True Craftsmanship: Pneumatic Powered Drone Wasn’t Made To Fly

From time to time it’s good to be reminded that mechanical engineering can also be art. [José Manuel Hermo Barreiro], also known as [Patelo], is a retired naval mechanic with a love for scale model engines. Using only basic tools and a lathe, he has built a non-flying hexacopter display model, each propeller turned by a tiny single cylinder motor that runs on compressed air. From the tiny components of the valve systems, the brass framed acrylic windows into the crankcases, and the persistence of vision disc on the exhaust, the attention to detail is breathtaking.

One of the six hand crafted pneumatic motors

[Patelo] started the project on paper, and created a set of detailed hand-drawn blueprints to work from. Sadly a large part of the build took place during lockdown, and was not filmed, but we still get to see some work on a crankcase, connecting rod, camshaft, propellers, flywheel, and exhaust tubes. It is very clear that [Patelo] knows his way around his lathe very well, and is very creative with custom tools and jigs. The beautiful machine took approximately 1,560 hours to build, consists of 265 individually made parts held together with 362 screws.

We previously featured tiny V-12 engine that [Patelo] built around 2012. At that time he was 72 years of age, which means he should be around 80 now. We can only hope to come to emulate him one day, and that we get to see more of what comes out of his workshop. Hats off to you, sir.

16 thoughts on “True Craftsmanship: Pneumatic Powered Drone Wasn’t Made To Fly

  1. Breathless day-of reporting is not the HaD style. Come back in a week when the contents of the breach are better understood, until then you will mostly hear semiprofessional speculation.

      1. It’s not a very aggressive pitch, granted, but it does look like it has got a little to me. Advantage of small props though, is that you don’t have to worry about hitting mach at like 3-4k RPM like on your Cessna. They’d have to be over 50,000 RPM or so (Don’t know exact dimensions here)

        1. It appears there is a small translucent tube that Tee’s into the metal tube going to each motor. I assume that some air hits the engine and the rest is discharge out the tube to spin his tag. Possibly throttle the motors based on how much is lost.
          Very nice hands on machining. I enjoy older engineering, no drawings needed, just a scribe and calipers.

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