It is ugly, but it is fun to fly for general sport flying. It flies like an ugly stick. The old franken-trainer described below was been modified to have a coroplast wing instead of the old Falcon56 wing. There is another modeler in the club who actually owns a Falcon56 so I donated that wing to him.
This is the tiniest airplane I have ever flown. I purchased it second-hand from another hobbiest. Unfortunately I crashed it into a fence on my first flight with it, but the repair was very simple. Lots of fun to fly.
This Vermont Belle 1300 was previously owned by one of my friends in our club. He was doing some aerobatics with it when the wing separated and the fuselage executed a perfect "lawn dart" maneouver. He offered the airframe to me since he did not wish to spend time repairing the damage. So I accepted the model from him and did the job of gluing the fuselage back together. It is not exactly perfect, but it will fly again. It still needs the radio equipment and the power system.
This is the Franken-trainer. It was intended to function as a club trainer to be used for students who find a sudden need to switch to a back-up airplane. The fuselage is from a Tiger Trainer and was donated by one of our long-time club members. The wing was not available. Therefore a Falcon 56 wing that had been donated by another member was pressed into service. The wing is too small for the weight of this airplane, so it turned out to be not such a good trainer. Furthermore, it gained the reputation of being the ugliest airplane in our club. On the other hand, quite a few new members did have their introductory flights on this airplane and the Frankentrainer worked its somewhat "odd" magic to get people hooked on the hobby. These new members were told that the Frankentrainer would be the ugliest airplane that they would ever fly, and that the hobby would only get better for them. Perhaps there is something endearing about humble beginnings.
This is my scratch-built foamie night flier. I've named it the Foamie-Nighter. It weighs about 18 ounces ready-to-fly. That is because I am flying it with a large lipo. It is rather heavy for the size of it.
The is the Top Flite P51B which appeared earlier in this blog. It was re-built from splinters after giving a very "convincing" demonstration of elevator flutter during a flight two years ago. Now it is a little bit heavier but it is enjoyable to fly. My old OS61FX is mounted in the re-constructed nose. The color scheme is intended to mimic a ficticious Reno air-racer.
On the day of its maiden flight I was at the flying field all alone. It was one of those nice cool fresh winter afternoons with a slight breeze. I hand-launched and it immediately began a fairly tight left-hand turn which seemed to get worse as I tried to correct it. Not rolling, just turning. It was circling around me towards the pits. Fortunately, there was nobody else in the pits. Just piles of snow. I just had time to think "gee, it's getting close to the wind sock" and then I heard WHAP and it cart-wheeled. The whole maiden flight lasted all of maybe two seconds or so. Fortunately it was a clean break and I just glued it back together and tried it again. As I plugged in the battery for the second attempt, I noticed that I had the rudder going backwards. After that was put right I launched it again and this time it was behaving properly. It'll be a fun little flier.
Hmmm... looking at the picture I see that the carbon fiber rod on one leading edge has come loose. Must have happened at the end of that ill-fated maiden flight. Needs more glue...
This is a home-brew model made of balsa and light ply, covered in ultra-cote. The canopy is made from two soft-drink bottles. It is powered by a Hacker A30-8XL with a CC 35 amp ESC and 3S1P 2200mAh lipos. I named it Snooty because it has a long snout. It look several attempts (aside: 1 attempt = 1 crash) to get it to fly in such a way that I could control it. Unfortunately the flying characteristics are mediocre as far as aerobatics are concerned. People who fly Yaks, Extras, Sukois, and Caps need not fear. However, I did learn quite a bit in the process so the next design-and-build will yield better results ( I hope ).
In the first picture, you can see the mini-funtana before the mid-air.
The mid-air occurred high up and far away. It was head-on, and the other guy's airplane was roughly the same size as mine. It was a coroplast SPAD of the "Draco" or "Gremlin" style. When the collision took place, we were maybe 200 feet up and 400 feet away. He was going about 80mhp left-to-right and I was going maybe 20mph right-to-left. He landed safely with minor damage, and the sight of confetti slowly drifting down behind the remains of the funtana was certainly a highly amusing sight indeed It would appear that one of his two verticle fins went though my left wing. We never found the left aileron servo. His prop actually nicked the bottom of my right aileron servo as well. The fibreglass cowling was totally crumpled and crushed. The left half of the carbon-fiber landgear was also never found. We think hs spinner hit the left strut. The canopy was actually recovered some months later during a search for somebody else's model.
The second picture shows the pieces I brought home. Many other smaller pieces were left where-ever they fluttered down to.
The third picture shows the rebuilt model waiting for its re-maiden flight. People with sharp eyes will see that the wing is thicker and has more area than the original and that it is now mounted on the bottom of the fuselage instead of the middle. The cowling is fashioned from soft-drink bottles shaped over a form with a heat gun, then painted.
This started out as a "flat-out cap580" which I bought second-hand. After maybe 7 or 8 flights, the flat-out hit the ground after a mid-air and most of the foam parts shattered, except the tail. That was when I found out that the foam it was origionally made from was easy to print on for good looks, but snapped under strain instead of wrinkling. So I bought a couple sheets of 3mm depron and glued this little puppy together using the same carbon-fibre rods and plastic parts. It weighs about 14 ounces, which is a bit heavy, but it flies all right. It'll have problems hovering, but at least it'll wrinkle rather than shatter
This is Walrus. It has that name because the huge fins remenids me of that aquatic mammal. It weighs in at 18 ounces, however it is capable of climbing out of a hover. After months of practice, I can now sustain a hover for about 20 seconds before it flops over.
This is a 1970's era Top Flight P51 built from the kit. It is the old style of construction. Everything is sheeted and there are lots of big blocks of balsa that needed to be sanded to shape. The airplane was originally built by my friend Alvin and was slightly modified by me. The engine is a GMS2000 0.61 and the airplane has been modified with the flaps permanently glued in the up position. The ailerons now operate from two servos, one in each wing, eliminating the bellcranks. A nice little sporty airplane to fly, for someone who likes to zoom around.
This airplane has the 2.5mm coroplast wing which was previously used on coro-toro II however the fuselage is made from balsa and light ply. The motor is a screaming os46vx-df with a tuned pipe. It weighs about 7.5 pounds. Climb-out after takeoff is nearly verticle. I built it with generous elevator and rudder area, and it is capable of hovering. With the large wing area, it floats down to landing, so sometimes I stay up there until it runs out of gas and then glide in for fun.
This is a home-brew model built mostly from foam with some balsa and plywood where needed. 42 inch wingspan powered by a himax 2025-4200 brushless electric. It weighs about 31 ounces ready to fly, which was a little heavier than I had planned. The maiden flight was May 30. Not a bad flier, although it still needs some fine tuning.
This is a movie of my maiden flight with the Cap 580. It was a windy day in March of this year, and there was a fairly stiff breeze blowing.
This movie is 3.58 megs. It was done with an inexpesive camera, so the airplane looks like a dot most of the time. You can see the takeoff (almost straight up into the wind) and some flying around, the landing (which was easier to do than I expected) followed by some commentary.
The flying field was a solid sheet of ice, very slippery. I'm the guy in the green winter coat. The fellow in the white hat is Corey and he is flying his ducted fan jet.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, by all means feel free to look elsewhere for greater excitement. However, if you're like me, then this was adequate excitement for one day