Feeds

PARIS threatened by the bends

Careful with that dope

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

El Reg's Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team continues to work on the Vulture 1-X aircraft structure, while attempting to refine the skinning process.

It's all been a bit of a palaver, as followers of our audacious space programme know. We've tried various lines of attack, and recently thought we'd cracked the covering problem with tissue paper and a couple of coats of shrinking dope.

However, the model aircraft experts among you noted that the traditional method is to fix the tissue paper to the structure with PVA after giving it a light spray of water. Once the paper's nice and dry - and tight - you slap on the dope.

Well, we thought we'd put this to the test, to probe the effect on the paper straw structure of what is effectively two bouts of shrinkage. Here's a piece of test structure with the pre-moistened tissue paper glued to the straws, then given a coat of 50/50 shrinking dope and acetone:

Section of skinned and doped test structure

A nice finish, but most of you will already have worked out what's coming next. Here's what happened to the structure as the dope dried:

Bent straws in the section of test structure

We're aware that this is a common problem with balsa and tissue aircraft wings, if you don't keep a tight grip on them. Balsa's stronger than paper straws, though, and while our robust Vulture 1-X fuselage...

The Vulture 1-X fuselage structure

...would probably withstand the shrinking forces, the wings are a serious concern if we continue down this road.

While we mull the problem, your comments and/or suggestions are warmly welcomed. Further skinning will, however, have to wait, because we're back off to QinetiQ's hypobaric chamber next week to try out the Mk 2 release mechanism, on which the whole project currently hangs. More soon... ®

Additional PARIS resources

  • Our dedicated PARIS section, with all previous updates, is right here.
  • New to PARIS? We have a basic mission summary here (pdf).
  • Our Flickr page, with all previous photos.
  • Check out our YouTube channel - currently featuring a few kit tests.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.