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kenelder's blog
Posted by kenelder | Nov 28, 2014 @ 10:27 PM | 1,215 Views
Here is information and pictures of the takeoff dolly I use for the F104. This was all designed by the TLAR method (that looks about right) but some principles were considered.

1. Tricycle gear with wheels located close to the F104 scale positions.
2. Low cg: the plane needed to sit as low as possible. I've seen far too many dolly's trip over and spill the plane if they are too tall.
3. At least a 5 deg positive angle of attack. Most airfoils stall around 10 deg and not wanting to take off too slow, I figured 5 deg was about right.
4. Steerable nose wheel: I'm lazy and wanted to taxi out to the runway for takeoff.
5. Had to be easy and cheap to make- thus use of pvc pipe and fittings.
6. End of wing support had to be located right where the scale main wheels were- too long a support prevents the airplane from rotating during takeoff. I'm not so sure this was very important, but I was considering it.

The pics have captions explaining everything. It has worked amazingly well, great to see the plane taxi to the end of the runway turn around and then make a takeoff. After liftoff I give it just a little rudder so that by the time it stops it is off the runway so I can land without worrying about hitting it.

I hope this design helps all those that want to make a takeoff dolly that works!...Continue Reading
Posted by kenelder | Nov 20, 2014 @ 05:05 PM | 972 Views
Here are some pictures of my scratch built F104. It is built from plans of a ducted fan version originally designed in Europe somewhere. The plans were reduced 3/4 size to fit a 90mm fan. I have modified the original design; the airfoils have been changed to Selig model airfoils. Original plan airfoils were 10% thick symmetrical section and after watching a friends' model with that airfoil I decided something with more lift would work a lot better. Used Profili, the airfoil software, to compare the original symmetrical section to various other sections and ended up with the Selig foils. Lift coefficient was 2.5 times the original section at the root, 3 times the original at the root.

There were other changes such as moving the elevator servo to the tail, but those were all minor. Other than the airfoils my model is exactly like the plans at 3/4 size. Fuselage is 48" long.

I have not weighed it recently but it carries a 6 cell 2700 battery, 100 amp ICE speed control, and a Wemotec midifan powered by a Mega motor.

I also used my own design takeoff dolly. I did not want to risk a bungee launch withe the new airfoils and all the work put into it. Much to my surprise, the dolly worked perfect from the very start. As I like to taxi onto the runway, the dolly includes its own receiver and nosewheel steering servo.

The F104 lands on its belly on a long strip of fan belt rubber glued to its bottom. This works great as a brake- although it lands relatively fast, it stops in about 10 feet. This lets me feather it down to the runway without worrying about running off the end.

The color scheme is from Darryl Greenamayer's low altitude speed record holding F104 back in the '60s or '70s.