My Preliminary Design Spreadsheet is now available!

The journey began several years ago when I was encouraged to design a real, home built aircraft. While several excellent plans and kits are available, most of them are expensive and I wanted to jump in head first and design my own aircraft.

I was living in the Salt Lake City area and when I began this journey, I spent hundreds of hours scouring books on aerodynamics from the University of Utah's Marriot Library and I spent several hundred $$$ buying books about aerodynamics. When I had questions, I would contact the authors of the books I was studying. Some of the books in the library took me back to pre-WWII days but they are excellent sources of material!

I found out that designing an airplane is about 10% aesthetics and 90% math! I also discovered that as I would go through the preliminary design phase for an airplane and then, if I decided to change one thing, a domino effect made me have to change several other things! This took lots of time and lots of pretty extensive mathematical calculations.

That is when I realized how much easier it would be to put together a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets easily do these mathematical calculations in less than a second, much quicker than I was able to do on my calculator!

By taking time tested parameters for general aviation, light aircraft, the preliminary design phase of designing an airplane is made much easier!

Chance are very good that you already have Microsoft Excel on your computer which is required to run my Preliminary Design Spreadsheet. By loading the spreadsheet on your computer and then following step by step instructions you will be assured that your airplane's control surfaces will be the correct size. You will also learn what many of the performance specifications will be for your airplane.

There are over one hundred lines of information in my spreadsheet! You can use it for as many airplanes as you like. Once you "size" your airplane, you can move on to the rest of the design process!

Computers are only as smart as the information fed into them. Not only do I lead you through entering the proper information into the spreadsheet with step by step instructions, I also help you understand what certain calculations are for and why they are needed.

Some of things my Preliminary Design Spreadsheet will calculate for you are:

- Aircraft weight by calculating the weight of pilot plus passengers, fuel and baggage.
- Wing and empennage aspect ratios.
- Wing loading
- Power loading
- Horizontal and Vertical tail volume coefficients
- Not only are these calculated for your design but they also show you what the optimum specifications are for a safe, stable airplane.

These are just some of the things you will discover about your airplane design.

The spreadsheet is color coded so you can quickly take a glance and know if a number is something you entered or whether it is a calculation made by your computer.

Along with all of this is a handy quick Converter. Your computer will make conversions for motion/power, weights, measurements and volumes! Easily convert kilowatts to horsepower, pounds to kilograms, centimeters to yards, etc.

The Preliminary Design Spreadsheet is designed to be used with single engine, homebuilt aircraft of conventional design. It can be used to design single place or multi-place aircraft, light sport aircraft and ultraiight aircraft! Use it for as many airplanes as you want to design and pay nothing extra!

For a limited time, you can purchase the Spreadsheet for $69.95,,,A regular $99.95 value!

Microsoft Excel is required to use this software.



The Vortex Magnum - Fast, economical, carries four full size people plus full baggage and fuel. Powerplant is a Chevy LS-1 350 horsepower engine using a PSRU.

The JayBird RX-T - Is a smaller, two place airplane built from the original composite material, wood! Using a Ford 3.8 liter V6 engine and a Javelin PSRU, the airplane will be economical yet still cruise over 200mph. The airplane is designed for conventiona landing gear.

The JayBird RX-T is a concept aircraft used to illustrate the preliminary design phase of aircraft Design. In my book, Preliminary Design - Modern Aircraft Design for the Non-Engineer, large 11"x17" drawings of this airplane are included for each step in the preliminary design of its design.

Built entirely from wood, using a 180 hp engine, the airplane will cruise at around 200 mph.

The Belle Star - This was my first airplane to have retractable landing gear. It is built with aluminum angle, aluminum sheet and an aluminum wing. It is built much like a Bede BD-4. It is a two-place airplane and is designed to use the Javelin PSRU and the Ford 3.8 liter V6 for 180 horsepower. Cruise comfortably at 160 knots on less than 7 gallons per hour of fuel.

The Belle Star 2+2 - is our popular Belle Star but is stretched to allow four people to ride comfortably in a fast, efficient aircraft. The all composite design makes for a fast, sleek airplane. Using time tested automobile engines gives great fuel economy at fast cruising speeds.


The Nebula - is designed for the Light Sport category and is a single place airplane with lots of headroom and a wide cabin for bigger pilots. Designed for 80 to 100 hp engines and with STOL capabilities, you'll be flying into those back country airports.

The Nebula is a simple design. The tail boom is aluminum channel and the fuselage itself uses very few formers made from plywood. The formers are covered with plywood and then glassed.

The wing has a 28 foot wingspan and can be built from wood or aluminum. Large flaps reduce landing speeds to well below the FAA regulated landing speed of 51 mph.

The Nebula has lots of room for you to take your camping gear when you are exploring the back country. Fly off of tundra tires, skis or floats!


Click on the images to Get a Better Look

Introducing the AeroHawk
Light Sport Aircraft

Power Rotax 912 ULS/S 100 hp
Gross Weight 1,320 pounds
Max. Load 795 pounds
Fuel 20 gallons
Wingspan 28 feet
Length 20 feet
Cabin Width 46.5 inches
Aspect Ratio 8.51
Stall Speed w/flaps 45 mph
Max Speed 138 mph
Crew Pilot plus 1 passenger

The latest addition to my stable of airplanes is the AeroHawk!

This airplane is designed to fit in the Light Sport category. The pilot and passenger fit comfortably in a wide fuselage designed for bigger pilots.

The airplane is all composite, moldless construction.

The AeroHawk is designed for pilots who want to make longer flights. The AeroHawk performs right on the limits of the Light Sport category and carries enough fuel to fly around five hours!

A 675 pound useful load allows pilot and passenger to take along their luggage for those long trips.

The AeroHawk can be built to include a ballistic recovery system.

If anyone is interested in building their own, exciting two place, Light Sport aircraft, give me a call! (407) 970-9559 or send me an email at


Other Links on this Site - Coming soon:

The Mission of McMullan Aircraft Design

Watch a Plane Being Born!

And More!

This page is under construction


Autonomous Air Vehicle AAV

Technology is moving at incredible speed these days. What used to be dreams yesterday are today's reality

Fully autonomous, safe, flight is almost here. Already, radio controlled drones have changed the way movies are filmed. Film companies used to have to spend thousands of dollars a day to get aerial footage from a helicopter. With the advent of small, high definition cameras, powerful, lightweight electric motors, and lightweight, long lasting batteries renting helicopters is no longer viable.

Fully autonomous flight is right around the corner. The technology is here NOW!

This is my idea for a fully autonomous, safe aerial vehicle.

Strong, lightweight electric motors power twelve counter-rotating propellers. A small gasoline or diesel engine powers the motors and battery weight is reduced by using them only for engine failure emergencies. In case of engine failure, the motors automatically switch to battery power and the AAV goes into landing mode. In case of catastrophic failure, the AAV's ballistic recovery parachute deploys and the ELT, emergency locator transmitter, powers on automatically. The AAV lands safely and emergency personnel are already on their way.

The "Life Pod" carries two full sized adults, up to 600 pounds and baggage up to 60 pounds for a gross weight of 1,000 pounds. It is constructed from carbon fiber and Lexan to keep the weight down. Fuel capacity is 10 gallons giving 60 minute flights with a range up to 300 miles.

To keep birds and other large pieces of debris out of the counter-rotating propellers, each propeller/motor pod is covered with wire mesh. When passengers are about to load, the center propeller/motor pods on each side, swing up along with the canopy. Once passengers are inside the AAV, the canopy rotates back into place and the center propeller/motor pods, return to flight mode.

The center console contains the Computer Flight Information System (CFIS). The passenger will give directions by voice or by typing an address directly into the CFIS. The computer will then go through a series of pre-flight safett checks before locking the canopy in place and starting the generator. Once an "all clear" is received from the computer, the motors will spin up and the AAV will be on its way to its destination.

If you have experience with multi-rotor vehicles, a background in aeronautical engineering and/or experience in composite technologies and want to get involved in this exciting new technology, send me an email at jay@jaymc or call me at (407) 970-9559.

Nebula Specs

Wingspan 22'
Length 19.31'
Height` 6.6'
Wing Area 79.42 sqFt
Aspect Ratio 6.09
Load 350 lbs
Fuel 15 gallons
Engine 80 to 100 hp
Max Speed 138 mph
Stall Speed 48 mph
Max Weight 1,000 lbs



ATTENTION - Scale Modelers and Aircraft Enthusiasts!


is available on DVD.

The Photo Project is a DVD that contains literally hundreds and hundreds of photographs of dozens of aircraft. Close up views are available to help scale modelers and even for those of you who just love airplanes.

Photographs of aircraft all across the United States are included on the DVD. By purchasing this DVD, you have limited to rights to every photograph contained therein when used for your personal use.

More Information Coming Soon

All information, images, photos, etc. unless otherwise noted are ©
by Jay S. McMullan. DO NOT copy in any form without the written, expressed
permission of Jay S. McMullan and/or his designees. All information contained
on this website or in any publication written by Jay S. McMullan is strictly
for entertainment purposes only! Use at your own risks!