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Calidus RC Autgyro - Foamie Box Construction

Real Calidus Inspired - One of many designs I built to have fun with.

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MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)18/07/2013 09:55:08
107 forum posts
100 photos

I designed this model while in the process of building a few other similar designs in various materials and architectures.

The one being tested for actual flight in the attached YT video sporting MIA's CNC Cut Blades is a boxy quick build design I threw together in one evening of deciding weather to watch TV or do the model. I chose the later.

In the video are two photos of slight foamie variants but have the Calidus attitude. I like to throw in my own angles and ways of doing these models so they have their own personality, so this particular one is not intented to be a true replica but a model one can build quick and light and be fun while providing ease of control and making it crashproof.

I started to do foamie autogyro boxy designs back in the early 2000's, using bluecore or fan fold foam, in lieu of depron, or even epp, but all of these materials including balsa (not my favorite one because it is less forgiving in a crash) work fine, as I have tried them all in various flying model aplications. I just prefer the blue stuff, because it is easily available in my area and I can build whatever I want whenever I want it.

The object of this model is not to compete with the more in scale Calidus RC Autogyros out there but to provide myself and those that find this stuff interesting with something that looks like one but won't break the wallet in a crash it in the first attempts.

While studying the real Calidus photos and frame architecture, I noted some things could be done a lot better in some areas and is one of the reasons I elected to do away with the tubular tail support and go with a more rectangular section. Not as sexy as the tubular one but it is structurally more robust. Practicality wins over appeal in this case. 

So here is one of the videos I did, trying to divide my time amongst several projects at the same time, makes progress a bit slower, but eventually this model will be flying longer and better to a higher level of satisfaction next time.

Fo the time being, this model has proven two important things off the drawing board which I was after:

1) It flies !  but needs a different prop, for more thrust. Not an issue!

2) I down this model several times during aborted takeoffs because I did not have the room to fully gun the throttle and go for it in the street "asphalt" tests. So it survided quite a bit of abuse in this process. A trademark of mine in the way I design everyone of my flying models.

The grassy field that I am testing is convenient because it is near within walking distance, but the con is that it does not have smooth ground and is quite challenging to fly in such due to small size, trees streets and car roads nearby.

Nevertheless, when the spirit of persistance and energy is there, everything is possible.




Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 18/07/2013 10:00:41

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)18/07/2013 10:19:09
107 forum posts
100 photos

I forgot to mention that it is a bit misleading to show videos of models that fly perfect in the hands of trained RC Pilots and pass them as easy to fly models to newbies.

I realize that it is not pretty to show the ugly side that models have to go through while testing a design. But I feel this is part of the process and to be honest with new viewers and possibly someone wanting to get into RC autogyros the truth is that these are complex machines to design and control.

The job of a designer of these models is to minimize the effort required for the user and better yet if the user is a total newbie and not a handful of diehard enthusiast who have somewhat already an understanding of how these models operate and are controlled.

And so this cannot be done without the process that I am showing in this video. Models have to be tested and retested. I would love to show all videos of perfect model flying perfectly all the time but that is not the full story and so I hope this thread is treated with a bit of thought.

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 18/07/2013 10:21:25

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)19/07/2013 02:40:20
107 forum posts
100 photos

I had an incident with the ESC, A Hobby King 30A, it was faulting and finally smoked!. This would explain the lack of power I had during the preliminary test flights. Bummer! So I am replacing it with a new and different brand. This is not the first time I've had issues with the HK brand of ESCs and may just switch back to the more expensive but more reliable USA made ones, even Turnigy ESC are better, I think.

The MIA Airfoil CNC blades are working beautifully! but I am eager to test it with blades made with a tool that I am having manufactured for me. If the later works as good, I will be offering the blades to DIY'ers here in the USA and abroad in view that there are no companies here in the USA ore overseas offering quality inexpensive blades for rc autogyros. It is unfortunate news that a USA company that was making RC Autogyro blades have closed bussiness due to owner passing away. I never really got a chance to try their blades but being a USA made product I am sure the quality was there!.

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)21/07/2013 06:45:49
107 forum posts
100 photos

Here is a model that will not break the wallet nor the spirit should it happen to crash.

Illustration done for study of space requirements for the frame (Calidus RC Autogyro, MIA Version), RC equipment and to get an overall view what the end model will look like with paint and all.

This one is different than the boxy one (Video a start of this thread, done from a couple rough CAD drawings). This later CAD drawing and project has a lot more flexibility as I can change the design, shape, etc. The other great thing is that I can take the design straight to cnc once all the final dimensions, frame and body panels have been figured out. The model is smaller than the other Calidus' out there, and it is not meant to compete with them, as I am doing this for the fun of it and to have a variation. Also because who doesn't like a Calidus!. It is not as small as the MIA MPG. So it is a nice size.

As I have been fine tuning this model, I am going further and further away from the boxy design or even thick profile and just go direct to to the more organic look, as the real one. The thing is I will have to create a plug for the body and that is something I am not looking forward to as there will be a lot of sanding and finishing etc, before I can pull a mold from it.

Anyway, the boxy one in the first video has been refitted with a new ESC and a larger prop, is ready for another , hopefully longer flight.

Weather has not been perfect but hopefully soon, meantime I am trying to finish this later one.

mia calidus illustration 1.jpg



Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 21/07/2013 06:46:14

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)21/07/2013 08:40:57
107 forum posts
100 photos

mia calidus rc autogryo frame 1.jpg

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)22/07/2013 00:07:31
107 forum posts
100 photos

Tailoring the look of the Calidus on the MIA Version RC autogyro. Still has a few more parts to be added, but it is beginning to take a more organic shape. Profile FFF, Depron, EPP Calidus Model is pretty much set if I wanted to leave it at this stage, but I think I'm going to go for the full effect. In mia calidus rc autogryo frame 2.jpg

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 22/07/2013 00:30:42

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)22/07/2013 00:34:23
107 forum posts
100 photos

Although I can say this later one (previous photo, previous post) is also a one night design and build, a long knight that is.... , compared to the earlier ones I did in one short knight, it is turning out quite palatable. I am sticking with some tricks I used to make the MIA MPG -X1 so that it flies as good or better.

mia calidus one night box construction 1.jpg

This one below is not the same as the really boxy one but a simpler, straight boom, and open cockpit.

FFF makes builds quick, easy and best of all light weight. I have drepron and EPP also but I prefer the blue stuff, seems a bit more dense, IMO.

mia calidus one night box construction 2.jpg

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 22/07/2013 00:40:44

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)22/07/2013 01:06:11
107 forum posts
100 photos

The original Calidus has some neat and clean lines which make it extremely appealing but it is just my nature to leave things not as they are and look at it from other possible angles. As I started to play with the profile of the original Calidus design for RC, I started to venture into my own lines and look, which I embed it into the original MIA Calidus Boxy Construction one, actually a morph, if we will, of the original Calidus Design and a MIA flavor.

This is the result of that, in art form, and what I used to make the Boxy Construction one (in a boxy form models are not as pretty, I know....). I label it MPG, because it originally started with an MPG architecture, as the base, and as I played with the overall shape design it became, obviously, Calidus Inspired. Note, however, the tail stabilisers are not from the original Calidus, nor is the non "round tubular" boom. Thus a slight morph of what ever was in my head the night I did this drawing, and it never stays that way for long, as ideas regenerate constantly in my head.

mia calidus-mpg morph 1.jpg

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 22/07/2013 01:10:20

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)22/07/2013 01:31:57
107 forum posts
100 photos

Well I coul not resist. I'm itching to get this one flying soon, but family times is also important so I will leave you silent viewers , with this photo. Blades are hand made, not CNC so they are bit rough on the edges, but it is about the right size and I was itching to see how this would look. I am sure this will change, but is is inspiring and it will force me to complete it as soon as I get back to this project again.

mia calidus rc autogryo frame 3.jpg

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 22/07/2013 01:32:12

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 22/07/2013 01:33:20

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)30/07/2013 22:27:50
107 forum posts
100 photos

well, I got the 3D model refined and have been playing with the idea of going to full mold of the body. I know I am not the only that has done this, once again, it's not meant to be a competitive thread or model, but a self enjoyment project, in my own way, but if it goes beyond that, that's OK too. Not in a hurry. I want to make sure the model works easy from various points of view.

As typical of my approach I spend a lot of time thinking of the way someone else, other than myself, would have to build it, just in case. The mechanical arrangement has to be such that it is not only easy to instal but also easy for maintenance.

3D modelling is quite time consuming and not as easy as it looks, but when done it sure makes part and mold making a lot easier. At this stage I can make the molds for the body but there is still a bit of work to be done on the final fit with all the components. I just hope inspiration doesn't run dry as other more important things pop into view.

mia calidus rc.jpg


Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 30/07/2013 22:30:51

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)01/08/2013 00:11:28
107 forum posts
100 photos

I've been looking at the amount of space inside the body of the 3D model and I think I may be able to fit this pilot inside. I don't care for the full interior effect just the top helmet and torso as it is done on many rc planes to give the illusion of a pilot inside the model. The added benefit to this is also to keep the model lightweight. The only heavy thing should be the battery, this also allows plenty of room under the cabin for the battery and some electronics that may need to be shifted forward for cg calibration. KISS rule applies here as I don't like co complicate things unnecessarily.

trike pilot yel - 400.jpg

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)01/08/2013 01:20:52
107 forum posts
100 photos

originally I was considering this full figure pilot but as my previous post, it would have required a bigger scale model. As much as I like full body RC pilots, there comes a time when you have to be logical and practical about their use in the specific application. I love this full body pilot on the MIA EZ 2.0 RC Microlights, it works extremely well, but then it was designed for such, originally, from bottom up....

I guess the inspiration is still lingering...

mia ez 2.0 microlight pilot.jpg

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)01/08/2013 02:52:11
107 forum posts
100 photos

I often like to study my own videos and give them some thought as to areas they need improvement or how some of the best flight characteristic of one can be transferred to other models I am working on.

Being of the opinion there is absolutely no reason why an rc autogyro model of the caliber I am designing and building should not fly equally well to say for instance my RC trike model in this video, is something that has been playing with my brain lately.

The model in this video flies almost by itself and it requires some light stick control input. I don't have to worry about the wing not being in full rotation for sustained flight, however, this is not hard to do with an rc autogyro either, if certain mechanical and aerodynamic aspects are carefully considered. I don't mean the typical gyro rotor rpm, but more so with the specific blade design and overall weight of the model.

An RC Autogyro rotor is nothing more than a wing when it is in full rotation. Not counting the torque dynamics, dissymmetry of lift, etc., it basically behaves in the same manner to weight-shift control. As long as the autoyro rotor is in motion, I think it is safe to assume, it is basically behaving as a regular wing.

The easy way to get that rotor to behave like a wing is to pre spin the rotor to a lifting speed, simply instal a pre-rotator, but I am hard headed that way, I don't like to take the easy way out and if there is one way there is ten other ways. So I am thinking no pre-rotator also on this later MIA Calidus rc version. I don't have pre-rotators on any of my RC Autogyros in particular the MIA BBW and the MIA MPG and they take off as if they did. There are also many other rc autogyro models out there with no pre-rotators and they take off extremely well.

Things I tell myself, do not allow the model to lift until the rotor is up to lifting speed, hopefully the blade area, shape and dynamics have been well balanced and are producing the speed and lift required for smooth short and easy takeoff.

I've been studying all the RC Calidus Crash videos on you tube as probably many others do and some of my observations are that these particular models, besides some minor other details like taking off crosswind and maybe the pilots panicked in mid take off, I think they lack head speed, and maybe not so much in the power train but in the blade design, I also think these models maybe heavier than they need to. My experience with heavy models is that they need brute force and power to get them up to head speed and airborne and if you lack in this area, they come down like bricks. Like I said, it may not be so much a power issue but a model that is too heavy for the given power and blade design.

I don't like flying bricks, so I lean towards the "Ultralight" ones.

If you want to fly like ET, you got to be on conscientious diet. Just some thoughts as I approach the model mold making process.

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)08/09/2013 22:37:37
107 forum posts
100 photos

Mold Making - Calidus

I wanted to make a short entry to this thread, just to keep it a bit alive. I prefer to call these projects "diaries", or blogs as in reality they are step by step accounts of a project's progress.

I started the molds for the Calidus body but there is a lot of sanding and finishing work to be done, something I never look forward to, but it is part of the mold making process.

The work with the Autog-G/G2 Upgrades I've been doing lately has made it difficult to proceed on the Calidus project at a steady pace. Hopefully this project will not be lost in translation as many of my projects tend to, due to others projects that become priority.

Ade Eades (Eadsie)08/09/2013 23:29:30
108 forum posts
17 photos

Fantastic.......thumbs up what video editing are you using?.....superb......and well done. i love the idea of making an autog

just need some spare time now

KR Ade.

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)11/09/2013 09:46:39
107 forum posts
100 photos

Ade, Thanks for the nice comment. On the ET tribute MIA RC Microlight video I used a version of Studio 400, it has a pseudo auto sync to music but it takes a long long time to load videos in the program. I had to painstakingly manually edit a very long video for the specific cuts and fades to blend in better with the music.

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)24/09/2013 08:06:15
107 forum posts
100 photos

MIA Calidus version moving slow , because I've been working on this cool FPV Setup.

Originally intended for RC ultralights but also suitable for a large calidus or scale RC autogyro model.

The pilot is completely controlled via RF head tracking and the FPV setup provides 180 degree pan and tilt view via a small camera such as the Mobius or similar. FPV is nothing new, but the way I am doing the pilot and parts so that the camera is concealed in the pilot head is.

If the pilot head looks familiar, it is, because it is the same pilot head I am using on the MIA G2 kits for the Durafly RC autogyro. In fact this same pilot head was used on a much earlier MIA RC autogyro I designed before the Auto Gs came out and I had it placed exactly as I have it on the Auto-Gs.


Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 24/09/2013 08:17:45

Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 24/09/2013 08:20:49

MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello)08/04/2014 02:33:56
107 forum posts
100 photos

It's been a while since I did anything with the Calidus project, has not been forgotten, jut on hold.

Well here is an update, since the first test flights on the box construction model, the 2 bladed rotor showed great stability signs but the model was under power. I had a chance to test the blades on the same boxy Calidus again in March of this year, but with a much more powerful motor, unfortunately the model ended up in a crash. However the blades were still intact and so I placed them on the MIA BBW and this video is a result of that test.

So what is the big deal, some may say? This is not my first time flying RC Autogyros with dual blades, but these blades were constructed using a different method than typically done for autogyro blades. They are not tip weighted and their performance was meant to rely strictly on the airfoil and weight of the blade itself without the aid of a tip weight,electronic stabilizers or even a pre-rotator.

Granted that the performance of a dual blade rotor also depends on the rotor head, for the most part I was mainly concerned with results of the blade shape and weight for the given model it was tested on. Here is how they were tested. I am confident that this rotor will also work on the rebuilt Calidus at some future time.



Edited By MIA Micro-FLIGHT (Mario I. Arguello) on 08/04/2014 02:36:03

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