Learn from the birds

After my first testrun I had to reconsider my take-off techniques. A lot of people have commented on the way my wings move and my running; the AoA of the wings would not have been ideal and the position of my body too much a contraproductive angle.

But ever since the beginning of this project I have been watching these guys, the albatrosses. They have this similar style Continue reading

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Location scouting

This weekend the weather was perfect! Dry but cool, slightly above freezing temperature, no wind, sunshine and crisp grass.

I feel ready for the first test with the wings! So I went out to check up on my three favorite locations in The Hague to see what possibilities I have to do the first trial runs. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but thank god there is Google Earth.

Beach (Strand bij Duindorp)
Pros: unlimited space, soft fuzzy stuff to fall in, best with North or South wind, easy transport (parkinglot)
Cons: Too strong wind for my wings most of the day (would have to go realy early), sand might mess up the mechanical propulsion system.

Park Westbroek
Pros: grass, enough space for a little hop in the air, easy transport, best with North-North-West or South-South-East wind
Cons: water all around, trees, birds (how ironic that sounds!), dogpoo

Malieveld
Pros: dry grass, nice grip for shoes, best with South-West wind, easy transport
Cons: turbulence because of surrounding trees and forest on North East side, dogpoo, traffic (in case I succeed to take off

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Working on the wings

So what are these wings all about, you might think?

In the latest videos you have seen me working on flightpins and the wingsurface for which I have sacrificed my Slingshot Fuel 17m2 kite for the membrane wingsurface. 

vleugeltekening

This  fabric weighs about 70 grams per square meter, so in total that will be around 1050 grams. It’s quite a challenge to work with this fabric. It’s strong, but at the same time very fragile. Especially because of the forces it has to cope with during the flights, it’s important to Continue reading

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Aerodynamic ribs & wingsurface

To keep you updated, here are my latest videos on the construction of the wing. Half december things have been progressing steadily. Floor did a nice job filming that, so here the result.

In the first video you see how I had the aerdynamic ribs cut at a technical workplace. The ribs give the wing its shape. We have succesfully attached them to the flightpins. The second video gives you a nice look at the completions of the wing. The work is not quite done yet, the mechanics of the wing needs to be calibrated, balanced and finetuned.

But isn’t it just great the wings have come off the drawing table and now hang in my workplace? I am tired but so excited!

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The walkalong glider | Flying dreams

This is such a great video of Tyler MacCready (son of Paul MacCready, the famous aerontautical engineer). He designed a ‘walkalong glider’ which anyone can build. Even a kid could do it!

It explains a bit about aerodynamics and genius design of a paper/styrofoam airplane. He called it the Air Surfer and its magic is basically a very simple principle: controllable slope soaring.  He was ten when he came up with the design for this awesome toy.

There are actually a couple of great instructables (on www.instructables.com) on how to make this yourself. Here is one ‘howto’ with paper and here is one with styrofoam

 

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