Airpup

A kite-balloon offering quiet, long-term flight for videography, communications, and meteorology.

Apr 10, 2019

Airpup Gets a Nose Job & Other Production Prep

After a lot of preparation with suppliers, manufacturers, and at my workspace, I’ve ensured delivery of all materials by the end of the month and the space and equipment for manufacturing a small run of Airpups.

I have two revised copies of Airpup’s balloon portion in my studio, a roll of lightweight ripstop polyester, and new fittings that increase the strength of my attachments. I’ve also set up a dedicated workspace; I no longer have to borrow a sewing machine and have better safety equipment for working with noxious glues.

Airpup’s Balloon Pattern

Airpup’s balloon portion is being made by the Blimpworks, who ship the balloons to me for attachment of fins and fittings. Together with the Blimpworks, I’ve tweaked the design and the way the balloons ship to me so that they will be ready for their attachments on arrival.

Repairing a divot in Airpup’s nose that appeared when the balloon was scaled up, Danny Hogan gave Airpup’s balloon pointier pattern through trial and error.

Preparing Airpup for fin attachments requires inflating, deflating, and folding the balloon portion. Danny also worked out a system of re-folding Airpup after factory pressure testing so that the balloons are are ready for fin attachment when they arrive to me.

Fittings

I ordered corner connectors from Prism that will replace two velcro pockets with a stronger and simpler attachment.

The belly rails will now be made with square-profile carbon fiber rods, and attached to the belly in an H-shape.

Fabric

Airpup is going to be going to be made from orange ripstop polyester.

This aesthetic change was driven primarily by fabric availability, but will also increase visibility.


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