Hello all, my name is Tony Elliott. I am a 53 year old engineer/program manager and I have just relocated from California to Florida with my wife. We are empty-nesters and are looking to settle in the area for the foreseeable future.
I have several interests but one that stands above the rest is the design and building of large scale radio controlled sailplanes - replicas of the full size sailplanes that men and women fly in. I have been doing this since the late 1980's and have significant experience in the area. In order to design and build these aircraft, I have invested in a CNC Smithy, a Universal Laser 60W laser cutter, a 3'6" x 2' ProForm Vacuum forming machine and I am in the process of building a 6' x 2' 3-axis CNC router. I also have other tools I used for the builds like manual and CNC hot wire foam cutters, vacuum pumps for laminating wings etc.
I utilize a number of tools to do these designs that range from 3D CAD modeling each subject in Rhino and simulating performance and flight characteristics using various Lattice-Vortex emulators. I design free-form replicas of the sleek fuselages in 3D CAD, create solid plugs from the designs using a laser cutter and then create gel-coat and fiberglass molds of the plugs so that I can create fiberglass/Kevlar/carbon fiber fuselage shells for the models. Lengthy processes but very satisfying when completed.
I'm currently in the process of designing propulsion systems for these models using primarily electric motor drive propellers and ducted fans. These devices are "stored" inside the fuselage in normal sailplane flight and extended out of the fuselage either for launching or for gaining altitude if the plane is too low and too far away from the landing strip. These devices are run using motors, limit switches, servos, pots etc and require a microcontroller to manage the extension and retraction sequences.
I'm an electronics engineer but have never designed microcontrollers and written software other than in my original university classes many years ago. This is the primary reason I'd like to join the Familab community! I'd like to learn the Arduino platform and processes necessary to create controllers for these propulsion systems. I'm also willing to assist anyone with any of the skills I have gained over the years with the tools and processes I use for aircraft design.
I've attached a few pics, one of me!!, one of my sailplanes and a shot of my in-process 3-axis CNC machine. Hope you like them.
Lastly, I'm about to move my personal possessions from CA to FL over thanksgiving which should allow me to attend the open house on the 4th Nov. I'd like to attend the Arduino classes on the 13/14th but am not sure in the membership process will allow that. i'm hoping it will however.
I look forward to meeting the community. Tony