Help me Fly like Iron Man!
As you know, the Hacksmith has been attempting to build a flight system for a few months now in order to Fly Like Iron Man -- or rather, at least hover.
What you might not know is that part of the reason we’re doing this… is because we were challenged to by Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr!
We started the project by attempting to use solid fuel rockets, which would be as close to “Flying like Iron Man” as you can get.
The first 7 videos of the project were dedicated to this, and while we had a lot of fun playing around with the rockets – ultimately we decided they were too dangerous, too expensive, and didn’t last long enough for a suitable flight system.
It would have been more like a rocket boost than any kind of hover anyway – the rockets only lasted for about 2 seconds each. The other issue was using higher power rockets would be illegal without a license -- and for what we were attempting to do, no regulatory authority would condone the project.
Thankfully, Hobby King stepped in and sponsored the project with parts they manufacture and sell.
Because of that, we've been able to play around with EDFs (electric ducted fans) and figure out how to use them in order to fly!
Unfortunately, even the largest EDF's Hobby King sells aren't big enough to fly. We'd need around 20+ of the largest size they sell (120mm diameter which produce 8kg of thrust). Placing 20 EDFs on my body just isn't going to work.
Remember -- the entire system including pilot is going to weigh around 100kg. To fly -- and have responsive controls, the EDFs must provide significantly more thrust.
Most quadcopters function at a 50% thrust output to hover. That means to have control like a quadcopter, we would need 200kg of thrust! We also don't want to have to run the EDFs at full power constantly, as overheating can then become an issue as well.
Luckily, we've found a supplier in China who can provide 144mm EDFs for around $650 USD each that put out 12kg of thrust and only weigh 1kg -- we will still need around 12 of these (plus a few spares in case anyhing breaks) as well as 300A ESCs, larger batteries, wire, and other components to finish the project.
144mm EDF (12kg thrust) -- $647.31 USD each
We have one of these that we ordered ourselves, and unfortunately, in our tests, it only produces 10kg of thrust -- but it is more energy efficient than the 120mm EDFS -- and features an all metal design which is more robust and reliable.
So while these are our best option so far, we would still need a minimum of 16 of these larger EDFs, which again, isn't going to work very well.
Now there are bigger EDFs which would be even better. But the price goes way up because it is a very niche market. We've found a 195mm EDF that can produce 24kg of thrust. Double the thrust output and only about 50mm (2") bigger in diameter!
195mm EDF (24kg thrust) -- $4226.25USD quote from manufacturer (w/ ESC)
We Need Your Help!
What we would like to do is use six of these 195mm EDF's in a jetpack hexacopter configuration to provide 144kg of thrust with stabilization via a flight controller.
Then we can use the other 144mm EDFs on my limbs, which would give us 10kg thrust per limb to allow for steering -- keeping these allows us to fly around "like Iron Man".
Unfortunately, we can't afford to outright buy that many EDFs (especially not the big ones!) so we're looking to you guys, our faithful fans who want to see this project take off (We also love puns!).
Please consider donating to help us order these more expensive EDF's in order to make this project a success!
Where would the money go?
The following table outlines where the majority of the financing is needed.
This does not include any overhead costs, design time, or external consulting we may require. It's an ongoing bill of materials and is subject to change -- but as you can see -- it's gonna be one expensive project.
*Our funding goal is in Canadian, as GoFundMe does not allow us to raise funds in USD because of our location.
Also while tax laws vary country to country, in Canada, any donations received (because we are not a charitable foundation) are subject to income tax, which will be another significant cost that we will have to deal with.
What if we exceed our goal?
If we raise more money than we aim for, don’t worry! It’ll only make the project better! There's honestly so many more things we could do to make this system better -- more advanced batteries, lightweight materials, etc.
Having a financial buffer for this project is almost a necessity, as there are many things that could go wrong!
The budget above does not include many other costs that will be associated with the project.
TL;DR If we’ve already raised enough for our goal and you still want to support the project, please do!
All proceeds above and beyond this GoFundMe will go into the flight project, tools, or equipment for the development of these Make it Real projects.
What's in it for you?
If we reach our goal we'll be able to keep working on this flight project, and eventually, fly.
If we don't reach our goal, we might never be able to finish this project.
If you want to see us succeed, please consider donating! Plus there are some awesome perks if you do!
We will be posting weekly updates on the project upon successful funding -- but please note, it could still take months to finish it!
As a donor to the project you will be given access to a private discussion board where extra photos and videos will be shared during the development of this project. We will be using Discord for this reward. Sign up at https://discord.gg/zpMEmEv and then when you make your donation, leave us your username so we can add you to the #supporter group!
We will also be sharing all design files we create for this project -- meaning you could build your own -- if you happen have around $100,000 laying around.
Thanks for checking out the project, we'll see you in the skies!
PS: Check out the FAQ on our website for more information about our project!
Apologies for the radio silence. We are still working on this project but are completing other projects at the moment to help raise money to continue this one.
We are still pursuing manufacturing our own EDFs which unfortunately will take a while, but we're in talks with a few companies about a metal 3D printing sponsorship, which could be the key!
As for the current funding, thank you! We haven't spent anything yet because we want to ensure whatever we buy, we will use for the end product. We were hoping to purchase one unit of the 195mm EDF for testing, but unfortunately we haven't raised enough money for it yet.
To stay up to date on the project don't forget to join the Discord chatroom https://discord.gg/thehacksmith where you can talk with the team one-on-one and ask questions! And don't forget to send us your username if you've supported the project as it gets you the [Supporter Tag] and extra access in the chat rooms.
And for anyone concerned about our recent "robot acquisition" (see latest YouTube video) it was purchased personally by me for $500 -- not using GoFundMe funding. We have some viral ideas for the robot if we can get it working -- in which case, it will help grow the channel and earn us more money which we can use toward our main project -- Flying Like Iron Man. And if we don't get it working -- it's actually worth more than $500 in parts, or even just scrap metal.
Thanks again and we'll try and get a new video update out soon!
I think we can do this together! Only $74,000 to go!
I like that the plan finally addresses stability and control. A stabilized hexacopter platform at the core is good. If you use props on the hexacopter but keep EDFs on your hand/feet controls, then you could cut down on the cost of the project dramatically but still be able to manipulate the smaller diameter EDFs and "fly like iron man". Ofc, the props should be mounted above your head instead of eye-level. You might also have to increase the number of props to compensate (maybe 8?). But seriously, if you're going for fixed motors producing light, cheap thrust under static conditions, then props are SO much better, you might be able to cut the cost of the project in half. For the same thrust, not only are the prop motors lighter, but they draw less power, decreasing the amount of batteries needed, decreasing the thrust needed, and so on... Also, connectors rated for 200A attached to ESCs rated for 250A sounds like you're not using big enough connectors... Also, what flight controller are you using that costs 500 USD? PX4-derived systems are top-of-the-line right now and usually cost 300.
Can i be a part of your project ? Like i am 12 but i love inventions.. want some help contact me in twitter @meCHeif.. thank you
Hi, i love your videos and im 12 years old and has you i like to invent stuff. So far i have learned to program and made a jarvis like assistant. I trully belive that you can make an iron man armor and, when you do, please contct me and i would adapt that program so that you could have a flight assistant. Also i have made one kind of belt that when you touch you pointer finger with your thumb it sends an eletrical signal. I just have to buy an arduino board and the sky will be my limit. I would love that you could give me some ideas for the arduino! Love you Keep up the vids! ♥
4 AWG wires 6mm bullets... legict