#2270: PuppetPlane

I always liked to suspend my model planes from clear threads hanging from the ceiling.

Technology has moved forward a lot since I was a boy modelmaker, though.


Today’s invention is a quadrocopter which can support a model aircraft (say 1/72nd scale) via a few fishing lines.

This can be programmed to skim the ceiling in a preset flight pattern, bringing to life such models in a way that no static stand or display case can…especially if the model has a motor-driven propeller.

A more advanced version would involve two such ‘copters whose aircraft would chase each other overhead.


  1. I’ve seen simpler version with just a simple rotating motor and a counter weighted bar. Perhaps that could be combined with a spiragraph style mechanism to product different flight patterns.

    If you get a working prototype, of the quadcopter idea, I recommend adding cameras to the cockpits.

    • Cheers Andy
      I think my original idea is compromised by battery life. Given the limited range, it should be possible, though, to fly such a device tethered to a central power outlet by a light wire (perhaps on a sprung reel to remove any slack and keep it away from the rotors. I’m interested by the potential for useful fluid interactions, hovercraft style, between the ceiling and the rotors close to it. Imagine also being able to download a program for your copter which represented the correct particular flight characteristics (eg turning circle) for a Bf 109e in 1/72nd scale. If there were a reel for the cord, this could also be made powered and programmable -allowing 3D flight (but only 2D quadrocopter motion).
      Cameras would certainly be very cool if we could find some small enough, -the power cord approach might make that more feasible.

  2. Inductive charging is an up and coming technology, rccars, robots, quadcopters etc could definitely benifit from that.

    • As they pass by a loop, they cut magnetic field lines and thus drive internal eddy currents -which charge a battery? This kind of thing is used for brakes on trains, I believe. It might be hard to get this working in a lightweight format. I was wondering about using this kind of thing instead of an aircraft carrier arrestor mechanism?

  3. Yes, regenerative braking is quite common now, a lot of the London busses have it.

    The charging devices I’ve seen recently don’t rely on motion, but the reciever must be in the range of the transmitter. There are also electric buses that have big versions of the same in bus stops so they can top up charge whilst they are at stops.


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