Monocopter

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MarkABrown

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I read in a magazine article about a monocopter. It is a single wing/airfoil attached to a center block with a launch lug through the center. Opposite the wing is a rocket engine mounted facing the opposite direction. You use a shortened launch rod and it should corkscrew its way into the air when lit. Well, I built one this weekend. I used a 3/8" by 2" balsa airfoil attached to a 1" X 2" X 1/2" block. I used a 1/2A10-4T motor. It was a failure! I think several things contributed to the failure. 1.) Underpowered. I should have used at least a C engine. 2.) I think I had the angle of attack of the engine too shallow. I should have pointed the exhaust down a little more towards the ground. 3.) I think I had too much wing. The balance point was too far out on the wing. I think, ideally, it should be at the launch lug.
Well, back to the drawing board. I still have plenty of airfoil material left so, I'll give it another try. Has anyone else ever built one of these?

Mark
 

PGerringer

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You launched it? Very cool. Did the article mention any of the vitals like measurements etc?
 

MarkABrown

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Yeah. I tried. :) My measurements were pretty close to the articles with the exception of the engine size. I guess I should follow them exactly! Like I said, I still have plenty of material left. I'll try again.
 

MarkABrown

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Well, I began rebuilding the monocopter today. This time, I'm following the blueprint closely. It'll be powered by a C6-5 Estes engine. I formed the center block and attached the wing. I poured a fillet to strengthen the wing connection. So far, so good. Stay tuned.
 

MarkABrown

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Last night and today I spent glassing the monocopter. This was my first time using fiberglass. Things turned out really well! I first cut out the 2oz. cloth to cover the wing, center block and engine tube. I then applied the resin to the balsa surface and layed the cloth over it. Then, using a plastic squeegee, I pressed more resin into the cloth. When it was dry, I trimmed away the excess cloth and sanded the edges smooth and the repeated the procedure for the other side. Tomorrow, I'll begin priming the monocopter to get ready for painting. I sure hope this thing flys!

Mark
 

EMRR

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I'm going from memory, but wasn't the monocopter in the Sport Rocketry Magazine (2 issues ago)?

- Nick
 

MarkABrown

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Yep. That's the one. It ought to be really cool if it will fly. :)
 

scooter

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One thing to consider is that in the following issue of Sport Rocketry they made a correction on the plans. If I remember correctly, the hole you drill for the launch rod is not supposed to go all the way through. The monocopter just sits on top of the short rod at launch. I don't recall the details, but I think the top of the center block is a sheet of something that is not drilled through. If you have already drilled a hole through the center block, you can cover over the top of the hole so that the copter just sits on the end of the rod.

Just a hint, ;)
 

ShutterBug

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Mark, are you planning to fly the monocopter on the 8th? It will be cool to see. Sounds like you have put alot of effort into its creation. Should be interesting.
 

MarkABrown

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yeah. I'll definately be flying the monocopter on Saturday. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. ;)
 

MarkABrown

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Here it is! In all its glory! I figured that I'd better post a pic of it before I launch it. It may never be the same again. ;)
 

MarkABrown

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This reminds me of a popular movie quote... "Now you're thinking did he fire 5 shots or 6?" "Are you feeling lucky punk?" Well, I'm feeling lucky. We'll launch the monocopter again. However, next time, we'll stake down the pad and I'll get longer wire so I can be MUCH farther away when it lights! My body is getting way too old to be bending and moving that fast anymore. :D

Mark
 

MarkABrown

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Ken Parker and I went out to fly the monocopter again today. I originally bought 3 C6-5 Estes engines to fly with but, I only got to use one when the monocopter decided to attack me. So with the remaining two engines Ken and I staked the pad firmly to the ground and moved back about 2 to 3 times as far as before. When we lit this one off, the monocopter, true to form, headed straight for me again! :mad: However, this time it never made it that far. After leaving the pad, it began to rotate in a vertical plane, head towards me, and hit the ground. Upon hitting the ground, it cartwheeled until it disintegrated. The wing broke in half and the support spars were sheared completely off. Needless to say, this design was a failure. However, I don't give up that easily. I will conquer the monocopter!

Remains of the Monocopter

Mark
:p
 

Oliver Arend

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Monocopters are a very interesting concept.

I guess somebody has built a copter-type rocket that is a regular two- or three-blade rotor with two or three engines. Any pictures, plans, reports on that?

Oliver
 

PGerringer

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Would that be a bicopter (2 blades) and tricopter (3 blades)?

:)
 
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