Sorry for the lack of updates everyone. I figured since Hackaday just featured me (massive thanks! :D), I should give a bit of an update as to what's going on. Admittedly, progress slowed to a near stand still for a short time, here's why:
So, swashplate linkages. These linkages are one of the most critical components for making this build work. I tried and tried, multiple iterations, designs, and permutations, to make 3d printable versions of these. While I *believe* its possible, it will take a lot more work. For the time being, in order to hopefully get a test flight in by the Wheels, Wings, and Walkers contest that Ill be entering in, I've ordered TREX Helicopter brand linkages and balls. These are proven reliable and smooth, and should be more than adequate for NAVI. I'm now just waiting for those to show up, ETA is Monday or Tuesday (5/15, 5/16)
Once I have those in hand, all that's left is to mount them up and adjust them. After that, print the avionics and battery sled to hold those in place, and a temporary 'tripod' landing gear, so I dont have to have my hands near the blades during the trial take-offs/landings. Thats about it, and we'll be ready for a test flight!
Assuming the test flight goes according to plan: Any tweaks that need made to improve performance will be made, and then I will print the shell, mount the cameras (yes, thats plural, more on that later ;) ) At that point, NAVI Mk1 will be considered "Completed." (A project like this is never truly done...)
What happens after that? Well I have a couple other highly portable, quickly deployable designs I want to play with. When those are out of the way, NAVI Mk2 development will begin. Goals for Mk2 is to integrate GPS and other sensors to facilitate full, proper autonomy. This requires a larger diameter CF center tube to carry the cables, which in turn requires a near complete redesign. I'm sure there will be other changes that I will make along the way, using the knowledge gained from NAVI Mk1.
Thanks again for all the helpful comments, likes, and follows. Please keep an eye out for the test flight of NAVI, and my entry into the Wheels Wings and Walkers challenge! Cheers :)