Propeller and machine gun timing

[Matt] was looking for a challenge. Inspired by the machine gun setups on World War I planes he wanted to make a gun that can shoot between the blades of a spinning propeller. The original guns used an interrupter gear that synchronized machine gun firing with the engine mechanically. [Matt] set out to do this using a microcontroller.

To make this work there are two important pieces of information; how fast is the propeller spinning right now, and how long does it take for the pellet to pass the blade? [Matt] used an oscilloscope and some infrared sensors to establish the firing delay at about 20-22ms. Another sensor shows the propeller is spinning at 500 RPMs, with some simple calculations showing that there is indeed a big enough window of time to fire between the blades. After testing with a visible LED and then building out the rest of the circuitry he accomplished his goal. He even added a test function that purposely hits the blades just to see how accurate the system was. We hope this shows up in a Red Baron RC replica, or other flying arsenal.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

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