Getting the Pyramid Towel to Fly

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I am really interested in putting 3-d shapes into the air. The standard layout of aircraft tends to somewhat high visibility orientations (from the top/bottom) and really low visibility orientations (head on, from the side, from the back). It means that most people don’t get the best view (directly overhead) for either delta wings like the Towel, or conventional aircraft.

I came across some interesting flying objects that supposedly flew because of the Coanda effect with a fair amount of documentation here. The models seem to fly pretty well.

I will share my exploration of the creation of a Towel inspired solid body aircraft in this thread

Raw shape for pyramid towel

Raw shape for pyramid towel

Above is the basic shape I went with. Lots of surface area to put interesting stuff on. Going to have to find someone to collaborate with to handle that aspect but still have lots of problem solving to go.

Getting a motor on was a process of modifying the standard towel aluminum ladder rung motor mount to fit the top with a little trimming.

Motor mounted

Motor mounted

Then I added in a speed controller, receiver, battery pack which resulted in me being able to test whether there was sufficient lift/thrust to lift the pyramid off the ground.

Speed controller, receiver and battery attached.

Speed controller, receiver and battery attached.

I find the overall shape of the pyramid quite beautiful in comparison to the flat plate Towels. It is maybe the airplane I made that I thought was beautiful upon creation. I consider the Towels beautiful now but it took a while. So below is a video of the first feasibility flight. It has no control surfaces and the radio gear, battery pack and speed control are just hanging free in the middle.

It was pretty clear that some control surfaces were needed and so I went and added classic Towel control horns, bamboo skewers control rods which
realy helped the build process go quickly. I did this that night in about 4 hours–it was a lot more work to add the surfaces/servos, sort out
mountings and routing to the receiver as well as mounting receiver, speed control and battery on a solid plate.

One tricky bit was mapping the three control surfaces to a two-axis controller. I decided to have one surface act as pitch (elevator) and the two remaining
surfaces act as roll (ailerons). I figured I could program out any pitch changes due to roll changes with my computer radio (Multiplex P4000).

One Response to “Getting the Pyramid Towel to Fly”

  1. Michaelc Says:

    Aerodynamically I think you would be better off flattening the pyramid into a modified stealth fighter kind of shape. Either that or make your pyramid by having multiple planes oriented to the same axis like this kite:
    http://www.hobbyworks.com/default.cfm/Content/fullarticle/hs/Home/ID/269

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