Skyaak Skinny

December 14, 2008 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

Why in the world would a grown man get up every morning with a spring in his step, all excited to carry on with the continuous evolution of an offbeat, odd-ball, esoteric idea like a ‘ring-wing’ glider?

That is a question I asked myself today as I went about my day…

I think back about 30-odd years
when a friend of mine innocently showed me a very crude little glider. He didn’t even have a name for it but I instantly dubbed it a ‘ring-wing’. Which makes sense when you consider that it is just a stick with loop of paper at each end. With a dab of gum stuck to the front to balance it. Sounds simple, right?

Turns out it’s not as simple as it seems at first glance, at least not to me.

All I know is that once we had tossed it back and forth a couple of times, I was hooked!

You might say it was ‘love at first flight’
.

I built a model to re-create what that first little unit looked like:
Very 1st Ring-Wing replica

I wasn’t sure why, but the thing fascinated me.

I built quite a few more models over the next couple of years and thought of a few ways to improve the design in idle moments. While working for a design firm in Montreal, before the advent of CG graphics, PhotoShop et al, I decided to get the new innovations I had been tinkering with down on paper and drafted up a study of how it might work:

Original Ring-Wing 1984.

As you can see I was thinking about suspending the shaft inside the center of the ring-wings. Turns out this makes it more balanced and makes it possible to get the thing spinning on its axis in flight. That never happened when the stick was just taped to the bottom of the loops.

After I drew the plan I filed the design away for a few years. In fact, until after I had moved to Saskatchewan, got married, had a daughter and watched her grow up to the age of seven years old. (By now I was the ripe old age of 37.)

My daughter ilara and I had often spoken about the idea of ‘influences’, ‘heroes’ and ‘idols’. I mentioned that I was a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci and had been since I was a little kid, her age.

She thought about this and casually asked me, “Well, if you such a big fan, why don’t you have any inventions?” She had been reading up on Leonardo and knew about his mechanical genius for invention.

That threw me for a bit of a loop, I had not really thought much about the ring-wing glider for quite some time. I recovered in a few seconds and responded, “But I have!” and rushed off to unearth the old drawing from Montreal in one of my bulging portfolios.

It is simply amazing what a huge influence a little bit of encouragement can exert on our lives!

ilara was very, very impressed with the drawing and it this enthusiasm that lit a spark under me to ignite my renewed interest in the thing.

I started to tinker some more with it in my spare time and managed to build some very crude prototype models to see if my ideas would work.

skyaak-front-view

skyaak-isometric

skyaak-side-view

Fast forward to the present. Many incarnations and design tweaks later, I can now show you what the latest model looks like:

colorings-ganged-up-2-copy

This is a rather playful model decorated with color pigments, made of various types of plastic. This puppy can fly over sixty feet at speeds of over 45 kph in the hands of an expert.

The front of a contemporary model:

polypearl-1-copyKinda slick, don’t you think?

Now, the reason I am wrting all of this is to try to explain just a bit what all the fuss is about with Skyaak 🙂

It’s really about the “follow your bliss” thing.

I just get a lot of personal enjoyment…a real rush…out of shepherding the whole process forward. It’s kind of my post-graduate thesis on ‘how to stay happy and excited in life’.

Of course there are a lot more reasons
why I am basically a happy person, but this project is a big factor.

Put it this way: it is a huge rush when you get to see your idea literally ‘fly off the drafting table’ as a working glider. Um…a drafting table is an outmoded reference…think monitor.

So can you imagine how cool it was
when the idea of the DIY deuce came around, that converts your PC to a Skyaak vending machine? Now, people from all over the world are scratching their little curiosity itch, scraping up the two bucks for their very own DIY deuce that they can download, laminate, decorate, cut out build and fly! Talk about coming around full circle!

Now I get the immense satisfaction of hearing from you all that are enjoying this cool design just like I did way back when I was a kid of seventeen. That is so cool, don’t you think?

cadeuce2of725-04-08

This sweet little DIY deuce unit features the ‘finger flicker’ that you use like an atlatl to rocket it through the air with very fast scale air-speed!

Make sure you check out the details of the Skyaak “betcha can’t make just one” Prize Contest that invites you to submit a video that chronicles your DIY deuce adventures with the chance to win a *FREE* Skyaak Model 3 shipped *FREE* to your door anywhere on the planet!

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Entry filed under: Skyaak R and D. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Trying out QuickPress Behind the scenes of Skyaak R&D

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