Well, the day finally has come when I am ready to give up on this endeavor. My goal was to build a manned, internal combustion quad copter.  I will not say the project was a failure because I learned so much on my journey, but I just see other avenues which seem more promising.

Of note, from the project I did successfully build a variable pitch, bearingless rotor blade, and if that is of interest to anyone, watch my YouTube channel for build info, or contact me.  I would be glad to share what I learned.  

During the project I also came up with a redundant servo design which I believe will have applications in any high value vehicle. 

The last test I performed on my rotor system failed because of a fracture in my test fixture frame.  The belt also fell off.  I don't know which was cause and which was effect, but I just got to the point where the attraction of other ideas seemed to outweigh the benefit of this pursuit.  And I realize with my limited amount of time I'm spending on the project, and the number of obstacles ahead, it would be unlikely I would see a full scale vehicle in the air.

The "other" idea I saw which sealed the deal was Blackfly.

When I saw it, I instantly knew this was a really great idea.  So much better than many of the other manned multirotor vehicles.  So now, I'm following this development and it has gotten me shifted into looking at the primary obstacles of electric flight.  

Thanks to those of you who offered support, and useful comments through this process.


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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 14, 2018 at 8:14am

Love this post. This sort of candid reflection on what's working and what's too hard is an important part of the journey and too few people stop and take stock like this, and then take the time to share it with others. Thanks and keep us posted on your next project!

Comment by Randy Sonnicksen on November 14, 2018 at 9:21am

Chris, first time I've been affirmed for being a "quitter", but I'll take it.

Bitter-sweet to let go of this project.  I've got 6 lab notebooks full of sketches, calculations and ideas.

But as I said, I learned so much by DOING and those lessons are worth so much more than book learning. (I have a BS degree in Mech Eng.)  When you DO and FAIL, it forces you to go back and really examine whats going on at a very detailed level.  Like my glue joint failure.  But now, every time I design a part, I'm thinking about how the internal stresses are transferred from one member to another at a microscoping viewpoint.  A much different view than I had before.  And in this arena, optimization is key to making a viable project.  I'll keep you posted on new endeavors.


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