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.
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.
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.
Three Wings where cut out of balsa - and the same warm water technique was used to form the curve of the wings.
Rear tail parts made and lower wing secured.
Cockpit extraction with x-acto blade.
Second Wing positioned and supporting struts (toothpicks actually) attached for stability.
Third Wing and Undercarriage installed.
Pager Motor Installed and attached a 2.5cm Propellor - which is suprisingly very powerful.
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".
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........
Final Painting and and gloss effect added.
Maiden Flight was on the top of our roof with good sunshine and super cloudy skyscape.