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Comment: Re: Got more air time than Moller SkyCar (Score 2) 91

by wjsteele (#43707809) Attached to: Flying Car Crashes In British Columbia
You should check into ultra light aircraft... There is no requirements for licensing, registration or airworthyness. A lot of the modern design new ultralight aircraft don't even look like ultralights of the past... They're made with carbon fibre and are fully enclosed. I saw one this year down at Sun-n-fun that was an electric motor glider and could fly for two hours under power... But could sail as long as your bladder could hold out... Which is about the same capability as any other plane. Times are changing for the better in the national airspace. Bill

Comment: Re:No specs? (Score 1) 200

by wjsteele (#42738191) Attached to: Excessive Modularity Hindered Development of the 787
I'm not sure where you got that information, but the only problem with the fasteners on the 787 had nothing to do with where they got them... as they are custom designed for this application. It had everything to do with the way they were installed. The problem was that the fasteners were not installed per the specification which caused them to have less holding power than the specifications said.

Those fasteners were designed to hold the composite components to the titanium sub structure, and even in their weakened state were still more than the 1.5x strength factor required. And they NEVER bought them from the hardware store... no hardware store on earth would stock that specific component.

Bill

Comment: Re:Nylon? (Score 1) 91

by wjsteele (#42632815) Attached to: The 3D Un-Printer
The temperature at which nylon melts is significantly less than the temperature of ignition, which is where the toxic gasses occur. Many people have been using nylon in their 3d printers with no issue... In fact, it turns out to be a great filament to use in them and makes very nice products.

Bill

Comment: Re:Obvious Solution (Score 1) 184

by wjsteele (#41734523) Attached to: DIY Laser Cutter Raises Capital, Concerns

The bigger issues with this may be that it causes the laser to bounce back into the lens which asfaik can cause damage to the lens.

Why would a bouncing infrared laser hurt the lens that the laser beam just passed through??? The other end of the laser tube is another IR mirror. There is no ill effect of having the beam bounce back directly down the path.

Bill

Comment: Re:Obvious Solution (Score 1) 184

by wjsteele (#41734493) Attached to: DIY Laser Cutter Raises Capital, Concerns

Dont even do that. Paint it white.

White paint would have no effect unless of course it was "titanium white" in which the titanium would be a relfector. The rest of it would simply vaporize away. This isn't a little laser pointer we're talking about... it's a 40 watt CO2 laser... that has a wavelength of 10600 nm. That's a far longer wavelength than the ~800 you can see in the near infrared and will be absorbed in quite a few materials you think are good optical reflectors. Using a rough metal shield would be the best thing to have. (Smooth metal shields tend to be infrared mirrors... which wouldn't exactly help the issue.)

Bill

Comment: In short, yes, it does work. (Score 4, Interesting) 70

by wjsteele (#41505587) Attached to: Does Crowdfunding Work?
If the project is well thought out and the pitch is done reasonably well so that the the funder knows what they are getting into, then yes, it does work.

As a kickstarter myself (shameless plug: Ultra-Bot) I started out with a modest goal... and quickly achieved it with a product that I think was well thought out, had reasonably low expectations and offered the intended audience exactly what they wanted.

With that said, however, there are a few kickstarters that are way off the mark and haven't thought it out that well... usually because they have their emotions tied into the product and it really isn't as good as they think it is... which in that case, Kickstarter actually works as well... it allows you to know that your idea isn't so hot before you invest a billion bucks in it.

Bill

Comment: Re:Who is this for? (Score 3, Informative) 134

by wjsteele (#40517125) Attached to: Cubify 3D Printers Aren't Just for Squares (Video)
It's most certaintly not the first. There are several 3D printer manufacturers (including MakerBot themselves) out there that have been doing this for quite a while now... but none of them are charging as much for their consumables. It seems that for $50, you get about a pound of material, which is roughly 3 times the normal cost.

Bill

Comment: Re:Fly by wire.... (Score 3, Interesting) 319

by wjsteele (#39837461) Attached to: Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

in such occasions, the usual procedure is not to lower the nose & convert altitude to speed, but to simply 'power yourself out' of the stall situation - apply a lot of (available excess) power, and your speed will pick up, and you're not close to stalling anymore.

I'm not sure where you got that information, but that is not the correct course of action. Even in a low altitude situation, a stall can only be recovered by lowering the angle of attack... engine power and speed have absolutely nothing to do with it. A stall is an aerodynamic condition where the wings are not producing enough lift for flight. Pushing the nose over (to lower the angle of attack) allows the air to reattach to the wings which eliminates the stall condition.

Bill

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