Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Lunar Lander

Pushing seven hundred blogposts since commencing this venture I was rather looking forward ~ as the CEO of BP once ill-advisedly said ~ to getting my life back. Sadly, now that this thing is flying that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Despite a near-three-month delay due weather and new premises, turns out the fixes required following prior failure did the job viz. reduced weight and increased rigidity.

Like the arrangement too: practical and compact when it comes to transporting and deploying in the (waterlogged) field.

Two years tho' since the previous prototype flew at this same site, so we've to stick to this design else we'll run out of life prior commercial entry.

Task now in order is to crop the footage and post online prior to a half-day's filming for aerial footage that we can include on the website so that it looks less pedestrian.

Thereafter in '24 the object will be to scale from half- to full- prior upping the weight of the payload gradually toward my own... so no pies for me at Christmas.

For the fliterati out there, just 6kW of installed power turning 22" props is raising a gross weight which frankly I've forgotten, tho' was somewhat under the 20kg target. 

Control config is X-8 and chances are this is the first time a drone overhead and another at ground level has flown an upright passenger. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Oscairs

And the award for the most spectacular unmanned air vehicle goes to... Aibot.

'On behalf of Californians everywhere, and not least California, I am delighted to accept this award. We have proven that in the field of UAM, the potential that AI brings to curtains is only just beginning to be realised. Our investors recognise that this is a pair fit for the Oscars, of which we can all be truly proud. If nothing else it shows the world what using AI as your TLD can achieve.'

Monday, November 20, 2023

La Merde De Taureau

The automobile is doubtless a most useful vehicle, but one is not likely to lavish upon it the fond attention he bestows upon his horse or dog. A man may admire his own carriage, but his affections are reserved for the horse that draws it and the dog that follows it.

New York Times 1908

Rail travel at high speed is not possible as passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.

Dionysius Lardner 1830

It is apparent to me the possibilities of the airplane, that two or three years ago were thought to hold a solution...  have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere.

Thomas Edison 1895

A totally useless, hyper-polluting gimmick for a few ultra-privileged people in a hurry.

Deputy Mayor of Paris 2023

That final quote relates to plans to introduce electrical air taxis at the Olympic Games in Paris next year. Politicians rarely grasp science, our own Prime Minister overseeing the Covid pandemic on the basis of having given it up at fifteen.

What is significant about the Deputy Mayoral comment ~ in view of his responsibility for ecological matters ~ is that automobiles and airplanes were considered playthings for the rich too. Had they not been invented though, Dan Lest would neither be ferried in a limousine nor benefit from flights on business or holidays.

It is therefore a quote that could only emerge from a Europe far up it's own backside.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Fan Club

The best hope of developing eVTOL lies in diversifying its core technologies, not least because it has derived any number of them from developments elsewhere. Whisper Aero is thus reaching out for partners wishing to manufacture leaf-blowers instead.

While it may smack of Clive Sinclair's C5 being powered by washing-machine motors, it is not as bizarre as you may think. Leaf-blowers are banned in a number of areas in the US for being too noisy, whereas Whisper's is not. And the first garden vacuum in the UK was built by an aerospace engineer: he didn't want anything else being sucked up beside leaves, and turned to the Magnus effect employed in NOTAR helicopters to eliminate the tail-rotor.

I shan't be recommending fans for the the 'DRONE, however, for as yet they cost upto ten times more than a motor and propeller producing the same amount of thrust.

The pic shows Whisper's own demonstrator... designed and built in just eight months.

Friday, October 20, 2023


Occasionally browse eVTOL videos and this one stands out for garnering rather more views altogether than most others, in view of the fact that it folds its wings during the transition to a hover. What is remarkable about what PteroDynamics has done is that it is among the few configurations that reflects what nature does best whether among birds and insects.

It is worth considering, for why do species evolve towards folding wings whilst aircraft ~ with the exception of a number of carrier-borne types in the past ~ do not? Almost certainly it has to do with the practicalities of manoeuvring on the ground, where (in view of the energy input required to fly) most such species spend much of their time.

To date folding wings have been structurally difficult to arrange and have added a deal of weight to the finished object, but with computer-aided design and the flexibility of installing multiple electric motors this is set to change. Undoubtedly, therefore, what attracts defence budgets to this notion is the facts the footprint lends itself to ready storage and deployment in the field...

... a notion fuelling my own obsession with producing the lightest possible foot-print.

The final assembly and test-flying of the sub-scale TELEDRONE is meanwhile delayed until the start of next month, due engineer-come-test-pilot moving to new premises. Console yourselves with the fact that nothing worthwhile was ever achieved in a hurry.

Sunday, October 15, 2023


The 'Spinner' is described on the website as revolutionary, and is so only to the extent that its propellers go round. It is though obligatory nowadays for every eVTOL designer to say as much nowadays, whereas a generation ago you'd design a Comet or Boeing 747 and be lucky if anyone else said so.

You could argue that the German brothers who rigged a bathtub to fly were in fact the first to settle on the layout, and prior Jetson too. It does though show how the effort to accommodate seated passengers is a greater ergonomic challenge than standing them in a flying phone-booth. The 'one-size fits all' model is used in every automobile and airliner, but usually accompanied by adjustable seat, steering column and pedals.

The quandary is illustrated by Opener's Part 103 offering, seen here below. More work than attends any other has been afforded Opener's various prototypes, but I may not be alone in feeling this one looks like something that needs eradicating with a medical shampoo?