Horizont design bureau provided a history of their helicopters, the feelings they want to evoke and some fundamental constraints (such as a maximum weight).
Visited the Horizont design bureau to see a current production model
A few rounds of initial idea sketches
“it’s all wrong. you got the task wrong, there is too much of automotive style here. it has to be about adventure, not limos.”
A new direction for inspiration.
Sketch work showing work that encompassed a new plastic nose that cuts the silhouette and makes the helicopter look more adventurous.
Presentation sketch of the helicopter in situé, drawn over cad models provided by horizont to keep things fast and fresh
A few options for the nose
We worked closely with horizont to define the split lines and part cuts
A full cad render of the model was used to present the design with two further explorations of parts for the front high beams
The main beams remained a point of contention, in the end three CAD renders were presented before the middle design (in green) was chosen by Horizont
A series of CAD models were sent to the client so they could discuss widely internally if they we're happy with the direction and sure the new tooling for bodywork wouldn't cost too much
To reduce costs and the number of tools and manufacturing required for parts involved we suggested using readymade car door locking mechanisms for the door handles
The CAD model was then use to create a full-size foam model of the bodywork, to fully understand the form in 3D space
After simulating turbulence and flight pressures the aerodynamics of the design were found unsuitable, the truncated flat nose would result in instability when flying, the red lines above show how the form was to be tweaked
The new aerodynamically stable design was then made into a scale model, at this point we were able to define where the part split lines should be
Further definition of the split lines, to be folded back into the CAD model
The surface model had to be reworked at the top to ensure it didn't intersect with the rotor mechanism
The door locking mechanism had to be repositioned to the base of the door which meant the mechanism previously proposed (using pre made components) wasn't suitable, a range of mechanisms / designs were sketched out.
We explored a range of colour options and themes before settling with the client on a customisable framework
The first to scale sample unit was shown at a sales exhibition to judge consumer interest and build buzz
Things really took off at this point