The Flight Of The Dremel

A few months ago we featured a model aircraft whose power plant came courtesy of an angle grinder. It was the work of [Peter Sripol], and it seems he was beseiged by suggestions afterwards that he might follow it up with a helicopter built using a Dremel rotary tool. Which he duly did, and the results can be seen in the video below the break.

The Dremel itself requires a gearing to drive the balsa-bladed rotor, and a tail rotor is mounted with its own motor at the end of a boom. The video has many entertaining failures which see him arrive at a set of balancing arms and a tailplane for stability. The result is a helicopter that flies after a fashion, and is even able to stay aloft for a few seconds rather than crashing to earth.

The machine lacks the full rotor pitch control of its commercial bretheren, indeed the only control is directional via the tail rotor. Still it deserves top marks for entertainment alone, and we wouldn’t mind a go ourselves. The original angle grinder craft can be seen here.

12 thoughts on “The Flight Of The Dremel

  1. It still boggles the mind why we stick with the tail rotor configuration when coaxial, tandem, and inter-meshing systems have been proven (and improved) for so long now. I get that those systems have their own issues, some of them significant, but so much energy is wasted on the tail rotor.

    Neat project though.

    1. Having more, faster-rotating blades is less efficient at turning crank energy into static thrust as compared to fewer, slower-rotating blades.

      A helicopter can get by with just two big lifting blades without adversely affecting control.

      Yes, 100% of the energy sent to the tail rotor is a waste – but it’s not as clear cut as it may seem.

    1. Since the name of the piece you might think of is actually called the ride of the valkyries I guess it’s just you. I don’t think they had anything flying in the 13th century. And even Wagner did probably not think of flying valkyries.

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