Re: [c-a] VE/LE rollover structure

Sam Holman

Hi Charles,

Of course, you are totally correct about reverse engineering.  I just remember the transition to carbon fibre really allows racing to continue in a very safe manner to this day  The glass fibre structures we have in Rutan's designs have proven to be strong in slower-moving accidents much better than the spam cans.  Material science has come a long way in our lifetimes.  I seem to have too much time so when I found the last article I forgot that F1 went directly to carbon fibre.  It must have been fun to have been part of the story.  The craftsmanship of the structures you made set a standard that many of this newsletter aim for and achieve.  The early photos we saw from Hercules Inc. were and are an inspiration to this day.  You can have a chuckle when I tell I manufacture the first maple bats used in the MLB market.  

Now you may have a chuckle when I tell you I manufacture the first maple bats sold into the MLB,  Sam

On Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 11:48 AM Charlie Johnson via <> wrote:
Hi Sam,

I worked for Hercules Inc. as a composites manufacturing engineer when we built the first tubs. A lot of engineering went into the total design, and a lot of testing was done as the Aluminum guys thought it was crazy. The design was proven in the first crash.

However retrofitting an existing design efficiently would require quite a bit of testing on a mock-up to make sure it would function as envisioned. Good luck with the effort.



On Aug 18, 2020, at 10:18 PM, Sam Holman <sjheracer@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I have followed Formula 1 since 1958 the last driver to die in a honeycomb aluminium structure was Gille Villeneuve in 1982.  A very sad day for my sport.  McClaren cars developed a carbon fibre tub the very next year virtually ending death in racing.  Here is an excellent history of the process.

Formula 1 car is driven “on the limit”, that is to say one aims to operate the car ... At that time random orientation glass mat and polyester resins (Glass ... Carbon fibre composite chassis were first introduced by the McLaren team in 1980 (3).
by G Savage - ‎Cited by 17 - ‎Related articles

I hope you will find it of interest.  Sam

On Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 9:42 PM JOHN STEICHEN <nn27gz@...> wrote:
Along that line of thought, I actually flew my defiant for a few years with cables in racing tradition, that prevented an engine from completely departing an aircraft making the balance impossible. The engine mount could fail but the weight of the engine would not depart the airframe. True story. I also had tubes I could flood the engine compartment with halon in case of a front or rear engine fire. You can add to the list ballistic parachute, air bags. Some of these never got acted on fortunately. N27ez. Motored on for me for 1700 hours thru some very interesting flights, and a few serious dangers. Defiant Delivered
Just saying😎

On Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 6:59 PM David A Froble <davef@...> wrote:
On 8/18/2020 12:08 PM, Sam Holman wrote:

> Howdy folks,


> This is a video on the formula 1 halo which has proven to be very safe.

> The entire tub and halo structure is autoclaved carbon fibre. From u tube

Interesting video.

One might reflect that in such racing, it's not if an accident will

happen, it's when.  One might also hope that flying and EZs is a bit

less risky.

Regardless, it's still a question of when, not if, for flying also.

Proof is, it's already happened, more than once.

I would not advocate the same structure in an aircraft.  One reason is

that in a race, crash equipment is there, and ready to roll, right now.

No crash equipment when someone goes down in a corn field.  People need

to exit a crashed aircraft, ASAP.

I'd also suggest that existing canard aircraft will not be getting a

rebuild with autoclaved carbon fiber.

Could a new design have much better designed in crash protection?  I'm

pretty sure it could.  Maybe such will happen, someday.

Always good to consider new ideas.


David Froble                       Tel: 724-529-0450

Dave Froble Enterprises, Inc.      E-Mail: davef@...

DFE Ultralights, Inc.

170 Grimplin Road

Vanderbilt, PA  15486

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