Hive 76 Dis-member

On Wednesday, December 4th, I officially became a Hive76 dis-member. Being a “dis-member” allows me to use the space when other members are present. Which is to say, I don’t get a key or storage space, but I’m welcome to work there if I can get in.

Hive76_Stack

The Hive76 workspace – stack of old electronics, and wire station

The main thing I’ll be exploring while at Hive76 is the possibility of building our own DIY skywriting plane. I’ve been considering different types of RC planes, and how the skywriting would work. Early plane favorites have been the Calmato Sport 40, and the Mustang Sport, but in addition to looking at equipment, I’ll also be considering how difficult it is to fly these things. To me, the satisfaction of building our own skywriting plane includes flying the plane ourselves to write the messages. But if the flying proves to take 40+ hours to learn, than I don’t know how feasible or enjoyable it may be to take on this task.

Doing initial research with Hive76 and Write Sky participant Chris Thompson, we quickly veered off into the direction of drones. We’re not sure if the skywriting apparatus would work with the electric drone planes, but the ease of flight, as well as the programmability attracted us to this option. Then there’s the uncomfortable social weight of the word – drones are most typically associated with the military attack drones used to carry out remote bombings. But the word drone is applicable to any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), so it’s really a harmless word. And what better way to take away the word’s power than to utilize a drone in the service of a community based public art project?

When exploring the drone option, the next concern is cost – drones aren’t cheap. And the participants of Write Sky have made it clear – that they are interested in this side endeavor, but not at the cost of the larger project… no swapsies. So some more research, and some more budgeting is in order.

But in the meantime, here are some of the UAV’s offered on DIYDrones.com:

 

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