Sunday, January 20, 2013

The work continues

So my progress on the Thunderbolt continues, but is somewhat halted. I need to order more molding compound. I didn't like how the first mold of the engine came out so I tried to make a better mold. While I managed to do that, I used more mold compound then I had previously planned on. So I need to order more. Otherwise I can't make the mold for the left wing and lets face it, a one-winged Thunderbolt is going to fly a whole lot worse then a two-winged version. However, I'm doubly delayed on that front because I just had to drop about $700 on a bit of a health problem. End result is nothing serious but I'm lucky I caught it when I did otherwise the doctors were concerned I'd be risking blindness in my right eye. No telling how much being blind in one eye would have slowed down my hobbying. So it will be a couple weeks till I can order more mold compound.

But that doesn't stop me from working with what I already have on hand. As previously stated I intend to use magnets in my final build to allow me to drop bombs, remove hell fire missiles and swap out fuel pods as I see fit. Well I managed to cast up one wing with magnets in it. Here's a video showing the magnets in action:
Right now it's using a single bar magnet in each pylon. The bar is magnetixed through the long axis. meaning if you look at the bar like this:

Magnet bar ===>  =============
Then the poles of the magnet are on the ends of the bar, like so:
Magnet bar ===>  =============

While this works it feels a bit flimsy and I think will put too strain on my efforts to build an alignment system into the missiles and pods. Also any alignment system I do build will be based on absolute placement of the magnets in both pieces, meaning if the magnet in the pylon is placed exactly 5.4mm from the back side of the pylon then accompanying magnet in the pylon, missile and fuel pod must also be exactly5.4mm from the back edge of the alignment system. An exacting measurement that is extremely difficult to accomplish. So what am I going to do about this? Well I think I'm going to get bar magnets that are magnetized along the long side rather then on the ends. That way it will be largely self aligning.


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