Whenever I travel to a national park or remote site to do Astrophotography, I always wish I was able to bring a telescope along to use for purely visual astronomy. It's one thing to take a picture of a galaxy, but it's a whole other thing to actually look at said galaxy. To solve this, I've been designing an extremely light weight reflecting telescope.
My first design choice I had to make was the optics. I decided to design the telescope around a 6" f/4.5 mirror. The reason for such a fast mirror was that I wanted the poles that hold up the secondary mirror ring to be short, and thus easy to transport. I chose a 6" mirror because I felt that it represented a good balance between weight and aperture.
I designed the overall ascetic of the telescope to be reminiscent of early 1900s aircraft. I used pictures of airplane wings to inspire the altitude bearings, and I decided to keep the scope mostly open to the air. Much like aircraft, this helped keep the weight down.
I'm quite happy with the folding mechanism on the scope. Because the optics weight was quite low, I was able to get away with using simple winged bolts to keep the joints tight. The poles that hold up the secondary ring are quickly and easily removable, allowing the telescope to be setup in a matter of minutes. Once the poles are removed, the main altitude bearing folds in half, and the secondary ring comes forward to rest on the top of the assembly. A mirror cover will have to be constructed to protect the optics while the telescope is in this position.