Guy Builds a Rocket-Powered Monocopter, Looks Like a Flying Knife

Guy makes rocket-powered monocopter 7 photos
Photo: ProjectAir on Youtube
Guy makes rocket-powered monocopterGuy makes rocket-powered monocopterGuy makes rocket-powered monocopterGuy makes rocket-powered monocopterGuy makes rocket-powered monocopterGuy makes rocket-powered monocopter
Over the years, we've seen some pretty crazy rocket-propelled projects. From a WWII rocket-powered car to bicycles that "fly" down the street, there's always some type of machinery that can use some extra boost. But how about a monocopter – one that actually looks like a knife when it flies through the air?
As the name suggests, a monocopter is an aircraft that uses just one blade to take off and achieve flight. Its design is a relatively simple one, which allows for experimentation. And that's what James Whomsley did. James runs his own YouTube channel where he's showing the audience what crazy builds he comes up with by putting them to the test.

His latest creation was inspired by helicopter seeds – the same ones that lie at the base of a monocopter. Initially, his design was completely different from what turned out to be the final product. It involved multiple lifting surfaces within a small 3D-printed disk that had two rocket motors on the outside.

The rocket motors used are similar to those you might find in fireworks or in conventional, bigger rockets. They use a solid propellant that contains an oxidizer within the fuel. Once set on fire, hot gases that result from the burning reaction that takes place go through a nozzle to produce thrust.

The problem with the initial design was that it was difficult to ignite the rockets simultaneously. So James ended up using just one rocket that he attached to a single blade left from a previous project. This contraption was put to the test, and surprisingly, it actually took off.

James did find some problems concerning the center of rotation and the center of gravity. He further experimented with the new aircraft, attaching an arm to the wing to find the precise center of rotation for more efficient launches. He then had fun testing various sizes and powers of rocket motors to find the best combo for the monocopter.

The final experiment involved some higher-powered motors, which helped the device achieve a total flight time of 39 seconds, rotating in the air for "miles." It's pretty interesting to see what such a small blade can do when it lands in a tinkerer's hand. You can see James build and test the monocopter in the clip down below.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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