Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Downsizing plane

Over the past two months Foster and I have crashed our new flying wing airframe twice. Although the plane is made out of foam it still carries weight in the 5 amp battery and Pentax Optio camera on board. Unfortunately in our last crash our camera and battery catapulted forward towards the autopilot circuit board in the front of the plane and damaged some of the electrical components. Over the summer, in order to mitigate damage during crashes, Foster, Tucker, and I will downsize the weight of the plane by using a smaller flying wing and a battery with 1/5 of the amperage. These changes will downsize the plane weight to under 2 pounds. If we do crash again the decrease in weight should seriously mitigate any potential damage to on-board components.

In addition we will integrate a fail safe parachute into the plane which can be deployed during a crash. The 30 inch nylon parachute should decrease the plane's crash speed significantly. Here's a video which uses a similar parachute system.


  1. Shame chaps, the battery went right at the front BTW! How on earth did you balance it?? You must have been flying with an aft CG.

  2. Gary,

    Whoops! I meant to say that the camera catapulted through the back compartment and hit the autopilot. Our battery was in front..otherwise our CG would be quite off!

  3. Gary,

    We also realized that most of our missions have been under 3 minutes long. So, although the potential to fly 1 hour is cool, it's not really necessary. With that in mind we can ditch the heavy 5 amp lipo and use a 1600 maH 3 cell.