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davefriant's blog
Posted by davefriant | Apr 07, 2011 @ 12:15 AM | 10,068 Views
I first became aware of the ROTOR when I received the July 1989 issue of Slope Soaring News and read the title of the article on the front cover which I have used to title this thread. Since that day I have always had a desire to build and fly the ROTOR.

Today, April 6, 2011, I finally completed my 22 year quest to build a ROTOR, and not just any ROTOR. This is an over the top all composite build constructed with a fuselage and flying surfaces built by Joe Cormier (joemach1) using WinchDoc's Bling hardware to drive the wing. The fuselage is constructed mainly of carbon fiber. The fin is molded onto the fuselage. The horizontal stabilizer is removable. I am using the standard 58" ROTOR wing span utilizing a vacuum-bagged carbon skin over high-load 60 blue foam with 2 very thin Don Ayers airfoils optimized for high-speed slope soaring. A DA-8518 airfoil at the root and a DA-6715 airfoil at the tip. The entire plane disassembles and is stored in a rifle gun case.

This thread will give you a pictorial look at the ROTOR as it is ready-to-fly!


My original copy of Slope Soaring News, July 1989.



I matched the ROTOR text font from one of the original advertisements for the ROTOR and had FastSigns
make me a paint mask. Joe Cormier then used the mask with his excellent paint skills to paint the name onto the mylars
when laying up the wing. Looks great!


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Posted by davefriant | Mar 12, 2011 @ 12:06 PM | 6,075 Views
Here are a few photos of my newly completed Joe Cormier 'Woodpecker' as it is ready to fly. Thanks to Joe for a quality build on the fuselage and the flying surfaces. If you are interested in a Woodpecker contact Joe directly on RC Groups at 'joemach1'.

I produce the set of Woodpecker graphics. They are provided as an 8.5" x 11" sheet of stickers. The stickers can be cut from the sheet and applied to the Woodpecker as desired. See the last picture in this blog entry for the complete set of stickers.

Woody died a horrible death on May 21, 2011 when he slammed into the top of Eagle Butte during his maiden flight. Needless to say I am extremely bummed. It's a beautiful flying plane.





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Posted by davefriant | Jul 05, 2010 @ 06:05 PM | 5,597 Views
My newest design to my 60" slope racing stable of airplanes is now ready to fly. The design is based on my Avion fuselage. The wing is constructed with an SD7003 airfoil and utilizes a flaperon control system. AUW is 34oz. Check out the pictures. Thanks.


She is a nice looking plane.


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Posted by davefriant | Jun 29, 2010 @ 02:17 PM | 6,045 Views
The new AERO 60" Slope Racer prototype is almost ready for its maiden test flight. The fuselage is an all carbon/kevlar fabric with red kevlar, the rudder is all carbon, the canopy is all carbon. The stabs and wing are blue foam cores with 4.7oz unidirectional carbon fulll length and width. Paint scheme is prepainted on mylar with an AERO graphic. Wings will utilize flaperon control surfaces with a kevlar skin hinge. Stab is a full-flying style. AUW=TBD, but at least 36+ oz.

The pictures below are low resolution taken inside my shop so they are not the best quality. I wanted to give you a sneak peak at the progress. Plan is to bring 2 AERO's to the Cape Blanco slopefest in August. This is a prototype so the finish on the fuse and flying surfaces are prototype quality and are not indicative of the final quality version. Enjoy.


AERO graphic and color scheme pre-painted on the mylar before bagging. Fuselage is made with a carbon/red kevlar fabric.


Shows the thin profile of the fuselage.

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Posted by davefriant | Jun 16, 2010 @ 12:00 AM | 6,245 Views
A few photos of my Ridge Grabber 15 based on the AVION fuselage. The layup shown is intended for a 60" competition slope racer. The wing airfoil shown is an RG15, therefore the name Ridge Grabber 15. The AVION has a molded rudder available.

The wing's planform tapers from 7.25" at the root to 2.75" at the tip. Wings are constructed with flaperons which allows the plane to slow down to a crawl when landing. I have built the AVION using the SD7037, SD7032, RG15, and SD7003 airfoils.
  • The AVION fuselage in fiberglass with kevlar and carbon reinforcement retails for $200+shipping. Includes an all black carbon or kevlar canopy.
  • The AVION molded rudder retails for $50+shipping.
  • The AVION fuselage all carbon/kevlar combo layup retails for $250+shipping. Choice of black/red, black/blue, or black/yellow carbon/kevlar layup.
  • Short kit including fuselage, molded rudder, stab cores, wing cores, fuselage plywood parts, and full size plans retails for $500+shipping, or $550+shipping with carbon/kevlar fuselage. A 50% deposit is required with order.
  • There is a 2-4 week delivery time from receipt of order and payment. Ask for current delivery schedule.

The AVION with an RG15 wing.



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Posted by davefriant | Jun 14, 2010 @ 11:55 PM | 6,560 Views
Here are a few pictures of the all Kevlar AVION. It utilizes a one-piece bolt-on wing with triple taper wing planform using an SD7037 airfoil. The stab is an SD8020. Construction of the wing, stab, and rudder is white foam bagged with a light layup of s-glass with a kevlar leading edge.

The fuselage features a removable flight pack which includes 2 servos, a receiver and battery. The flight pack is secured in place with one screw on the underside of the fuselage. A handlaunch fingerwell is integrated into the underside of the fuselage for javelin style tosses.

Functions include ailerons with flaperon functionality, pull-pull rudder, and a full flying stab. Rudder is mixed with aileron for smooth thermal turns or decoupled for light sloping.
  • The gold colored all Kevlar AVION fuselage with carbon reinforcement in the wing saddle area retails for $175. Includes an opaque glass canopy as shown in the pictures below.
  • The white foam AVION triple-taper wing cores and stab cores are NOT currently in production.
  • Ask for current delivery schedule for the AVION fuselage.

AVION Kevlar


AVION Kevlar

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Posted by davefriant | Jun 03, 2010 @ 01:44 AM | 7,175 Views
My one and only PSS glider. I think this is one of the best looking F-20's for accuracy of full scale I have seen. Paint job is the official Northrop Grumman scheme. Search on the internet for full scale pictures to compare.

The fuselage is epoxy glass with carbon and kevlar reinforcement. The stab airfoil is a NACA007 and the wing airfoil is an Eppler 205. Wing tip bombs are removable for flight. Intended for static display only.

Flys real sweet in 20+ winds. Short kits are available. Optional airfoils are also available. Utilizes spoilerons for landing control.

Short kits include:
  • Fuselage (length = 55 inches)
  • 2 wing cores (span = 54 inches)
  • 2 stab cores
  • Set of plans in electronic format
  • Short kits retail for $500.
  • Fuselage only retails for $375.
  • 50% deposit required.
Ask for current delivery time.





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