F/A-20A Hammerhead

A while ago a Royal Danish Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, “TIB” Guilbert, contacted me about making a prototype stealth fighter to demonstrate a concept he described as being a small, but very maneuverable jet fighter with limited stealth capabilities. I did several drafts and kept the project going as a fun pass time when I wasn’t teaching or working with hard deadlines. During June / July 2022 I discovered there was a possibility to implement the model I had created in MS Flight 2020 – and now it’s almost fully functional – it’s lacking a few things in the cockpit, but exterior wise it’s pretty cool – even comes with thrust vectoring and multi rudder controls. Needless to say the Lt. Col. is very happy with the result 🙂

You can check out the F/A-20A Hammerhead exterior test here, as long as you forgive me for being a super bad pilot when I’m steering the plane from that angle

Thrust vectoring and multi rudder controls are functional! 🙂
Modding MSFS is easy in the beginning, but then it gets super detailed and the SDK support is a little flaky at this point ( it is getting better by every update though ).

The aircraft design itself is based on the YF-23 ( you can tell by the pelican tail ) the F-16 ( small size, big engine ) the SR-71 ( the chines around the nose ) and the F/A-18 both in multi rudder functionality, but I also had to lend a great deal from the F/A-18 in MSFS to emulate a jet fighter, especially the afterburner. – and finally the F-35 ( thrust vectoring idea from the B model, nozzle design and the diverterless intakes ). Here’s a few sketches and pics from the development process:

One of the final concepts of the Hammerhead, seen here in “beastmode” with exterior weapons mounted and a Su-75 looming ominously behind it!
A very early concept blueprint
Fusion 360 render after CAD modeling was done ( note the small droptanks – these were later increased in size to hold 300 gallons each ).
Early concept with a very short airframe, this was lengthened ( but only to 12 meters / ca. 39 feet ) which makes the jet extremely agile, but shortens its effective range significantly, hence the droptanks and conformal tanks that are present in most images and videos of the aircraft 🙂
Speed painting of the jet in a FOB ( Forward Operations Base, basically a highway with a fuel truck ) – the silly characters are part of a cartoon universe I’m creating that also uses the jet – you can find out more about that here

Here’s a preliminary study on how the control surfaces would work in conjunction with each other:

3D printed version, I really wanted to know if I could make a DIY kit that would allow users to print their own, paint and display it as a model at home – the landing gear was the hardest part, but it works 🙂

PLA print with airbrushed camo scheme – decals are “stolen” from an F-16 model.

I also did an airflow study, sadly the digital wind tunnel was only able to emulate relatively slow speeds, so the study only really shows that the design would generate lift while on the approach ( which is ofcourse, a good thing 🙂 ):

As you can tell – the canards are missing here, they were added later to ensure the high level of maneuverability that the Lt. Col. requested.
There’s still a few things that need fixing before the jet can be released on the MSFS 2020 marketplace, but hopefully during 2023 it will appear as an item on there 🙂 – naturally we want to syncronize the release with the other related merch and the board game, so stay tuned 🙂

I’ll leave y’all with a short desert test flight 🙂

Low and fast 😀

Oh boy! New toy!

So a while back I posted about the ship I designed for Eve Online and the article got a bit of attention. Enough for a fan to make me aware that a third party SLA printing company named Mixed Dimensions are now selling the Eve Online ships as scale models. Naturally I had to get the one I helped conceive and whad’ya know, it arrived today, Hussah, my very own toy! – You too can pick one up by vising their website here.

Some time further back I was also made aware that the ship stars in the Valkyrie spin off from Eve, you can see it several times in the youtube film below. As a science fiction fan I am thrilled to have been a part of the process, hopefully more space ship projects will come along in the future 🙂

Posted below here is a quick photo of the toy standing on the poster I received when the winners were selected, along with CCP team member signatures. If I wasn’t motivated to get my hands on a resin printer before, I surely am now, just look at that quality – it even does surface colors 😀

SLA Gallente Talos ship with Work in Progress poster signed by the art department from CCP

Stay home and geek out..

In these stay-at-home times I’ve found a small amount of joy in focusing on nerdy things like implementing our logo in popular driving games and giving livery design a whirl again. The dissolution of the barrier between work and spare time is a dangerous thing these days, make sure to find fun distractions out there and stop thinking about the pandemic / economy for a while.

Witus Corvette racing, Gran Turismo Sport

Godspeed Syd Mead / Generative design / Marlin Dirt Bike

Rest in peace oh you creator of so many futuristic visions. Syd Mead visited our design school while I was studying for my bachelors degree and we had a short talk about William Gibson. I mourn his passing by writing this post to reminisce in how his work inspired me.

I originally attempted to adopt his style in a competition that had exactly those parameters: Create a vision with clear Syd Mead associations. He himself was a judge, along with Adam Savage. The Syd Meadian design I wanted to create an homage for was his original Lightcycle as seen below:

LightCycle I am however not an accomplished painter like he was, but I enjoyed the exercise and I wasn’t completely unhappy with my design seen here:

SydMead Bike
An autonomous taxi illustrated in the style of Syd Mead and with a reference to his original Lightcycle design.

Sadly the jury was not in my favor and I shelved the design for later use, which was fortunate since I needed a futuristic looking electric dirt bike for an image I was creating several years later:

Sketch for an early stage of the design that would eventually become the Marlin SM

In that particular poster the bike design was really secondary, but since we all know that cool industrial design can really underline a science fiction world I spent some extra time thinking it through, the final image can be seen below here and is printed in 2 by 5 meters at our local incubator.

GameCollege image with Marlin SM bike
Guest appearance of the Marlin SM bike on the left

I fell in love with generative design some 10 years later and it felt natural to attempt to push the Marlin SM design even further into reality by actually having Fusion 360 run through the chassis parameters. Generative design procedurally generates a series of design solutions based on a preset definition arranged by the user. Example: 4 bolt fixings have to connect to a bumper plate that needs to absorb a force that in this instance was 30.000 Newtons in 3 directions. The program generates 5 outcomes and the user selects one or two to be implemented in the final design as seen here ( material chose was titanium ):

The generative setup really is fairly simple: The red geometry is an obstacles that the computer isn’t allowed to interfere with, the yellow is a starting point for the design solution and the greens ( very faint ) are areas that the program have to maintain ( like bolt fixings ).

Marlin SM Generative Bumper 01

One of the 2 solutions that were chosen from the generative bumper design outcome

The designs are then implemented in the chassis that on the Marlin SM eventually looked like the image below here ( elements like suspension are of course added later ):

Generative design chassis, Marlin SM
The resulting bumper implemented in the Marlin SM chassis along with the other barebone elements, there’s a strange aesthetic quality to how the program adopts an organic metallic shape to overcome the defined forces.

So there it is, thank you Syd Mead for pushing me in this direction, I am unsure where it will lead me, but I am happy with the strange and wonderful things it is teaching me. I hope you’re somewhere up there still enjoying the legacy of your work. Happy New Year and Godspeed.

Link to interactive 3D model

Click the link above for interactive 3D view ( works on mobile as well )

Marlin SM
A render with the main bodywork removed

Marlin SM
Final design, all it needs now is an astronaut riding it across the dunes of Mars!

Red gold Marlin
As with high end SUVs, perhaps the Marlin has a place in premium transportation