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Author Topic: Reverse Engineering from a YouTube  (Read 279 times)

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Offline Deerslayer

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Reverse Engineering from a YouTube
« on: July 30, 2017, 06:52:37 AM »
 Have you ever seen a YouTube of an aircraft (or anything else, for that matter) and wanted study or to to build something very much like it? Perhaps this can help:

You may just want to see some detail about how the structure, or some component or subsystem, is built. Or, you may want to view various control actions in stop motion. Then again, you might just want to get some approximate measurements, such as the wing's aspect ratio tail and nose moments, powerplant placement, or to figure out what airfoil is used.

 There are several tools which can make this happen, and they are FREE! You can used them from a PC, an Android tablet or Android phone.

 One good YouTube downloader that is available is  which takes the YouTube URL and converts the video online to your selected format (I selected MP4) and saves it to your device.

 Now that you have an MP4, you need a good viewer.

A few years ago, I discovered VLC. It is available free for PC and Android. I initially put it on my desktop PC, a laptop PC and my Samsung Note (Android) tablet and eventually on my Samsung (Android) phone. It is a terrific piece of software! My first use was to take  the videos which my Mobius camera had recorded aloft on various models and simply view them. You can alter the speed of playback, pause at any time, grab a frame as a snapshot. etc.

So, now that you have found a really good YouTube that depicts the various things that interest you, do the conversion to MP4 and bring that result up in VLC. Run it, slow it down, find suitable frames, snapshot them and print them out.

If this all works out well, you can sit down with a pencil and suitable drawing instruments and begin to mark up and scale the drawings. In the case of something I am working on right now, I wanted a plan view, side view and some details on vectoring motor mounts of a VTOL plane. As well, I ran through in slow and stop motion certain aspects of his flight to see what he was doing in the combining of elevons and motor vectoring during takeoff, cruise and landing.

Even if you are not in the building mood, this overall approach can provide some interesting information on various things. For instance, every once in awhile some "amazing" video shows up which purports to show an unbelievable action  :o. Wow! The internet goes bonkers, the thing gets passed around a gazillion times and the crowd is awestruck  :o  :o . Sort of like some of my, and Flypaper's, incredible achievements in aviation?  8)) However, if one cares to take the time to grab off said video into an MP4 and run it through VLC, the fakery can be easily spotted. One that comes to mind from awhile back is the large aerobatic airplane losing one wing and yet landing sideways :o :o :o :o (Yah, like that could really happen ...  :(

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