Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Smoking Ace is in the jig

I got the parts for the Smoking Ace this weekend from Bill at "Unique Cutting and Metal Works". Bill is great to work with and help us on this project.

The parts are coming together well. They were bracketed this weekend and got a coat of enamel. The issue that I see at the moment, is that small variations in a straight line make a big difference now that the spars are weight reduced. Lots more small radii to worry about. I do not think it is a big deal, but I lost a bunch of holes because they were too close to other penetrations.

The best thing, that has come out so far, is that the battery carriers really look like they fit as designed. That is cool, I hope that I can get the heat pipe design to work too. One of my coups of engineering will be to steer some of the motor, esc and battery heat to the same spot across a Peltier device and out to the free stream. I am not sure it will be worth more than a few volts, but something is better than nothing. Peltier recovery is one of several technologies that we hope will get our electronics power-management efficiency up.

I will get some pictures up as soon as the fuselage gets a bit further along. One of the most interesting things about this design, is that it is based on triangles. Any third year structures student will remind you that triangles are the only self supporting shape. Self-supporting makes the air-frame easier to construct because it tends to stiffen up as you assemble it. This means that you can break the assembly up a bit more than normal and things self-support and then support when assembled. Anything that makes this easier to do is good.

More to come.