We were involved in the development of a large drone with a total length of about 4 m (13.1 ft).
Normally, in our profession, we are required to “how to make it like a real thing”, but this time we were also required to have a real function.
We needed to make it as light and strong as possible. The ideal is an aircraft that can carry humans. The weight that can be lifted depends on the force that the four propellers can produce. Since the surface area is considerably reduced, there is concern about the effect on strength, but many holes are made in the body to reduce weight. Moreover, the thickness was 0.8 mm (0.031 in).
Even though there was no autoclave equipment, we came to mold using carbon fiber with EPS (Styrofoam) female mold.
The difficult problem of how to increase the strength by the hand lay-up method was solved by using CNF (cellulose nanofiber).August 5, 2019 At NEC’s facility in Abiko, we were able to make a safe test flight while watching over 200 spectators.
We also considered a transportation plan for exhibiting at subsequent exhibitions. The aircraft was tilted to an angle that did not protrude from the truck, and was suspended in the air so that it could be transported without being disassembled. We were able to contribute to shortening the work of setting up and removing the exhibition.
We learned a lot from this project, which was full of things for the first time, and we were able to have a very valuable and valuable experience.
We would like to continue to challenge new technologies in the future.