We did it, and then some!
WOW! What an incredible funding campaign! Thank you to every single person who helped push our campaign to be so incredibly successful! We have a number of updates for you all, as well as couple stretch goals for the remaining 5 or 6 days of our campaign.
Work has been progressing steadily on the design phase of HLQ and we have very nearly finalized our design. We are pending some optimizations to ensure that we have reduced the mass of HLQ as much as possible while still maintaining the material and structural integrity of it's various components. We are close enough, however, that we can release this rendering of our current, and likely final drivetrain design. Below is an exploded view of the drivetrain which details how power is transferred from the engines to the rotor heads and blades.
In the spirit of remaining as "off-the-shelf" as possible, we decided to go with a belted drive system. The large pulleys on the top connect to the engines using toothed belts. This doubles as a dampening system which reduces the cyclical loading of the engine which can cause accelerated wear and premature failure of the drive gears. Based on the results of FEA analysis, the gears and drive shafts will be hollowed out a bit to reduce weight, as will the largest of the pulleys.
We are to the point where we are starting to source and purchase parts and you can expect to see some major fabrication and assembly going on over the next month and a half or so. We will do our best to provide updates and videos of the entire process.
We also have an update for our T-Shirt backers! We have a few design for you to ponder. These 4 design will be among the possible choices that you will get to vote for to be printed and shipped. We laid out the designs on several backgrounds to give you an idea of how they might look on dark, medium, and light shirts. We are open to comments on these designs. We'd also like to invite anyone with a shirt idea to please share them in the comments. We'd even accept (gratefully) actual designs to incorporate into the options.
T-Shirt Design One: "The Logo"
T-Shirt Design 2: "King Kong Quad Swat"
Note: The fronts of the shirts are all the same as above.Note 2: We have also added window lights to all the building, not just the one.
T-Shirt Design 3: "The Test Rig"
T-Shirt Design 4: "The Blue Prints"
Lastly, because we've not only managed to make our goal, but to provide some padding room in our funding, we'd like to announce a few stretch goals for our project.
Our first stretch goal is at $12,000. At this level we will be able to purchase a dedicated ruggedized laptop that will act as our ground station. It will be tough enough to handle what we throw at it and allow us to keep our own laptops safe from the risks of working in the field.
Our second goal at the $15,000 level is a custom built transport case for HLQ. We will likely be moving HLQ pretty often (especially during testing), so we'd like to have a safe way to pack it up for transportation.
Our third goal is a vacation after all this is done. At $22000 we will be able to take a nice long vacation with our significant others and blow off some steam! We're thinking Cabo... (We're only joking about this one.... mostly...)
And our last stretch goal, (we're really joking about this one!), at $122,000 we will purchase a brand new custom 2013 Ford e-350 Extended Body Van with a Sportsmobile's 4WD System to get HLQ from 'A' to 'B'. We will opt for the 6.0L diesel engine and also add a vegetable oil kit to keep mileage up and fuel costs down. We will also retrofit it with a custom landing-pad on top for easy deployment of HLQ. Okay, okay... As awesome as this thing is, WE ARE JOKING. Please don't give us that much money; we wouldn't know what to do with it. (Well, we'd buy the van, but still....)
Well, that's all the updating we have. I want to thank everyone again for making this campaign so awesome. We absolutely appreciate every dollar you have all pledged, but we are also particularly impressed at how enthusiastic everyone has been about HLQ. We'd love to be able to make the first couple of stretch goals, so if you haven't done so already, let your Facebook, twitter, and all your other social networks know how excited you are about HLQ!
--Incredible HLQ Engineering Team
P.S. Here's the Incredible HLQ Facebook Page, in case you haven't already "liked" us.