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Old 05-12-2019, 12:58 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Default New Delivery Pump for the Spray System

Yes, I have been gone from HeliFreak a long time. Full scale helicopter day job has been very time consuming preventing advancement with my spray system.

This is what I have discovered so far:

Position Hold auto pilot for spraying in close proximity of a building is not the way to go.
Even though it works very well, it still allows the UAV to wander a little due to various factors which makes me nervous while spraying.

What works much better for me is flying the Velos UAV with the SK900 in Self Level set to 200 and with the flight control rates set low.

This really gives me a stabile, reliable hover while spraying. I make small position corrections with the sticks and the SK900 Self Level keeps the position tight with minimal wandering.
However care must be taken when flying with the control rates low when NOT flying with Self Level engaged. You can get yourself into a situation where your control inputs are 180 degrees out of airframe movement. SL prevents this from happening, I just need to remember to turn SL off and into a flight mode with normal control rates before moving back to the landing zone.

All this works very well and I have started to fly while spraying in a different manner.
I no longer watch the Velos when spaying, I watch the spray pattern on the building or roof.
Once the spraying has started I focus on where the spray is contacting the building keeping the Velos in my peripheral vision.
I move the spray pattern around the building using the TX sticks without watching the Velos which makes it very accurate and fun.

I can of course yaw the Velos back and forth or laterally drift to give side to side position changes of the spray pattern but can also see changes in the size of the spray pattern on the building which tells me I am drifting toward (spray pattern gets smaller) or away (spray pattern gets larger) from the building without ever focusing on the Velos UAV position.

With repeated practice I got away from looking at the Velos when making an airframe position change and then looking to see if I hit the target to just looking at the spray pattern and essentially just fly it without serious focus on the Velos.
It was very satisfying to have this type of control happen. Much like learning a new 3D maneuver.

So with the practice came the realization I need to get more cleaning solution to the building when in flight. My old 40PSI, 1GPM pump wasn't up to the job, it was too slow.

I now have a 70PSI, 2.2GPM pump which is much better. This pump feeds the spray boom through a 1/4"ID rubber hose which is an increase in ID from my original 1/8" ID hose.
All around much better and with the increase in delivery I have to mount the pump back on the 15 gallon supply tank to prevent running out of solution during a cleaning flight.
Again I am not trying to pressure wash but deliver a cleaning solution of water and bleach to vinyl siding, stucco siding and the roof of building with mold on the exterior surface.

Testing and practice will continue, videos when I get the chance.

New Pump Distance Test (1 min 38 sec)
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Last edited by A VIKING; 05-12-2019 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:49 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Default New 15 gal Supply Tank with Larger Supply Hose

The original 5 gal bucket I was using proved too small for the larger delivery pump and supply hose. I was running out of cleaning solution before my battery pack ran down ending the flight.

With a new 15 gal supply tank, and 12 volt battery to run the pump, the system was hard to move.

I added a hand truck or dolly which worked perfectly to mount the supply tank and battery together making repositioning easy.

Here is a couple photos of the new "wash cart" which simplifies the process.




There was a professional house washing crew next door today and one of the guys came by to take a look.
He was impressed and thought it was a great idea although he said it "looked expensive".

I explained how it worked and said my only shortcoming was not being able to fly in wind because of the swirling currents coming around a building made accurate flying difficult.
I was glad to hear that the wind was their demon as well making them climb ladders to accurately spray by hand which would normally be done from the ground with high pressure jets.

He also liked the idea of cleaning the roof without having to climb up onto the roof which is dangerous at best and damages the roof shingles.
Using the Velos UAV does no damage...and is much more fun than climbing a ladder.

I mentioned to him I was spraying a mix of water and bleach for cleaning and he responded with "that's what we use".

He took a couple photos and left with a good impression of the system.
I think his appreciation of the helicopter spray system was influenced at least a little by the fact he said he flew RC helicopters as a hobby.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:03 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Default Sprayer Mods

In working with the larger 1/4 inch ID supply tube a few things came to mind.
It's heavier than the 1/8 inch ID supply tube I had been flying.
With the supply tube connected to the spray boom behind the COG of the Velos, there is an aft COG shift in flight while climbing in altitude.


At my maximum vertical reach of 60 feet, the supply tube and fluid adds 3 pounds to the tube connection point behind the normal COG which is not acceptable. The big Velos fly's just fine with large CG shifts but to be kind to the flight controller I decided to make it right.

To eliminate the CG shift I created a new rear mount for the supply tube which puts the supply tube connection directly below the mast or COG of the Velos.
This will also allow an even larger diameter supply tube to be flown if I decide to do so. The maximum takeoff weight of the Velos UAV is 50 pounds and I am a long way from that.



Getting the supply tube snagged which may prevent a safe landing is possible also.
My original design had a quick disconnect point located just below the spray boom connection.
With the larger supply tube and higher volume being pumped I worried that if I did have to increase pitch in flight to disconnect the supply tube from the Velos, it might spray the electronics under the canopy just at that moment. That would be very bad.

My fix was to move the disconnect point farther away from the Velos.
I found some quick disconnect fittings by a company called John Guest which really work perfect for what I am doing.
They are water tight quick disconnects which can be manually disconnected easily but I have found that a solid pull on my nylon supply tube will pull the tube out of the fitting as well so they serve two purposes.
1. Allow manual quick disconnect.
2. Allow emergency disconnect using collective pitch in flight.
I do realize I now have enough free length of the supply tube to reach the main rotor or tail rotor should I have to disconnect in flight but the nylon tubing isn't real elastic so the tubing rebounding back up into the Velos on disconnect doesn't happen.
I still may add an elastic band to the short tube to draw it back up into the belly of the Velos during an emergency disconnect, that would prevent possible rotor strikes with the tube.




The last mod is in how the spray tube attaches to the support rack.
My first setup had the spray tube just lay across the support rack with no ability to prevent rolling of the spray tube in flight.
During lateral flight, dragging the supply tube across the ground would cause the spray tube to rotate in the support rack. Not a big deal until I try to raise or lower the spray tip in the vertical plane. If the spray tube rotates in it's mount the vertical movement of the spray tip becomes a sideways motion and I don't need to spray around corners, that's what the tail rotor is for.

So now the 90 degree downward bend in the spray tube, which acts as a stress relief for the supply tube as it enters the spray boom tube, is mounted in a rubber grommet which effectively prevents rotation of the spray tube in flight...life is good.
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Last edited by A VIKING; 07-07-2019 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:40 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Better Connection Idea

Sooo…in doing some experiments and tests it seems my bright idea for the connection of the supply tube to the spray boom tube, I have described and photographed above, was flawed.

To get the coupling to slip with a good pull to disconnect in an emergency I left the insert, which makes the nylon tubing less flexible to the coupling connection, out of the assembly.
Pulling on the tubing over time can slowly cause the tubing to slide out of the coupling which would be a problem.

So to prevent accidental un-coupling of the supply tube in flight I inserted the hard plastic tube inside the nylon supply tube at the coupling point so now the coupling connection is secure and will not pull apart.

Can I still use it as an emergency disconnect? Nope!
In thinking about it I should be a better pilot than to not understand and not identify all the tangle hazards I may have on a flight for my supply tube.

I won't allow it to happen, I have that control.

What I can't control is how long the quick disconnect couplings will last without leaks.
I have been very impressed by them so far but what about when they have been used hundreds of times?
To protect the Velos from accidental spray at the coupling point I have installed a hood which shields the Velos. Any leaks that may occur in flight will spray into the blue plastic hood and fall to the ground.
So where did I find the blue plastic hood...it was on a weed killer spray wand that I had. It fits snuggly on my supply tube...how lucky was that find.




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Last edited by A VIKING; 07-10-2019 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:52 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Default Victories and Challenges

Made some improvements to the spray system I started out with years ago to prove the concept.
I found I needed a good position hold flight system to make the flight process simpler and more accurate when spraying. So I did just that, installed a good auto pilot system with position hold.
I had issues early on that were more my ignorance than anything. I finally got the system working really well, was going to shoot a video to show how well the system worked and then the position hold portion of my flight controller decided to spasm. I now have un-commanded collective pitch pumps in position hold at random intervals. Not good, so I am back to flying my spray missions manually.

I need position hold to allow greater accuracy and to allow me to drop the collective and manipulate the spray tip control knob on my TX. Tough to do in manual flight. Oh well I'll get it figured out one day.

When I first started this I could Google search for this type of system and I would come up empty.
Now there are many drone spray cleaning systems out there. Some are very well done and very professional, I am impressed.

For me, I'll keep working in improvements with my own system. Aside from getting my position hold system to work once again I am considering increasing the pump capacity and pressure to allow an even greater volume of spray during flight.
It's not so much that I need to...it's just because I can.

The Velos UAV is performing perfectly with around 40 hours of flight time and without any wear of any kind on anything, it's solid and reliable.

Still absolutely love my rotor brake. 100 rotor brake stops now and I still have the same rubber rotor brake pads. They are almost to the end of their life, I'll see how far they go.

Velos UAV Spray System (4 min 0 sec)
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:06 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Default Use of Position Hold...boy oh boy.

Got all the Skookum 900 issues sorted out. I think I have said it before, its like training your dog. The training is actually on you, the dog already knows everything.
Many of the issues I battled were created by me just not understanding.

As you can see in the video, the SK900 does a great job of flying the big Velos UAV in position hold.
My sloppy manual spraying flights are a thing of the past, just a bad dream.

With position hold mastered, everything about my spray cleaning flights become easy and accurate...and way too much fun.

Hope you enjoy the video.

Velos UAV Skookum 900 Roof Cleaning (5 min 45 sec)
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:11 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Default A Great Video from Velos Rotors

Check out this great video from Aris Kolokythas, CEO of Velos Rotors.
He tells the Velos story along with some great engineering animations of the Velos UAV and awesome flying video.
Enjoy!

Velos rotors and the innovative Velos UAV helicopter (7 min 1 sec)
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:52 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Awesome Video!
Love it !
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:20 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Default The next project...will be very cool.

Working my next imagineering project with the Velos UAV. This one will be my most challenging and possibly a game changer.
With the other projects that I created, I posted progress reports often and in detail.
This one is important enough I will keep it under wraps until it's complete and proven to be an advantage or something that just looks very cool.

With the difficulty in design and flight testing of this project, and with my regular job with full scale helicopters taking up most of my time, progress will be a little slow, but in the end, worth while.

So what could it be? I may have something to show off around the holidays.
Until then, fly safe and keep dreaming.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:28 PM   #50 (permalink)
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looking forward to the outcome
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:16 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Default What if...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
As promised here is the first of many, many articles covering my latest endeavor with the Velos UAV. The ROW or Rotor Over Wing enhanced lifting system...It just had to have a cool name.

Battery technology is good but it needs to get better, everyone is looking for that added edge in extended flight time.
Since battery technology is no help at present we should be looking for aerodynamic advantages, which we should be exploring anyway.

So for the Velos UAV, could a fixed wing be designed to off-load the power requirements of the rotor in flight and in doing so extend available battery power to extend flight time? I am going to find out.

This will be a very complicated and lengthy process so I will post it in bites to prevent the story from becoming a "War and Peace" type 1000 page read.

I can tell you now I have already been flying it and it does show promise.
But the dream can only be realized with real world data that shows beyond doubt the wing, or ROW concept is worthy...maybe I will find out otherwise, but without trying, I will never know.

Enjoy the photos. Flight videos recorded with an on board GoPro will follow. I have found the GoPro has been a tremendous help with this project. Nothing like seeing the wing in flight up close and very personal.

Below you will see a flight photo with a piece of red yarn tied to an aluminum rod with a degree plate in the background.
For any wing to fly it has to have a positive angle of attack or AOA. In mounting the wing to have a positive AOA, I had to know the direction or angle of airflow I was flying the wing through.

At the target airspeeds, it worked out to be very consistent with 30 degrees shown on the degree plate.
So with that knowledge I positioned the wing at a 35 degree incidence, as seen in the photos, to give it a 5 degree AOA which should be good for testing.

The structure of the wing is extruded foam with a "Clark Y" airfoil. It has a large full span carbon fiber main spare tube which plugs into a separate support spare tube mounted solidly between the fuselage side plates. the rear spare is also carbon fiber of a smaller diameter. It has a threaded insert epoxied in it and is attached to the rear wing mounting plate with a single cap head screw which does two things, it secures the wing to the airframe and with the screws removal allows the wing to easily "unplug" from the fuselage for transport and the rear spar is also used to set the incidence of the wing which can be changed very simply by drilling another hole in the mounting plate for the desired incidence and AOA.

Lots more to come, I had never cut a foam wing core before and after destroying one half of a 4 X 8 foot sheet of blue extruded wall insulation foam in trying to create the perfect airfoil, I now consider myself an expert and can cut perfect airfoils every time.

Look at the finish on the foam core wings. Super smooth and glossy, doesn't look like foam at all.
There is no paint used, only sanded down surface hardener, feather weight filler and clear liquid floor polish. Never did that before either...but I am now a huge fan.

Much more to come.
Enjoy!









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Last edited by A VIKING; 12-24-2019 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:18 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Default ...more photos.



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Old 12-24-2019, 09:55 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Default Rotor Balance and Wing Vibration

So one important aspect of flying a wing on a helicopter is will the wing be affected by the rotor.
I thought I would encounter vibration that I would never be able to eliminate but I was wrong.
I did have a large vibration of the wing beginning on the first flight but after seeing the video playback in slow motion, I realized I had a lateral vibration in the rotor system that didn't show up on the SK900 files. To be fair, I have a very efficient vibration isolator mount for the SK but the airframe looked vibration free viewing from a close vantage point so I thought it was smooth.
Not until the wing was installed did I realize I still had some vibration in the rotor.

A little clear packing tape on the CG of the offending blade smoothed out the wings vibration really well.

As you can see in the flight video, there is no interaction between the rotor blades and the wing in flight and with that it opens the door to many possibilities of wing design.
Let the party begin!

Rotor Balance and Wing Vibration (0 min 59 sec)
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:45 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Default Happy New Year...and happy new ideas.

Happy New Year to everyone!

I was so impressed by the stability of the wing I just went ahead and created a set of servo actuated flaps to see what effect they may have on lift performance.
I was going to wait on installing these but after seeing the wing in flight and with having some vacation time to work out the details and do the work, it was a good time to get it done.

All that is left is to finish with a smooth gloss white surface to the areas of the wing that were altered with the addition of the flaps.
Since I don't paint these, it should be quick and painless.

After the repair of the finish is complete it will be flight test time to see if the wing can do what's expected.
I know it flies well, just need to verify lifting ability and with that a reduction in battery usage for a given flight.

That's the dream...for now.

Shown in the fully extended position.


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Old 01-20-2020, 05:36 PM   #55 (permalink)
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A Viking, sending you a PM shortly about Velos. Very impressive!
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:12 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Default Velos Wing 3.0

Taking the ROW (rotor over wing) concept to another level with what was learned from the first two iterations of the wing, I built another wing with advancements in design.

This wing keeps the "Clark Y" airfoil but with a longer wing span of 51.25 inches with each wing panel being 21.75 inches in length. The cord remains at 8 inches.

The flaps are full span and 2 inches wide. The jackshaft to actuate the flaps was completely redesigned to be simpler than the original.

Three carbon fiber spars keep the wing ridged and strong.

The wing panels can still be "unplugged" from the fuselage for easy transport of the airframe with super quick reassembly at the flying location.

LED position lights were installed at the wingtips. So my Velos has a pair of forward looking red-green position lights on the forward gear legs. Red-green position lights on the wing tips and white strobe LED tail lights.

Will be doing some flight tests soon to see if the wing can contribute to battery savings in cruise. The airspeed flown for the tests will be the airspeed in which the Velos rotor is most efficient. Power usage in cruise will be taken without the wing and then with the wing installed to see the difference.

Flap angle and wing incidence will be changed to find the sweet spot for wing position.
My hopes are high that this will create an advantage, but only with the test flights, will that be determined.

Enjoy the photos, if the weather cooperates the actual test flights should be done soon and I will report back.















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Old 02-11-2020, 07:40 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Holy crap....
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Old 03-20-2020, 05:59 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Default First Flight of the Velos ROW Concept

Been gone a long while, life happens and time passes but I finally got the chance to do the preliminary flights on the ROW concept mounted on my Velos UAV.
It was a bit breezy for the first tests but there comes a time when you have to take the leap so the flights got done.
Stability was good with no surprises during the runs. Its a real beautiful ship in flight.
Still looking closely at the recorded SK flight files to see if governor reduction during cruise was achieved.
There is a normal reduction of power in forward flight due to the efficiency of the big main rotor but I am looking for more than that with the wing taking up some of the lifting duties.
Time, experimenting and more flights will tell the tale.

In the mean time enjoy the flight video, it was shot at a beautiful location.

Velos UAV ROW Flight (1 min 46 sec)
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:20 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Default Container drop test from 400 feet.

Had the opportunity to do some container drop testing to see how different protective package material would perform in preventing failure of a 1/2 gallon and a 1 gallon water container dropped from 400 feet.
It's a very big challenge.
If in watching the box drop you don't get queasy, your good to go.
Enjoy the scenery.

Velos UAV Package Drop Test 400 Feet (2 min 6 sec)
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:24 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2020
Location: Denmark
Default Velos Rotors

Thank you for the "stories" with your experience with Velos Rotors - we will be watching your success with this system!
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