The ThunderStruck Evolution

ThunderStruck Phase 1

ThunderStruck Phase 1

ThunderStruck Evolution is Essential.

by Robert Brand

Over the couple of months since officially announcing Project ThunderStruck, I have received lots of comments about the craft and not having detailed drawing. I made it very clear that in the early days, my son Jason had to earn his keep and create the art work for the craft. He tried his best, but the only tools that he had were not CAD 3D tools, but he did have Kerbal Space Program (KSP)and he used that to crate the craft details that he was looking for. So let’s have a look at his first drawing.

Jason's CAD picture of ThunderStruck above the earth

Jason’s CAD picture of ThunderStruck above the earth

Well, everything is wrong about this craft, but he was stuck with fixed sizes and it got our website up and running. Fuselage too thin, wings are simply wrong and much more. We did add a supersonic spike, but that was actual dueling as a radio antenna and may end up on the final craft too.

We ended up agreeing that we needed wheels and that there was no way to fit them to this craft. This started the move to the current craft. Jason again resorted to using KSP. The results were closer to the current craft.

Now people really gave us a hard time over KSP and they did not really understand that we had given the responsibility for much of the work to Jason and he simply resorted to the tools at hand and KSP really did do more than I expected. It was a reasonable attempt at making a model close to the final product.

Below is the second evolution of the transonic ThunderStruck.

ThunderStruck mk2 closeup

ThunderStruck Design and 1-2 size measurementsSince then we brought in the big guns and I created the plans for the craft. Mind you the published file had an error. The length of the nosecone was 200mm too short!  That is now fixed in the later plans.

Well from the plans, Ben Hockley created a view using SolidWorks software. From the plan came a rendered image that been added to a cloud image as seen at the top of page.  Here are Ben’s plans and view:

Thunderstruck plans

Thunderstruck plans

Below the composite image showing the craft in the transition from the dive to horizontal flight:

Thunderstruck Phase One Craft in Flight

Thunderstruck Phase One Craft in Flight. Credit Ben Hockley (ThunderStruck) and NASA (clouds and Moon)

I know that this is a long time coming, but if we hit you with too much to soon, you would probably think we were cheating. We may change the odd thing or two before the flight, but this is essentially the craft that will go into the record books.

2 comments on “The ThunderStruck Evolution

  1. While there is no substitute for AutoCad software, there is a lot of good free 2-D software.
    Also, while not a CAD program, another good one is Blender which I’ve been using a bit.
    The learning curve is steep, but it is incredibly feature rich. If you are not already aware of it, I highly recommend that you check it out.

  2. Joeman1551,
    Agreed, but it would not do near the job that we want. We need virtual wind tunnel testing, animation and 3D printing. It is not just a matter of drawing images, it is the ability to take the research on the airframe to the next level. Agreed that it might be suitable for those with a need to create a picture.

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