I am new here. I have an engineering background. I like playing with ideas, and finding ways to make them work with existing off the shelf materials.
So: The jetsail
There is a self launch 2 man German made sailplane with fore and aft seating called the Nimbus 4DM. It self launches with
a motor driven propeller placed at the top of a extendable pylon. This pylon when raised is right behind the second seat and the one piece side hinged canopy.
For ballast the aircraft is built with wing water tanks that allow for up to 320 lbs of water. The aircraft full up loading is about 1808 lbs. Rest of the general specs are listed below.
Wing span 26.50 m 86.94 ft
Wing area 17.96 m² 193.32 ft²
Wing aspect ratio 39.1 39.1
Empty mass (powered) 595 kg 1312 lb
Max. all-up mass (powered) 820 kg 1808 lb
Max. speed (prop. retr.) 285 km/h 154 kt (177 mph)
Best L/D (at 59 kt | 68 mph) ~ 60 ~ 60
Wing loading (full up) 37.5 kg/m² 7.7/ft²
there is more detailed info on the net...
the engine,pylon,and prop assemb. weigh about 75 lbs (more depending on the engine installed with another 25 lbs for fuel (100 lbs)
Full up weight 1808 lbs
Empty weight powered/wet 1312 lbs
usefull load 486 lbs
remove the power system and fuel tank
plus 100lbs more usefull load 586 lbs
remove the first and second seats and strip to bare controls. (best quess 58 lbs removed)
plus 58 lbs for a total of 674lbs
Now build a light weight one man cockpit that can be pressurized to 20psi with small sideport windows and small front window. Figuring 50% overrun onthe weight using existing of the shelf honeycomb composits and carbon fiber composits the added weight would be 70 lbs using the original controls and avionics.
674 lbs minus 70lbs = 604 lbs
Behind the pilots seat place a modified diving rebreather system that has been striped down to only required parts.
There is an emerg. breathing system (OSHA approved ) that will let the rebreather function in a static environment. Meaning you don't need to use the mouth piece. This system monitors breathing air, scrubs carbon dioxide and supplies oxygen. Best guess on total weight is 25 to 30 lbs.
604 lbs minus 30 lbs = 574 lbs
(please note: I haven't done the partial pressure calc.'s for system use at sea level but the master diver I questioned said at least 4 hours depending on work preformed. I plan to just sit there.)
Also note that the scruber, as a by-product, produces heat and some water vapor.
Now for the power:
There are several companies that produce small jet engines. One is AMT but there are other similar providers.
There are small jet engines in 10 to 15 lb weight range that produce 95lbs to 100 lbs of static thrust. They burn about 160 lbs of standard jet fuel (JP-4) per hour with an oil additive for lub. Note that the engine used here was electric start and the additional weight has been included.
Mount one engine in the old engine compartment. Mount it below the aircraft fore aft centerline with a 5deg positive incident angle. (note that this is a MUCH better thrust coulpe than the old system.) The mounting should be connected to the steel tube frame and the air intakes should be closeable ducts on eather side of and aft of the new cockpit. When cleaned up the new configuration would actually have less parisitic drag than the old one with its engine compartment hatch cover system. The only always open hole is the exhaust outlet and it is 5 " in dia. and faces aft.
In the front of the engine compartment mount a fuel tank and fuel flow control system (there will be three tanks 2 wing and one center) The wing tanks hold 320 lbs of water but only around 300 lbs of fuel at API standard of 60 deg F. The center tank needs to hold about 20 gal. and would be filled to levels according to pilot weight so as not to exceede full up weight.
now include aprox 10 lbs for a composit bottle of NO2 and the bleed control for the intake system
Total engine and fuel system aprox 33 lbs as near as I can figure.
574lbs - 155lbs for the pilot (me with 5 lbs of clothes) equals 541 lbs. minus 33lbs for engine and fuel sys. equals 508 lbs for fuel.
At 160lbs/hour burn at 100 static pounds of thrust the full power burn is 3 hours 10 min. 30 sec..
If you launch and climb to 45,000 using the wing tanks you would get to altitude in 1 hr. 52 min. 30 sec. at 400 ft/min overall climb (I suspect that it climb will be much better.)
This leaves 1hr 18 min. for full burn cruise. the Vne on this aircraft is around 180MPH IAS. But due to the density altitude the ground speed is smoken. Besides at full burn in level flight you would most likely get to Vne in a hurry.
Anyway, you could launch in Colorado and get to the east coast in reeasonable time. And if you had a problem, just shut down the engine, close the intake ports and use the 90 to 1 glide ratio.
The whole project prices in well under $130,000 not counting labor.
So what do you think.
If you just kept climbing you might get to 76,000 ft depending on how well the nitrus worked to hold engine preformance.