At left is a Computational Fluid Dynamics representation of the Ion 100.
In this image the noteworthy color is red, which indicates low pressure. Low pressure on top of the wing is lift.
Ion's CFD work was performed by David Lednicer.
A view of the wire frame model of the Ion 100.
The wire frame is generated directly from the same solid model we used to cut the plugs and molds.
All of Ion Aircraft's engineering is being done by AirBoss Aerospace of Reno, Nevada. We are very pleased with their work and proud to have them on board.
- Length: 24 feet* (7.3 meters)
- Wing span / LSA wings: 30 feet, 4 inches (9.25 meters)
- Wing span / cruise wings: 26 feet, 10 inches (8.2 meters)
- Cockpit width: 30 inches (76 cm)
*the plane has a 10 inch (25 cm) removable nose cone to allow access to the nose gear and the batteries.
Click on the thumbnails above to view screenshots of the solid model. The human models are approximately 6 feet, 3 inches (191 cm) tall. Shots will open in a separate window, and please remember that all work is copyrighted.
We have received many questions from folks who are interested to know what materials we are using for the plane.
The image at the right (which we call the "Toucan" drawing) will help us give an overview of the materials in the plane.
The majority of the plane, of course, is composite material. Specifically, carbon fiber/epoxy composite.
The RED, BLUE, ORANGE and YELLOW portions are resin infused carbon fiber/epoxy for weight and stiffness. The demands placed on these structures are considerable, and carbon fiber/epoxy is the only way to go if one wants to maintain a reasonable empty weight.
Last but not least is our pride and joy . . . the GREEN wings are bonded aluminum. "Whoa" you say. "The rest of the plane is all composite, why did you choose bonded aluminum for the wings?" Glad you asked:
Weight. For wings of our size and layout, the bonded aluminum process is actually calculated to be a little lighter than composite would have been.
Cost. We can deliver a very nice bonded aluminum wing to you for MUCH less than composite.
Cost Part II. Over the life of your plane, we think owning an aluminum wing will cost you less. Specifically, any damage that may arise over time (hangar rash) is cheaper and easier to repair if it is aluminum. Any shop can do it.
At this point you are thinking "Yeah, but the composite wing is more resistant to hangar rash to begin with." This is quite true, to a point. Carbon fiber is very strong and does not dent or ding.
However carbon fiber is not the same as Kevlar. You can damage carbon fiber. A friend of ours once had a carbon fiber canoe paddle that was incredibly strong and lightweight. One day he was showing off the strength of his paddle and whacked it against a tree. His paddle broke in half. Tensile strength is not the same thing as impact resistance.
The problem here is that an impact that puts a big ding an aluminum wing has an excellent chance of damaging a carbon fiber wing as well. Small dings in aluminum or carbon wings are cheap to fix. Big dings in aluminum are much cheaper than carbon. If the worst happens, we can just sell you a new aluminum wing for quite a lot less than a new carbon wing would have been.
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"Ion Aircraft" is a registered trademark.
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