back to article Vulture 2 spaceplane brain surgery begins with remote incision

The programming of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's autopilot was going pedal to the metal yesterday as we finally resolved a cantankerous Raspberry Pi issue and got down to some proper Pixhawk wrangling. Linus Penzlien is in Spain to work with APM:Plane lead developer Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell on implementing some custom Low Orbit …

  1. Ralph B

    Other Similarity

    Linus in Spain and Tridge in Australia also appear to employ the same interior designer and/or decorator.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other Similarity

      I think by "Tridge on the other end" they mean looking over the shoulder of Linus at Tridge in the Skype window.

      1. Ralph B

        Re: Other Similarity

        > I think by "Tridge on the other end" they mean looking over the shoulder of Linus at Tridge in the Skype window.

        Ah, yes, I guess that would explain the similarity.

        1. Martin Budden

          Re: Other Similarity

          It might also explain the identical levels of daylight on opposite sides of the planet ;-)

  2. JimmyPage
    Thumb Up

    Nice placement for El Reg

    On the lappie screen

  3. ForthIsNotDead
    Pint

    Boffinry!

    This is getting into Boffinry territory, and nae a white lab-coat to be seen! Well done!

    1. joeW

      Re: Boffinry!

      No pipes in evidence either though - the project is doomed.

  4. Elmer Phud

    Standard support

    "Tridge is in Canberra, but that didn't stop him getting inside the Pixhawk via OpenVPN, while chatting to Linus on Skype."

    So, so familiar, remote diagnostics - 'Press the power button down for a bit longer . . . '

  5. Vinyl-Junkie

    Wouldn't it make more sense...

    ...to have LOHAN mounted (!) facing the rear of the van in order to minimise the lift generated by the van's forward motion? Otherwise you're putting unneccesary strain on the airframe whilst getting it to site. Just a thought.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Wouldn't it make more sense...

      Well, we can switch the frame around easily enough.

    2. melt

      Re: Wouldn't it make more sense...

      Yes, but it doesn't really help testing the pitot tubes... assuming they're using them!

    3. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it make more sense...

      Vinyl-j. I doubt it. The natural stresses of flight would be reversed. Control hinge stresses especially. Look up hammer head stall disasters for what happens if an aircraft not built for it goes backward. I would suggest the carry rack have a windscreen venturi like some speed boats so the airflow rolls cleanly over the top of the van, leaving LOHAN in relatively calm air.

      1. Vinyl-Junkie

        Re: Wouldn't it make more sense...

        Fair enough - I've seen what happens if you carry a large r/c aircraft on a roofrack and the securing isn't very carefully thought out. You can overstress parts of the airframe that normally wouldn't get stressed (like the centre section of a wing secured at both ends...). I was trying to think of a way to avoid this; a fairing seems good.

        I did wonder about putting LOHAN on the rack upside down (this gets worse, doesn't it?) but I suspect there would still be stress issues.

  6. A K Stiles
    Coat

    Another canard servo issue?

    Have you considered having a word with your servo supplier, or possibly threatening the pesky things with some orange sauce?

  7. WalterAlter
    Holmes

    Tits Up Bail Provision

    Prolly been discussed, but I was wondering if LOHAN has some way to get back to Earth with launch rail if pressing the red button results in absolute silence? You can blow the balloon shackles and deploy a parasol @ 1000', right?

    1. Martin Budden
      Coat

      Re: Tits Up Bail Provision

      It's all very well keeping the sun off LOHAN for the final 1000' of plummeting, but a parachute might provide a softer landing.

      Mary Poppins she ain't.

    2. Vinyl-Junkie
      Headmaster

      Re: Tits Up Bail Provision

      "I was wondering if LOHAN has some way to get back to Earth with launch rail if pressing the red button results in absolute silence?"

      Errrm ....

      ...gravity?

      However, if there was supposed to be a "safely" somewhere in that sentence then I would imagine the whole payload recovery mechanism can take the additional weight of LOHAN (should it fail to detach) without undue problems.

  8. Denarius Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    very nice looking LOHAN

    real looker, very like the craft from Space Kingsley et al. Ah, the long ago days when the planets did not seem so far away. Carry on chaps and keep calm.

  9. Martin Budden
    Pint

    Excellent boffinry from Linus and Tridge. Have a virtual beer each.

    And if Tridge would like to convert that to a real beer, I happen to in Canberra too...

  10. Sporkinum

    flight test

    Am I missing something, or hasn't the airframe had a flight test yet? Seems like a good idea to at least test a half scale foam and balsa under RC, just to see how it flies.

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