Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week TechVideo, 2010 #37 - Air powered car

This week an experimental Air Powered Car, another amazing creation from Barry Bosman (barebos, barman or Barman76).

It is also my first attempt to embed a flickr video, here at TBs ...

The idea is brilliant, the execution perfect, and the result seems much funny to play with.
With such light structure and two powerful fans the car runs quite fast, and the two fans also offer an excellent means to maneuver or steer the vehicle. Definitely a model that should offer a great playability.

I'm tempted to build one!...

Air powered car-3

In the first part of this video the car uses steady back wheels and as you can see, it seems quite easy to steer. On the second part it uses 3 casters and from Barry's comment, I guess the control is gone... However we can't see it, because flickr cuts any video uploaded, after second 90. Better to use YT instead.

Quite funny, the principle and the "blades" used for these fans is exactly the same I've used more than two years ago, in a diorama where a "buried" fan was supposed to generate enough wind to make an hang glider to oscillate while landing. Unfortunately I was trying to use a PF M-motor instead of these powerful RC motors, and the result wasn't that good...


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely great! A very good idea, shownin a quite simple build! Those are some of the best MOCs!
What we see next? No more Trucktrials, but beachraces with those blade-powered cars :-)

Conchas: wouldn't the fan in the diorama be quite noisy?

TechnicBRICKs said...


A bit... not exactly the "fan", but more like the motor and gears.

However there is always so much noise in events, that it won't really make a difference. :)

Anonymous said...

I thought these motors required 1 battery box each (this may only be the case when they have a bigger load).

For those who don't have an RC motor, you can create a motor with similar speed (but higher efficiency), by effectively removing the second stage of planetary gearing in a PF XL motor.

I did this by cutting some of the teeth off the three planet gears so that they no longer touch the ring gear, and then gluing the three planet gears back onto the orange base.

roamingstudio said...

Would be interesting with the new Renewable Energy Blades...

222Doc said...

I was thinking the same as Roaming. Use the new blades that have the right pitch and I would think that we might have lift? I have a few of those buggy motors and they can go into thermal overlaod even with each on its own battery. They are a huge power drain, they also have an internal thermoal loading switch as well. If we could get those new blades in a reverse pitch we could set up a counter rotational set up and perhaps get something to fly. Very cool

Alex Campos said...

Not only the blades, but also the motor. The E-Motor has higher speed and lower torque, which in an application like this is ideal.

And I agree with 222doc on the reverse pitch blades, for the same reason... but still doubt flight is achievable with LEGO only parts, even using optimised blades, fast motor and lightweight Li-Ion battery.

Anonymous said...

Conchas e-mailed me the direct hyperlink to the Flickr video: . I used that to see the entire video.

Although some reversible blades would be nice, note that added complexity leads to added weight, and possible loss of mobility in this light vehicle.

Alex Campos said...

What I meant (and 222Doc too, I believe) is that it would be nice if LEGO made propeller blades like the ones on the Educational Set, but with the opposite pitch. Not that the car should have adjustable pitch propellers. ;)

222Doc said...

Yes the idea would be that opposite turning props will cancle out the "torque steer" issue if it was an attemtp to get lift. THe whole idea of a lego flying objects LFO is an enigma for sure. One of those "it can't be done" things that I would love to see done. The bad is the blades come in a kit that is very expensive as well. THe E motor is too weak, The bldes would not be fast enough, I wonder if those blades may even be to moch for the Buggy motor to turn very long? They can get hot too. But a pair with a very light Lipo may very well get lift, how to control it? No matter if you get it to Lift and even crash right after it still the first to Fly. I am in the camp of it might be possible..


Mareken said...

Hello, I have a better idea for Propeller :).
Visit or

Barman said...

@everyone, thanks for al you comments and great reactions.
I posted the video on Youtube, so you can see the hole video. Also made a video showing the different effect of the new energy blades. The curve of the blades is perfect and the car goes even faster and is very difficult to controle in a smale room, like my livingroom :)

Be sure to check out my video of the race tank based on the Ripsaw from the Howe brothers.


TechnicBRICKs said...

Hi Barry,

thanks for the heads-up.

Can you explain what do you mean with "lock/unlock" casters, at your new video?


Barman said...

Hi Fernando,
Casters are the wheels that can freely rotate. On there are a photos of the lock an unlock system. Basicly the locked casters can't rotate and are just stationair wheels, making it easier to steer the car. When unlocking the back casters, the funfactor is realy unleased :)


TechnicBRICKs said...

Ok! I now see what you meant. :)
So you can manually set the casters, to be lock or unlocked.

I was giving wings to my imagination. Some fancy automated locking mechanism. Maybe based on higher spins or something... don't know. Forget it! :)

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