Balancing Act

I’ve no lift this week, so I would have had to go on the bike, but I spent all Saturday working and didn’t quite manage it. The weather forecast for this morning isn’t what I saw on the BBC last night either. When I got up it was bright and sunny, not overcast and cloudy as they forecast, plus the 6mph wind was a lot stronger. I’m going to have to consolidate all my weather forecasting tools and put them online now I can’t just watch it on the news any more.

After spending the week trying to fix my solarfilm iron, I’ve finally given it up and decided to buy a new one. First, I thought it was the oxidisation on the screw connections.


Half the ring is cleaned (shiny brass) and half isn’t (top).

Then, after I figured out how to get the handle off,  I checked out the diode rectifier.

The diode is fine, so by this point I had got down to the heating element at the very bottom of the iron. Running the continuity meter along the element wire I found the point where it had broken. This isn’t something that can be fixed because of the heat, so it would require a whole new piece of resistance wire. Now, while I was tempted to try replacing it with nichrome wire, common sense says spend £30 on a new one.



So, I’m now putting the autogyro back together as best I can, while not being able to solarfilm anything. This morning I’ve been working on the new blade.


It’s not easy to balance one of these blades, but I managed to get it to balance perfectly between two pins taped to some old 12v batteries. When I first made all four blades, I used a profile template cut out of 6mm plywood to make the airfoil. It took me a while to find this again, but it meant that I could run it up and down the span of the blade to get the profile identical to the other two remaining ones. Having cut the fibreglass hole reinforcements off of the broken blade, these are now ready to be glued in position once I work out where the mounting hole needs to be drilled. This is why I’ve been balancing the blade all morning, because the hole needs to go 1mm back from the balance point.

OK, that’s it for this week. I’ve not flown anything so far today, but I might have a go with a quadcopter indoors later on. This is what I should have done this morning, except that I should have put it in a ruck-sack and got the bike out. You never know, somebody might have let me fly a proper aeroplane?


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