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Beluga

Now that the boys have had a chance to put more time in on Corgette and Bigwig, they've become believers in the way z-axis balanced quads handle. It just makes so much sense – a bottom battery's momentum wants to continue in a straight line in a turn, which forces the quad to bank even harder, which in turn forces the inside motors to spool up to fight it. And while flight controllers do a great job of fighting this tendency, I can't help but think there's efficiency lost there. It's going to be hard for me to design anything unbalanced from now on.

Meanwhile, the local boys who went to Sebring came back raving about Shaun Taylor's plus quad. Shaun can make anything go fast, but they were impressed simply because it looked really cool in the air. I've dabbled with the plus configuration before with Mitsuko, and this seems like as good a time as any to take another swing at it. Ark Nabbit believes the plus configuration gives each prop the cleanest look at incoming air, especially if you stretch things out and make clearance for the rear prop.

Then there was this great video by Josh Bardwell explaining why light weight isn't the end-all and be-all for racing quads. I've always believed it was smarter to address the thrust end of the equation rather than the weight side, and that video further confirmed my belief. My arm test data showed that a rounded arm gives you more thrust, so let's do a Mifune style canopy for more thrust at the expense of some more weight.

Finally, I'd taken a shot at an internal battery with the short-lived Capybara, failing spectacularly. With almost a year of modeling and 3d printing under my belt maybe it's time to try again.

So, let's tick off the list: perfect balance on all 3 axes, long plus for clean air and pitch stability, full canopy with rounded arms for more thrust, and internal battery bay for aerodynamics and no chopped battery leads. This oughta be fun.

My first attempt was a fully 3d printed frame, designed concurrently with the ill-fated Micheru. And because Micheru was ill-fated, I never went beyond screwing on some motors and looking at it.