Info on different methods for making rigid propellers, wind turbine blades, wings and similar

Any info or discussion related to the above welcome.

Aircraft - Culver Props Shop Interview Alaina Lewis!

Culver Props - YouTube

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Copy Carvers:

Shop Built Copy Carver Makes Les Paul Tops Almost Too Easy!

Matthias Wandel – Router copy carver build part 1
Matthias Wandel – Router copy carver build part 2
Matthias Wandel – Copy carving a rotary phone

I like the pipe guides in this version and the easier construction method. Some other poor ideas and construction make it worse overall: My Router Copy Carver

Homemade Propeller Carving Router Duplicator Copy Kopiarka Clone

Clone 4D - Router Duplicator / Copy Carver - Propeller Duplicating

I was out kiting today and thought about the inflatable kite design. Rigid kite design have largely discarded this method of building a wing. I still think the method has undeveloped potential for super lightweight wings.

Even so, I dont think the bridled C kite is a good match for AWE. Rather a dihedral bridled kite with a tail, rudder and elevator seems better to me.

The bridle would be neccessary for such a design. I believe the e-kite/windlift bridle would be a good fit if bridle pulleys are ok, otherwise a stiff spacer is useful for the bridle such as a hangglider would have.

Just some thoughts, not backed by experiments

Given the drag such a design entails, such a design is useful for long tether AWE. For short tethers, the efficiency of a composite wibg is hard to do without

(sorry if I misunderstood the topic)

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Yeah, topics in this topic could be 3d printing, cutting foam, making laminate wood, making composite wings, making ribs, covering wings, and so on. I’d like to think about and gather techniques for simple prototype making for wings shorter than 2 meters say.

My thinking also went in that direction thinking about how Rod’s or Christoff’s concepts could scale. Instead of elevators and a rudder I had instead control tethers to the front and back of the fuselage to keep the kite itself dumb and cheap for prototyping. I also wonder how much dihedral would be optimal. But that’s a different topic.

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I am in favour of keeping kites dumb and cheap when they are small kites in networked arrays.
Larger kites in networked arrays will likely need to get smart and active despite the extra bridling support the array provides.

The rigid wings I tested were super simple. (Not very rigid, you can see the tips flex out beyond the outer bridle)

I’ll show you what I did, but please assume a bunch of caveats and warnings …

I ordered a set of high density blue polystyrene foam cuts.
Ironed on some film with a strange old abandoned tool which used to be used for flattening clothes.
Inserted 2 carbon spar tubes.
Tied through the tubes in a loop to avoid loosing them to centrifuge.
The bridling was pure guesswork.

underside. (With bust socket.)…

topside. With top lift knot through fuselage…

Spars inserted to ends and tied through…

Spars through…

Bridle load spreader pegs above topside skin to prevent spar crushing…

3d printed some fuselages in PLA. Ring style and hexagon style…


The ring fuselages took an impact better, (larger bond) but needed a really tight sleeve over the 6 inter-cuffing tubes, to stop the tubes coming apart.
Better material grading will prevent bust on the hex tubes.

This is the end of one of the hex tubes after it bust the fuselage socket…

The duct tape, tie strap and anti twist peg are meant to be there… You can also see a bit of bust fuselage.

When the right balance of material and force is found in these turbines…
With the right cascading and networked bridle pattern, you could see hundreds of kites, tens of lines, held on 1 main flying rope, at many positions around a turbine.
Keep in mind it’s not just stacking rotor layers up the axis, and numbers of kites around the axis, but you can also concentrically add layers of small kite rotor networks outward from the axis.

As for how rigid this is.
It uses rigid components very sparsely, providing function only as necessary.
As a whole, it’s flexible. Was too flexible before the anti twist pegs in the fuselage sockets.
That’s a definite weak-point in how these ones were done.


The KiteGen Research C-shaped semi-rigid Power Wing (an extract of the topic below) is built with small elements hinged together by flexible joints.

“The result, as can be seen from the picture below has the dimensions of the wing of a large airliner but is lightweight and semi-rigid. The wing is formed by 9 ashlars hinged together by flexible joints, thanks to which it can easily change configuration in order to vary the wing lift factor.”

A similar method could perhaps be studied for other rigid wing designs in order to benefit from simpler manufacture and transport, as well as greater lightness, with an appropriate bridle.

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I think much large scale construction will eventually move in a similar direction. My analogy was a combination of vertebrate spines and insect exoskeletons but I guess palm trees work better. I think it is in an interesting area of research.

Working with cardboard and paper (work in progress)

CardBoard Advanced Basics Tutorial guide for model making: modeling for Designers & Architects

Wet folding basics

The Concept of Segmented Wind Turbine Blades: A Review is also evoked in the post 7 and post 8 ,but without implying greater lightness, only to allow easier transport as the blade scales up.

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Working with carbon fiber (work in progress)

Building Drone Rotors – Tech Ingredients (YouTube playlist)

Making Complex Carbon Fibre Tubes Using a Split-Mould – Easy Composites Ltd (YouTube video

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