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Massless fin designs (and sabots thereof)

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Massless fin designs (and sabots thereof)

Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:47 am

So I have a mostly hypothetical question for the community; If you could build a theoretically massless fin system for a fin-stabilized projectile, what would it look like? To hopefully eliminate some silly answers, I'm saying you're still limited to a finite volume the fins must fit in.

And just a question on the side: Would there be any reasonable accuracy loss to sealing/saboting the head of the projectile, or putting a solid (massless) sabot behind it, rather than around the fins or even the entire projectile? Here we shall assume (again for the sake of argument) that the projectile's fins and head are almost the same diameter as the inside of the barrel it is to be shot from.
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:04 pm

Not sure about "massless"... you're meaning "without having mass"? Or merely "nearly so"?

Anyway, my .02 on the subject;

"Fin" stabilized projectiles = "drag" stabilized projectiles for intents and purposes. (Some will argue siting rotation.) Some differences in total drag with varying design, but the principle remains the same.

For ease of "saboting", I would think 3-4 pieces of music wire bent at an angle, and attached to the body of a dart at the rear could be used. The sabot could simply compress the music wire fins, allowing a neat fit in the bore, and more simple construction.

A possible side benefit, would be having the music wire fins help "eject" the sabot upon leaving the muzzle. After construction, having the sabot part cleanly is the next big challenge anyway...and crucial to accuracy.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:13 pm

Ummmmm okay, on second thought maybe I should have put this in the theories section... this post is to be theoretical, therefore what I mean by "massless" is to exclude any consideration about the mass of the fins from design considerations.

I also meant to ask where the best place for a sabot would be, or rather if there would be any accuracy or effectiveness loss if the sabot were to seal the projectile only at the head.

I do like the idea of using music wire, but again, this thread was intended to be entirely a theoretical discussion of sabot position along the projectile and fin design (schematics/pictures/descriptions of fin arrangement).
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