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DATE    
Hours of mass media not consumed:
12/27/04 ++ Completed animations and Created web page http://www.embeecon.com/Ornithopter/index.htm
2 hrs
  ++ Emailed Specifications to versitex.com for 'Quill' quote
  ++ Completed Feather drawing.
1 hr
  -- Will stop by Armstrong's tomorrow to get test quills.
     
  $$

It all started on Christmas Day when my brother Mike said he wanted to build something"Monstrous" in his new shop. So I say, "Hey, I've had this 'monstrous' idea in my head for about two years now, and I really want to build it!"
I've been collecting bits and pieces of the puzzle for a long time. This blog is my first attempt to communicate those pieces with anyone else.

  $$ With the current popularity of the Monster house, garage, Myth busters, etc. I've been considering getting a video camera to record the process. It may be the best way to realize any rerun on investment. The story and cast of characters would be perfect for today's audience.
     
12/29/04 ++ I created a "Quill" by gluing two cheap fishing poles together. It only curves in one plane (the airfoil curve). But I think when I mold the Model magic over it I can develop the "torque" curve.
$42.00
3 hrs
     
     
1/3/05 ++ Happy New Year!
I did some 3D modeling with TrueSpace. It's not fancy, but it does communicate the basic structure for the Pilot's cage.
3 hrs
     
1/4/05 ++ Added landing gear and pitch control. Also spell checked this site. Yikes... sorry about that.
3 hrs
     
1/9/05 ++ You can see I hired a new pilot. He's not so much to look at, but I can keep him under control a lot better. Actually he's IK (Inverse Kinematic).

Notice the new posture. I call this the Squat Thrust. It' slike the sitting squat machine at the gym, only it's rotated. This position keeps the center of gravity constantly 1/4 back from the center of aerodynamic lift. No need to create a complicated shuttling mechanism. It also makes for a more compact cage.
3 hrs
     
  ++ I also spent 1/2 hour at the local hardware store looking for epoxy to permenantly glue my two fishing rods together. There were about 25 different candidates to chose from. I ended up with a marine epoxy for fiberglass.
1/2 hr
     
2/23/2005 ++

I've been working on a better Quill. The first quill I created used two fishing poles glued back to back. The intent was to create a bias then glue them together. It didn't work very well.

The Second try was to just take one fishing pole and bend it by stringing a line through it and pulling it taught. The down side is that it's not very flexible, and it would require the 'eyes' to be exposed.

I'm half way through my third approach. Now I'm using spring steel wire. I bind six .060 strands of spring steel music wire together with cross wires. Have a look a the progress. If this works, it will reduce the cost from over $1,000 for fishing poles to under $50 for wire. I haven't yet tried to spread the Model Magic out so I don't know how much that will take / cost.

$6 Wire

$20 Model Magic

4 hrs
     
3/5/05 ++ I completed the quill – all knuckles glued.

I completed the lay-up mold. I may not have the right shape, but I’m confident now that I could create any shape necessary.

$5 hardware for rolling jig
5hrs
     
3/6/05 ++ I created a process for rolling out the model magic and transferring it to the mold. I’ve determined that I need just over 8 oz to create one 1/16” thick layer. In the end I will need at least two layers so the cost will be $10.
5hours