Believe It Or Not, This Concrete RC Plane Actually Flies

Had the Wright Brothers foolishly chosen to build their original flyer from concrete, their names probably wouldn't have gone down in the history books. But South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students David Haberman and Tyler Pojanowski did, and they were the first to fly and safely land an 8kg remote-controlled concrete aircraft.

Technically, they were beaten to the skies by an earlier concrete plane built in Florida, but it crashed and was destroyed on landing, whereas David and Tyler's plane will live to fly another day. Just not gracefully, since the test flight was incredibly unstable and a rough landing resulted in a cracked wing and fuselage — but the plane will fly again with minor repairs.

Building a full-sized aircraft from concrete is still completely impractical with current technologies. But this smaller version, with its 102cm wingspan, could lead to further developments in concrete making it stronger, lighter and easier to work with when it comes to building structures.


Comments

    What's the point?

      But this smaller version, with its 102cm wingspan, could lead to further developments in concrete making it stronger, lighter and easier to work with when it comes to building structures.

    No surprise that its unstable with that wing design! With just a little bit of dihedral it would be stable in flight. This is just bad design.

    I don’t see the point of this experiment, there is an old adage in RC plane circles that says that you can make a brick fly with enough power.

    Great idea. Only thing is they'll most likely resort to a composite like most modern aircraft. Although, with experimentation with such a dense medium, they may be able to create a very small rc plane largely unaffected by crosswinds.

    It's the journey that matters, not the destination. ASCE has had the concrete canoe competition for years and the thin structures being constructed are impressive. Very often 'impossible' assignments result in solutions no one else thought of.
    BTW, concrete is usually a composite of cement and aggregate for compression and other materials for tension, usually steel, but increasingly other fibers are being employed.

    I want the #HTCOne for its: Screen

    The point is... Give bright young minds a problem and they will solve no matter the skeptics

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