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Jul 14, 2013, 05:37 PM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
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Build Log

UFO aka FLYING SAUCER


Hello folks,
It's that time of the year in Florida when the sun is hot, the temp is high, and the humidity is something else. So it must be time to stay indoors and build. I feel a little scaled out designing and building scale models, so I decided to do something radically different than anything I have done before.

DESIGN, BUILD and FLY a "UFO" aka a "FLYING SAUCER".

A UFO has to be able to rise and descend vertically, be able to hover in one place, rotate or yaw 360 degrees while hovering, move forward, move backward, move right, move left, all from a hovering position or while it is in motion.

I have been researching the internet and the outernet and scratching my head. I think I have finally arrived at something that may just fly like a UFO and also look like one. Let's see where I end up with this baby.

Since no one has seen a real UFO, mine will be fully scale. I hereby decree that it should be the defacto standard for all scale UFOs

It is going to be 35" in dia and about 7" tall at the apex. My goal is to keep it between 3 to 4 lbs AUW.

I started with this block of foam and my CNC foam cutter.

Fahim
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Jul 14, 2013, 06:46 PM
M16 CIII/AR15/FN 2000 and PS90
Denile's Avatar
Cute idea but certainly not a plane. Belongs in quad forum.
Jul 15, 2013, 07:14 AM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denile
Cute idea but certainly not a plane. Belongs in quad forum.
I agree it is not really a plane and I was not aware there was a quad forum before I started here. But I have had 139 views in 12 hours which means people here are interested to see something new. If enough say I should move, I will. Many of the techniques I will use here apply equally well to planes and hopefully we can share them with each other.

Fahim
Last edited by awrightbrother; Jul 15, 2013 at 07:21 AM.
Jul 15, 2013, 07:34 AM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
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The electronics compartment is part of the original cut and is very spacious and should give me lots of room to place the parts and battery in there. It also helps save weight by removing as much foam as possible without weakening the structure.

Next I prep'ed and fitted the hatch lid. The lid is made by slicing the top of the center plug about 1" thick. It is retained by rare earth magnets and has holes for cooling as well as a place for for the aliens to peek out. Also a rabbit ear antenna can be installed as in the comic books which will serve as a handle to lift the lid.

Fahim
Jul 15, 2013, 07:44 AM
Build straight - Fly twisty
Whiskers's Avatar
It's foam.
It's scratchbuilt.
It's interesting.
I, for one, welcome it here.
Jul 15, 2013, 08:51 AM
Check Your Six.
RedBaronFPV's Avatar
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Jul 15, 2013, 09:21 AM
Father Francis, formerly Apach
I too like it. It is a scratch built foam project thus far, but....

After reading your comments on what you expect from your flying saucer, you may either want to rethink your idea or read up on propulsion systems. Those four hole, I assume are for motors? For an AUW of four pounds, you are going to need larger diameter props and lower kV motors. Perhaps you could make an octokopter, or hover craft using ducted fan systems.... Not saying you have a bad idea, and it is a nice looking saucer, just asking you to either explain your idea further or do the above..... Keep us posted....



ApachePilot
Jul 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApachePilot
I too like it. It is a scratch built foam project thus far, but....

After reading your comments on what you expect from your flying saucer, you may either want to rethink your idea or read up on propulsion systems. Those four hole, I assume are for motors? For an AUW of four pounds, you are going to need larger diameter props and lower kV motors. Perhaps you could make an octokopter, or hover craft using ducted fan systems.... Not saying you have a bad idea, and it is a nice looking saucer, just asking you to either explain your idea further or do the above..... Keep us posted....

ApachePilot
Excellent points ApachePilot. I am recycling 4 small motors, 25A ESCs, and 6x4x3 blade props from my B24 shown in the pic here, that has been retired.

Before cutting this shape, I had mounted the 4 motors on a block of foam, added weights to get to about 3.5 lbs. It was able to lift off at half throttle. I stayed about 4" above ground as I did not have any controls on that prototype. I figured that as long as it can lift off it can keep on going higher with more throttle.

If I have trouble then I have a few options.

1. Increase the cell count on the battery. On 3 cells each motor draws about 10A at FT and the ESCs are 25A so I will be OK there. This adds more battery weight but if the thrust gained is more than the added weight then we are winning.

2. Replace the props with 2 blade 6x4 APC. They are more effcient, provide more thrust, and draw less current. No added weight.

3. Upgrade the motors to the next size up. more thrust, slightly more weight.

I elected against going EDF because they are much less efficient than props, need lot more power and battery, and add weight of the shrouds that serve no purpose here.

This is more of an imagineering project than an engineering one. So keep the thoughts coming.

Fahim
Jul 15, 2013, 12:00 PM
Father Francis, formerly Apach
Ideas.... Well this is your project...

Ok, here are a few ideas.....so take them with a grain of salt.

So you have four outrunner motors with props. 4 25A esc and such. Motors will lift 3.5 lbs at around 50% throttle.
What clearances do you have between the prop tip and the wall of your cut outs? You want to keep this measurement minimal. You may want to get 1/64 ply or similar to protect inner wall of prop cutouts, adhere with thin layer of gorilla glue and wipe away access with rubbing alcohol. Shave weight where ever you can without messing with structural stability. (Ideas only) " Cut saucer in half like it were a bisquit and hollow out some material. This would also allow you a chance to run your four legs for motor mounting and esc's remember to cut hole for esc cooling and maybe cover with a patch of nylon door screen material. This will also allow you the opportunity to install wire for led lighting if you chose to go that way in the future....The two halves could be reassembled using high power rare earth magnets or similar so you have the option of parting them later or if needed"

With anything that has to lift of vertical, weight/gravity and efficiency of propulsion is always the most important factors. If you shave some weight like I suggested, you may be able to lift off at a much lower throttle setting, electronics could run much cooler and flight times could potentially increase. I have lot's of ideas, but this is your project, I'm just an interested by-stander..... Good luck with the build, I'll keep checking in....


ApachePilot
Jul 15, 2013, 12:17 PM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApachePilot
Ideas.... Well this is your project...

Ok, here are a few ideas.....so take them with a grain of salt.

So you have four outrunner motors with props. 4 25A esc and such. Motors will lift 3.5 lbs at around 50% throttle.
What clearances do you have between the prop tip and the wall of your cut outs? You want to keep this measurement minimal. You may want to get 1/64 ply or similar to protect inner wall of prop cutouts, adhere with thin layer of gorilla glue and wipe away access with rubbing alcohol. Shave weight where ever you can without messing with structural stability. (Ideas only) " Cut saucer in half like it were a bisquit and hollow out some material. This would also allow you a chance to run your four legs for motor mounting and esc's remember to cut hole for esc cooling and maybe cover with a patch of nylon door screen material. This will also allow you the opportunity to install wire for led lighting if you chose to go that way in the future....The two halves could be reassembled using high power rare earth magnets or similar so you have the option of parting them later or if needed"

With anything that has to lift of vertical, weight/gravity and efficiency of propulsion is always the most important factors. If you shave some weight like I suggested, you may be able to lift off at a much lower throttle setting, electronics could run much cooler and flight times could potentially increase. I have lot's of ideas, but this is your project, I'm just an interested by-stander..... Good luck with the build, I'll keep checking in....


ApachePilot
Great ideas ApachePilot.!!!
No this not just my project, it is our project. When done successfully, I will kit it, like I do with all my designs, and others can build and have fun doing more new and creative add ons and mods.
Fahim
Jul 15, 2013, 12:23 PM
Father Francis, formerly Apach
Quote:
Originally Posted by awrightbrother
Great ideas ApachePilot.!!!
No this not just my project, it is our project. When done successfully, I will kit it, like I do with all my designs, and others can build and have fun doing more new and creative add ons and mods.
Fahim
Well then, if (we) can get things all worked out, I'd like to buy a kit from you. I have a truck load of ideas.....and a lot of experience with planks, heli's and multi-rotor aircraft. there are a multitude of things that could be done.....

So in which direction do you see yourself going with this project thus far?


ApachePilot
Jul 15, 2013, 01:24 PM
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awrightbrother's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApachePilot
Well then, if (we) can get things all worked out, I'd like to buy a kit from you. I have a truck load of ideas.....and a lot of experience with planks, heli's and multi-rotor aircraft. there are a multitude of things that could be done.....

So in which direction do you see yourself going with this project thus far?


ApachePilot
Stay tuned. Much more to come.
Fahim
Jul 15, 2013, 02:07 PM
Zen in the art of foam
djacob7's Avatar
You're going to need a 3-axis gyro for this quad to fly. Good luck!
Jul 15, 2013, 02:34 PM
Father Francis, formerly Apach
Quote:
Originally Posted by djacob7
You're going to need a 3-axis gyro for this quad to fly. Good luck!
This thing screams Naza or similar all over it. FPV/UHF/LED and a silencing technique I have been working on.....lol.


ApachePilot
Jul 15, 2013, 04:28 PM
Zen in the art of foam
djacob7's Avatar
Here's a video of something quite similar. Note that he tilts one propeller for forward flight.
AirShip Endurance VTOL, RC model, project AirShip Technologies Group (ATG) (2 min 12 sec)


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