There is no flying machine that Russian hobbyist “Native118” cannot see in a movie or TV show and actually make fly. Even the weird stuff. Previously we showed you the flying S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier he had built and a video breakdown of how he had built it, mostly from foam core. In the original post on rcdesign.ru, He talks about his design decisions as he goes through the project, and the readers watch him make decisions about basic flight engineering, construction materials, and assembly techniques.
The secret sauce for most of Native118’s designs seems to be the use of quadcopter guts. This lets him fly things that would not generate any lift on their own, meaning that the models don’t have to have functioning airfoil surfaces. Solving the problem of lift in this way means the biggest challenges are keeping the weight precisely centered between the four rotors, and keeping the weight low enough that the thing will actually lift into the air and be maneuverable once it gets there.
In the case of this flying model DeLorean, the crossbars are made from balsa wood, and what would have been sheet metal on the real DeLorean car body is made of thin sheet foam, about the same weight as used in commercial glider kits. All the details that make it look like Doc Brown’s famous ride are made of this foam. Even the car wheels are made from scratch using the same foam. Native118 loads the model with colored LEDs which make the model come alive when flying at night.
In the forum thread, Native118 says he’s going to try to fit the fans inside the wheels themselves. In the end, though, the propellers had to be much larger than the wheels to get the lift he needs. The wheel discs are simply mesh, and we think this decision is as much based on air flow around the rotors as it is related to weight and appearance of the internally lit wheels.
Building smaller flying models can actually be tougher than building larger ones, because making them balance correctly requires much greater precision in the measuring and cutting of the components. Even the amount of glue used in the joints has to balance side to side, front to back, and at that scale it starts to matter. The flight controller Native118 uses is a MultiWii TURNIGY 2204-14T 19G Hobby King 12A Blue Series speed controller. This controller can be tuned in fine detail to compensate for all sorts of quirks in the construction of the model you’re flying, and that probably explains why Native118 uses it on most, if not all, of his projects.
This is pretty fabulous stuff. Native118 seems to be able to make practically anything fly. We’re showing you these videos today to remind you that even things you think are are impossible may not be so impossible as you think.
– 30 –
SCIFI.radio is listener supported sci-fi geek culture radio, and operates almost exclusively via the generous contributions of our fans via our Patreon campaign. If you like, you can also use our tip jar and send us a little something to help support the many fine creatives that make this station possible.