Homebuilding of experimental aircraft?

Hello Instructables I am a professional aerospace engineer who homebuilds aircraft in my garage when not doing so for work.  I live and work at the Mojave Airport which is a hotbed for aircraft homebuilding stretching all the way back to the 80's.  The experimental aircraft community does not have anything like what you all are doing on this website.  When I found your site the first thought was that I had finally found the place to talk about buillding airplanes.  But I see no such topics on the site.  While fundamentally I assume the problem is only that the channel has not yet been created or there is a liability problem, I wonder if there isn't more to it.  Is the thought of designing and building and flying your own airplane not as awesome for others as it is for those of us who live in Mojave?  Is there something that can be done to make this exciting world more exciting to people (like yourselves) who take such pride and make such investments in doing cool stuff in your garages? Elliot Seguin Wasabi Air Racing Nemesis Air Racing Scaled Composites

Question by ElliotSeguin   |  last reply


help wanted designing an aircraft

I'm planning to build a one man electric aircraft without the use of batteries. But to make it the best i can i want it to be designed very well. And since i don't have enough experience with designing i really need some help on that part. The electrical part i can do myself just like building the aircraft. If there is anyone who can and want to help me i'd really appreciate it. For more details on the project please contact me.

Topic by johnny13   |  last reply


micro alternator airborne / out runner balance charger for large scale rc aircraft

Using the same concept as diesel trains. As they drive / pull on electric. The drive train is actually electric . The noise we hear are the generators charging the power banks. . Electric are far more efficient than diesel or gas engine direct  to the drive train. That being said. How can we set up micro scale generator on board 1/3 scale electric rc airplane. concept : connect 40 size os max rc nitro engine direct to 700 kv E. out runner shaft , rectifier bridge /  12 volt SMART lipoly charger, all this to enhance primary lipoy bank on large scale electric rc planes. ( increase flight time dramatically) sounds stupid I guess, but the concept apparently works in real world cargo trains. Can anyone help wth the system set up of rectifier bridge components to give this a shot ? I have no electrical expertise.  Thanks Jeff

Topic by JeffR135 


Electricity generation through turbo jet aero engines?

I have few turbojet aero engines, which are not use able on aircraft now. i want to use it for electricity generation for domestic purpose. if some one can advise me on this issue. cost effectiveness may not be considered.?

Question by dildarkhan41   |  last reply


DC motor speed controller questions Answered

In the early stages of planning an electric kayak build. Im Brainstorming ideas on how the propulsion system will work and have a few questions when it comes to DC motor speed controllers.  First off i plan on using a 100W 24v DC motor from a old electric scooter.  Not sure on the type of battery yet but it will be a 24V Now i am fairly experienced with RC Aircraft electronics, but this appears to be a different ball game! After some research it appears i want a PWM Speed controller that can handle at least 24V.   Amps wise i think i want at least 4 Amps. (Assuming my calculation was correct based off the Watts and Volts )  So this is basically more of a "am i barking up the right tree" question!   As i said earlier this is just early planning stages of the build and i want to make sure i don't make any silly mistakes!  Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Question by ScratchBuiltAircraft   |  last reply


Hydrogen-powered plane carries human crew for first time.

The first manned, hydrogen-powered plane has been successfully tested in the skies above Spain, its makers say.The small, propeller-driven craft, developed by aviation giant Boeing, made three short flights at an airfield south of Madrid, the company said.It was powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce only heat and water as exhaust products.The tests could pave the way for a new generation of greener aircraft, the company said.Boeing's chief technology officer John Tracy said the flights were "a historical technological success" and "full of promises for a greener future".Small futureThree test flights of the two-seater aircraft took place in February and March at an airfield at Ocana, south of Madrid. The plane was modified to include a hybrid battery and fuel cell system used to power an electric motor coupled to a conventional propeller. Hydrogen-powered planes have been flown before, but never with a human pilot onboard.BBC Story

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Full Belly Project, The Olympics and Me

The Olympics are supposed to be the "green" Olympics this year.Since they are going to be held in Beijing they are going to have a fun time making it green.One way they are doing this is all the aircraft that will be flying the athletes will be powed by bio-fuel derived from the jatropha tree.The people in charge of the commercials and filming it wanted to make a way to inform the people watching about this.At Full Belly(who has their headquarters in Wilmington NC) they make various machines designed to shell nuts.Jock Brandis(head-honcho, inventor of the nut sheller) was contacted and asked to make an electric Jatropha sheller. This sheller is going to be shipped down to Miami and will shell Jatropha nuts at a Jatropha farm while being filmed and a commercial will be born.I am helping make this sheller at the headquarters! So my finger prints(and a little tiny bit of blood) will be in the Olympics! (not really, just in a commercial during the Olympics)So, if you do nothing at all with your life, make sure you at least watch the Olympics to see the commercial!

Topic by ledzep567 


its a bit late but someone had to do it

i would just like to thank nikola tesla for all his work for humanity he was a genius and in what i have heard about him even edison couldnt hold a candle to him he invented ac electricty(widely used today despite EDISONS FALSE CLAIMS)                     floresent bulbs                     a more effective of way of maufactaring light bulbs(up yours edison)                      the electric motor                      romote control                     xrays                     robots                      tesla turbine                      spark plugs                      vtol aircraft and many more patients and god knows how many great ideas in his head   but sadly he died penney less alone and mad in the new yorker hotel in manhatten                    and the only reason why is best idea arnt in use today is because (im not conspiracy theorist)  that the  people who are in charge bankers oil companies extra are afraid if they cant control the electricty they will lose there power and be over througn by the masses

Topic by The ironman   |  last reply


Lamps from recycled parts, ideal example of a green theme.

Personally, i think this lamps look very cool, both items are made from various pieces of old electrical hardware.I love how the design is rather simple, but complicated by the parts used.Made by the Flickr user Qvidja50.He saysThe lamp on the left is fabricated from a railroad signal switching relay manufactured by the General Railway Signal Company in 1924. The perforated cylinders were originally ink canisters designed for high-speed fabric printing. The light on the right is made from a water-cooled dual processor from an Apple G5 desktop computer. Other elements include an hour meter, aircraft compass and 40W LED bulbs.Check out the full Flickr set.Personally, i like the 'hanging bulb' one. Firstly as i love the way the bulbs hang down, that and the use of a Powermac G5 heatsink is a win for an apple user fanboy like myself.For anyone looking to enter the Epilog laser cutter contest. Whom may have some parts laying around, this is a good place to start your research.I have an old iMac stand that caitlinsdad said would make a good lamp.- gmjhowe

Topic by gmjhowe   |  last reply


How to use & wire relays, speed controllers, timers, micro switches, etc. with a DC motor.?

I would like to use a 110 volt, 1/2 hp (more or less), DC ( or AC ) reversing motor to move and close a horizontal, heavy (approx. 200 lbs.) fabric, thermal, curtain blanket and then to move and open back the blanket in a greenhouse. There are very expensive commercial greenhouse systems that exist to perform this task. Since I have a hobby greenhouse that is 30 ft. wide by 80 ft. long by 13 ft. tall, I need a much more affordable system. Horizontal wires or very large monofilament fishing line  (spaced 12" to 18" apart)  will run the length of the greenhouse at approximately the 8 ft. height. These wires or lines will be used to support the blanket and for it to slide on (the blanket will have grommets or similar devices used on a shower curtain to  keep the blanket running straight, etc. ) when mechanically closed and reopened. My idea is to use a DC or AC motor to perform this task with modifications to work in the greenhouse. The motor will consist of the 110 volt, 1/2 hp (more or less), DC or AC reversing motor, that will be connected to a small cable drum spool on the motor shaft, The motor  can be attached at one end wall of the greenhouse at 8 ft. high below or above the blanket and at the other end of the greenhouse also will have a cable drum spool with a pipe for rotation an be appropriately attached to the end wall. Attached to these 2 cable drum spools would be say 175 ft. ( 2 x 80 ft. plus initial amount on spool) of say 3/8 inch aircraft cable. The curtain blanket will have a say a 30 ft. long 1/2 inch or so horizontal metal bar or pipe attached to it on the leading edge. The aircraft cable will be attached to the blanket bar or pipe.The other end of the curtain blanket will be attached to the non motor end wall. As the motor turns the 2 cable drum spools  by wrapping and unwrapping the aircraft cable, the attached curtain blanket will be pulled the 80 ft. length of the greenhouse in each direction. What I want to accomplish is as follows:                                                                                                                                                        . 1. Be able to slowly, if possible, (say over 20 - 30 minutes) close (move forward) the blanket with the motor at a preset time in the evening and for the motor to stop when the blanket is fully pulled to the motor end of the 80 ft. greenhouse. 2. Be able to slowly, if possible, (say over 20 - 30 minutes) reopen (move backward) the blanket with the motor  at a preset time in the morning and for the motor to stop when the blanket is fully pulled back to the non motor end of the 80 ft. greenhouse. To accomplish this, this reversing DC or AC motor will need to reverse direction to reopen the blanket.                                                                                      3. The shaft of a motor will probably be too short to clamp a cable drum spool to. How do I attach the spools?                                                                                         4. What is best to use a DC or AC motor? I tried extensively to research on the internet how to accomplish the above, but everything described similar processes in vague and technical terms of using various types of electromechanical timers, electromechanical relays, limit switches, microcontrollers, MOSFET circuits, transistors, arduinos, bridge rectifiers, etc. I have no  knowledge of all of these electronic devices and am totally confused. However, I am pretty good at say basic home electrical wiring. The closest thing on the internet to what I am trying to accomplish is an automatic chicken coop door, but not enough specifics for my project. I need some very, specific steps, specific products and where they can be purchased to be able to accomplished this. What type of motor, types of electronic devices, etc. Also, since it appears I will need a timer, a speed controller, relays or limit switches, etc. how in the world to  wire these to the motor in laymen terms. Thanks so much for anyone that can help me!!!

Question by woodwardfarms   |  last reply


looking around for tutorials

I am suggesting tutorials on the following. All passive components and prefereably vacuum tubes can be used to build the following circuits.   Analog computers that are programmable and hopefully intellegent. with these you should process many signals at the same time. and instead of displaying results on an oscillscope, make a monitor and a gui.   I have a theory for a power supply. I think it works im not technically able to build the entire circuit yet. It's all passive. its a passive AM radio that sends a 60 hz sine wave. then on the other end you have many many antennas attatched to a passive receiver circuit. because each antenna will induce an electric field from the air, you should be able to get lots more power out of the circuit than you put in. and because its antennas, its compact and light weight.   And if you can figure it out, you can build plasma rockets too. I need some more information on how plasmas travel through an electric field.   but you know if you want to, you can build cars, boats planes, houses, cookware, sensors, surveilance, recording studios, 3d printers etcetera in passive electronics and post tutorials on it.   I am getting somewhat close to growing carbon based electronic components on a tree. I have some(a few) molecules in mind and I am starting to research and make progress on sequencing DNA.   If you want this information it is simply yours. but I need analog flight simulators, spaceflight simulators, weather simulators that use chemistry and math to predict the weather, ocean simulators that simulate all of the bathymetry of the ocean to predict surf and erosion.   aircraft designers. I have a motor that i am designing like the following. It only uses permanent magnets at the moment and it works similar to an alternator. If you can figure it out, you can build it too.   I have an alternate way to make bearings by using cylindrical magnets(the kind with the hole in the middle) and one is attracting and one is repelling. this should be able to make it so that the magnets levitate and spin freely.   Again if you want this information it is yours. YOu can also make analog computers compatable with software that exists today like linux. it is possible. it just takes some time and some thought.   ANyhow anything you want make it wireless make it programmable and make it and post tutorials on it.   I want EVERYTHING to be wireless from the computers to the recording studios to the rockets.   ANyhow thanks and have fun and stuff and it might be fun and it would help everyone and would help your compnay to produce these tutorial but you know wireless guitars, wireless amps, wireless record players wireless cnc machines, wireless laser cutters wireless induction cooktops etcetera. you can even make a record player that instead of using that metal thing to vibrate, you can use like sonar. You know this is just some cool stuff to consider developing. The radio based power supply will work, it just needs some fine tuning and same with the motor, but yeah have fun and be easy with this stuff itll take a while. but you know if you build rockets, spin the rockets to create a strong electric field, but you know i could use tutorials on how plasmas move and accellerate through an electric field etcetera. and for god sake, build EVERYTHING!  

Topic by tyandisi   |  last reply


Geting started

I would like to help people start building and flying model aircraft! I started flying unpowered gliders with my dad at the age of 5 by the age of 8 I could do figure 8ts with the same model of unpowed glider, then I moved to my own plane a wingo which is a great durable slow park flyer, the kit comes with every thing you need except for a controller, servos and glue. I put a brushless motor and a lipo battery with this setup I could fly strait up until you could barely see the plane (about a mile high). After that I got my first 3d trainer a ucando which is also durable and constructed with hot glue!!! So far I have crashed into a blueberry bush and torn wings to pieces, but I am in the process of gluing back together.I prefer electric models over gas or glow models; their cheaper, quieter, smaller and more durable. Here is a great place to find beginner and advanced electric planes. Their are also different types of kits, ARFs (Almost Ready to Fly) are my favorite type of plane they include most of what you need for the plane inside the box, most only take 2-6 hours to complete and dry. Much easier for beginners to build and not mess up. Normal kits have only parts and dont usually include motors batteries or any thing else, they can take weeks to build but can be much cheaper. And theirs a third RTF (Ready To Fly) more expensive than ARFs but most of the time all you have to do is charge the batteries! You should visit your local hobby store to find out more about the local clubs and flying fields it is illegal to fly some sized planes in naborhoods I am not familiar with all the laws but I only fly at flyingfeilds. A plane like the warp would probly be fine to fly in your back yard or naborhood field. You should know that making model Rc planes can be addictive, expensive, and when you crash and destroy what you have been working on for a month extremely frustrating.Join the AMA and your local flying club, model aviation is a great way to make friends and meet new people, oh and its fun! For all ages!horizon hobby is a group of hobby stores. hobby store locatorIf you have any Q's please ask!Id also like to start a list of good trainers the yard stick is not as durable as the wingo but can be found every werethe wingo a great beginer ucando a 3D trainer (get a wingo first)

Topic by i make shooting things   |  last reply


Congratulations Hands-On Learning Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone for participating in the Hands-on Learning Contest! We got a lot of great entries, and I’m very pleased with the overall quality of the entries that we received. The grand prize entry, ynze’s Make an LED Wall Piece in Class, won because of the quality of his presentation and the thought given to how other educators might be able to use the project in their own courses. If you’re launching a Maker class (yes, that’s a thing), this project demonstrates a framework for approaching guided building while still giving students the freedom to create something uniquely personal. Plus, the wall pieces look pretty cool. The other winners are equally deserving of praise. As usual, we ended up with some projects that are almost classroom-ready (the electric line aircraft, a space balloon, and invasive species control), and I fully expect that some enterprising educators will soon be using those projects with students. If you do so, shoot me a PM so I can interview you and your class. The remainder of projects are ready to be adapted for the classroom. The electrostatic motor, the tensegrity ball, and the laser-etched Aztec coin are ready to be snapped up by a teacher willing to work backwards to academically justify the project within their curriculum. Or they’ll make VERY engaging demonstrations. A special shout out to the young man responsible for launching a balloon into space. We’ve had space balloons before, but the documentation of his project was unusually detailed. If you’re launching a space balloon in the United States, that kid has blazed quite a trail for you. Well done, robotkid249. Please keep participating in these contests, because even if you didn't win a prize, you still helped to make learning more meaningful for students. If you're making hands-on teaching and learning easier for someone else, you've done a good thing (even if you don't get an electronic traffic light for your trouble.) Wade Wilgus Education Editor

Topic by wilgubeast   |  last reply