That’s Busy Building Quadcopters…
It’s too windy to fly this morning, but I’m really busy with the preparations for the Drone Workshop we’re running next week. Yesterday I got an EVO F3 Brushed flight controller working with Cleanflight and the new Frsky XM16 receiver I bought. This meant flashing my Taranis with the new EU LBT firmware, which was an experience in itself. I spent most of the day getting it to bind, then the rest of the day getting the SBUS to work to the flight controller. Eventually I got it all working, so now I need a frame. After finishing up yesterday making improvements to our existing frames, today I’ve moved on to designing a new one for the FPV quadcopter from scratch. I want to use the bigger propellers for greater efficiency, so I need a bigger frame than we currently have. I’ve spent all day trying to build this in FreeCAD and seem to be getting nowhere fast at the moment. We’ll just have to see how that one turns out in the end.
Actually, I think it was snowing for a bit. Oh, well, it doesn’t matter anyway as I’m busy converting and fixing quadcopters for the next workshop in February.
I’ve been working on the Honey Bee model and managed to get the frame weight down to 13g, so it should fly well. The interesting part is where the air from the two front motors blows through the wing detail. On one of the failed prints I cut out some bigger holes which improved its stability in the hover. I might do a bit more tweaking around the aerodynamic flow to improve it a bit more, but it’s probably OK as it is. Then I’ve got 6 flight controllers to fix and about a dozen new motors. It’s been a long weekend with the soldering iron while the rain hammers down on the skylight.
It was a very grey day, but hardly a breath of wind for once, so I finally made my first flight of 2018. Actually, I flew somebody else’s Ares Taylorcraft UMX plane first, having not flown since mid December. It appears I can still do it as I had four flights with the RS352 and another with the Taylorcraft. That is until the transmitter started making a really shrill beeping sound. We couldn’t figure out what it meant but thought it a good idea to land as it’s probably a battery warning. Whatever it was, it was really annoying me.
There were a lot of people around today. First, there was a new E-Flite Valiant flown by the guy who had the Fly Baby lookalike and Opterra wing. Another guy and his son were getting back into the swing of flying after a break as they had a new foam Spitfire waiting back at home. They were flying a Carbon Cub, but I think it was having some balance issues. On the first flight, a perfect take off from the ground was followed by a vertical climb, then left hand circles always losing height until it came back down to earth. It seemed to be tail heavy, so, after some fixing, the next flight was a lot better. I’m not sure if they’ll fly the Spitfire next though. We also had two guys, both with Mavics and a lot of FPV kit. One had a ZOHD Dart while the other was managing to fly a small T-Tail foam pusher around for what seemed like ages. Another Dart also turned up while I was leaving and I also saw another guy with his son walking across carrying a DJI Phantom drone. Apparently, there were a lot of them around right after Christmas. Anyway, the final drone flyer turned up with another Mavic, but couldn’t fly it because it had decided to do a firmware update. Personally, that puts me off ever owning one of those things.
As you can see, I’ve started re-covering the Autogyro. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of silver blue, so this one is going to be red up to the canopy line and blue on the upper sections. I’m not sure I like the red all that much, but it should look like my Extra when I put a white line along the join. I really just want to get it flying again at this point, but I’m currently trying to figure out where the best place to source the 0.8mm fibreglass head plate from. I also need to make another blade, so I’m not quite there yet. However, once all those bits on the table have found their way back into the fuselage, then I’ll feel like I’m almost finished.
I can describe today’s weather very easily: bright and sunny, 20 mph wind, sub-zero wind chill. I’m staying inside as I’ve got loads of work to do anyway.
One thing I’ve been up to this week is 3D printing the new design for a “Honey Bee” quadcopter for the drones for good master class that we’re running in February. Later on I need to test out all the kit to see what’s left after the last lot of kids destroyed everything. The first flight of the honey bee will be the only flying I get up to today.