The last ascent of Atlas
October 22, 2014 by jnyyz
Every since the Sikorsky Prize, Aerovelo has been trying to find a home for their human powered helicopter, Atlas. Their first choice was to find a place where the whole aircraft could be displayed. Regrettably, this turned out to be impossible, and so an agreement was worked out for it to be hung up at the Ontario Science Centre. Today was the day for it to be put together for display.
I thought that it would be appropriate to show up under human power, so I plotted a route using Google Maps. I noticed that on the last section, I was being routed along Eglinton, but in the reverse direction, it was taking me down into the valley, so I decided on the valley route.
Here are some fall colours on the way across town: Yonge St. as seen from the Beltline.
Here is what Google Maps is telling me; the trail comes off the end of a small stub of Leslie St.
Here’s what the entrance to the trail looks like.
It turned out that running this trail downhill on a road bike was a bit hairy. A bit steep and muddy was OK, but I didn’t expect this:
The first ramp was OK, but I had to bail on the second one because of a low hanging branch.
Of course, once I was down in the river valley, the trail was paved, and the fall colours were a wonderful bonus.
Interesting looking bike racks on the back of the Science Centre.
This section is closed.
Here’s the crew.
Here’s a top view of the plan. Two sections of the truss and two rotors are all that will fit.
By the time I got there, two sections of truss had been lifted into place, although there was more fiddling to be done.
Todd working near the central joint.
Preparing to mount one of the drive spools.
Cam keeps an eye on things.
Working a bit on the bike.
I’ll never stop marveling at this 8 spoke wheel.
Maybe that’s why they thought 20 spokes was plenty for Eta.
Here comes the first rotor blade.
Waiting for the lifts.
The blade lifted and being secured.
First blade done. The position of the whole truss was different from the original plan, so this blade protrudes into the entrance way.
Lifting the next blade.
Securing the next blade.
First rotor complete.
This is what it looks like from the entrance.
At this point, I had to leave, but thing were going pretty smoothly. You can see from this figure the plan for hanging the bike, and what a side view of the complete installation will look like.
Checking out more fall colours on the way back to work.
This intersection where Kilbarry crosses Oriole Parkway is the only signalized crossing for bikes that I’ve seen in Toronto that is comparable to what I’ve seen in Vancouver.
Sad to see Atlas hung up incomplete, but I can’t imagine a better home for it.
Update: this picture came across the Aerovelo twitter feed this morning.