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Scientific RC planes?

Old 04-11-2015, 05:23 AM
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Default Scientific RC planes?

I know there are UAVs and such that are scientific but do any of you guys experiment with your planes by using active or passive control methods or generally try to use your planes as a way to learn more about aerodynamics/flight dynamics? I am interested because I might want to play around with it this summer.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:56 AM
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Every airplane, I try to learn something new.

Structure, streamlining, control systems, power systems.... there's almost no end to the stuff to learn.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:14 PM
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Actually, it is unlimited on what you can experiment with. Also, by doing some research, it will help you decided what is possible and what is not. I just finished with leading edge variable flaps(controlled by throttle up to mid range) and this allows you to pinpoint your landings. It acts like a STOL plane. Now I am trying flaps with it to see what happens.
I just finished a 64 mmEDF with a forward swept wing that ingest the inward airflow across the wing that make it real stable in flight and improves high alpha. No movable canard or end flap is needed.
It is actually unlimited on what you can do.
Just go for it. Why wait till summer, it it works, it's different. If it doesn't, you still have fun.
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Old 04-12-2015, 12:20 AM
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Wow! RC flying just got cooler!

The best part is that ALL RC planes are fly-by-wire so you can add your own feedback systems! This is what I plan to do!

MONOPHAN, you should attach a plane to the front of your hovering system to make a VOTL!
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:41 AM
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Check out some of the flite test videos on YouTube. Everything from basic park flyers to a flying toaster, microwave, or cinderblock. They have a few vtol airplanes that transition to forwards flight as well. The hobby is anything you want to make out of it. My own personal opinion, if it looks like it will fly, and has enough power, it probably will.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:01 PM
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think about it,large developers build planes,cars boats full scale concept ideas that never flew,drove,or floated just to produce the latest development in science. every crazy design was an attempt to do it better than the guy before.history is filled with documentation and pictures of these inventions.

in rc it seems unlimited!!! folks are designing VTOL vehicles that look like a moon lander with multiple vectoring edf.'s, i'nv seen foam planes where the wing tip of 1/2 the length twisted instead of ailerons,and i was amazed someone even tried building that.

military uav's that both fly and dive to become sub's[hummm,navy or air force?]

seems to me the real mannsed vertical takeoff car that doesn't include wing sticking up when driving or out when flying is soon to become a reality what with the way quads are flying for us hobby folk,a little gps automated control and we'll all be buzzing of to work a few hundred feet high bumper to bumper going 200mph....


so apple! common man! lets build the next great idea here at watt flyer and make it work. you seem to be a very smart young person who has a drive to design. go for it!!!

the beauty of the world today is you can build something so simple and live off the earnings for the rest of your life!!!! examples:beeny babies[ stuffed toy],or how about the pet rocks!! the guy who came up with selling a rock as a pet that needs no effort to care for but still came with instructions ,he became a multi millionaire.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:30 PM
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I have a working system that is great in the wind tunnel. All I need to do now is get it to work on an RC plane which means getting to know my Delta Ray very well, then buying/building an airplane of a more classical design and getting the system to work there! I plan on patenting it so I can't divulge much more for now . I will update you guys as soon as I have it working!
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:37 PM
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do any of you have 3d printers and if so, how do you use them for your RC?
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:11 PM
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Yes. We build motor mounts, battery boxes, wing mounts,custom motor mounts,just about anything plastic you could want.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:23 PM
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Double post.

Last edited by hayofstacks; 04-12-2015 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:24 PM
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http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71660

Here's a link showing some of if.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:57 PM
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if you are interested in the science of flight in it's purest form then real sailplanes (i.e. ones without any motor) are the planes for you. Sailplanes are the models where you can see every tiny aerodynamic improvement as measured by a stopwatch.

Put a motor on and with enough power almost anything will fly.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:03 PM
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Some beautiful parts!
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:30 PM
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Don't forget also that many RC fliers are not really into mathematics / science on this. They design and modify based on what looks right to them.
RC allows the mind to explore with limited cost ideas that full size world can often only dream about.

There is another side to the coin as well. Yachting / aircraft worlds have for decades now led shipping into navigation / control arenas that previously were science fiction. Shipping taught the world for centuries to then become the student.
RC and full size flying has a certain amount of that in it now.

As to copyright, how much is actually out there to explore in this to be copyrightable or not already explored by another.

Nigel
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:48 AM
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As a computer programmer of sorts myself, I am thinking of what may be copyright able that there is a need for. What I end up with is a pilot.

There are a million autopilots out there from about $30 on up to thousands, but right now all need to be programmed to the specific plane.

Making one that learned the plane it (snapped) into would be a godsend.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=60485

The closest I have seen is Hobbyking's T1000FC which is awesome. You plug in a specific way, mount it a specific way, and blam! You fly awesome! (I used it on a sailplane, balsa 3d and profile 3d plus now, flipped one switch and she's flying a combat wing...) it flew them all with no issue.

The Bavarian Demon cortex is similar, but you plug stuff up like a pass-through and magically teach it by moving your controls.

The only thing advancement wise I can think of is the ability to plug it up as a pass through, and have it learn on its own.

It could do that as long as it has an accelerometer.... You could charge an arm, leg and two pints of blood if it pops inline with no change until you arm it. Then it figures it all out.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:52 AM
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Could you have the user turn the plane at a certain pitch rate or fly in a circle of given radius or something? It could possibly learn the controls that way if you don't want an accelerometer. Sounds like a really cool idea! You could do something similar by calculating acceleration by using only the GPS functions and some clever maths. I can't wait to hear the result!
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:42 AM
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I don't think there is any substitute for having an actual artificial horizon which knows which way is up, just like an instrumented full size aircraft, and which measures the magnitude and direction of G forces.

That's what SAFE+ is working towards, but it's directed mostly at beginners. I think you want something for more experienced fliers. I can also see instrumented aircraft as the necessary next step to decent modeling in flight simulators. That's what they had to do with full size aircraft, measure control input, control surface deflection, effect on airplane attitude. When you put all that information together you have an empirical, not an artistic model of flight as we have now for RC simulators.

Of course you'd have to model each type of plane separately by brand and model. Kits would be too variable for you to do much with but you COULD model a particularly great flying plane and by comparing your plane with it, improvements could be made so that it's characteristics were closer to the ideal.

Lots of possibilities and I'm probably a mile from what you're thinking about doing.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
I don't think there is any substitute for having an actual artificial horizon which knows which way is up, just like an instrumented full size aircraft, and which measures the magnitude and direction of G forces.

That's what SAFE+ is working towards, but it's directed mostly at beginners. I think you want something for more experienced fliers. I can also see instrumented aircraft as the necessary next step to decent modeling in flight simulators. That's what they had to do with full size aircraft, measure control input, control surface deflection, effect on airplane attitude. When you put all that information together you have an empirical, not an artistic model of flight as we have now for RC simulators.

Of course you'd have to model each type of plane separately by brand and model. Kits would be too variable for you to do much with but you COULD model a particularly great flying plane and by comparing your plane with it, improvements could be made so that it's characteristics were closer to the ideal.

Lots of possibilities and I'm probably a mile from what you're thinking about doing.
You are right that those have the fastest response, highest accuracy, and the least drift, but it is not my place to tell someone something is a bad idea because most of my best ideas were considered bad ideas by those around me. After a while I learned to not trust convention too much
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:07 AM
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Well, my idea was a bit simpler. It seems that autopilots are set up to a specific plane, with specific gains, etc. (they're all 6 axis by some means or other... Sonar, Horizon camera, or accelerometer.)

Problem is that you put in the plane, program the type (AER, A+V-Tail, Delta) then calibrate what "level" is, but the simplicity ends there. After that, you need to set sensitivity or gain, P and I, or some numerical figure in the feedback loop so the plane will fly and not shake itself apart.

Starting from that point...

It would be awesome if it could either then:
A. Use rate of change of the angle in degrees per second to pin a throw setting. (IE: 180 degrees per second, would recover to level in 1/4 second from 45 degrees. 1/2 second from inverted) the throw needed would not be set manually with dials or jiggling numbers in a UI either. It would be learned and treated as a constant for THAT PLANE...
B. Actually learn the plane. From radio inputs. (Move all sticks their full control throws.) like calibrating a radio.

I think that's near, but it ain't here yet, and I want it now.

Lol.
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:25 AM
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Here we go. Better example of the crap we deal with right now in setting an autopilot up:

Take my example. A jet. FMS Rafael 64mm EDF.

Maiden - delta mix plus rudder, ail and elev mix +- 100.

Flew like riding a unicycle on a tightrope while juggling, but trimmed out.

Flight 2 - aileron travel 30% elevator travel 55%.

Flew like a dream.

Flight 3 - aileron travel 45% with tons of expo:

Flies like a dream with a roll rate to die for.

------------------------------

Now I should set up autopilot. But if I do, my trim, rates, and all knowledge is gone. I will need to delete the mix.

If we had an autopilot that would learn...
Set delta and round the extents of the sticks, all the info would be passed to the autopilot. (Read in, back calculated, and a very flyable map could be made)

Setting autopilot means starting over usually. (From scratch...just now with danger of a "death wiggle")

The two best autopilots I am aware of are:

Turnigy T1000 - Hauntingly simple and plug and play. Not smooth, but seems to fly anything without death wiggle, or changing any tuning settings. ($70)

Bavarian Demon Cortex - It is plug and teach. Learns to fly by you moving sticks in sequence. Right model, but it's expensive. ($399)
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:20 PM
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theapplepi3.14
I plan on patenting it
I am afraid all I can say is that unless you have a great deal of money and the means to exploit a massive potential market measured in /$ tens of millions don't bother!
China for one does not pay much respect to patent or design rights laws so if you really do have a product (particularly anything to do with electronics!) with global commercial significance it will be copied and pretty quickly too.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:12 PM
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It is only useful in airplanes and maybe massive drones so I don't really see how china could copy it since it would require making planes.

http://www.designnews.com/document.a...Layout=article

I am making a better one of these. That is all I'm saying.

BTW: Gyro stabilization/ SAFE is ABSOLUTELY NOT the same as this (see,I just answered your next question)
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:22 PM
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China copies EVERYTHING....

If its possible to profit they'll copy it and thumb their noses at whoever owns the patent/copyright
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
China copies EVERYTHING....

If its possible to profit they'll copy it and thumb their noses at whoever owns the patent/copyright
Thanks for the warning. I'll keep that in mind. I think the biggest problem will be finding a patient lawyer that is willing to work for free, or more likely, able to work for a share in any contract I might get. If I can do that I will try to patient it. If I cannot, I will just publish my findings.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:38 PM
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This is only my second post here, but as a reader I think constructive honesty is valued at WF. Please do not take this as personal criticism since these goals are common, and commonly missed.

The OP was part of a thread that contained my first post. My project is a long endurance automated powered glider. It was commissioned as a search and rescue drone for a maritime client. Since then it has turned into a modular aerial science platform. This hopefully inspired the OP to dig deeper into the science of flight.

Aerospace and maritime tech is very similar indeed and would be even more similar with less regulation. I write this site and encourage all sorts of entrepreneurs and inventors who want to build something for marine use. Most of my time is spent doing design/build on ROV and custom maritime instrument projects. In the past year we have transitioned to all types of robotics and automation.

I've been building machines and electronics since my early teens and have thirty years of experience in the lab, workshop, and field. Why do I tell you all this? To avoid common traps and pitfalls.

The advice on this thread regarding patents and int. prop. is accurate. You are kidding about a patent attorney working for shares, right? My last patent dealings were billed at $2200 USD/hr. The idea of patenting/copyrighting software is another no-go since last year's US Supreme Court decision, UK and EU are on the same path. Lesson; if you don't know all your current and pending industry regulations you will fail.

Another important lesson; there are no magic programs or machines that will make you an inventor. There are many expensive machines collecting dust since their owners don't have the knowledge to operate them or operate them poorly using just the basic functions.

I build all my own machine tools, so no technician is involved if something breaks or needs improvement. Nobody has an unlimited budget so I salvage what can be found cheap. Self-sufficiency is super important if you are on a small budget or a one-man show.

For field operations you need to be able to program in C since compiled high level languages will be too slow and clunky for any hardware other than a laptop. Remember; the goal of an engineer is to just barely make something work with minimal resources for the job.

Here is a starting point on what you need to learn to do basic "science" using an advanced electro-mechanical system. This is in addition to your scientific discipline.

My long endurance project had just over 3200 hours of development time as of April 1, 2015 and leveraged many of these skills.

Analog Electronics
Digital Electronics
mechanical engineering
electrical engineering
RF Design
CAD
CNC
CAM
G-Code
C, C+, C#
Structural Analysis Robot Simulation
Fluid Dynamics
Bio-mechanics
A Ton o' Physics
plastic forming
metal casting
manual machining
cast composites
woven composites
heat treating

All these skills come from years of fourteen hour days, and little other social time that wasn't business related.

When visitors were still allowed to visit my shop they were impressed with my DIY carbon loom and plasma cutter that can make a watch spring but don't understand this was all made with sweat and knowledge, not cash. So they think it's easy to get started and are frustrated that I don't have a step by step plan to be a successful inventor.

It's fun to dream about what could be but either commit to the work or don't. Inventing and entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, and judging from current and historic inventors it can't be done part time. Those overnight success stories never mention all the failures and second, third, and fourth tries.

There are some great outlets for citizen science, check those out. When you say publish, do you mean in a professional journal? In some fields it's difficult to get published even if you're a post-doc.

Do try a small project, just keep expectations realistic and related to your target user. Most of all work on what you know best. Good luck.
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