F-4D Skyray genesis
Our factory, Enata Aerospace, is working on a new project.
It is a hyper scale 1/5 scale Douglas F-4D Skyray.
This airplane has been developed under contract from Mark Frankel, the World Skyray specialist and Douglas Historian.
Mark has developed, flown and sold to the market a 1/7 scale version of this plane in 1990. The kit is still sold as of now and is very famous. However, Mark wanted to go one step beyond his original project in terms off size and scale authenticity.
Welcome to the Ultimate Jets/ Enata Aerospace/ Frankel 1/5 scale Skyray!
The plane has been entirely CAD designed by our partner, Guido Ising.
Equipment like fuel system, electrical system, servos, landing gear were integrated at the CAD design stage to obtain near perfect balance and very good accessibility and servicing points.
It was 7 axis robot milled with our Kuka machines. Milling accuracy was to 1/15th of a millimeter.
Then, the airplane sub-structure was drawn and sanded down to create the wrinkles effect.
The wrinkles are made subtle and only show when looking at a tangential angle or when touching the skin surface.
These are made according to the thousands of detail pictures that Mark has accumulated about the plane, including many ultra high resolution historical pictures of the Skyray production line, which proved to be unbelievably useful to us.
For example, the picture above enabled us to extract wing details showing the skin wrinkles and rivet patterns as well as access doors.
Now compare this to our plug in progress:
Notice that the wrinkles are very close to the original plane.
11 different rivets sizes and types were engraved/ screwed in the plug for a total of 35000 pieces.
Here are some details with a picture of the fin:
And some fuselage details.
Some molding shots:
And the molds after plug release.
First parts being laid up with our ultra light carbon fiber skin.
The Mil spec loom is integrated before closing the molds ( if purchased as an option )
The hard wood blocks are placed into the elevon structure.
Some shots of the full carbon fiber fuselage structure.
The fully molded plane ready for its first presentation at Jet Power.
Tuning the Skyray inlet, bypass and thrust tube foor the new Merlin 166 TS...
The diameters are carefully chosen to allow for a good ventilation of the bypass system.
Similarly, the venturi at the engine cone has been specifically designed to allow a good flow of air around the engine without generating too much vacuum in the pipe. This reduces the risks of pipe collapsing. The engine-cone-to-bypass-cone ratio is very important on that matter.
The bypass duct is slightly diverging from the inlet section. This allow a slight increase of the pressure around the engine casing, reducing vacuum propagation.
Manufacturing the Skyray internal air duct.
The intake CAD was modified to integrate a full carbon fiber bypass. The intake is a complex shape transitioning from a triangle t a half circle. It got cut in 4 steps on our router.
The intake halves are showing on the router milling support structure that was also CAD designed and CNC cut to optimize accuracy.
The intakes are installed in Skyray prototype #2 just after assembly and alignment of this airframe.
Prototype #1 being dismantled in our assembly shop for loom design.