My concept for a Medium extreme STOL (MeSTOL) Airlifter - (c) 2010 Martt Clupper
I admit that I'm a frustrated aeronautical engineer wannabe. I wound up passing on my acceptance to Purdue in engineering for the fall of 1979 and decided to become an airport bum instead. The allure of a small country airport with a 'clip-wing Cub' to play with and lots of grass to mow was too much of an opportunity to pass up. But that doesn't mean that the guy who wanted to design great airplanes isn't around anymore. He's still right here inside my head... and sometimes he yells loud enough that we can all see what he's thinking : )
This design is what I call the MeSTOL Airlifter, or Medium extreme STOL Airlifter. It picks up where the Advanced Medium STOL Transport concept from the mid 70's left off. The AMST role was intended to be a replacement for the C-130, but with more lifting capability and even shorter takeoff and landing performance. The YC-14 and the YC-15 were both excellent aircraft, but the AMST idea was abandoned, interestingly enough, in 1979. Now we're many years down range, and yet the C-130 is still the workhorse of the smaller side of airlifting. There's a rapidly growing need tho for a replacement that offers greater flexibility and increased capability. It would also be far cheaper to acquire and operate than the much larger C-17.
I plan to provide more details later, but the basic idea with the MeSTOL is that it's a little bigger all the way around than the C-130J, the largest and most recent variant of the C-130, but it's smaller than the Airbus A400M. The MeSTOL has several very unique features, including:
* Negative stagger biplane wing configuration
* Non-circular (slab side) cross section to maximize interior volume
* Composite wing, aluminum fuselage
* 4 geared turbofan engines (PW1400G - approx 26,000 pounds of thrust each)
* Direct thrust blown flaps on the upper wing (similar to the C-17 flaps)
* Vectored thrust vanes on the engines to provide direct lift enhancement
* Vectored thrust also works to increase operational AOA on the lower wing
As always, I'd be interested in your feedback, even if you think I'm crazy. Even better, it would be awesome if some other frustrated aero engineer wannabes like me would throw together a unique concept for the MeSTOL role. Here are the basic design goals: minimum cargo bay width is 13 feet, cargo load requirement is 80,000 pounds, and minimum runway performance of 2,500 feet with 50,000 pound cargo on board.
Would my concept for the MeSTOL achieve these goals? I dunno, I'm just making this stuff up! But I honestly do believe there are some interesting and viable ideas presented here, and I always enjoy the challenge of thinking outside the bun : )
disclaimer: I've got about 4 hours total time in this project which includes the aerodynamic concepts, the actual design, and making the drawings. It's not intended to all make sense... it's just meant to be a strong starting point for continued thought.