Aircraft - Very Heavy Lift at Very Low Cost Stephen

Aircraft - Very Heavy Lift
at Very Low Cost
Stephen Funck
[email protected]
This is a span loader for standard shipping containers. At slow air
speed, the cost per ton / mile is potentially competitive to the cost
for container ship. Existing configurations are unable to have the
necessary thick wing and great wing surface. This is a novel
configuration with multiple wings and two stage landing gear.
There are no documents to reference because this configuration
and operation have no antecedents.
I - A Thought Experiment
• It has been long known the most efficient design is to carry the
load along the wingspan.The load in a fuselage supported by
wings requires structural members to carry the cantilever load.
The span loader is a light weight structure.
• Standard cargo transportation is by container. An obvious idea
would be to carry them inside the wing from wingtip to wingtip.
• It takes less energy to fly slowly than it does to move though
water. Flight is more efficient than sailing.
• Low wing loading allows low flight speed, low power, low fuel
per pound per mile, low altitude, non pressurized, low
construction cost
• Ship capacity is in Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU).
• One container is 20 ft (length) × 8 ft (width), usually 8.5 ft
(high). The average weighs less than 30,000 lb.
• Minimum dimension for one TEU is 20 ft span,100 ft
cord, 2,000 sq. ft. for 15 lb./ sq. ft. 30,000 lb.
• Maximum airport width, 80 meters, 260 ft span, is 13
TEU, average 390,000 lb.
Small to Large ConcordLift™
• The following describes small to large ConcordLift™
giving dimensions and capacity.
• Illustrate how the various parts can be used for potential
• Gross weight is figured at 20 pounds per square foot.
• Versions 1 and 2 will fit on a standard runway and the 80
meter box for air terminal size. Version 3 gives an idea of
what a larger version might be like.
5 TEU in 4 channels
Main wing
100x150= 15000 sq. ft.
2 auxiliary wings
@260x30= 15600 sq. ft.
2 wing extensions on main
@ 80x30= 4800 sq. ft.
Total 20 TEU
GWT 708,000 lb.
35,400 sq. ft
16 autos in 20 channels - this could hold 78 TEU
Main wing
270x200=54000 sq. ft.
2 auxiliary wings
@270x30= 8100 sq. ft.
Total 320 autos
GWT 1,242,000 lb.
62,100 sq. ft.
15 TEU in 6 channels
Main wing
3 auxiliary wings
2 wing extensions on main
Total 90 TEU
300x200=60000 sq. ft.
@450x50=22500 sq. ft.
@75x30= 2250 sq. ft.
GWT 1,695,000 lb.
84,750 sq. ft.
III - Fuel Efficiency
• ConcordLift™ is close to the fuel use per ton / mile of a
high efficiency container ship.
• The cost to build and cost to operate may be even less
than that of the ship.
• It eliminates the high cost of highway and railroad
Comparison of ConcordLift™, Airfreight and Container ship
The fuel used to transport one Container across the Atlantic
Total TEU
Total Fuel lb.
Fuel lb. Per TEU
Speed Kt.
23 Kt.
450 Kt.
110 Kt.
• To double speed requires 4 times the power and fuel. The 747 more
than 4 times faster than the ConcordLift™ needs about 20 times
more power.
• The Container ship, recent highest efficiency, burns 138 tons of fuel
a day. The average ship is less efficient, higher cost.
• The 15 largest ships produce as much pollution as all the world’s
• Containers have to be moved to ports and stored until the large
number needed are collected to be shipped to another port.
• ConcordLift™ can travel to inland areas direct. Far fewer containers
are needed for a load. That is a major increase in shipper
convenience and savings in transit time.
• 78 TEU Cargo Containers Per ConcordLift™
5 ConcordLift™ deliver 3900 TEU
in the same time as one container ship
• ConcordLift™ can load and unload quickly
78 TEU through 6 doors
on each side simultaneously
• One runway - One ConcordLift™ 5 minutes
936 TEU per hour - 22264 TEU per day
IV - Configuration
and Benefits
• ConcordLift™ has no fuselage.
• There is a main cargo flying wing and auxiliary wings
connected by the vertical fins.
• This novel configuration creates a new type of aircraft capable
of very heavy payload for new uses.
• This is a flying version of sea borne shipping.
• It is not expected to be a competitor for existing airfreight. It
will transform the economies of interior regions by ending their
isolation from ocean freight.
IV - Configuration and Benefits
• Before this, very large, deep chord, wings could not be stable
landing and taking off. Self reinforcing instabilities were
• The deep cord wing, creates a venturi between wing and
ground. When the trailing edge is closer to the ground, air
pressure is lower at the trailing edge, pulling it even closer to
the ground.The same effect occurs when one wingtip is closer
to the ground.
• For stability the shortest dimension between wing and ground
must be located at the center of lift. This has an inverted airfoil
for maximum lift and least negative pressure.
Angle of Attack
• Angle of attack is restricted. If the bottom of the wing is flat,
there is no AOA and insufficient lift.
• Inverted form still limits the AOA. The inverted airfoil on the
ground has a maximum AOA about 5.7°, at a thickness 10% of
the cord.
• Normal AOA for best rate of climb is 6-8°. AOA for normal
flight is about 3°.
The Main Wing
• The Cargo wing has inverted camber. On the ground the
minimum distance between wing and ground is under the
center of lift.
• It cannot have flaps but can have slots and spoilers.
Dimensions may span to 260 feet, thickness over 15 feet, and
chord over 150 feet.
• At 150 ft. cord, a 260 ft. span would be able to carry 20 53’
trailer bodies or 52 20’ shipping containers in four rows. Both
ends of the container channel have doors.
• There is internal space for equipment for Boundary layer air
treatment if justified by cost / benefit.
Auxiliary Wings
• The auxiliary wings are mounted on pivots so the angle of
attack can be changed. They have a suspension to absorb the
turbulence cantilevered wings absorb by flexing.
• Flaps and slots extend their full width, since this does not
need a portion of the wing dedicated for ailerons. The
adjustable incidence is necessary to flare for landing and
rotate for take off.
• At optimum angle of attack and with high lift devices, a wing
can produce 2 ½ times as much lift as considered normal. If
the auxiliary wings and extensions are 20% of the total wing
square foot, 2/10 in area, at optimum deployment, they equal
5/13 in lift.
Wing Extensions
• The main cargo wing might only extend 5 TEU wide, 100 ft or
• If the deep cord cargo wing is 100 ft wide there would be room
within the 80 meter airport limitation for 80 foot wing
extensions out the sides for a total 260 ft wingspan.
• If the center cargo section was 260 foot wide, the extensions
could fold like those for use on an aircraft carrier. The flying
width could be 460 feet while ground width remains 260 foot.
The total lift of the ConcordLift™
is not determined
by the deep cord cargo wing portion alone.
Wings work together in
harmony - “Concord” - to accomplish
what otherwise cannot be done.
Yaw and roll
• The vertical fins have rudders. The fins carry the tension - lift
from the auxiliary wings.
• Since flight is slow, cable braces might also be used.
• At altitude, the ConcordLift™ will turn and bank in the normal
• In ground effect, the control for direction and yaw is by
variation of engine power. Power is increased on the outer
engine, Spoilers automatically compensate for the increased
lift, so the wings stay level.
Pitch, climbing and descending
• Pitch control for the main wing is provided by auxiliary wings.
They can be used independently or together and control the
angle of attack for the main wing.
• The auxiliary wings, higher than the main wing, are affected
less by ground effect instabilities and provide good flight
• Power for the largest ConcordLift™ is less than a 747. Engine
weight is not an issue with ConcordLift™.
• On takeoff and landing, the center of the vector for drag will
move higher. Some versions will mount some engines high so
thrust vector matches the drag vector.
• Flights may last several days, over 9000 miles. Heavy, fuel
efficient engines, could make for less total weight. Many
constant speed diesels with constant speed, contra-rotating,
propellers might achieve the maximum efficiency.
The landing gear is very unusual
• Two separate types of gear.
• In addition to the normal main gear, there is a second set
of “stabilizing gear”. The closer the main wing is to the
ground the greater is the danger of instability.
• The thirty foot height for fully extended stabilizing gear is
a “guess” at what might be sufficient. The “guess” is 10
ft. is too short for safe landing.
• First contact is made by very large 10 ft. diameter wheels.
• Those wheels carry part of the total load while the rest is
carried by the lift from the wings.
• The stabilizing gear is controlled to remain at maximum
stiffness until all the stabilizing gear have ground contact.
Then brakes deploy.
• The stabilizing gear is controlled to retract evenly until the
weight settles on the main landing gear close to the ground.
Take off
• ConcordLift™ lifts off from the main gear while the stabilizing
gear, carry a portion of the load.
• The gear legs maintain stability.The aircraft finally leaves
ground with the main wing already 30 feet above the runway.
• ConcordLift™ has two separate take off speeds.
• The slower speed is when it has enough lift to unload the
weight on the main gear.
• The second take off speed is when the aircraft has developed
enough lift to carry the total weight.
Gear design
• The main gear is of standard design.
• The 52 TEU, version could have 16 stabilizing wheels in 4 x 4
wheel sets and 40 main gear wheels 10 x 4 for a total of 56
• The heavy load is distributed over the total runway surface.
Additional main gear could extend the full width of the aircraft
for unimproved landing fields.
Two Stage Landing Gear
• This complex two stage landing gear and process may appear
• This aircraft changes altitude very slowly. It will spend a long
time, near the ground. Local instabilities will have time to
develop great force between wing and surface. The landing
system is designed to make the proper counter actions.
• At the extreme, ConcordLift™ may take two minutes and 5000
ft to accelerate to final V2 take off and another minute to reach
the runway thresh hold at 50 ft altitude.
Gear Retraction
• The main gear retracts into the wing in front and in back
of the cargo channels.
• The stabilizing gear is too large to retract inside the wing.
It retracts into fairings under the wing.
• The fairings have enough internal volume to serve as
floats for ocean ditching.
Crew, Flight deck
• Long distance flights will take several days. Space is needed
for relief crew.
• Automatic flight control is expected.Ground effect instabilities
are self propagating and self reinforcing. They require
immediate management.
• The base design should be able to fly and land without
computerized flight control in smooth air over flat surface.
• Storms move faster than ships and overtake ocean shipping.
ConcordLift™ is faster than storms. Because of weather
forecasting, it should never be flown into dangerous weather.
• Construction could be done with 1940’s technology. The only
“new” item is the stabilizing gear and controls. They are well
within current abilities.
• ConcordLift™ is expected to compete on cost with ocean
shipping. The concept, once it is revealed, will become
manufactured world wide.
VI - Air Traffic and Air Ports
• ConcordLift™ is low altitude, slow speed, trans-oceanic. The
nominal flight would be at less than 200 ft. less than 120 mph
in moderate weather conditions. ConcordLift™ can fly over
costal mountain ranges into continental interiors.
• Traffic will be below, separate, from current crowded aircraft
space. High value cargo will continue to use 747F type
• It is expected specialized Container Air Ports will be built,
similar to the specialized sea-borne Container and Ro-Ro
ports. They do not need to be near population centers, just
near rail and road. The size of the container handling yards
will be greater than the extent of the runways.
Usage, profit, number constructed
• There are more than 26 million TEU in the global container
fleet, over 5 million TEU in motion a week. Building one
ConcordLift™ a week will hardly impact the market. A
sustained build rate of 1000 a year is reasonable!
• The cost of moving containers is less by using these aircraft.
That does not include the financial savings from faster and
more direct delivery.
• Many interior areas with large populations have poor
connections for heavy cargo. Such areas will require many
of these aircraft. The auto, truck, passenger ferry versions
will transform Indonesia, Philippines and other areas.
• Because of the great profit potential to the owner, the aircraft
should sell at a good profit.
• It may be possible to fly without using any fuel, if the great
wing surfaces were covered by improved photovoltaics.
• It will remain to be seen how large ConcordLift™ will become.
Could this become a bulk carrier 600 feet wide, 300 feet in
cord, with 6 auxiliary wings over 20 million pound gross?
• A version the size of a light plane could deliver 10,000 pounds
to a short unimproved field.
• Airline industry focus is on faster, higher, sexy! That can only
be done at higher cost to build and operate – higher prices!
• Which would transform travel more, USA to Europe in one
hour at much higher cost, or Mumbai to Bangalore in 10 hours
for bus fare?
• There has never been such a design proposed because there
are major problems.
• This requires research and development before actual aircraft
can be designed. The drawings are generic illustrations.
• If you contact me, I can supply papers and documents that
expand and support this concept.
• I am looking for Professionals to prepare this for wind tunnel
and other studies and to author Research and Development
VII - Origin of idea and reason for name
• There are no papers, or prior art, to reference that would
increase understanding.
• The name for this aircraft configuration is “ConcordLift™”,
because the wings work in concord - harmony to lift the great
• Patent Application #12/653,489.
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