This is What Happens When Physics Trump Creativity
I’m not sure what exactly these guys had in mind when they started building this contraption, but I can see they had the best of intentions and some pretty good execution, except for a couple of key areas.
To be clear, because I know our readers will be quick to call me out for calling this a helicopter, this would technically qualify as a gyrocopter because the blades are not powered by an engine. Instead, the blades catch the wind as the car is being towed and create lift as they begin to rotate.
So, with this gyro setup bolted to the this Reliant, the the guys and/or girls who built this really extravagant kite set out to take it for its first flight, and they find out the hardest way possible that they overlooked a few elements when it comes to stable flight.
Most notably, there’s nothing to keep the copter stable when the wheels lift off the ground. As you can see, there are a few seconds where things seem to be lookin good, but quickly take a turn toward not good as soon as the copter starts to pitch from side to side. It also appears that the tow rope pulling on the nose of the car is causing the nose to stay level, when it may be more stable if it was allowed to nose up just a bit.
With the nose being pulled back toward the ground, the rest of the copter follows suit and slams to the ground, then skids sideways along behind the tow vehicle. As you might imagine, that is a recipe for disaster and causes the Reliant to topple sideways, causing the tips of the rotors to hit the ground while the car itself skids on its side behind the tow vehicle.
While this ended badly, it was cool to see the car actually take flight for a moment and there’s definitely some potential here, if the crew behind this zany build puts a little more into making sure it stays stable in the air.