ThunderStruck Models Make it Clear to Everyone
by Robert Brand
This is the week the world’s press get to actually see what the Phase One test vehicle will look like. we now have 2 models nearing completion – just waiting for the paint to dry. We have a a 1/15 model and 1/6 model. The 1/15 model is printed directly from a printer in 3 parts. The 1/6 model is made from a 100mm diameter sewage pipe and wooden wings. They are not the right thickness and they are not razor sharp, but it will allow TV cameras to get up close and personal.
Unfortunately the paint is still drying and we cannot get the detail on the outside, so it will be pure white for the moment. The image to the left shows Bruce Boler and Jason Brand with the 1/6 model under construction. Bruce is the engineering genius and his model is immaculate and very strong. Now we have something to show the media when they arrive and one TV station arrives tomorrow so we are meeting the deadline.
It has been a real team effort. I have drawn the plans, Ben Hockley has printed the Nose Cone and Bruce has put it together. As I type this, the finished model is drying the last coat of paint on Bruce’s work bench.
At this time, we only have a white top coat and no trim, but it is a thing of beauty. We will not have time to add any trim before the major TV interview tomorrow at 4pm. The interview will take time to assemble and so it may not make it to air for a week or so and also they are making an animation video of he flight path. We are hoping that all of this will inspire others to either get involved or get behind what we are doing.
That is me on the left. I really wanted to pick the model up, but it was covered in wet paint. The only question left for us and it is a major one: What colour should we make the aircraft. White is not a great colour if you want to see it in the skies with the naked eye, but it looks great with the right trim colours and it does not conflict with any logos, names and other stick-ons.
That is Jason on the right with a wide grin. For him this is really coming together with a rush this week. Jason is still in his school uniform. A concept that will be strange to many countries. It was sports afternoon and Jason does rock climbing, so shorts and a tee-shirt. It is summer here in Sydney.
The nose cone on the left is the new design. A little longer and a little curved on the transition to the fuselage. I have not put the full set of measurements in the diagram, but Ben turned it into a thing of beauty with his 3D printer and it now sits on top of the large model.
Prototypes will mean change, but it will be only minor changes from this basic design. The craft will have a camera in the nosecone for the forward view for the remote control pilot. We will also add a camera into the rudder area on one side so that we can get a better view in flight of the craft. Jason will control the camera switching from his remote control unit. The new image will still be overlaid with the On Screen Display of the flight instruments. Below is the model drying for its first display on National TV tomorrow.