Thursday, January 11, 2007


Ugly Betty and Small Aircraft

This afternoon I was pondering the idea of designing a single-seat airplane around a BMW 'R' motor. This is the classic 2-cylinder "boxer" motor that is to BMW motorcycles as the v-twin is to Harley-Davidsons. I figured the way to go would be to base it loosely on the BD-5, but with a modern carbon-fiber monocoque instead of the aluminum stressed-skin fuselage. I wondered how light it could be, keeping mind that an F1 race car's CF "tub" weighs under 200 lbs and is designed to stand up to a 200-mph meeting with the wall. Turns out the 1960s-vintage BD-5 weighed just under 400 lbs empty, so a CF version could probably come in around 300. Of course this is all academic, but it's fun to dream.

And, who knew America Ferrera had a new show? She's traded her trademark curves for braces and hipster-frame glasses in Ugly Betty. Sort of a SoCal version of Just Shoot Me, and not bad!

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