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Old Apr 11, 2001, 03:27 PM
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Santa Clara, CA, USA
Joined Sep 2000
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Black widow from KTEH sci-am show! Great tech cramp!!

I can't believe what Paul MacCready and his crew has done. We can only dream of something like this.

From guesswork, the Black widow has 6" diameter disc-shaped wing. Direct drive 1717 class motor with 2" prop. Three fins with about 1/4" x 3/4" rudder on each fin. A small 1/2" x 2" elevator. Cannot spot any servos or push-rods to control these surfaces. The motor is probably powered by 6 or 7 nihm cells. At 2min flight time, it is probably a 110mAH.

The camera is probably a 2.4Ghz radio with a seperate 8.4v 50mAH nimh pack.

Landings are rough on the fins. Launching with air pumps are still clumbersome.

Overall it is a very nice drone.

If only it flys slower for office space everyone can fly one of these in their cubicles.

Charles
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Old Apr 11, 2001, 04:08 PM
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Wakefield, MA
Joined Feb 2001
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No need for guesswork, take a look at the Aerovironment home page. After a little digging you'll find a link to a AIAA paper on the Black Widow. She's a foamy!

One interesting note, at these weights, direct drive was more efficient than geared. The weight of the gear and larger prop in addition to gear inefficiencies had more of an effect than the better prop efficiencies.
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Old Apr 11, 2001, 10:26 PM
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Santa Clara, CA, USA
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Thanks m73 for the Aerovironment site.
These are things that money can't buy.
Glad someone is throwing tons of money behind it so that one day we might benefit and ride the volume wave.
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Old Apr 11, 2001, 10:44 PM
Go get them Meg!
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Cabin 21...
Joined Jan 2001
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Matt Keenan of Aerovironment Dr. Macready's company) flies his indoor stuff almost every month at the indoor/freeflight night at Luther Burbank school in Burbank, California. The Black widow is a Vacu-formed polycarbonate shell now. You should see the little 5" Cassutt racer and the little foamie bipe he flies! I have product envy!!!
He's always been really friendly and informative whenever asked about the goodies.
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Old Apr 27, 2001, 11:44 AM
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Just met the folks at Aerovironment, what a really nice group of people. I think I met everyone that was in the PBS piece, kind of funny meeting people you've seen before. Matt has some unbelievably tiny stuff laying about, he is certainly a very prodigious designer/builder.

The rest of the shop is just as full of planes and wings, kind of cross between hobby shop, museum, and hanger. I suffered a bit of information overload trying to absorb everything I saw hanging from the ceiling. It was very clear to me that these guys (and ladies) thoroughly enjoyed the cutting edge work they do.
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Old Apr 27, 2001, 05:05 PM
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That is real fun. Getting paid for doing things that you normally only do it in your spare time and under your own shoe-lace budget.
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