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#76 2007-01-15 15:38:32

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Airplanes on Mars

No mention of aerostats, but a dirigible blimps obviously should be in the works as the most viable alternative to a  Mars sailplane, overnight.

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#77 2007-08-19 02:38:09

noosfractal
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From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

Re: Airplanes on Mars

http://www.space-rockets.com/marsjet.html

WSPC has a video up of a prototype Magnesium/CO2 jet engine for Mars.


Fan of Red Oasis

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#78 2007-08-19 04:19:25

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,657

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Wow. Impressive anyone is actually testing thiis stuff


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#79 2007-08-19 20:36:01

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Yes it is good that some company is still working on Mars.

The test of the engine looks like it is in open air rather than in a chamber mars air so while it is CO2 mixed with Magnesium it may need tweekings for Mars operation. Second issue will be getting the source of magnesium on Mars to burn....

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#80 2007-10-30 08:32:27

rasun
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2007-10-30
Posts: 2

Re: Airplanes on Mars

What happened to balloons? They can last a long time, they are pretty reliable, well understood, simple, and could either descend or drop a sample collector. Easy to power with thin-film polymer solar cells on the balloon too perhaps.

An update  on the Archimedes probe, a privately built balloon probe to Mars, by the Mars Society and AMSAT in Germany. Of all the current similar projects, it has probably the most chance of flying. It's in the 5th year of development, with lot of real tests.

The price tag is probably around 5-10 million euros.

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#81 2007-11-15 18:45:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

http://space.newscientist.com/article/d … -test.html

Last year, NASA engineers fired a methane-LOX engine for 103 seconds and XCOR Aerospace test-fired a methane-LOX engine that generated 33,400 newtons (7500 pounds) of thrust in shorter bursts lasting about one second.

The XCOR engine is soon to be test-fired in a vacuum – a necessary test for space use. The company is developing another lower-powered methane/LOX engine for the MarsFlyer aircraft being developed by Aurora Flight Systems, which may one day take to the skies over the red planet.

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#82 2015-01-27 16:26:04

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

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#83 2016-02-10 19:38:24

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Finished fixing the shifting and artifacts
This relates to another topic where we are trying to solve how to slow a much greater mass before firing retro rockets for a soft landing...

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#84 2016-03-28 20:07:24

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Ya I know that its not on Mars but its the next best thing right here even if its dated 2002....

Devon Crater Team To Test Mars Plane Concepts

From July 17 to 24, 2002, The Planetary Society will team up with NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and MicroPilot to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic in simulated Mars exploration.

mars-plane-art-bg.jpg

So is there any data on this as it might apply for Mars as a recon of possible sites..

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#85 2016-12-28 20:36:48

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

To no surprise a quick 1 word search on Airplane turned up these following topics and even helicopter....

GW Johnson wrote:

Well,  let's just say I'm skeptical but intrigued by the notion of some sort of aircraft on Mars.  Some sort of helicopter would really help,  at least up to a few 100 km.  But the density is so bloody low,  I have to be very skeptical of any sort of airplane or helicopter projects for Mars.  You still need very,  very low landing speeds not to crash.  Almost regardless of the scenario you are looking at.

With densities that low (fraction of a percent of that here),  dynamic pressures are minute at such speeds,  and you can only build so much area before the square-cube weight growth eats you up on Mars,  even at the lower gravity.   Aero coefficients are the same there as here,  they have no density or pressure or velocity effects in them.  Those went to dynamic pressure.

I know much less about helicopters,  but small airplanes that land on dirt strips here need to touch down between about 30 and 60 mph to be reliably not crashed by your ordinary pilots.  No one has built a large dirt-strip airplane in a lot of years now,  but landing touchdown speeds on them (I'm thinking of the B-17) were under 100 mph,  even with specifically-trained pilots. 

At 60 mph here on Earth at sea level,  dynamic pressure is around 9.2 psf,  and not-quite-stalled lift coefficients on straight,  subsonic wings are about 1.1 or thereabouts,  with little or no flaps.  (Not much higher with flaps.)  Your wing loading W/S is then limited to just about 10 psf max at 60 mph touchdown.  Significantly worse in thinner air at altitude or on a very hot day.

For the same touchdown speed on Mars (a simple kinematic requirement to avoid a rough field crash,  nothing to do with actual aircraft design otherwise),  CL is no different,  and the density is about 0.7% that here.  Dynamic pressure is then about 0.064 psf.  That limits your wing loading to about 0.07 psf,  those being Mars pounds at 38% of corresponding Earth pounds,  of weight.  100 sq.ft can carry ~7 lb Mars weight,  which is about 18-19 lb Earth weight. 

Wing structure weight typically is the 0.58 power of aspect ratio.  My C-170 has aspect ratio near 7,  and its wings (without fuel) weight about 100 pounds (Earth) each.  Their total of 200 lb here is about 76 lb there on Mars.  Even if advanced carbon composite,  they would still be about 30 lb there (2.5 times lighter).  Higher aspect ratio might lower that ~10-20% before you push structural limits too far on the materials.  Looks like a losing proposition to me. No payload,  no fuselage,  no power supply,  no propulsion.  Just the wing. 

Why would a helicopter (or any other subsonic lift fan) be any different?  They're not different here in any significant respect. 

GW

The airplane surface area, angle of attack, forward speed for lift and overall mass air the factors in plane design...
I would go with something more like an ultralight unit open to the atmosphere in just your space suit for short hops....

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#86 2016-12-30 15:04:17

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 558

Re: Airplanes on Mars

The messerschmidt rocket fighter took off and climbed on peroxide, and glided down. There wont be much gliding going on on Mars because of the extremely low density of the atmosphere, so all phases will have to be powered. Not much point in having wings really. Lets design a rocket hopper that uses Mars sourced fuel and oxidiser, if we need an aircraft- which I believe we do.

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#87 2016-12-30 15:53:29

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,043
Website

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Wikipedia: Mars aircraft

Proposed Mars Airplane concepts include:

  • ARES (Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey)

  • MAGE (Mars Airborne Geophysical Explorer)

  • AME (Airplane for Mars Exploration)

  • MATADOR (Mars Advanced Technology Airplane for Deployment, Operations and Recovery)

  • Sky-sailor, solar powered airplane with micro-robots

  • Kitty Hawk, multi-glider mission

  • Daedalus, glider with 400+ km range

  • ARMaDA, "Advanced Reconnaissance Martian Deployable Aircraft"

  • MAREA, "Martial Aerial Research Euroavia Airplane"

  • NASA Mini-Sniffer

  • Prandtl-M

The Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES) was a proposal by NASA's Langley Research Center to build a powered aircraft that would fly on Mars. The ARES team sought to be selected and funded as a NASA Mars Scout Mission for a 2011 or 2013 launch window. However, the MAVEN mission was chosen instead.

260px-ARES_soaring_over_Mars.jpg

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#88 2016-12-31 04:41:01

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 558

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Don't you need runways as well, for fixed wing planes?

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#89 2016-12-31 14:52:43

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Was not intended to survive a landing, it was an experimental design using inflatable wing which had UV setting epoxy sprayed into the wings to give it stiffness. Which would mean it was ultra light in construction and was thought to be able to glide for quite a spell on mars. This was one of those scout level funding attempts.
Sure would be a nice experiment to do.

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#90 2017-01-02 17:21:15

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

elderflower inquired:

Don't you need runways as well, for fixed wing planes?

The X-13.  I just happened to hear that this test plane is supposedly being revived.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_X-13_Vertijet
Quote:

Operational history[edit]


1957 flight test
The X-13 was designed to investigate vertical takeoff, horizontal flight transition, and return to vertical flight for landing. The first prototype of the X-13 was equipped with temporary tricycle landing gear. The X-13 was flown conventionally on December 10, 1955 to test its aerodynamic characteristics. The Vertijet was then fitted with a temporary "tail sitting" rig. On May 28, 1956, it was flown from the ground in a vertical position to test its hovering qualities. The X-13 VertiJet completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 11, 1957, when it took off vertically from its mobile trailer, angled over into a horizontal attitude, and flew for several minutes. The X-13 then transitioned to vertical flight and slowly descended back onto its trailer and landed.

I have no proof that the "X-13" is being updated and revised.  But I do believe I did hear that it was.

In light of the SpaceX capabilities, I would think a Mars version would be primarily of a rocket engine, but who knows, somehow air breathing at high speeds as well?

Perhaps a decent sub-orbital hopper could be made from it that could access almost anywhere on Mars that had the infrastructure to maintain it.  Maybe it could even land outside of a "Hopper Port" on just a flat spot and take samples and take off.

I do not know what the air flight characteristics could be though.  I would think it would have to travel at a high speed when traveling horizontal, to generate useful lift.

I will leave that to those who might actually know, that is far out of my areas of proficiencies.

X-13 Vertijet

The X-13 in flight at Edwards Air Force Base
Role
Experimental VTOL jet aircraft
Manufacturer
Ryan Aeronautical
First flight
December 10, 1955
Retired
September 30, 1957
Status
on display (2)
Primary user
United States Air Force
Number built
2
Variants
none
The Ryan X-13 Vertijet

450px-Ryan_X-13.jpg

330px-Ryan_X-13_test%2C_view_from_above.jpg

1957 flight test

Last edited by Void (2017-01-02 17:34:44)

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#91 2017-01-02 17:51:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Ok so vertical take off with the help of a crane but sticking the landing might be a bit of a problem thou...

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#92 2017-01-02 18:03:23

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Actually;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_X-13_Vertijet
Quote:

The X-13 VertiJet completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 11, 1957, when it took off vertically from its mobile trailer, angled over into a horizontal attitude, and flew for several minutes. The X-13 then transitioned to vertical flight and slowly descended back onto its trailer and landed.

I am not a GWJohnson, so I cannot in anyway argue beyond what I am reading on the internet.
I just happened to hear the reference that the "X-13" program is supposedly being revived.

I do not know if at high horizontal speed, a rocket engine could somehow incorporate Martian air into a thrust process, but I would that that would be desired.  Still, perhaps it is better to have a winged rocket for a hopper?  or Perhaps not.  How would I know.

I will say however, that X-13 operated off of jet engines, in a 1 Gee gravity field.  Modern Rocket engines in a .38 Gee field might be easier.  (Not that the infrastructure for the machine is there at this time).

Last edited by Void (2017-01-02 18:07:57)

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#93 2017-01-02 18:10:19

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

That might be OK for transporting people or special parts.  But I think that there would also be a place for robotic carts, and per "Antius" ballistic projection of bulk materials. (But be carful how you aim with that).

Eventually Hyperloop.

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#94 2017-01-06 07:02:25

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 558

Re: Airplanes on Mars

For finely divided particles there is a range of techniques which enable them to be transported fairly long distances, called pneumatic conveying. This involves entrainment of the particles in a flow of gas in a pipe.

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#95 2017-01-06 12:29:35

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

That is another way elderflower.

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#96 2017-01-06 12:39:23

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

I have been thinking about "Solid" ramjet/scramjet engines for aircraft on Mars.

First of all, now that I am looking at it, it seems to me that air breathing aircraft on Mars will be a long way off for practicality.  Also, I think that rocket hoppers will be complex, dangerous, and expensive.  So, my thinking is that a cart method is preferred.  Beyond that if Hyperloop becomes possible then Hyperloop is preferred over carts.  But I will go ahead and talk about the aircraft I have in mind here anyway.

I do not think that solid jet engines will be suitable for landing the craft, at least not on it's tail, which as I see it is the only way to land.  I also think it is likely that takeoff would be done with some other kind of rocket engine.  I suggest a liquid fuel and liquid Oxygen method for that.
The craft should be able to do small hops with a liquid hydrocarbon fuel, and liquid Oxygen.

But for long distance travel, I suggest the addition of ramjet/scramjet engines using solid rocket fuel, and breathing Martian atmosphere.

As a simple solid jet engine, I originally thought Magnesium, preheated to just below it's melting point.

I have moved on to Magnesium Hydride.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_hydride
I am interested in this because it is said that by exposing it to water, Hydrogen is released.  Hydrogen is good in propulsion because of it's expansion properties, and at a high temperature it will burn with CO2.  Magnesium will burn in CO2 as well.  But Carbon results.  I hope the carbon will exist as a dust that would exhaust.

Problems with this propulsion method would be you would have to Tayler the solids amount to the nature of the intended trip.  Too much, and you have to cruse around burning the excess off.  Too little, and you might not have enough for the trip.

Perhaps throttling methods could be implemented.

Not a rocket man.  Just having a look at the problem from, a different perspective.

Last edited by Void (2017-01-06 12:56:47)

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#97 2017-01-06 23:22:16

SpaceNut
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Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,650

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#98 2017-01-07 00:14:45

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: Airplanes on Mars

I would say that your assessment is fairly accurate by my thinking.

However, note that I have rendered the opinion that aircraft will be too expensive in the beginning for the value added they can render.  It is possible that the Earth will donate "Hopper" spacecraft, but I am thinking not.

Note also that my notion of a solid engine is a air breathing jet engine, a ramjet/scramjet.
Hybrid might be if water was injected.  My preferred fuel is solid Magnesium Hydride.

As I have said, I have rethought this out, and think that aircraft will likely need to come later.

Instead, I think roads will have to do until hyperloop or aircraft can be implemented.  To support roads, I suggest an Antius idea where materials can be fired in a ballistic trajectory towards an impact point.  That might be done periodically when there is no road traffic.
To have roads, will require at least robot carts that can push rocks out of the way.

A material I would consider firing in a ballistic trajectory would be paraffin wax balls.
If they could be delivered to a location with reasonable accuracy and precision, then a solar insitu plant there could render the paraffin into purity, and could refine liquid Oxygen from the atmosphere.  So I suggest cart engines that run on paraffin wax and Liquid Oxygen.

Someday aircraft perhaps, and likely hyperloops but not immediately in my opinion.

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#99 2017-01-07 05:53:15

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,508
Website

Re: Airplanes on Mars

If you can move the dust out of the way, you could use hovercraft. That might be the best option for high(er) speed travel on Mars, though dust storms would tend to move the dust back...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#100 2017-01-07 07:34:24

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 558

Re: Airplanes on Mars

Main drawbacks to a skirted hovercraft are :
Because of the escaping air from the periphery of the skirt a hovercraft would be surrounded by a permanent dust storm which would interfere with vision and foul the lift and propulsion fans.
Also they aren't very good at crossing a field of boulders.
Designing a lift fan to give significant overpressure inside the skirt would be a difficult task. Earth hovercraft operate with a few mBars overpressure but that would mean a pressure ratio of about 1.5 to1 in Mars atmosphere.

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