Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tech Ambassador

As Baz Luhrmann observed, it's the things that never crossed your mind that are most likely to blindside you at four p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon.

So by ten a.m on a Tuesday morning I was outside the US embassy in pursuit of a B-2 visa, without which the idea of joining the GoFly challenge next month would be purely academic.

I was much impressed I am by the rail service between Runcorn and Euston, which was non-stop and averaged practically 115 m.p.h. to get me there in one hour and forty-five minutes.

The visa process was equally slick though to invoke Baz Luhrmann again, there was not a free page in the passport where I could include a visa stamp and so I now have to pursue one of those too.

I walked the four and a half miles between Euston and the embassy in Vauxhall in the rain, something which would have been unwelcome during my working life in London, but which nowadays I view as an uncommon treat.

I spend the time on the 'Pendolino' train ~ which tilts ~ trying to figure out the best way of adapting a tilting rotor-head to the airframe of the TELEDRONE, should it prove necessary.

The laptop incidentally was not allowed in, and the local coffee-shop does better business in providing locker-storage than it does selling cappuccinos.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Lego, Legit.

This video if none other vindicates the outline of the geometry of the frame I've pursued (and patented, else attempted to) over the last two years albeit at a larger scale altogether. We may yet use the components listed in the video to compare the thrust available from the overlapped-8 used I our prototype as against a conventional X-8, which I have always suspected of generating rather less.

Won't be anything we get to do however this side of the GoFly challenge...

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Red Letter (Box) Day

Following the previous day's work (and with the paint still tacky) I drive the airframe South again, figuring that I've covered practically three thousand miles around various parts of the UK in pursuit of this project.

Good to see it coming together however, the air vehicle weighing in at just 32 kilos without the batteries, four of which packs would raise the total to around 42 kilos or a little over 90 pounds. And that could be improved somewhat with what I've learned over repeated efforts at construction.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Re: construction

Hurts to do so but I have to re-jig the airframe in light of the fact that the batteries are likely now to be fitted to the overhead in the avionics dome of my 'flying phone-box', which frees up the under-seat space which seemed the logical place for them at the outset.

This reduces the dimensions of the structural airframe to 1000 x 500 x 500 mm, and allows space for one seated passenger. Replacing the bottom-end of this frame will be a frangible foam box that will double as both a stand and 'crumple-zone'.

Among the top three companies to have raised venture capital recently has been Volocopter. People forget ~ all to easily ~ that they used a gym ball as a means of such undercarriage in their prototype.

But if to works, it works. I read recently of an earthworks engineer who was most proud of the fact his company had underpinned the ramps connecting a freeway with... polystyrene foam: in shear it's like custard but in compression it's a cheaper and lighter form of cement.

This chassis is thus down to 24 pounds from 35 today, a figure Weight Watchers would be proud of.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Years Re: solution

Left to conventional wisdom in aviation, aircraft like this (seen on Parlick Fell yesterday) would not exist. Though I'd tax returns to file, sometimes you have to get out and about for inspiration, because I'm sure I can do for the helicopter what these people did for the aeroplane.

Monday, December 30, 2019


After wrestling with how to support the drone overhead in a way that I could live with throughout 2020, since just after midnight on the 27th I have had a solution. It will involve reducing the size of the airframe seen above, which you will recall included a seat and a two-pack of batteries stored beneath.

This will also reduce its weight, which I was never happy with. I had guessed for the FAA that it was around 15 kilos and it turns out I was spot on... 15.40 kilos in fact, or precisely 34 pounds. I figure I can practically halve that and still produce a working solution.

The optimism of mis-spent youth?

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Baubles

I make a Christmas sojourn down the Welsh borders again to check on developments with the powered rig that will sit atop the 'phone-box' styled flight compartment ~ principally how the software and hardware hang together and spin those propellers. There remains debate as to whether it is worth persevering with the unconventional array of rotors seen here, but from my point of view there are good reasons for doing so. A conventional X-8 configuration would be more of an 'off-the-shelf' solution, but then I've never considered myself as overly conventional. Season's Greetings!