Controls Update


Flying a helicopter to an altitude of 3 meters is an ambitious task. Besides the substantial increase in required power, there is a concern about stability, especially since attaining the Sikorsky Prize depends upon being able to stay within a 10 meter square. With Atlas we will have a great deal of control including pitch, roll and collective.

The Setup

All of the controls will be located on the handlebars of the bike the pilot sits in. The collective and pitch will be actuated through bar end shifters and the roll is adjusted with the brake levers. Both the shifters and the brakes have been bonded to carbon fibre tubes in order to extend the range of motion. The control lines will be attached to the ends of the tubes and run through the quad structure, actuating a control surface at the tips of the rotors.

What the handlebars currently look like.

What the handlebars currently look like.

The Construction

The bar end shifters were bonded to the tubes with a piece of structural foam inbetween. A couple layers of carbon weave were wrapped around to ensure its strength. In the near future, the tubes will be cut to size and connected to the control lines. The collective shifter will require a single line to control a riser, which either pulls or releases all four of the rotor lines. The pitch shifter will have two lines at either end of the tube, one running to the front rotor and one to the back. When the shifter is adjusted, one line is pulled and the other is released, which allows for a larger difference in lift across the two rotors but  keeps the torque balanced.

The brake levers were bonded to carbon fibre tubes and wrapped with kevlar to hold them in place. The two levers will be connected by a linkage in order for one control line to be pulled as the other is released.

Close up view of the shifter.

Close up view of the shifter.

Close up view of the brake lever.

Close up view of the brake lever.

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