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Thread: DracoX - speculation

  1. #1

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    DracoX - speculation

    Now that Scrappy has been revealed followers may be wondering what's been happening with DracoX. I suspect that DracoX build is in progress and that we may not hear much more about it. Why? I found this on an SBIR site:

    "For years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has utilized expensive and limited-range helicopters for overseas special operations and rescue missions. The Trike Industries team has identified the need for a long range, high speed, hyper short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft to support the DoD End Users in intense and time-demanding missions abroad. Specifically, Trike will engineer DracoX, a superior alternative to the use of expensive helicopters as transportation in overseas special operations and rescue missions. The Trike Industries LLC objective is to modify a commercially available airframe with technology previously developed by Mike Patey for the world record-holding Draco and implement improvements to modify Draco into a militarized version known as DracoX, a HyperSTOL aircraft. Draco is the world’s first four-person jet turbine-powered aircraft to demonstrate hyper short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities. DracoX will be capable of serving as a helicopter/transportation alternative supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) in overseas long-range (1,000 miles) special operations and rescue missions. Since helicopters have speed and range limitations, there is a need for an alternative to allow for missions that helicopters cannot get to. Since Patey has already developed the initial technology in 2017/2018, the End User will not have to spend millions in the research & development and proof of concept in engineering an aircraft that closely resembles the capabilities of Draco. In summary, the Phase II program will demonstrate that there is a need for an alternative to helicopters in support of a variety of special operations and rescue missions, which in turn will save 100’s of millions to billions of dollars over the next 10-20 years for the fielding of a more traditional solution."

    I'm expecting DracoX to have wings very similar to those used on Scrappy and to use the PT-6 that is/was in the display case. (For those that don't track the details - Trike Industries LLC is the registered manufacturer and owner of Scrappy.)
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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    DracoX - speculation

    He did mention in one of the videos doing government work he can’t talk about. Good for him. Sucks for us and watching all the videos he makes. He was also talking about making a new (faster) race plane when he finished Draco, so maybe that’s going to be the next video project


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    The project sounds nice, but if you want an off the shelf STOL aircraft that can carry a load the Helio has been a proven war product. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helio_Courier I have yet to see ANY aircraft that can do STOL better than a helicopter. I am not saying it is a bad project to look into (ever arrow in the quiver helps) but any plane has very limited in capability when it comes to rescue when compared to a helicopter. Example is mountains, you can't just hover and load from the tail or with one skid on a ridge. Being able to hover over water/trees/swamp really helps when you want a world wide capable aircraft for the mission. Blackhawk range is only limited if it can't find a C130 tanker. I would say it would be nice to have asset for limited use but from a cost standpoint it would be a wash.
    DENNY

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    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Not going to happen!

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Reconfigured Air Tractor.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    King of the hill since 1936

    https://youtu.be/VDcB0pSUYOI

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    King of the hill since 1936

    https://youtu.be/VDcB0pSUYOI

    Glenn
    Except part of the mission statement is speed, faster than a helicopter.
    Steve Pierce

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    Speed, range, and loiter time.
    Another point mike made in previous video was the ability to search, locate and pinpoint victim, then call in rotorcraft if needed for pickup, thus minimizing Heli loiter time and increasing effective range, and reducing cost.
    Replace the motorcycles with a couple sidewinders…
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    I look forward to a full operating range pilot report on the double slat wing. Maybe it really is a game changer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I look forward to a full operating range pilot report on the double slat wing. Maybe it really is a game changer.
    The upper end of the speed range is the result of reflex. Negative flaps are very common on sailplanes but not often seen on airplanes. I think I also heard Mike mention that the slats can reflex but I don't think that was ever shown in a video.

    We'll have to wait until he fits a different prop as that's what's limiting the speed of the current configuration.

    BTW - ADS-B track puts Scrappy home in UT so - back to work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Speed, range, and loiter time.
    Another point mike made in previous video was the ability to search, locate and pinpoint victim, then call in rotorcraft if needed for pickup, thus minimizing Heli loiter time and increasing effective range, and reducing cost.
    Replace the motorcycles with a couple sidewinders…
    Or, keep the bikes... Land, insert some peeps with weapons/explosives/surveillance equipment, etc etc. And they have two quiet electric motorcycles to zip around on.

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    Once the military gets any airplane, they increase the weight and complexity so it no longer performs like they want it to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    BTW - ADS-B track puts Scrappy home in UT so - back to work!
    I have not taken the time to look, but what are his average speeds each way?
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I have not taken the time to look, but what are his average speeds each way?
    Tracks are not complete enough to make an estimate. He said in a video that his max speed was, I think, 125 mph as limited by prop vibration.

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    Seaworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    The project sounds nice, but if you want an off the shelf STOL aircraft that can carry a load the Helio has been a proven war product. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helio_Courier I have yet to see ANY aircraft that can do STOL better than a helicopter. I am not saying it is a bad project to look into (ever arrow in the quiver helps) but any plane has very limited in capability when it comes to rescue when compared to a helicopter. Example is mountains, you can't just hover and load from the tail or with one skid on a ridge. Being able to hover over water/trees/swamp really helps when you want a world wide capable aircraft for the mission. Blackhawk range is only limited if it can't find a C130 tanker. I would say it would be nice to have asset for limited use but from a cost standpoint it would be a wash.
    DENNY

    The cost of operating a fixed wing is pennies on the dollar compared to rotary wing. Parts--maintenance all figure into the equation. No doubt tey are already looking at extraction systems/ spey rigging for this aircraft--or one like it.
    Marine Corps Aviation since 1966

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    King of the hill since 1936

    https://youtu.be/VDcB0pSUYOI

    Glenn
    Looked like Jim Crane on that first climb out

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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Tracks are not complete enough to make an estimate. He said in a video that his max speed was, I think, 125 mph as limited by prop vibration.
    I was in a group talking with him at his arrival where he said he could not get more than half way through his expected pitch range before heading east. It got noisy and I could not fully hear what his plan was going forward but it did not appear to be with those blades.
    To my eye those blades do not offer enough twist in them to allow much pitch.
    Regards, Charlie
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  18. #18
    Seaworthy's Avatar
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    Having participated in rescue missions in a multi axis hostile environment---many years ago, helicopters have many drawbacks-- speed, size, gross wt/ density altitude issues, noise, cost, parts, maintenance, range, weapons, loiter time, anti aircraft threat. We had OV-10's, O1-C's, Huey guns in my squadron and USAF showed up with Jolly Greens and AD Skyraiders. Unsure what the mission would be for the Draco-- but if it was single aircraft in to a contested area for a quick extraction-- release a drone (s)-- quick peek--better that than show up with the entire band and get the **** shot out of you.
    Marine Corps Aviation since 1966

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