Saturday, January 16, 2021

Post Pandemic

Decisions cure depression, said Proust, and after ample consideration this is to be the focus of attention in 2021... and no further posts here until I've an airframe to suit.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Scoot... Er?

The Metropolitan Police in London have called for e-scooters to be eliminated, and fined over three hundred users or confiscated their vehicles. The work I do is designed to motivate air vehicles or vessels by the most efficient means possible, so it's worth commenting upon.

Currently (excusing the pun), electric cars produce more carbon in their manufacture than they save during their lifetime, and only the better-off can afford their taxpayer-subsidised purchase (and in many cases, charge points).

Should you buy either a two-ton Range Rover or one such electrical vehicle of sizeable tonnage, the Met Police would wholly approve, killing as they do around five people a day on the UK's roads whilst maximising the ecological damage to the planet.

Number killed to date in the UK from use of an e-scooter?


There is no more efficient way of moving around the urban environment than possibly walking, and when so-called advanced economies promote the use of every possible motorised alternative (including buses and trains emptier than ever during our regular pandemics), you know that the world is f*cked.

Am reading The Intelligence Trap, which describes how decidedly intelligent people so often make dumb-ass decisions. By extension, so can seeming advanced civilisations.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Common Carriage?

Strikes me there's nothing to choose from anyhow between standing and seated forms of carriage, as both can be slotted between a pair of quadcopters with little or no modification required to the outline of the airframe. The one on the left will suit me made up of 1.75 metre stanchions, whilst the seat will fit with four at 1.25 metres instead. I come most recently from flying Airbus too, who built two different airliners on the same wing and fuselage in the shape of the twin A330 and four-engined A340.

Increasingly in the face of a pandemic of ever-increasing intensity the temptation is to design the one vehicle that I would want myself, and that would probably be the first of the two. Principally this is because with the drones arranged parallel to the airflow as opposed to transversely, then: the skids are easier to fit; conventional helicopter controls are the more easily accommodated; there's a natural home for the battery-pack in the undersea area; and if the lower quad as well as the upper is to feature a flight-controller then this can be located here too.

More later, but much later in the current circumstances, out.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Draft Design for 2021

From hereon in its design and build, with the emphasis moreso on the former in view of the third nationwide Coronaviral lockdown in the UK. Thus we begin with an outline drawn to scale, for the look-and-feel: And I looked, and saw that it was good.

A word on those dimensions first off, the one missing being the uprights at 1750mm with the break at the elbow-rests being at 1000mm (that being broadly customised to my own bodily dimensions).

Regards the lateral extent, this is optimised for both the trailer I've been using ~ the one-by-two metre flatbed ~ but it also reflects the sheet-metal suppliers stock unit that measures the same.

An optimal solution would be to increase the lateral measure to four feet, to suit the readily-available Imperial sheet metal stock measuring four feet by eight. This has the advantage that it squares off the foot-print of the drone, to suit conventional practise.

The passenger booth is formed of 1.50mm aluminium sheet to which 25mm foam is bonded as a core. The sheet itself is of a single piece, folded to form the sides. This material is fitted around a space-frame that outlines a vertical box-structure, likely to be of 2.0mm or ten-gauge square alloy section (or else carbon fibre at a thickness to be determined).

The deck and ceiling are of double-sided sandwich construction instead, fixed like the booth with 4.0mm x 12mm pop rivets, and cross-spars terminate in threaded stubs so that the "wing" braces (of material and size to be determined) can be connected using wing-nuts. By these means, upper and lower drones may be connected and the booth sandwiched between the two. The latter is fixed by an internal flange top and bottom formed of 25mm angle alloy.

Note that the booth can be turned through ninety degrees so as to operate in a sense perpendicular to that shown, in which event longitudinal skids might be attached to the ends of the cantilevered arms of the lower drone. For operation by previous means as illustrated, cone-spring undercarriage legs are fitted instead to coincide with each of the motor axes.

The proof-of-concept as outlined is designed around 125-amp ESCs and T-motor U13ii power-units, to which 32" carbon-fibre propellers are attached. The lower power-units are programmed initially for 'collective' lift alone, and the upper programmed for flight control or 'cyclic'. The vehicle is thus optimised for operations near to ground-effect, although replacement of the upper drone with an X-8 'over-and-under' configuration addresses the engine-failure case effectively, so as to allow for operations at altitude.

In either event, the lower set of propellers might be stopped for their protection in the take-off and landing phases (and aligned where necessary with the landing skids).

In the shape and form seen and at a weight of around 35-40kg without battery-packs, the airframe is intended for remote-controlled operation with and without a dummy under the 'large model' exemption provided by the UK CAA (expected to be reinstated shortly at the time of writing).

The design itself is aimed at the autonomous delivery of human passengers, although it is readily adaptable to piloted control using fly-by-wire methodology.

A commercial variant might be fitted with a hinged door coincident with the height of the side-panels, included subsequently within a windowed compartment of broader outline more consistent with the original concept outlining a 'flying phone-box'.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Re: Vision

I do have to get this working in some way shape or form in 2021 and to the original draft, with that uppermost drone relocated above head height. What are resolutions after all, if not for changing?

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Re: Solution

As the disaster that was 2020 concludes and a barely-improved 2021 barely is set to unfold, it's as good a time as any to reflect on the one and speculate on the possible during the other.

The GoFly challenge, good as it was, appears a bridge to far. If you've a project that's fully-funded, then there might be an argument to throw some tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of the chance of a million. However the original X-prize (for reusable spacecraft) was pursued by experimental types which were broadly speaking one and the same as the eventual product.

Nonetheless the dimensions required for the GoFly challenge (that don't include those of the operator) do not work in favour of designs that include the operator within their outline.

In simple terms, this is like a motor-race whose height restriction disallows all but the drop-head version of each car despite the fact that sales of the saloon far outweigh it.

Given the time, energy and funding required, therefore, it would be better to devote the new year to pursuit of an airframe most likely to appeal to the broadest market, given all that we have learned over the previous two.

And this is more likely to look something like that above, but I'm not going to say why. The reason for this is that during that period when Volocopter was transformed from a flying yoga-ball to a saleable product, they voluntarily went into a form of lockdown.

What I will say is that it's not overly different from everything else I've put together in recent history, although I appreciate that every variation of the original theme is likely to fuel scepticism.

But if your'e sceptical ~ which is humankind's default setting ~ then remember this:

The first successful mass-produced car was Old's "Mobile" and it was one of eleven different prototypes. Arguably nowadays the most proven eVTOL out there (and still as far off certified flight as everything else) is the BlackFly, which is one of eleven models and coincidentally the result of eleven years of development.

Finally, if it has a competitor in terms of flight-time, then that would have to be the recently-retired Flyer program from Kitty Hawk. And this itself was the last of ONE HUNDRED AND eleven prototype builds. Which in turn is nothing... the vacuum-cleaner that made the UK's richest industrialist cost him five thousand experimental types.

None of this is known to the world at large, who imagine products to have dropped from the cloud fully-formed.

Blessed are the consumers, for they will inherent the Earth.

And as for me, should I die in 2021 then I die trying.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Been around IP for decades but here's a service I like that's designed for protection of designs like these two above. The website itself was put together in 2005 by a pair of web authors who were tiring of pitching work to clients that subsequently used the material by using other agencies to undercut the quote.

As we move into a new year however I have to leverage the versatility of the design by focusing on an upright model for a standing operator, or else a sedan including a seat.

Probably the best way to do this is to canvas the opinion of prospective purchasers, on condition they back that opinion with a cash deposit to confirm the preference.

Nothing focuses the mind like having to put your money where your mouth is...