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HelicopterMain Discussion › Next major development??
09-01-2003 05:26 PM  14 years agoPost 21
dgebhardt

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Portland, OR / Boise, ID

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I agree that radio/receivers should be the next thing to change. We need to "decrystalize" - the "dial-a-channel" is good, but as a previous poster mentioned, cell-phone like technology should be able to be implemented NOW. I HIGHTLY doubt there will be "bandwidth" problems... really, how many fliers fly at once?

The next big thing should be with the servos/wiring. A "power bus" would be nice, using think wires and new connectors. A serial servo interface would cut down on the mess of wires.

Radio telemetry downlink - think of watching the Nats or Masters fliers with a replay, sort of like car racing is done now (The FIA World Rally Championship has some jaw-dropping realtime/replay telemetry that is shown on their TV shows on SPEED).

A.I. Based engine control... use your imagination here!

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09-01-2003 05:36 PM  14 years agoPost 22
Rawlie

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JHB

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Automatic Landing Assistant

If I had half an engineering brain I would design the "ALAHA" (Automatic Landing and Hovering Assistant). This would be a great training aid for newbies and crap pilots.

It would have 2 modes - "Hover Mode" and "Landing Mode".

Basically, it would be a gizmo roughly the size of the gyro.

"Landing Mode" would be activated once the heli approached the ground (say 1.5m). It would stabilise the heli in a hover, point the heli into the wind, take over control of all the servo's, drop the headspeed to 1500 and then land your heli.

It would use technology similar to that of the current CoPilot for lateral orientation, and the Governor for the throttle, and then it would need some altitude sensing device to calculate height and rate of descent.

It could also be used to practice new tricks if you placed the ALAHA in "Hover Mode" instead of "Landing Mode". You might set a minimum ceiling of 25m. You then attempt your trick, and let's assume you fluff it completely. The ALA senses you have hit your 25m ceiling, and takes over control. The heli is bought upright, rises back to 25m, and goes into "Hover Mode".

Control is returned to the pilot once Hover Mode has been successfully established for 3 seconds and an input is sensed from the Tx.

Alternatively if the pilot is a bit shook up the ALAHA will hover your heli for up to 60 seconds to let you regain your composure. If you still have not assumed control, "Landing Mode" is activated and ALA lands your heli and shuts off the engine for safety reasons

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10-30-2005 09:32 PM  12 years agoPost 23
chuckhager

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Clovis, CA

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I just stumbled on this old thread that is over two years old. Interesting to read what we were thinking back then. It looks like "SAR" wins for guessing the next "major development" in R/C. Spread Spectrum.

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10-31-2005 10:11 PM  12 years agoPost 24
cessna151

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Missouri... Originally Indiana

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Yes, but i think Adrian.law should also get the "i told you so" status.

--Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!--

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10-31-2005 11:08 PM  12 years agoPost 25
Comanche Man

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U.S.A.

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fuel injected engines

Fear my name on Xbox live

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11-01-2005 02:17 AM  12 years agoPost 26
BARTGALAMBOS

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Huntsville, Alabama! U. S. A.

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Great Topic!

I want a fully integrated Autonomous Flight Control System that can fit into a variety of helicopters. Also, we need our own satellite so we can control our ships far beyond the visual horizon. Don't laugh, Ham Radio has satellites! I want to be in Huntsville, Alabama controlling a helicopter in Fort McMurray, Alberta Canada! After all, the space missions can be remotely controlled!

Bart

Precious Metal Investor!!!

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11-01-2005 02:25 AM  12 years agoPost 27
kaptkaos

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Miami FL

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How about realistic prices for some of the highly consumable items like Blades, bearings, and fuel?

This stuff is getting cheaper and easier to produce, and only a few of the manufacturers are reducing prices.

I think a nice force field around the heli to save it from the evil ground!

If you give a Chimp a gun, and the Chimp shoots, DONT BLAME THE CHIMP!!!!

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11-01-2005 02:33 AM  12 years agoPost 28
cessna151

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Missouri... Originally Indiana

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Also, we need our own satellite so we can control our ships far beyond the visual horizon.
Have you ever watched satelite TV? TALK ABOUT UNRELIABLE!!!

Nice idea though!

--Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!--

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11-01-2005 03:49 AM  12 years agoPost 29
burl

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Port Angeles WA

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more seat-of-the-pants flying experience...like KAS's Heli-Chair... off-the-shelf cockpit controls with video monitors and full motion, yet within reasonable cost for the average guy.... dream on... anyway that's what I'd like to see... I applaud KAS's work...

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11-01-2005 08:03 PM  12 years agoPost 30
w.pasman

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Netherlands

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I also think autonomous systems are on their way.
Maybe some issues on who is responsible if it fails but...

However I don't think it will make the hobby more interesting. An autonomous flying heli is like all these other playing-themselves toys. Why would it be interesting to see that someone else wrote his program correctly? You could go watch TV just as well. Similarly I wonder whether car racing would stay popular if they just put a computer inside instead of a human, although it doubtless would go faster and maybe even more daring

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11-01-2005 08:04 PM  12 years agoPost 31
KC

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WA

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the next major turning point in this hobby will be an electric equivalent of the raptor 30, something that is actually good and affordable enough to bring in new blood. the hangup right now is the batteries....the cost and lifespan is not what is claimed.

in most parts of the world where people have the money to burn on hobbies like this, that is in coastal cities, fields are losing to developments and the real estate craze, so we should keep our hobby "quiet" if it is to hold its ground where the major markets are.

maybe someone is thinking of that at a factory somewhere, but more importantly, the factories who make the motors, packs, and machines need to be all on the same page, that would be groundbreaking!

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11-03-2005 07:06 PM  12 years agoPost 32
skywalkertje

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Belgium

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I also think big electric heli's will be the next step forward.
Small heli's like the Trex are already here, but the big ones are still too expensive.
I fly Trex lipo, R50 and R90 nitro

But things like this might change all that very soon:
a123 cells

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11-04-2005 07:05 PM  12 years agoPost 33
w.pasman

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Netherlands

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skywalkertje,
The improvements of that battery are not that impressive, I have the impression that current LiPo technology is very close at least to their specs. For instance take an (arbitrary) thunderpower LiPo pack

TP4200-4S2PB

4200 mAh, 14.8V (charge as 4 cells), 13Gwire, 6-pin balancer connector
Rating: 15C(63A) continuous, 20C( 84A) burst
Dimension: 34mm x 100mm x 53mm

Weight: 382gm

That 63A@14.8V = 932W
932W/382g = 2440 W/kg.

This is for *continuous* load. Peak load is 3240W/kg. They (A123 batteries) claim about 3000W/kg for their cells and it's not even clear whether that's peak load or continuous..

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11-04-2005 07:43 PM  12 years agoPost 34
skywalkertje

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Belgium

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I was referring to the "fact" that they can be reloaded in 5 minutes.
So you would need only one pack (reload almost like refuel time). Current lipo's are indeed powerfull, but they are also expensive and potentially dangerous. The 123 claim to be more stable.
Also they can be cycled for 700 times until they drop under 80% capacity at 10C discharge.

Anyway I think nitro machines will be a thing of the past in a couple of years if claims like these become available in the RC world.

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11-04-2005 09:52 PM  12 years agoPost 35
pigs dont fly

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City, State - Country

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I recon microturbines and fast charge lipo's will be the next big thing

Cant wait!

Warning...This hobby is very addictive and may damage your wealth

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11-04-2005 10:08 PM  12 years agoPost 36
cessna151

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Missouri... Originally Indiana

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I just thought i might point out that the original intent of the thread was to guess the "Next major devolopement" not just the next step forward. As with spread spectrum tech, this is a huge leap not just the next step. JMO

I think the next big thing will be frictionless magnetic bearings.

--Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!--

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11-04-2005 10:33 PM  12 years agoPost 37
svoguy2000

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Winston Salem, North Carolina

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I think those new batteries will be expensive also. They are new and everything new 9 times out of 10 will be expensive. I think there will also be a weight issue. Compared to NI-CD or NI-MH they may be lighter, but I just dont see them being lighter than a LI-PO. Power to weight is where its at and right now LI-PO's win as far as I am concerned. We will just have to wait and see.

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11-05-2005 07:47 AM  12 years agoPost 38
w.pasman

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Netherlands

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I was referring to the "fact" that they can be reloaded in 5 minutes
Ah yes, I missed your point. Yes that would be great indeed.
But earlier we already heard about 1 minute charges and then it went silent. 5 minutes sounds reachable though, assuming 4Ah pack that would take 50 amps charging (into a penlite size battery!). One minute would take 240amps which I have to see before belief, apart from wondering how much $$$ the charger is gonna be

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11-05-2005 09:37 AM  12 years agoPost 39
Yug

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UK. Herts

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The biggest development surely has to be batteries and electronics.
From the point of view of electronics, heli electronics are still quite simple compared to what could be done with existing technology. I wish I could afford to retire as there are many things I would like to have time to develop.
Battery technology has to take the top spot as it is the single most limiting factor. However, there are now many people on the planet working with this although we will be pretty much relying on the big manufacturers, and most likely one with an involvement in cordless power tools. I've heard rumours of big things happening in 2006.
I don't think fuel cell technology is upto the high power demands yet, but it's just a matter of time. Lets face it, we have fuel cells in mobile phones and cars - these are high power of course. What I like about the fuel cell, is that it doesn't need recharging electrically, you just refuel.

An area I have particular interest in is blade pitch control. I would like to move to piezo driven blades and so do away with all the mechanics involved with driving the blade pitch. This includes servos, linkages, swash, washout, mixer arms, flybar etc etc. Unfortunately, I have not yet found a suitable piezo technology that satisfies all the requirements in providing a suitable blade pitch 'motor'.
There are now many varyations of small electric RC helis around which are aimed at the masses. However, none of these 'cut the mustard' for me as I'm increasingly dedicated to proper 3D. However these small machines will be breaking new ground and provides a good cooking pot for things to evolve.
From a materials point of view, I can't imagine much improvement on what we currently have. Helis are getting very good at using the appropriate material for the appropriate function weather it be plastic, carbon fibre, alloy etc.

nuff said

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