Saturday, August 30, 2014

building a better helicopter

hello there

yeah, i know what you are thinking. oh no, not another avionics type of blog post. well, i am sorry, but as many of you know, aviation and all that is a great, great passion of mine, especially all the design stuff and that which make the big metal birds of the skies - as opposed to the big metal birds of the seas - work. well, not work so much as do their thing i suppose, stay in the skies and all that.

a long standing dream of mine, and we are talking in terms of months here, not just weeks,  has been to unleash an environmentally friendly helicopter on the skies, see what the clouds make of that. today, as it happens, thanks to the kindness of a random gift, was the day that i decided to carry out some work on the prototype model.

the first thing that you might notice about this prototype is that it is metal and plastic, which is not a combination traditionally associated with an eco-friendly thing. well, to that i say you will just have to go back and redefine what you think of as being eco-friendly. anyway, the first thing you should have noticed is the name of the helicopter. that's right, Tiger. because nothing says "of the skies" like a tiger does. and there is no reason for it not to have a super sexy name, just because it is environmentally sound.

many of you, i will appreciate, will have no interest in this post beyond seeing the finished helicopter. how lucky for you, then, that blogger has decided to rearrange the order of the pictures, and in fact they have put the image of the completed picture up next. i cannot be bothered to change the order of them, so here you go.

quite impressive, isn't it? i am very happy indeed with how it has come out. it looks exactly how i imagined it would look, except entirely different from what i had in mind. that is a minor point, however, and should not detract from how wonderful it is.

right, let me say farewell to those who have seen all the want to of this post. for those of you interested in the construction, however, do read on, i will share my insights and experiences of how i built it.

having a look at the parts, and indeed the tools, that one uses to construct a helicopter from is as good a starting place as any. here you go then, in a picture that i forgot to rotate. just tilt your neck to have a look, if you like. or just look at it as it is.

yes, there we go, all of the metal and plastic parts one needs to make an environmentally sensitive helicopter out of.

my initial plan, and still my driving ambition, is to construct a helicopter from wood. why? i would have thought that obvious. wood is all natural, and so far more environmentally friendly. if we just cut down all the trees and particularly ambitious blades of grass in the world, right, and used the wood off of them instead of making things out of microchips, plastic and what have you, we would have no carbon footprint nonsense to deal with.

for now, though, whilst i am still in the early design stages, metal and plastic will meet the requirements of me building a better helicopter. how much better? think Airwolf, but only with a far cooler sense of it, especially as the pilot is unlikely to have such a confusing sequence of names.

what do the boys think of my plans, or if you like ambitions, in respect of constructing a helicopter? they were very eager to give it a flight.

a very, very handy thing to have when designing a prototype from square one, or indeed from scratch, is having a set of instructions in place.

here are the instructions, although it seems that they were intended more for a car than they were for a helicopter as such.

you should all, with a slight level of respect, pay attention to the text up there. it says "intelligent Diy" for a reason. i know many of you will be tempted to re-enact what you see here, but for your own sanity i urge you not to. many of you reading this simply do not operate on the same level of intellectual capacity as i do, and thus you are unlikely to achieve what i do with this.

that's not me boasting, by the way, it's just me trying to help you avoid disappointment, heartbreak and a degree of bewilderment. i do this sort of thing, after all, so you don't have to.

anyway, assembly. here we go, here's the front bit of the helicopter starting to take shape.

i think the technical name for this front part of the helicopter is, as point of fact, the hull. but also it might be the nose. but for me it is just the front bit. using obscure terms is an aloof, silly thing to do, really. it is like when salty sea dogs go on about "starboard" and "port" on ships and boats, to be honest. there's nothing wrong with front, back, left and right as terms. salty sea dogs just make up those terms to confuse young people they have lured on their ship, usually so they can make them feel dizzy and confused, leaving them more prone to not noticing when they do peculiar things to their bum.

oh look, blogger has decided to put the second image i had of the completed helicopter up next. here you go then, have a look.

if you are wondering about the shaded corner things on these images, that's not some sort of artistic statement from me, dear reader. that is, alas, the limitations and affect of my new pouch on the lens of the blueberry. yes, i will do a blog post on the new pouch - indeed pouches - soon.

some of you might, out of interest, want to see the reverse engineered parts of my helicopter, so you can observe and understand how it all goes together. to this want, i say certainly. here you go.

that is, from left to right or indeed from right to left depending on your culture, your angle of observance and your proclivity towards being a salty sea dog, the body, the twirly bit (propeller or something), the legs and, of high importance, the seat. and some sort of joining screw, as it were, with a bolt for good measure. not screw, bolt.

speaking of salty sea dogs, i for some reason thought that some of you might want to see a glimpse, possibly even a hint, of me out and about in my sensational new anchor shirt. well here you go then, with me listening to some vibes as i walk around in it.

in what way do i hope that my class helicopter will be embraced as being an environmentally friendly one? in a number of ways, really, assuming you accept that a number of ways means more than one.

firstly, you will note there is no fuselage. that's because there is no requirement for such a set up, either intricate or basic, due to the absence of any form of petrol or fuel tank. in not burning any sort of fossil or synthetic fuel this helicopter is thus far more environmentally friendly than ones you find in the skies and in garages right now. granted, the price for this is not flying quite so much as the ones we have now, but early days and all that.

secondly, well, secondly i have forgotten the other benefits. it is smaller, for a smart, and things that are economical are invariably always smaller. oh yes - the other benefit was a lower level of moving parts. less moving parts means lower friction, or whatever, and that means less vibration, causing waves that cause bad karma to wildlife and that. the only moving parts on it are the ones where i couldn't really get in to tighten the bolts and nuts so good. and the back propeller, or if you like the twirly bit on the arse of it, because William likes watching it spin around.

another mid-construction image? to finish off, look you see, why not.

how do i feel, in the end, about this project? pretty good really. i am expecting Boeing, or whoever it is that made Airwolf and Blue Thunder, to get in touch with me, offering to finance a slightly larger scale one. one that probably flies around a bit too. i will listen to what they have to offer before i commit to any sort of long term project, don't you worry.

if you are also interested in designing and building helicopters i would say i hope this has helped. i cannot, however, as i am certain that it has.

many thanks, as ever, for reading. or for just having a quick gander at the pictures.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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