Flying 'thing'

3689397319?profile=originalHi all, its wonderful to see wonderful creations... I've been envious (not jealous :) ) of many a post now, and decided to get even! Unfortunately here (Nairobi, Kenya) the electronics are limiting, no access to good airframes save from importing, leaving us enthusiasts disappointed, so I have decided to start with an airframe, then build the logic to fly it using a small enough PC motherboard, details on this later....


The challenge: Can one build a UAV with materials available in one's backyard?


Below is the preliminary airframe structure. Here I am using PVC tubing (Yes, I said PVC, my payload is no more than a kilo :) ) and cut out PVC sheet to brace the wing and form an aerofoil shape. Notice the top-most tubing has wider diameter than the one to the lower part of the image...



I used PVC glue and used bottles to hold it in place to dry... very sophisticated :D



To keep it light enough, I have decided to fill the gaps between the PVC sheet with a nylon bag, glued and stuck in place with PVC glue and duct tape :D ... below see it balanced...


The tail section is screwed to the rest of the plane so that it can fit in the van for , below....


3689397460?profile=originalNotice my methodology, the "Close enough (CE)" methodology... and all my coding employs "Code Like Hell (CLH)" methodology, I do get things done though :)....


Here are a few photos of the "thing" thus far...


3689397340?profile=originalI will use something for the nose to be more workable ( I believe the term is aerodynamic but this goes against my methodology :) )


some landing gear....


3689397319?profile=original... yes from my daughter's baby stroller....


Tomorrow, I will test the "thing" to see if it can attain lift with some rigged control surfaces before I continue and report back here at, say, 0800!  Good night one and all....

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  • HaHa,

    Actually not so may lions as enemy bullets in the late 60's!

  • Nice work Moses -  Very inspiring stuff!
  • David the though of making a similar bamboo one has crossed my mind severally :) !! The thought of landing in some remote area with wild animals, say lions, also seems to sober me up!

    Gerry, great ideas! The winch launch's a great idea! Yesterday I towed the "thing" with a van, and needless to say I liked the results. I will post the video shortly.

    Actually balloon launching is pretty great too :D

  • Dan, I agree. Wii components and a TI launchpad are a very affordable way to go. IE:


    A lot of people solder to the board directly to the wii components in order to save weight. After toasting a $10 Wii MP I prefer to just use the OEM connectors.


    For propulsion, you might look in to a pulse jet. It won't sneak up on any poachers, but it may send them running for hearing protection.


    Cost of manufacture is low, easily scaled to the necessary dimensions, and good energy density without the cost of LiPoly.


    If the pulse jet is too loud, there's been some talk about balloon launched gliders. Helium is expensive, but Hyrdogen is cheap and so are latex condoms. That cost savings comes at significant danger to life and limb so I can't recommend it to anyone in good conscience.


    Tow hook launch is an alternative with no consumables. Could be accomplished with a large counterweight and through the use of gears or pulleys.





  • Howdy Moses,

    I like your spirit. Reminds me of my Vietnam soldiering days when I thought I might build a real plane out of bamboo, ponchos and a jeep engine and fly out of there! Perhaps a model is safer especially if you are not going to be shot at tomorrow.

    Good luck!

  • Wow Dan, this is greatly appreciated will send you a private message right away!!!

    Cool post Petr... I was trying for a symmetrical aerofoil, will post close-up pictures later, it forms a nice double convex...
  • Hi Moses,

    You mentioned the electronics are hard to get over there, and it's true that quadcopters tend to use some expensive boards.I have a few boards lying around uselessly, that may be of interest to you (nothing really special, an Arduino clone, a LunchPad from TI, maybe a wii motion plus, etc. ...).

    If you think you could use them, do send me a private message with an address where to post them to or some other details, and we'll take it from there.



  • Looking to your wing profile, it seems to me it shall be more flat on the bottom side to create an "aerodynamic lift". Look at this term on internet ie. here. It can help you a lot. Its the principal point.
  • Hi Whooper, great stuff! I will definitely contact him, I need all the help I can get and it will be interesting to see someone here with a similar interest! Asante!
  • Wow Gary this is very helpful thanks!
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