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The Red Baron - Solarized - (Weekend Project)


The Red Baron Solarized (Weekend Project).

Question :- What do you get if you strap a Solar cell wired up in a Miller-Engine configuration, with the output powering a Pager motor with a propellor stuck to the front.

Answer :- A Table Top Solar Powered Aeroplane.

 

 The Video was made in sunlight - and is in real time.

 

 URL :- The Red Baron - Solarized (weekend project)

 

 

 



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 Proto-type was experimental, just to see if a small propellor could drive the weight of aeroplane with attached solarcell.

It worked better than expected and after it pulled itself off the mount, i decided to go full hog and make a more interesting plane.

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The Red Baron Theme came out of the "Blue", as Bi & Tri planes had always interested me.

The idea was to make the aeroplane from scratch, armed only with a picture of a Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker (triplane) i set to work.

I needed a light weight system - so i plumped for a Balsawood and carbon fibre design.

First problem was to make a cylinder out of balsa-wood, as it snaps very easily, solution was to soak it for half an hour in warm water and sure enough it was easy to form into a tight tube.


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Three Wings where cut out of balsa - and the same warm water technique was used to form the curve of the wings.


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Rear tail parts made and lower wing secured.


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Cockpit extraction with x-acto blade.


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Second Wing positioned and supporting struts (toothpicks actually) attached for stability.


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Third Wing and Undercarriage installed.


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Pager Motor Installed and attached a 2.5cm Propellor - which is suprisingly very powerful.


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The Engine that powers Red Baron is basically a Solar Cell wired up as a Miller Engine.

With this setup, bursts of power are supplied to the engine giving a very realistic effect.

Under Full Sun or Bright light it gives continuous power, driving the plane forwards under its own propellor thrust.

Under Low Light it charges up a 0.47F Super Capacitor until a fixed level and then "Bam - we have takeoff".


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One key to the whole mechanism is the central bearing - which was taken out of a recycled printer.

The bearing supports a peice of hollow carbon fibre which contains the wires for the motor, a pretty tight squeeze i might add.

NB:- Carbon Fibre conducts - my 25cm long piece had a resistance of 8Ω - (gives me a few new ideas)

The bearing was then mounted on a central stand which i placed into a cork which could be attached to a bottle, as it is destined to be a Table Top Decoration........


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Final Painting and and gloss effect added.


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Maiden Flight was on the top of our roof with good sunshine and super cloudy skyscape.


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That's too Cool!

yo! supercool as usual!
I like your atention to detail, the end result is impressive as usual. I will have to try a solar powered project sometime :D

I know at the moment my work is quite fine, however i am suprised just how much power these systems can develop and i am sure it can be scaled up - just have to work out how to make a large scale miller engine ............ (the caps you gave me are screaming out for it :-)

NB:- A Solar Robot is a cool electronic friend.........

 

Wonderful, Gareth. I love it. Another gold star ;)
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I'm going to steal the idea as a christmas gift for my mother. The main difference will be the counterbalance, it'll be a Snoopy on his doghouse ;)
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But what if she reads this?

Ah haaaaaa but can you fly a knife edge and 12 point barrel roll........

Thanks for the encouragement -way to go "Snoopy"

I have to say the Counterbalance-ing was not so easy - and it makes a big difference to the performance of the mechanism.

The better the balance the faster and longer it goes.

The light prototype would spin 5 times around on  one 3-second burst of the prop........ ;-)    the Red Baron will make 2 when it winds up to top speed.

Nice, Gareth, as always! :D I still did not try any solar bot, but I definitely will! :)

They are like friends & good company when late night code-ing -

though they do go off at the most unexpected times (in room light).

what is the voltage of that cell?