Month: July 2016

Homebuilt Plane Crosses the Continent in Just Over Eight Hours

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Klaus Savier – Long EZ

General Aviation News asks: “Would anyone be interested in a 250-horsepower aircraft capable of crossing the continent in just over eight hours at an average speed of 252 miles per hour while using only 61 gallons of aviation fuel, about 40 miles per gallon in cruise?”

Yes –

That’s what California aviator Klaus Savier did the day before SUN ‘n FUN started in Lakeland, Florida, in the Long-EZ he built and modified for both economy and speed.

Savier, who heads Light Speed Engineering, maker of the Plasma III aircraft ignition system, said his EZ, powered by a highly modified Lycoming O-360 engine, lifted off from his home base of Santa Paula, Calif., early Monday and landed 8.7 hours later at an airpark not far from the grounds of SUN ‘n FUN…

… Savier’s Long-EZ is nothing like the standard Burt Rutan-designed homebuilt.

“A lot of the structural components were replaced with carbon fiber,” he said. “The elevators are carbon fiber. The canard is my own airfoil. The firewall is carbon fiber and titanium. A lot of the interior structures and covers are carbon fiber. The wheel pants are my own design out of carbon fiber. I also made smaller, narrower wheels and axles. There is also a carbon fiber NACA air inlet.”

The engine is as highly modified as the plane.

“It started out as an O-360 parallel valve powerplant,” he said. “It has no mags, just the Light Speed Engineering dual plasma capacitor discharge ignition. The ignition system gives a lot more power, a lot better leaning and much better starting. This engine has a special time sequential high pressure fuel injection system. To be able to take advantages of the benefits of the fuel injection we designed an entirely new intake system that I built out of carbon fiber tubes.”

The engine produces about 250 horsepower, he said.

Savier had no formal instruction in either electronics or engineering, taught himself by trial and error.

“I was always the guy that took everything apart and sometimes put it back together,” he said.

He has marketed his Plasma III ignition systems for nearly 30 years and has more than 8,000 customers worldwide.

More about Light Speed Engineering

More about the Long EZ

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How to Fly a Drone

#1 Rule – Don’t Panic-fly. If you feel like you’re losing control, land it ASAP

Thanks to Droneista

Terminology and Definitions

Another basic step in understanding how to fly a drone is to become acquainted with all of the terms involved. How could you possibly know to fly a drone unless you understand things like throttle, roll, yaw, or pitch? That’s why we thought it useful to include a small glossary in this guide to flying a drone.

Throttle. If you’ve ever had anything to do with any type of moving vehicles, you’ll know that throttle makes it go forward or backward. However, that’s just with some of them. Helicopters, quadcopters, or any sort of machine that flies by using propellers uses the throttle to go up. Alternatively, lowering throttle makes the vehicle go down. Simple as that.

Roll. The roll of a quadcopter makes the vehicle rotate to the left or rotate to the right. This one is pretty straightforward. It can be used very effectively while hovering.

Pitch. The pitch represents the component that makes the drone go forward or backward. Pitches works best when the throttle is stable, although advanced maneuvers require careful handling of both these settings.

Yaw. The yaw dictates the angle of inclination of the quadcopter. If you hold the yaw to the right, the drone will lean accordingly. Likewise the other way around. More about how to control this in the next sections of this guide.

Aileron. The stick that controls roll. The aileron will be mentioned a lot when it comes to flight maneuvering since it’s one of the most important controls along with the rudder.

Rudder. The rudder is the stick that controls yaw. Yaw adjustment is necessary especially when executing turns and other intermediate and advanced flying maneuvers.

Infographic thanks to SYG Quad: My journey to build a fully automated quadcopter from scratch and learn about flight dynamics, control systems and IoT.

New Microsoft Visio Drawing

Micro-robots Enabling Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Fantastic Voyage

Remote-controlled microbots may aid your doctor on your next visit

LONDON: To better treat a variety of diseases, researchers have developed soft, flexible and motor-less micro-robots that can be remotely controlled with electromagnetic fields.

Made up of a biocompatible hydrogel and magnetic nanoparticles, these microbots can move and swim inside the patient’s body when an electromagnetic field is applied, accoding to the researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne, Switzerland who developed bio-inspired robots that looks and moves like a bacterium.

Kind of like Fantastic Voyage, with robots.

More here –

And here.

More about Molecular Nanotechnology

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Notes: Sailing the Hudson

My daughter and I took an ‘intro to sailing’ course at Hudson River Community Sailing. I spent most of the time trying not to fall off the boat, and she mastered tacking and jibing. It was a great day!

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Sailing Lessons

Some notes:

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Parts of the Boat (click to see larger version)
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Hudson Tides (click to see larger version)
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Tacking (click to see larger version)
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Women with the Right Stuff

Via the Daily Mail: In the early 60s, 13 women undertook secret tests at Nasa to see if they could become astronauts. Were it not for rules which prevented them from flying missions, the first woman in space could have been an American.

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Seven members of the Mercury 13 are pictured in front of the space shuttle in 1995. From L to R: Gene Nora Jessen, Wally Funk, Jerrie Cobb, Jerrie Truhill, Sarah Rutley, Myrtle Cagle and Bernice Steadman

Funk was America’s first female Federal Aviation Administration inspector and it was her skills as a pilot that, in 1961, led her to become one of 13 women who passed secret medical tests to become an astronaut.
The Mercury 13, as they are now known, undertook the same tough mental and physical tests as the famous silver-suited Mercury 7.

Those latter all-American heroes included John Glenn and played an important part in the space race against the Soviet Union, eventually placing a man on the Moon.

The Mercury 7 tests, memorably detailed in Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff (later a film), pushed the men to their physical limits. The doctor who devised them, William Randolph Lovelace, was also head of Nasa’s Special Committee on Bioastronautics.

Via Aerospace Aerospace Testing

This short time-lapse video shows the complete Bigelow Aerospace BEAM expansion from start to finish to its full expanded, pressurized volume on Saturday, May 28. BEAM was installed May 16 on the Tranquility module after being delivered aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.

Siemens Electric Plane

Via Aerospace Testing:

In a big leap for the electrification of aviation, an Extra Aircraft aerobatic plane performed its first public flight with an electric powertrain. The video shows the flight of the aerobatic aircraft with an electric propulsion motor from Siemens that weighs 50kg and produces 260kW.

Aero Glass | The Future of Aviation?

Aero Glass from Aero Glass on Vimeo.

Southern Comfort : Playing with actions in Photoshop

Photos taken at Savannah’s  Bonaventure Cemetery, which became famous when it was featured in the 1994 novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.

The Spanish moss and scenery were charming and spooky at the same time. But it was a sunny day, which didn’t add much to the atmosphere.

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I desaturated the photos a bit, added some diffuse light, warmed the colors and recorded it as “Southern Comfort” in Photoshop Actions.

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Although my version of photoshop is old (C4) I was thinking of posting it on Git Hub –

Summer project : Sailing

My summer project is to sell (and/or sail) my Sandpiper 565

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Remembering summers past:

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More about Sandpipers