ObliX: multirotor-blimp-drone - RC Groups
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Jul 20, 2014, 01:46 PM
Registered User
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ObliX: multirotor-blimp-drone


I am very happy to present ObliX to you! ObliX is my multirotor-blimp-drone idea, which will hopefully combine the flight time endurance of a blimp with the agile dynamics of a quadcopter.

The largest dimension of this hybrid-blimp would measure about 3 m and the lifting force of the helium volume would be close to 3 kg.
Starting to build ObliX, I decided to make a development blog about it. To be able to present and discuss the progress in just the way I like, I thought it might be a good idea to make my own website for it. So here it goes:
http://danielwibbing.wix.com/oblix

It would be awesome if you would have a look at my website and help me develop ObliX with your comments. Maybe you would even like to become a member of the development team? Go ahead and contact me!
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Jul 20, 2014, 10:44 PM
Potential Future Has-Been
I'm working on one also. I have a small one flying already, which is very low volume and not necessary to fill it with helium (you'd only gain 70g of lift by using helium).

This is a commercial venture though, so I'm not saying anything more about it.
Jul 21, 2014, 09:59 AM
I just wanna fly, fly, fly
Brainstorm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcdano
I am very happy to present ObliX to you! ObliX is my multirotor-blimp-drone idea, which will hopefully combine the flight time endurance of a blimp with the agile dynamics of a quadcopter.
Fascinating concept, rcdano! I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyronaught
I'm working on one also. I have a small one flying already, which is very low volume and not necessary to fill it with helium (you'd only gain 70g of lift by using helium).

This is a commercial venture though, so I'm not saying anything more about it.
pyronaught: It's much easier to manufacture, distribute, and use a small RC craft. So what you have in mind makes obvious sense for a commercial venture. Look forward to hearing about your progress as well!

PS: Any updates on your thermal airship?
Jul 21, 2014, 12:07 PM
Potential Future Has-Been
The thermal airship was so sensitive to wind and difficult to fly that I never play with it. The project was a success and the final design was a pretty good one, but I just don't find myself ever using it for anything. It has been sitting in storage and the batteries are all puffed at this point, thus requiring more money just to fly it again.

The flying saucers, on the other hand, are much cheaper, faster to make, easy to transport and store, cheap to inflate and easy to fly. I'm working on some high output light systems for them too for night flying, which is where it REALLY gets fun
Jul 21, 2014, 12:37 PM
I just wanna fly, fly, fly
Brainstorm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyronaught
The thermal airship was so sensitive to wind and difficult to fly that I never play with it. The project was a success and the final design was a pretty good one, but I just don't find myself ever using it for anything. It has been sitting in storage and the batteries are all puffed at this point, thus requiring more money just to fly it again.
Having flown in hot air airships in the past (not my own), and considered building my own, I have great respect for the work you completed. By the same token, I fully appreciate the operational limitations you mention. As they say: "It's easy to make a small fortune with airships, provided that you start with a large fortune."

Quote:
The flying saucers, on the other hand, are much cheaper, faster to make, easy to transport and store, cheap to inflate and easy to fly. I'm working on some high output light systems for them too for night flying, which is where it REALLY gets fun
That is exactly why I've ended up flying quadrocopters. Much easier to build, maintain, and fly in my backyard, instead of having to line up crew and lug heavy gear out to the countryside. Manageable costs and logistics are critical for sustainability. I look forward to your night-flying, light-up, hybrid design!
Jul 21, 2014, 12:46 PM
Registered User
pyronaught:
Quote:
The flying saucers, on the other hand, are much cheaper, faster to make, easy to transport and store, cheap to inflate and easy to fly. I'm working on some high output light systems for them too for night flying, which is where it REALLY gets fun
What kind of flying saucers do you mean? Could you provide a link or image? That would be really interesting.
Jul 21, 2014, 01:54 PM
Potential Future Has-Been
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainstorm
That is exactly why I've ended up flying quadrocopters. Much easier to build, maintain, and fly in my backyard, instead of having to line up crew and lug heavy gear out to the countryside. Manageable costs and logistics are critical for sustainability. I look forward to your night-flying, light-up, hybrid design!
I think one of the nice things about quad copters is the simplicity, low cost of construction and the ease of scratch building one. Using only a $20 controller board and all off-the-shelf RC components you can be up and running with no servos involved. Thingiverse.com is loaded with CAD files that allow you to 3D print your own air frames too. It's probably the only RC aircraft that can be 3D printed like that. I bet if you were able to look at the numbers there are probably more multi-rotor copters flying now than any other kind of RC aircraft.
Jul 21, 2014, 02:02 PM
Potential Future Has-Been
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcdano
pyronaught:

What kind of flying saucers do you mean? Could you provide a link or image? That would be really interesting.
I can't post any details about my current project, but I did start a thread here some years ago about my initial attempts at a lenticular blimp type craft:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1089455

It's the same basic idea you and a few dozen other people on the internet have had over the years. Building an operational version of one of these is more difficult than you might think however, as you will find.
Jul 21, 2014, 03:36 PM
Registered User
pyronaught:
just read some lines and looked at the amazing pictures of your story from 2009. Very impressive! Is there a chance to see the video again? Did I understand it correctly that your blimp was continuously spinning around its vertical axis?

Brainstorm and pyronaught:
I agree that quadcopters are more fun to fly for a hobby. But I think when it comes to problem solving where flight time and range are important, blimps have unbeatable advantages.
Jul 23, 2014, 01:22 AM
Potential Future Has-Been
One thing these saucers have over a quad is that you can lose a motor and still be able to fly it back under control. Most quads I've seen lose a motor in videos just tumble to the ground and sustain damage. Since my saucers also have no electronics on the bottom of the envelope (everything is attached to the outer rim frame), they would also be able to land on water or touch-and-go off the surface.
Jul 27, 2014, 01:58 PM
Registered User
There is a tiny new blog post about the paper envelope available now on:
http://danielwibbing.wix.com/oblix#!blog/c1i69
Nov 28, 2014, 04:56 PM
Registered User

redesign: ObliX_neo


We have been silently working for a long time and now it is here:
A complete redesign of ObliX!
http://danielwibbing.wix.com/oblix
Since I posted the first design for our airship, many experts have contacted me, explaining to me why a lenticular shaped airship would not have very desirable flight characteristics. Their main concerns were:

Lenticular airships are not stable concerning their pitch angle and straight flight (Munk Moment). Consequently the airship will easily pitch up and down.
An oblate spheroid does not have a defined break-off point for the air stream. Instead the break-off point changes position frequently causing a Kármán vortex street, trying to throw the airship off course.
Lenticular airships have a big coefficient of drag.

I especially want to say thank you to Johannes Eißing, Andreas Burkart, Peter Hanickel and Jodoc Elmiger for their valuable advice. Based on their feedback and calculation tools, we started again from scratch. After numerous air-flow simulations, this is the first rough design for the new version "ObliX_neo" we ended up with. The CAD model on ObliX’s homepage will be given a lot more details soon.

We would be very happy to get your advice, questions or any other comments to be able to improve this new design.
Maybe you would even like to join our team? Then feel free to contact me:
http://danielwibbing.wix.com/oblix#!contact/ca3v

Best regards,
Daniel


P.S. Have a look at our outdoor test flight with the silent_runner:
http://danielwibbing.wix.com/oblix#!...2-F69F66010582
Nov 28, 2014, 06:52 PM
Simple, Easy, Fun
Gabe_BigApple's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyronaught
I think one of the nice things about quad copters is the simplicity, low cost of construction and the ease of scratch building one. Using only a $20 controller board and all off-the-shelf RC components you can be up and running with no servos involved. Thingiverse.com is loaded with CAD files that allow you to 3D print your own air frames too. It's probably the only RC aircraft that can be 3D printed like that. I bet if you were able to look at the numbers there are probably more multi-rotor copters flying now than any other kind of RC aircraft.
There is nothing at all wrong with the notion of making a hybrid quad / blimp craft.

However, it is my considered opinion that you will not be able to make one with an off-the-shelf controller board, unless you get one that allows you to do extensive re-programming.

I tried something like this last year and it failed miserably. See posts #1 and #3 in this thread for what I tried, what was(is) wrong with off-the-shelf quad boards, and what you would have to adjust in order to make it work:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2021169

Cheers,
Gabe
Latest blog entry: Single-stick Tx design thread
Nov 29, 2014, 05:40 AM
Registered User
Quote:
However, it is my considered opinion that you will not be able to make one with an off-the-shelf controller board, unless you get one that allows you to do extensive re-programming.
Hi Gabe,
I totally agree with what you said. For ObliX we will be programming our own flight controller from the ground up.
Nov 29, 2014, 07:50 AM
Simple, Easy, Fun
Gabe_BigApple's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcdano
Hi Gabe,
I totally agree with what you said. For ObliX we will be programming our own flight controller from the ground up.
Are you programming an existing one? If you can get into one, you would actually not need to program it "from the ground up", all the ways that the channels mix with each other, etc would be unchanged, you would just need to be able to alter the proportions of the maneuver channels to the throttle so that you get more maneuver input and minimal throttle input.

Gabe
Latest blog entry: Single-stick Tx design thread


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