It’s pretty exciting dreaming up a concept, turning it into a design, and then having a working prototype in your hands, all in the course of a few weeks.
I recently watched a video about the new Diamond DA50 RG, a 4-to-5 place retractable gear single engine airplane that’s due to hit the market in 2021. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it will certainly cost more than the current USD $650,000 DA50 (fixed gear), a bit more than I can afford. I was a bit excited about something they featured in a product walk-around video: they talked about the DA50 RG’s new environment control system, with its controls located just forward of the throttle lever. I’m excited to have a comparable system (maybe even more advanced than this!) on my own aircraft.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve refined the heater system preliminary design. I made some geometry changes based on results from airflow simulations. I also ran some experiments with various materials and prototyping methods. And I started working on some of the control electronics which drive the blower motor, servos, and temp sensors. I have a full-size prototype, and it works quite well. The centrifugal-style fan I chose can move quite a lot of air.
My attention now turns to building the controller and user controls.