What is RPDPVWTV1 ?

RPDPVWTV1 is the world's only remotely piloted flying thing built to work in Vertical Wind Tunnels. RPDPVWTV1 is an acronym for Remotely Piloted, Drag Propelled, Vertical Wind Tunnel Vehicle Number One. RPDP was built by Chris Landon in 1992, and is still the only one of it's kind. Even though there are many possible configurations for a remotely piloted VWT vehicle, no one else has accepted the challenge, and attempted to build one of these. RPDP flies at airspeeds well below human terminal velocity. Flying RPDP is a way to test the consistency of a VWT's jet. RPDP has just had it's AM radio replaced with a new digital unit. This has removed all the jitter and noise. Control mixing is now done in the radio. This made replacing the gyroscope with a dual channel piezo unit necessary.

These two images were captured from video and show Chris Landon flying RPDP in 1993 at Fly Away in Tennessee.

RPDP is a real attention getter. Flying at idle in some VWT's, RPDP can be flown while warming up or cooling off the engine. Eventually, lights and a TV camera will be added. A TV camera will be useful for keeping RPDP in the wind when flying very high.

I'd love to see this turn into Aerial Battlebots. A flying battle between two of these robots might not last very long, but it would be spectacular, and dangerous. Parts would be raining down from hundreds of feet above, littering the countryside with the broken bits of defeated metal gladiators.

Eight of these flying in formation would look great also. They could perform synchronized rotations, even square dance, in three dimensions.

Click here to download a windows movie (.avi) of RPDP in flight
Click Here to RETURN to Appalachian Amusement Center FAQ's
Click Here to RETURN to the Appalachian Amusement Center Main Page