My initial vision started with a disc like membrane that held the 'lighter-than-air' gas directly in the center of this blimpcopter - disc shape for an aerodynamic body.
I than protruded four bars from this disc (about the length of the disc's largest radius) to have the motor and propeller attached at each end (quadcopters style)
The blimpcopter works by having a (balanced/close to balanced) lift-to-weight ratio. a.k.a the lifting gas provides enough lift for at least the following basics:
- Disc membrane
- Motor x4
- Propellers x4
- And of course autopilot
The four motors can either provide enough lift to accommodate the negative balance to achieve flight or if a full balanced craft is constructed the four motors will only need to be turned on when in-flight direction/speed change is needed. This blimpcopter will hopefully combine the positives of known aircrafts; which is long duration flights (perfect for surveillance, poor man’s satellite and monitoring) and power, speed and control.
Blimpcopter = Primitive Flying Saucer???
This is what I have so far:
I am currently designing a couple of prototypes in both AutoCAD and Catia. The disc membrane is most likely be constructed using a weather balloon 8' in diameter. Roughly 7500 Liters of helium will be used and give us a total of 15-17lbs of playing field.
The disc shape could be made by using a small PVC pipe wrapped to make a circle (hula-hoop) and placed on top of the weather balloon. Lightweight rope/string will then be attached at 4 points on the top circle and pulled down to the 4 quadcopters-bars which would have to be mounted under the weather balloon to provide the clamping we need on the weather balloon to make the disc shape.
Electronics/battery would have to be mounted under the four quadcopters-bars.
Other prototypes include using 4 smaller weather balloons that will straddle two long intersecting bars with the quadcopters set-up on each end of the bars.
Any feedback/research/help brought forward would be perfect, if you guys have seen or heard anything like this please send me a link I would looooove to see how it is done.
Sounds like a fun project.
proto2 kinda reminds me of a project we helped with a few year back.
Your project reminds me of this as well...