March 2002 - Sketches of original BodyCopter
CopyRight - original US patent application 10/212,920 filed by Larry Mason Lee, Attorney, Deceased - Later Abandoned - Larry Mason Lee Later wrote, billed and collected for a continuing application titled "Torque Stabilized, Vertical Take Off And Landing Vehicle".
May of 2002 - The Crude prototype powered by a 3.5 hp McCullough chainsaw engine(shown at the bottom), lift rotor and vertical airfoils made from 7" cord riveted aluminum helicopter blades. Demonstrated some torque control.
June 2002 - Patent application filed by Larry Lee. Addendum for HoverCopter filed later that year. Patent applications were abandoned for lack of argument a couple of years later.
2002 - 2005 - For the next few years I built a prototype with a Honda Goldwing engine, a Honda V65 engine, a 135hp Evinrude outboard motor, a Robin 50hp engine, and a 80hp McCullough military drone engine. The Evinrude prototype lifted off once before the chain drive broke and it was abandoned and later destroyed.
January 2005 - Used a 20" box fan, blowing downward, hung from a single point to hang airfoils beneath it to statically test torque control.
2009 - Videoed tethered testing of the 73" BodyCopter with an MZ34 engine. It lifted off unmanned and controlled 100% of the torque with lateral lift anti torque.
October 2010 - Our abstract was selected over competing abstracts by academics in the field for presentation at the 2010 IPLC (International Power Lift Conference), for which we generated a manuscript (registered copyright) and a slide presentation.
CopyRight - Abstract and paper presented at International Power Lift Conference 2010 and Specialist Meeting in Dallas, TX January 2011
Filed US Patent Application - Self Written - First Office Action Sept./Oct. 2014
CopyRight - Self Written US Patent Application
January 2011 - Again our abstract was chosen and we presented to approximately 50 aeronautical engineers and managers of the largest companies in the world. Feed back was sparse, but gratifying
October 2011 - Applied to convert our Provisional Patent Application to a US Utility Patent (first office action is due in October 2013)
November - 2012 - Bought engine for Oshkosh 2013 Demonstration
NEWSFLASH! - We have all the funding we need to build, present, fly, and demonstrate our fully functioning single person (PAV) at AirVenture in Oshkosh 2013.
We didn't get invited to Oshkosh 2013
December - 2012 - Ordered the aluminum skeleton for a modified version of the BodyCopter to be displayed and demonstrated at AirVenture 2013 in Oshkosh. Should be ready for pickup middle of January.
Cut first propeller blade for Oshkosh demonstration.
Bought "www.VerticalTakeOffandLanding.com" domain and forwarded it to www.tsvls.com
January - May 2013 - Tweaking and updating outboard engine after sitting up for 2 years,
1100cc Goldwing radiator is not sufficient to cool
put in 3/8" barbs for cooling
took thermostat out
sealed up cooling system using different sized hoses and contact cement
ordered Honda Civic aluminum, racing radiator,
carburetor has been obsoleted by manufacturer and not working right after cleaning looking for new old stock or plan to order from manufacturer,
replaced spark plugs because engine will idle but not accelerate smoothly,
broke drive twice and repaired stronger,
having to make custom pieces for tensioner,
moved engine from overhead to level with and in front of pilot seat,
removed padded seat and replaced with board to reduce weight to stay below 254lb ultra light limit,
put ground pepper into cooling system to stop leaks,
added 10" cooling fan,
had a short that almost burned up ignition switch
ordered and installed aftermarket ignition switch
overheat alarm worked and saved engine many times
cut up and reinforced frame,
added drive shaft to within 1/4" of lift fan,
cut frame where possible to save weight,
switched to smaller battery and back to full sized trying to save weight,
balanced craft with me aboard with overhead electric wench,
mounted small wheels on front frame so craft can be "wheel barreled" for movement and loading,
cut hand-holds in rear frame and added tape to smooth them,
re-adjusted tensioner to keep it from rubbing underside of blades,
put longer screws as pivot points for fixed vertical airfoils,
added control lever to control ring and center mount as a level to trim yaw by changing the angle of attack of four of the vertical airfoils,
changed from aluminum to steal angle to stabilize distance between drive pulley an driven pulley,
looked into centrifugal clutch when clutch bearings broke,
decided on snowmobile clutch as best suited, but stayed with clutch bearings for demonstrator
built test stand for tethered testing by layering treated plywood, sinking three 4X4 posts and attaching tethers
modified shop doors and fence to enclose shop opening in yard.
Oshkosh/Airventure is out for 2013 - Maybe next year - We were not chosen for free space in the Innovation Center.
Later this year we will offer an electric BodyCopter kit containing a six blade, constant cord lift rotor and 8 vertical airfoils with yaw and trim controls, mounted in a 73" duct, with instructions and tech support to build a complete vtol BodyCopter for $10,000 to $12,000 and about 100 hours work, total, including the kit. Get on the list early. Sign up on our feedback contact form. Net load will be over 300lb. Gross dry weight 250lb.
Aluminum supports broke during test and messed up 3 lift rotor blades, luckily I had made three extra ones out of Birch. Installed them along with the other 3 Oak ones.
Got it back together in time to go to Airport Day in North Little Rock, but showed up late and didn't get to display it.
Took out rubber isolators and put in aluminum mounts
Engine is running much, much better
Leveled and synchronized pulleys - lift rotor spins much, much better
Everything seems to be coming together, finally
8th - Put steel channel in the mast to replace aluminum and hold the lift rotor pulley better; spins a lot easier
Tightened all bolts and nuts on craft in preparation for test July 12
Hope to get video to put on Kick Starter.com for funding
Will video turntable operation and add rpm until lift off or other until problems, vibrations, etc. make me stop
September 29, 2013
Turn table torque tester working well
Tightened bolts so airfoils hold pitch when set
using 3 radiators and fans to cool, but not sure they are necessary since re routing water flow and adding an adjustable divert er valve
Plan to remove one radiator and see if it is necessary
Using about 1 gallon of water for coolant
Put in 1/2" hose barbs for more water flow
Engine likes to run about 130 degrees F or less
Finally, not over heating
Finally, changed prop bolts to number 8s, holding torque steady
Raised RPM of 72" propeller to over 2,000 successfully, at 30 inches of pitch
Little vibration, lot of power, moved a lot of air
Should lift off at 2,000 RPM, total weight about 525 lbs gross
Did not lift off at 2,000 prop rpms
Took the old prop off
Wood was distorted from the 200 inch pounds of torque
Glue held good
Built new 6 blade propeller at 45 inches of pitch
Replaced 4" prop plate with a 6" prop plate
Decreased prop bolt torque from 200 inch pounds to 175 inch pounds
12th Plan to be at Carlisle airport for breakfast - ul122
Test at Carlisle Airport went well although I forgot the stand for the turn table and so, didn't lift off
With the new prop, the craft scooted around on the pavement and became very light feeling at 1,750 rpms
Extended test pad for turn table into the middle of yard
Plan to test torque control (yaw) and lift generation, and photo Monday, November 18, 2013
Testing will resume as weather improves.
Received Certificate of Achievement from Tech Briefs for entry into Create the Future Design contest for 2013 - TSVLS was in the top 100 entries.
Started Indigogo fund raiser offering to give away formula for Radio Controlled craft up to 18" in diameter to donors. Fund raiser ends June 10,2014
Found Fiverr.com - Spent about $170 on professional speaker, professional fund raiser, press release and distribution, logo, traffic, and professional help with website.
May 2014 - Contacted Arkansas Innovation Hub about 3D printing a small prototype.
Professional fund raiser said to use gofundme.com, so I started a campaign to upgrade prototype.
July 2014 - Bad weather and a lack of funds has slowed development of the TSVLS torque control module.
Just as things were looking up, with another opportunity to "pitch" at the AeroInnovate, Experimental Aircraft Association meeting the end of July, for the "Space Angels", I didn't make the cut.
That leaves me with a prototype, when last tested, not quite able to lift me and it off the ground, and about 5 or $6,000
short of having a full size, fully functional body copter.
I've decided the wood lift rotors I've made myself may not be the answer and I may have to raise the $2,000 for an Ivo Airpaddle and the $4,000 to have built a 84" carbon fiber duct, in order to get the needed lift.
Also, on the 19th of June, 2004, the patent office responded to my application about 4 months early, so I need probably $5,000 to have an attorney respond to their response or office action.
Right about now, I would be glad to sell rights to the TSVLS below 24" in diameter to someone for $10,000.
Joined the AMA and the Hot Springs Flyers Radio Controlled clubs in hopes of learning to fly my demonstrators.
July 12,2014 - Went to second meeting of Hot Springs RC Flyers at the flying field. Greg flew the FamilyFlyer model. It went up at about 60 degrees to about 15 to 20 feet altitude, stable and smooth, then Greg backed off on the throttle to try to level it out and it began to descend. Before he could bring the rpms back up, it hit the ground way too hard and broke. I'm glad Greg was willing to fly it, because if I had crashed it, I would have always wondered if a more experienced pilot could have avoided it.
As God would have it, Jared Freeman, with his wife and two kids was there taking pictures of the airplanes. He had a nice camera and held his shutter button from start to finish, taking 20 pictures. They show the FamilyFlyer flying in a straight path, ascending smoothly, and all the way to the ground. Then, i took some pictures of it at home.
My feeling is, the test was a remarkable success. The pictures show near perfect yaw control in stable flight until the power was cut back. A link to the pictures is on the home page..
July 22, 2014 - Took the Bodycopter type model to the Hot Springs RC Flyers regular weekly flying meeting at Cedar Glades park. I piloted it myself and the strangest thing happened. It flipped over on its top and broker several connections. That was the last thing I expected. So, I've decided to test it on the test stand until I can figure out what is making it flip.
September - October 2014 - A person in R&D with another company stopped by the website and left a positive comment. I wrote him back and told him we were looking for funding of a prototype, and he seemed interested in funding it. About that time, Tom, my patent attorney, introduced me to Dan, both in AZ. Dan's background is as a machinist. He has a 1,200 sqft equipped shop. We talked, and Dan is interested in building everything except the torque duct.
October 2014 - An investor read about us on Gust, a site that facilitates investors getting together with inventors, entrepreneurs and start ups. He said he is interested in providing start up funding.
Nov 1 2014 - We should be hearing about our entry in the echallenge put on by Sikorsky, soon
We have a profile for certified investors on Gust.com
ZeroMotorcycle makes an electric motor with 54 hp and sell the drive train separately through their dealers or 100 at a time through the factory in CA. At this point, this is our first choice to power our prototype to be built in AZ and AR.
Cincinnati company has a Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAMci) 3d printer that can print up to a 78.75 inch diameter product. With it, we can build a finished product, torque control module in one piece. We are inquiring.
Filed a Registered Copyright, filed response to Non-final Office action with USPTO
Dismantled gas powered BodyCopter to use frame for electric one
Revised and posted drawings of BodyCopter and HoverCopter online
Purchased BodyCopter.com domain and put up website
February 2015 - USPTO
Filed new claims and specifications
March 2015 - New 3D printing development - Yahoo.com - 3D Carbon Company
Item is raised out of a pool or resin, hardened by ultraviolet light, 50 to 100 times faster than previous 3D printing
March 23, 2015 - Picked up
3D Printed TSVLS - Arkansas Innovation Hub
10" diameter shroud, 1/2 inch airfoils, 2" center mount, printed from white plastic, pictures on "Home Built Vtol" page
A good looking prop for short video on "Home Built vtol" page
March 24, 2015
Angel's Den - Rejected my application to pitch.
Found Emrax motors, very light, most powerful in the world, they recommended Kokam lipo battery packs, filed another Registered Copyright.
Patent attorney accepted 20% of BodyCopter for his attorney fee, recontacted investor who will re join manufacturing effort end of year
Entered Sikorsky EChallenge, began monitizing this site.
Applied to EAA AirVenture for Start Up Accelerator Program. Applied to f6s program for start ups.
Complete re design of Ultralight BodyCopter, personal rotor copter, making it all electric using an Emrax 268 electric motor with 250NM continuous torque, Kokam LiPo Battery Pack, Ivoprop Airpaddle, 3 blade, 84" propeller, controller, redesigned aluminum frame, made plans to offer a home built Beta version to selected builders. Created Bill of Materials (bom) for BodyCopter.
Contracted with Excell Funding to raise money for prototype.
Another major design development, www.phinergy.com and www.fujipigment.com both have invented aluminum/air batteries. Phinergy has a deal with Alcoa and a car manufacturer set for 2017. An aluminum/air battery weighing 150lb will power an Emrax 268 motor at full power for 1 hour, 2 hours at half power. That will give the BodyCopter 4 times the flying time of Martin Jetpack and still keep it in the Ultralight category requiring no license to fly. It has 40 times the energy density as LiPO batteries.
Contracted with American Eagle machine shop in Hot Springs to build a BodyCopter frame. Also, checking with them to build a mold for the shroud.
Yasa motors in UK manufactures a suitable motor, their P 400, but won't sell to individuals or companies that haven't scaled.
Set up the shop to make airfoils and shroud, received 100 yards of 12k, 12" carbon fiber tape
Picked up new frame for the soon to be Electric BodyCopter (See pic bottom of BodyCopter page)
Made fiber glass/aluminum mold for 85" ID shroud.
Ordered 84", three blade, right turning, Ivo Airpaddle propeller suited for up to 700 hp to be used as lift rotor
Finished gluing shroud and 8 airfoils
Made 8 stubby trim airfoils
placed 9 "How To" home build the US Pat Pend, BodyCopter shroud on Youtube
Ordered 20 Battery Tender Lithium Ion 12vdc batteries
Received Emsiso 500 emDrive controller
Built battery pack/controller slide frame and attached
Received Emsiso Controller
Received 14 of 20 Lithium Ion Batteries
Built battery/controller mount
Received 84", 3 blade, Ivo AirPaddle prop
Emrax 268 Motor shipping 12.16.2016
Began enclosing 8x12 trailer
Received 20 Lithium Ion batteries
Ordered Solo Shot camera
Received battery pack monitor
Received Emrax 268 motor
Ordered parts for mounting and joining 1" 7075 aluminum drive shaft
Finished wiring batteries
This is a picture of the first BodyCopter built in April/May 2002. It was powered by a 3.5hp McCulough chainsaw motor. The airfoils were cut from an old aluminum helicopter blade. The duct was yet to be added. It showed some torque (yaw) control, but not enough.
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