To Fly or Not To Fly?

I decided on not flying as the wind yesterday was gale force and, while today’s forecast was for only 10-12 mph, I only have the flying wing which needs calmer conditions. This is currently looking like a good decision as it does look very windy outside and lots of grey fluffy rain clouds are whizzing across the sky. It’s one of those Sunday mornings which are really annoying because one minute it looks like a bright sunny day, perfect for flying, then the clouds get blown in and the wind really picks up for a bit. Also, maybe I’m just getting lazy as I’ve only got the bike this week and the flying wing in the rucksack? It’s a nightmare trying to extract the bike from the shed and the cycle over to the flying field is quite an effort. It really is looking too windy though, so it’s probably better to spend the morning on the autogyro’s blades.

Over the past week I’ve produced four profiled blades for the ATOM project using the blanks I made last weekend.

That's what I call a kit of parts.

That’s what I call a kit of parts.

I’ve found that it takes about an hour to shape the profile on each blade from the square blanks. The profiles are drawn onto the ends of the blanks using felt tip pen, then the excess wood is removed using a plane. Final sanding is using my Perma-Grit file and a tool I made up to get the profiles consistent. You can just see it in the picture underneath the “ATOM Special” logo. I took some 6mm Ply and cut the blade profile into it, then stuck some 120 grade wet and dry paper into the profile using double sided flooring tape, allowing for the extra thickness in the profile I cut. It seems to work very well as both a guide to show any imperfections along the length of the blade and as a sanding block to remove the excess.

Viewed from the front, you can just see the profile on the blades.

Viewed from the front, you can just see the profile on the blades.

Close up of the hardware.

Close up of the hardware.

I’m on to the blade balancing and hole finding part now. Once the head has been modified and installed and all the servos connected up, it should all go together fairly easily. I still have to make the motor mount, cowl and canopy though.

 

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