Friday, September 3, 2010

Campitch 1 Monocopter Pt 3

A good ascent. Note wing gap.

Takeoff. Sign of an inadequate flybar.
1 ft up and already 1 ft sideways.

The wreckage.

The Campitch 1 is no more.

It made 10 flight attempts in 10 months.
Four flights were considered OK, one was very good,
and only one was nearly perfect. One way or another
it tossed it's wing four times. It tore up one part  or
another of the cam system four times, and broke one
flybar. The final flight did all three at once.

Even the best flight bent the cam follower bolt.  It
was the ninth flight and I used one of my 24mm E  
sugar moonburners.  It ascended to around 60 feet, it's
highest flight, and when it coasted about halfway down
it finally slowed enough to retract the wing into full
autorotation mode.   D motors never gave it the needed
height to do this.

On the tenth flight, I used an Aerotech E11J. At about
the 40ft mark, still under power it disintegrated. The
flybar was broken and the cam follower bolt was half
torn from the wing root, and the bolthead was pulled
through the G10 fiberglass cam track.

This spinny thang taught me more than all my previous
monocopters put together.

The biggest problem the CP1 had was it's pretty wing.
Being fully glassed it was too heavy [especially with
balance weight added to the leading edge], and that
eliptical wingtip made it too slick. Together this
gave it a higher than average rpm AND a tendency to
not slow down anytime soon.
Again, because of the wing weight, the unweighted
3/16" flybar used on the first five flights lacked authority.
This caused the motor and wing to pick their own pitch
angle and for the monocopter as a whole to squirrel
around and track at odd angles instead of going straight
up. The second flybar was 1/4" diameter and slightly
longer, but it had so much drag  altitude was reduced
by half.
The wing retract spring is always an issue. If it's too
heavy; it takes extra rpm to extend for takeoff.
If it's too light; it has to slow more to retract into
auto rotation. I used springs because I had a pile to
pick from. A better solution would be rubberbands
which might be easier to fine tune.
Finally, 1/8" pultruded carbon tubing it totally
unsuitable for D+ powered monocopters.  I managed
to break them outright 4 times, in three different

I'll spare y'all the flight log.
Yahoo Monocopter Group won't be so lucky.


  1. So was the moon burner a longer burn than the aerotech ? thereby gentler on the gear?


  2. Dustin what timing! This is the 1st time I've been in the Lab in 3 weeks, and only 2 days after your message!
    Yes the Long Sugar Moons have lower ISP than the AT E11J therefore likely a lower thrust over the same or slightly longer burn time. No thrust stand data sory to say.
    Being a moonburner, the initial rampup is longer and gentler.
    Last Saturday I found out how the LSM compares to the Estes E9, a story for another post about another monocopter. Soon.