is designed for pressurization right now and would be an easy change to make it completely crashworthy. This concept allows for greater engine output as an engine failure becomes a possible off-field safe landing instead of a life endangering problem.

Other changes are really easy; the gearbox has changeable ratios that allow for higher reduction ratios. Increase the revs, increase the horsepower. You can gear the engine to rev as high as your checkbook will allow and still keep the prop in its ideal range. Note that this is something most certified engines cannot do.

If all of this has sparked your racing bug, we need to talk. I would really like to be involved in your Reno dreams as your aircraft supplier. I love to race and would love to compete as a manufacturer through a few enthusiastic pilot/team owners.

If this sounds like something you are capable of, please send me an email through the link below.

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Structural Design

The ACA assembles much like a plastic kitset 1:48 scale model does; every part interlocks and self- aligns with it's mating part. All juncture joints are fully filleted and there are no fillet cover panels as each part (i.e. horizontal stabilizer to vertical stabilizer) has half of the fillet built in. All fuselage joints such as upper to lower halves join with a knuckle type joint rather than a lap for true alignment.

The cockpit is a two-piece moulding including the front and rear bulkheads. This with large radiused corners makes an excellent pressurized cell.

The nose of the craft forms a crushable structure in the unlikely event of an impact and with the roll-over protection, the cockpit remains intact.

The elliptical planform wing houses four lightweight fuel bladders rather than a wet type design for improved fire prevention. The wing has no ribs and instead uses nomex honeycomb in it's skins for structural support. The main and secondary spars are an integral part of the skin and bond at the horizontal joint in the middle, as are the horizontal and vertical stabilizer spars. Thus the skin becomes a true sparcap utilizing uni-directional carbon for ultimate strength and light weight. The main and secondary spar carry- throughs in the cockpit are not simple holes cut into the fuselage and glassed over but molded in so the spars and wing fits up from underneath. This also ensures that the cockpit is sealed and stops the fuse from trying to expand with it's internal pressure.

The cockpit door is also integrally laid up with an internal flange for a blow out seal type to withstand the 10 psi differential pressure on it at FL290.

The hydraulically damped main landing gear fastens to the back of the secondary spar inside the fuselage and pnuematically retracts into the aft of the cabin. The hydraulically damped nose wheel retracts up into the front bulkhead, and is mounted by billet aluminum trunnions attached to the main engine frame.

Engine is removable while still on the landing gear. Access panels and wheel well covers are not just cut-outs but laid up integrally yet still 90% detached separate parts. 90% of service access is through the engine cowl and bellypan removal.

Control surfaces are all ball bearing hinged and fully servicable. The aft fuselage and wings are removable in about 90 mins. The dash is a modular design and slides out like a drawer for bench test and service. I could ramble on for quite a while about details but a couple of important points must be evident by now. First, this is a well engineered design with all of the details built into a complete package that becomes an enjoyable kit to construct. Second, it really performs while still having great low speed manners and all at a reasonable price for the immense technology that goes into it!

Some major specifications:

Wingspan 27'
Length 21'
Height 7'
Tailspan 10'
Wing area 82.5 sq. ft.
Wing loading 23 lbs/sq. ft.
Fuel capacity 62 gal.(82 with underwing LR tanks)
Cockpit width 42" Inside
Baggage cubic area 7.25 Cu. Ft., 38" wide, 22" deep, 15" high
Empty Weight 1080 lbs.
Cruise speed 385 MPH.
Payload 822 lbs.
Engine Type GM Corvette LS3/LS7(!) V8
Turbo System Normalised to sea level @ FL290
Cockpit Pressurisation Sea level @ FL290
Engine Cubic Capacity 6.3 Litre (7 Litre for the LS7)
Fuel Burn @ 65%-300 HP 14.5 Gal/ Hour.
Engine Weight, wet with turbo 500 lbs.
Gearbox reduction Ratio, standard 1.385:1 (Can go up to 2.75:1)

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Overview

Hello, my name is David Algie, chief cook and bottle washer of Algie Composite Aircraft. I am a 27 year Indy car fabrication and design veteran. Some of my career highlights:

  • Head fabricator, Team Green, 1993 to 1998
  • PPG Indy car series champions 1995
  • Indy 500 winners 1995, 2002, 2005, 2007.
  • Jacques Villeneuve, driver.
  • Andretti Green Racing,
  • IRL Series Champions 2004, 2005, 2007.
  • Tony Kanaan, driver.
  • Dario Franchitti, driver.
  • Dan Wheldon, driver.
  • Bryan Herta, driver.
  • Danica Patrick, driver.
  • ALMS series, Acura, Sebring 12 hour winner 2007.
  • ALMS series, Acura, Detroit Grand Prix outright winner 2008.

Indy cars are a technologically advanced four-wheeled inverted aircraft; they produce double their weight in down force (lift in reverse) and generate 5g's of cornering energy at speeds up to 240 mph. Constructing and developing these cars for years, I always wanted to bring their technology to the kit aircraft industry. Drivers routinely survive 75g crashes, and fuel fires are a rare occurrence. Their fit and finish, strength and low weight certainly should be standard for aircraft. After inspecting a few of the best (and most expensive) kits out there, I realized that "state of the art" in kit planes equaled poor component fit and unfinished detail work, all equating to years longer than necessary to construct. This also meaning superior skill levels needed to even start and is the reason most of these types of kit aren't constructed by the owner, but "farmed out" to A&P shops.

This being a mold-type (not mold-less involving Styrofoam, etc.) aircraft, it is really easy to produce many more identical parts once you have the female molds complete. Most companies who produce a kit have many paid employees who, while working on prototypes, are not turning a single profit dollar. The company then has to amortize every kit sold to offset the initial loss. With Algie Composite Aircraft, there are very low overheads to cover, and with only a couple of people working on the project, the "Design to build" information crossover is immediate. Once the initial aircraft are produced, the production batch will have very little added cost of the original design and tooling tacked on. Also, all of the bugs will be worked out before any components are sold.

If you have any questions or inquiries or would just like to see more of this unique aircraft or be involved in any way, send me an E-mail. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will answer all replies.

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Systems

THROTTLE BY WIRE
throttle   

The throttle in the ACA is a single power lever. There are no prop or mixture controls. Since the throttle lever is acting on a rotary sensor, it's motion is much smoother than a throttle using a cable. The system has safety routines like ice break mode, if ice is detected to be holding the throttle plate open, it will attempt to break it. As the engine develops more power than can be handled on the ground, the system senses gear squat and reduces available power a small amount until airborne.

     
CONSTANT MACH PROPELLER 
prop controll   The ACA features an electronically controlled hydraulic constant Mach propeller. This lightens pilot workload, and increases aircraft climb performance. The system is fully automatic, sensing throttle position, air density, and RPM . Over 70% throttle it goes into constant Mach, under that and it divides up the power setting to prop RPM. In the event of engine failure, the propeller automatically feathers. The ECU has sensors to prevent the propeller from feathering during commanded engine shutdowns.
     
PRESSURIZATION 
One of the specific features of the ACA is it's sea level cabin comfort up to FL290. This is unheard of in other aircraft, and presents unique requirements in the systems and design of the ACA. Pressurization pressure is supplied from the engine normalizing system, which keeps the engine operating at sea level conditions. A single outflow valve is utilized that incorporates an internal over-pressure (Max. Diff.) relief, and defaults to a closed position to hold cabin pressure in the event of engine failure. When gear squat is sensed on the ground the system moves to equalize the cabin pressure to local pressure.
     
FLIGHT CONTROLS 

Trim

The ACA features a 3-axis trim system with rudder trim, with each trim servo unit completely concealed from the airstream with no exposed pushrods or control horns, giving a very clean design. Trim position is indicated on the dash LCD, and can be controlled from a joystick mounted "coolie hat".

Autopilot

The trim system is also part of the autopilot system, or AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System). The basic autopilot is an attitude hold system, with controls for pitch and roll. A TCS (Touch Control Steering) button allows the aircraft to be maneuvered to a new attitude with the autopilot engaged. The flight director control head allows various navigation modes to be selected.

  • TRK - Heading hold
  • ALT - Altitude hole
  • GPS NAV - Follow preprogrammed course
  • GPSS - Same as GPS NAV but anticipates waypoints and steers early to provide smooth transitions
  • V NAV and/or V GPS

The above listed modes are being evaluated as aircraft navigation is currently advancing at a rapid pace. GPS is advancing to become a sole means of navigation, and the FAA has a phase out schedule for VOR and ILS systems.

flap  

Flaps

The flaps are a long travel fowler type, and driven by stepper motors that check for synch on startup each time. Flap position and status are indicated on the LCD. Initial flap slot opening is used for air brake. A single touch button moves the flaps to their next position, or up again. The system also interfaces with the trim system, to provide automatic pitch trim due to pitch moment changes from using the flaps.

 

EICAS Notes:

Faults which might self clear:

    • no command

Faults able to be reset in flight

    • Controller fault
    • PDU fault
    • Command error

Faults only able to be reset on the ground:

    • Position faults

Position faults X out flap indication on EICAS

   

 

 

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