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Putting the Screws to our new Kraken UAV Octocopter

Topics:   Java Blog

First thing this morning at Java Post Production, our technician and UAV camera operator, Trevor Bennett, was busy "screwing around" with our new, customized K123 "Kraken" octocopter. And, by "screwing around," we mean he was literally going through the unit screw by screw, getting it prepped for it's initial flights for Java Post.

Also on Trevor's to-do list this morning, test the landing gear and fire up the motors (without blades attached), just to make sure all the main control systems were properly hooked up. We're pleased to report that everything was working like a Swiss watch.

A Swiss watch that's actually a highly customized UAV helicopter made in China, that is.

Here are a couple of shots Trevor putting the screws, so to speak, to the motor arms of the Kraken. Two things learned in a few minutes of observation: 1. There are LOTS of screws in this thing, and 2. Trevor has a screw-driving wrist of steel.

This is the plastic dome that will eventually mount on the top of the Kraken. Trevor was disappointed to learn it wasn't in fact a tip jar for the technician.

For a better idea of the size of the dome - and just because we're in a goofy mood on a Friday before a long weekend - here's our boss and certified UAV pilot "Java Jack" Tunnicliffe using his dome to model the dome. This actually looks pretty cool on Jack. Sort of a George Jetson vibe with just a touch of 1970s lava lamp. The only drawback is how will Jack sip his coffee? Fetch this man a straw.

Here is one of the big, 18-inch-long blades that will lift our new UAV into the sky. Each blade has two little cloth "condoms" that protect the flight edges during ground transport. We've removed one of those cloth bags for the photo. I haven't read the manual, but I'm guessing that somewhere in there in big bold letters are the words "REMOVE THE CLOTH BAGS BEFORE LAUNCHING THE HELICOPTER, YOU DUMMY."

Here's one of the 18-inch blades in position on a motor unit. When fully ready to fly, our Kraken unit will measure 1.5 meters (5 feet) across, blade tip to blade tip.

A close-up of one of the Kraken's eight German-engineered T-Motor U7 motors. Java Post Production had these specific motors custom-installed on the K130 airframe for their unparallelled reliability, durability, and performance. These U7 motors are more powerful than the motors that are usually included with the K130 unit, which will give our UAV greater lifting capacity, more speed when needed, and more power to operate in windier conditions for increased image stability.

Before the blades are attached, Trevor tests out the motors. As you can tell from the look on his face, Trevor enjoys the increased power output. When we put the blades on this puppy (octo-puppy?), he'll be even happier.

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