A background project for the fun of it, A steam powered Helicopter made from offcuts and scraps around the workshop. Free plans available for download.
Video Clip of the test Run
The Steam Helicopter Project started with an idea, then a search that revealed nobody else has bothered to make one - not even the Steam Punk guys had attempted it.
That was enough for me to go ahead and play.
The main frame was made from 2mm Aluminium sheet, cut out by jigsaw (I did not have my CNC Machine at the time).
The Tail Fin was cut from 1.5mm Copper Sheet - no specific reason, I had the right sized offcut in my workshop.
The Stabilizer Fin for the Boom was cut from 0.3mm Brass sheet, again because I had the offcut handy.
The Steam Engine for the Helicopter power was a modified EJS Wobbler Plans Engine - The frame for the engine was cut to a rectangular shape - this mod is highlighted in the free plan set to make the Live Steam Helicopter.
The Flybar and Shaft are all made from Brass offcuts are are machined to shape with a mini lathe. The Flybar Paddles are thin Brass Sheet soldered to the brass Brazing rod bar.
All holes on the frame are 3mm and the corresponding holes on the engine and bearing blocks are drilled and tapped at M3 to accept the hex drive 3mm bolts to hold everything together.
The Steam Engine and Drive shaft are connected with a large rubber band that allows some slip to enable the engine to start without needing to pull the full weight of the rotors.
The large diameted rotors take a considerable amount of torque to spin up but once all is moving it runs on very little pressure.
Plans for the Steam Helicopter project are free and can be downloaded here