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At a glance, Lightning

#1
Granted I have a blog and I will be keeping it posted on how this works, I wanted to add to this topic of scratch building.
I am working on a Weather Research Drone that is designed to study lightning.. The hardest part of the project was finding a concept that fit into the plan for the study, let alone finding a plane or other craft that has been used in the same manner. No such luck, really just kites. The short blunt side of what I am working on is a plane that is best called a craft, lol. It's to fly along the leading edge of a developing thunderstorm, at or around 200'-300' AGL while tethered to a research stand. So, its like a kite, the plane uses concepts found in many other planes. Like chines along the leading edge, the body is crafted after a lifting body, and the wing design is based on both flying wing, glider and blended wing concepts.
The one issue of late i have ran into is HobbyKing.. I have been waiting over a week for my order to get out of the East warehouse. I am not talking about order to house wait, I mean its been 9 days now, and it is still at the warehouse. That's nuts! They delay is making work on my prototype get pushed further back. The goal was start flight tests by the end of this month. Storm season is fast approaching and one of the biggest challenges to this getting a flying plane into the air.
--Allow me to close with a question; "Has ANYONE tried flying tethered to the ground while gliding aloft?
The flight model is a pusher prop design, which will use its power plant for launch and recovery phase(s). During its "mission-flight-phase"/ it will soar much like a glider or in this case a kite.
 

jamboree1

Active member
#2
Thats ambitious to fly a lightweight aircraft in any kind of wind over 15 mph, most of us pack it in by then as it becomes uncontrolable or the wind would tear it apart. As for HobbyKing, I'm known to rage at how lousy that store is, your story is shared by anyone that has ever shopped there.
 
#3
Had a feeling after day 5

On the HK issue, I started feeling like that might not be an "isolated-issue".. At one point they even added an item into my order, this delayed my order, the funny is the item was for a GoPro 3, which I don't even own, and when I pointed out that I did not add the item, they said I had..Then told me that add-on caused the delay. During that part of the delay, one of the items I had ordered then went out of stock they say. Granted this item still shows as a 10+ in stock. At this point I am just hoping i get my order. --I just on Friday ordered a Glider from Horizon, and its all ready out of the warehouse. I should have it mid-to-late next week. I think if I am lucky at all my order will be in by next month from HK. I think I will give them until next week, if nothing then cancel take the loss, and try and resource parts from other vendors.

The prototype I am working on is not the full scale model, the motor an power system should however work, so long as I don't go to far past the thrust curve of the motor, and prop. The plan is to test the design concept in a smaller scale, then switch to the larger body for more advanced flight testing. the key element and one of the core concepts is in the design, and the use of carbon fiber.
Weather Box Kites, had a more simple design and some hold rather impressive records as kites. The hard part is testing something like this. Your right we pack it in when the winds get crazy.. I love to soar, so wind can be both friend and foe, this project well it's extreme.
And it's one reason I wanted to share it here on Flite Test, win or fail.. It's about sharing the journey.
I just hope the parts arrive before storm season is over.
 
#4
I notice that you're in Arkansas? Mind if I ask what part? The HK East Warehouse is in Jacksonville and I've been told by someone who works there that if you call them, sometimes you can pick your order up at the warehouse. I don't know how true this is, as some people have informed me that when they tried they were told they couldn't. But it's worth a shot...
 
#5
I must be lucky, I have always had stuff ship and arrive timely from HK (us and china warehouses)

I recall vividly flying my first 4ch plane, a dynam "icanfly", trainer cub and not noticing the approaching thunder storm (was behind me) I had my plane some 300 feet up and was noticing it getting pushed more and more by the wind. I turned around, saw the storm and realized I needed to land. However, it was too late. each time I aimed my plane back towards me (flying into the wind) the wind wanted to turn it....and even at full throttle the plane hardly moved towards me...and the combo of wind and full throttle made it want to climb as well.
I had to just cut the throttle, let it go its own way and land some 3 blocks away. somehow, it landed in a park on the grass with just the nose of the plane in a small pond.

Point being, flying with a storm present would be hard. I have never flown a tether plane...but I have little doubt that would be better than trying to actually fly in the wind.