Lapyx 0

On March 19, 2023, we drove down to the RC airfield to test our first prototype: Lapyx 0. The goal of this aircraft was to achieve powered flight. The drone was to be launched by hand, ascend at full throttle to a certain altitude, then descend and land on the grass field. 


Soon after our arrival, experienced RC-hobbyists began pointing out a number of flaws with the aircraft. Manufactured from 3D printed parts and wire-cut styrofoam, the wings sagged under their own weight. The fuselage, too small to contain all the necessary electronics, was loaded with led counterweights for balancing. The entire structure was not stiff enough; small disturbances were enough to twist or bend the wings and render the ailerons ineffective.

Despite this, we agreed to attempt a flight. If anything, a crash would give us some additional information on the already obvious points of improvement. The first attempt resulted in a quick nose-dive, but nothing was damaged. More force was applied during the second attempt: Lapyx 0 rose by a couple of meters, rolled left and – unable to correct – struck the ground wing-first. The wings were hurt, and the fuselage was damaged beyond repair.

Following this, the team got to work on the next prototype iteration: Lapyx 1.