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Is This the Future of General Aviation?


SmartFish

A consortium of European designers and companies are working on a radical redefinition of what a general aviation aircraft is. Modeled after a tuna, the SmartFish flies without slats, spoilers or flaps.

The SmartFish project intends to create a totally new kind of airplane type that can be used for everything from light sport aircraft to business jets to commercial puddle jumpers that carry up to 20 passengers. The goals include fuel economy, safety, visual beauty and a minimization of moving parts. Who's involved? According to the SmartFish web site:

The SmartFish proof of concept will be realized in collaboration with following companies: Extra (world leader in aerobatic aircraft) for system integration and test flights, Leichtwerk for interpretation statics and dynamics, LTB Borowski for composite manufacturing, Liebherr Aerospace for Landing Gear System development, DLR (German Aerospace Center) for flutter analysis and inlet optimization, RUAG Aerospace for wind tunnel testing, and EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (they did a great job for Alinghi) for overall design optimization.
The group even has a working prototype. They're also w
orking on a fuel-cell version.





SmartFish

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The objective of team SmartFish is to develop and commercialise a revolutionary general aviation aircraft technology that is highly innovative in terms of safety, economy and emotion. This technology can be used for a wide range of applications, from UAV to high performance sports planes to business jets that can accommodate up to 20 passengers.

The SmartFish proof of concept will be realized in collaboration with following companies: Extra (world leader in aerobatic aircraft) for system integration and test flights, Leichtwerk for interpretation statics and dynamics, LTB Borowski for composite manufacturing, Liebherr Aerospace for Landing Gear System development, DLR (German Aerospace Center) for flutter analysis and inlet optimization, RUAG Aerospace for wind tunnel testing, and EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (they did a great job for Alinghi) for overall design optimization.

Smart Fish’s USPs are as follows:

Economy
Huge internal volume and therefore a roomy cabin
Long range and high cruise speed
Low manufacturing, maintenance and operating costs
Low specific fuel consumption

Safety
Reduced moving parts/simplified rudder control
Simple maintenance
High crashworthiness

Emotional
Beautiful design
High marketing potential

SmartFish differs from conventional aircraft by its innovative aerodynamic design, while relying on standard technologies for building materials and propulsion.


Backed through results from preliminary wind tunnel tests and scale model flight data we believe that a SmartFish aircraft has many potential advantages over conventional aircraft of comparable size and propulsion system, such as improved efficiency (per freight transported) and a much bigger internal volume. Because of the simplicity of the design we anticipate that manufacturing costs (for design and assembly), maintenance costs, and operating costs will be potentially lower than those for conventional aircraft.

Building and producing an entirely new form of aircraft (and in our case selling the ip and design rights) requires imagination, courage and determination. That’s why we want to get your support for this visionary project. You can help us make SmartFish happen.

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