Chris Lam

@kakittwo

How to scratch build a monocopter: an airplane that can fly with a missing wing

Monocopter is a flying machine with one rotor but it can take off and land vertically.

This article is about scratch building a design that looks like an airplane but with a missing wing. A picture of it is shown below.

Scratch-built monocopter

This monocopter flies by spinning around. Its wing acts like a blade of a helicopter. A video and an image of its flight is shown below.

An airborne monocopter
Flight test of the monocopter

Wing:

I cut a rectangle out from a Dollar Tree foam board. The dimension of the rectangle is 8 inches by 30 inches. To form the wing, I cut and fold the rectangle 2 inches away from the leading edge.

The wing

Support structure:

The motor is attached to a motor mount cut from plywood. I insert two carbon fibre rods through the motor mount. I further attach more plywood on the carbon fibre rods so that I can glue the wing on them and prevent the other end of the rods from getting loose.

The motor mount and support structure

Aluminum rods(7mm diameter) are used to form the legs of the monocopter. This can prevent the blades from touching the ground. Foam is used to wrap around the electronics and batteries to prevent damages.

Protective gears : aluminum leg and foam container for the electroncis

Load and propulsion:

The whole monocopter including batteries is 8.5 oz.

Weight of everything including the batteries

I get the motor and propellers from Amazon. Motor used is E-flite Park 370 Brushless Outrunner Motor 1360Kv. Propeller is RAYCorp® 1045 10x4.5 Propeller.

Propeller and motor

Electronics:

Electronics includes a RC receiver, 2S LiPo battery and an ESC speed controller. Since my ESC does not provide power, I add an additional small battery to power the RC receiver.

Electronics

Piloting tips:

I start with half throttle to spin the monocopter on the ground. Then, I slowly increase the throttle until the monocopter is almost airborne. At that point, I quickly increase to full throttle to keep it in the air.

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