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sectrix's blog
Archive for January, 2008
Posted by sectrix | Jan 31, 2008 @ 09:18 PM | 1,848 Views
Took notes on chapters two and three. These first three chapters were on the basics of motion, lift, drag and the boundary layer. I now know much on how to calculate and think about the basics of a planes motion and the forces acting on it in flight. The next chapter is called 'Basic Model Performance Problems' and I assume it will teach me how to fit these ideas together into designing an actual plane.This seems likely because the chapters after that are about more specific topics, such as reducing vortex-induced drag, choosing an airfoil and things like that. And it is as long as the previous three combined. In the end this book will only teach me about the theory of how model planes work, and not actually about how to build one. For that I found a apparently great series of books by Harry Higley that is all about the practical side of designing and building model aircraft. So I have purchased his 'Master Modeler', 'Harry's Notebook' and 'All About Engines' books. I'll post something here after reading through one.

My organization of this project has changed somewhat. Also, after going through some of the new resources I found recently, and some more thought, I have also more or less decided what'll be included.

Airframe-Frame and gear.
Learning about how to design this right now. Will be single engine and slow and stable; easy to fly. I hope to also make it able to take a large payload for any sort of future projects. I'd also like to include an external refueling...Continue Reading
Posted by sectrix | Jan 15, 2008 @ 11:01 PM | 2,091 Views
After research and discussion on the forums, I've learned a few things.

First, the laws on UAV operation in the US seem to be a gray area. I was technically correct about my previous assumption, but as someone here pointed out AC 91-57 is, after all an advisory circular. A suggestion of rules to follow, encouraging voluntary compliance. I will still be complying with 91-57s rules, but not with the added mention of line-of-sight operation in the other document. I believe in the end, should the law come down, it will be noted that the plane was not hurting anyone or anything, it was done in the spirit of academic pursuit, and I made it as safe as I reasonably could, and will be exonerated from any penalties. I hope.

Further research into the electronics of the plane have been made and I've found that my video system is hideously expensive. I have found other systems of equal or greater quality for much less; future hobbies, new generation hobbies, etc. I am also debating the need for a full telemetry system. It is very expensive and just another radio signal my plane must emit. If it is possible to use the control radios bi-directionally I may be able reduce the radio links needed to two. I have discovered 'OHD's that post some metric data into the video. Not as complete or as accurate as I want, but perhaps all I need. Also there is the question of video display; if I should use a simple LCD panel or a set of goggles. Goggles preclude a panel of switches for things...Continue Reading