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Windfeather's blog
Posted by Windfeather | May 01, 2011 @ 09:51 AM | 2,346 Views
Howdy.

I finished my latest plane build that I designed and built from scratch. (My first design ever.) Inspired by the designs of Mike "Power" Its a simple epp foam camera plane with 56" span, 10" chord, 24 oz with camera and battery. Camera mounts to platform between wheels. Flies very well, floats along slowly, controls well and is quite maneuverable, predictable with good manners. Good power and 8+ minute flight times. I should be able to sneek up on 10+ minute flight times pretty easily.

There is absolutely no jitter in the onboard video, even at full power, due I think to the lack of any rigid structure between the motor and camera, its pretty isolated from any vibration. The "Power" style landing gear probably also helps dampen out vibes too.

I really just about hit the bulls eye with my (modest) design goals, flight characteristics, and target weight. I couldn't be much happier with it. Just a few finishing touches, and maybe some paint to help with orientation at a distance.

Now, its not perfect, but with some minor alterations, it could be pretty good, I think. I'll just have to fly it some more and experiment. Only 5 flights so far.

AUW with 5.5 oz camera is just under 24 oz. The fuselage is 1 inch 1.3 lb epp, and the KFm3 wing and flat tail are 6mm 1.3 lb epp with a little CF and 1/32" plywood here and there for strength. 4.7g servos are on the tail and a single 9g on the ailerons. Motor is a Towerpro 2408-21...Continue Reading
Posted by Windfeather | Mar 17, 2011 @ 12:02 AM | 1,905 Views
I'm still relatively new to RC, and am pretty excited about my latest build-really an experiment-a Heptad photo plane scaled down to 75%. Plans call for an 80" WS, I made it 60" thinking my Turnigy 2408-21 with 3s 1300 could power it. Well, it could, but really struggled and I turned the windings black in short order, using a 1047 prop.

OK, so then I bit the bullet & bought an Eflight Park 480, 30a esc, and used the same battery. This works much better, and powers it with authority. Its kinda cool to combine video/photo with RC. Now Im dreaming of FPV.

I guess my scaled down experiment was a success, since it flies and handles well, but since I ended up buying a bigger motor anyway, maybe I should've just built the 80" to begin with. Weight is about 35 oz. Wing loading is similar, but a little lower at 7.26 oz per sq foot. The 80" version was closer to 7.9 oz per sq ft.

Here is the build thread for the Heptad: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1024238

Here are links to all of Power's designs. Really cool ones with a lot of building tips and tricks, and interesting to see the progression of his AP/AV designs, based upon the payload to be carried, I suppose. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...40&postcount=1

Things I learned on this build:
1. A simple 44" hotwire bow cutter (not shown) made from a 2x4 and .030 wire powered with a 12v car charger works extremely well. I did'nt know it was so easy.
2. Its...Continue Reading
Posted by Windfeather | Feb 23, 2011 @ 12:48 AM | 2,277 Views
Actually, they're my collection of Leadfeather yaks. Four different versions. All are 32.5 inch wingspan. The purple, green, and blue ones I just completed to sell. I am amazed at how well these fly. Build thread with plans and material list here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=964237
Posted by Windfeather | Feb 12, 2011 @ 02:00 PM | 2,088 Views
During lunchbreaks at work, a few of us will fly in the field behind the shop. (BTW, during long stretches of good weather, I've noticed I've been losing weight...I call it the RC diet!) In poor weather, a couple of us have very good indoor fliers we fly IN the shop.

Several people at work have expressed interest in this design, so I thought I'd build a few and see if I could sell them for a bit of extra hobby money. With about $75 dollars in parts and shipping, the $150 I'm asking should net me around a buck or two below minimum wage. But what the heck, they are fun to build, and could possibly intoduce a new pilot or two to RC. (And if they don't all sell, well I'll just have a great flying new Yak or two to myself!

I test flew the purple one, and this was the first all 9mm "standard build" 32.5in. W.S. I had flown. I used a 3S NanoTech 370, outdoors for the test.

First off, I noticed how effective the 3mm EPP foam tail braces are. There was absolutely no tail twist, even at full speed.

And speaking of speed, for such a light plane at about 185g AUW, this thing has quite a speed range. From zero (hovers very well) through high alpha to top speed of I'm guessing around 40mph or so.

Roll rate is the best yet of all the variations I've built so far, probably because of the full thickness ailerons not twisting as much.

A programable transmitter is a big plus for this design. Because it is pretty pitch sensitive, I have about 45% expo dialed in on...Continue Reading