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#1 Tom Harper Nov 27, 2012 04:42 PM

Flying Wing Revisited
3 Attachment(s)
This model was a committee design, on this forum, 3 years ago.


It made a number of successful flights but ran into problems with the prop. The 8x4 moved the airplane but was way too small for the MicroDan motor. Any larger prop destroyed itself by sucking up sand and rocks on take off attempts. The MicroDan needs a 10x6 or 11x7. That really eats rocks! I could never get the gear long enough for take off and the larger props made hand launch dangerous - call me chicken.

Also, this model was built around the credit card size Olympus FE 360 camera. A beautiful camera, but not one that is suited to off-field UAV operation. It was destroyed early by a few grains of sand around the lens barrel. For the last couple of years, this project has resided on the airplane pile in the pump house.

The other day I spotted a Panasonic Lumix Tough camera on ebay. It's not as small as the FE 360 but the lens is in the upper right edge of the camera face and remains flush when the camera is in use. It's a 16MP digital and it's sealed - good in 30 ft of water without a case and intended for use in sand - wow!

Mounting the camera upside down places the lens window at the bottom of the wing section. That would fit an oblique mount within the root section.

So, I bought the Lumix, rescued the airplane for the pump house, carved a lens port out of the underside and built a camera mount into the rear section. Oh yeah, I removed the landing gear and pusher mount and moved the motor to the front, where it belongs.

The result is:

Span: 52 inches
Root Chord: 12.25
Tip Chord: 8.5 inches
Area: 4 sq ft
AUW: 45 ounces
Wing Loading: 11.25 oz/sq ft

MicroDan motor ~280 Watts
68 Watts per sq ft
100 Watts per pound

That should hand launch nicely.


#2 BMatthews Nov 27, 2012 05:10 PM

Or now you could fit a longer landing gear and use the 10 inch props.

#3 Tom Harper Nov 27, 2012 05:51 PM

Landing gear takes up too much structure and increases drag. Hand launch should make everything easier.


#4 eflightray Nov 28, 2012 07:35 AM

Forget any fixed or retract landing gear, and go for a take-off dolly if a take-off is required.

It also save weight on having attached U/C.

The dolly could even be bungee assisted if required.

#5 Sparky Paul Nov 28, 2012 10:59 AM

Tom, I've used to termination several point-n-shoot cameras. Either totally destroyed in a "spirited arrival", or dust in the lens system giving a permanent "lens error" notification when powering up.
I've found it worthwhile for the AP cameras to get the insurance on them at purchase.
Gotten at least one new one after an incident involving smiting Mother Earth. :)
The new Canon A2300 with 16 mpix makes superb photos! Beats everything I have used up to now.
Just picked up a GoPro Hero3, to try the time lapse stuff, eliminating any need to trigger a servo to trigger the shutter.
Systems failure on takeoff...I've tossed the receiver... 2nd time for it to fail.
O8E-112612-TakeoffRollOverCrash (1 min 4 sec)

#6 Tom Harper Nov 28, 2012 01:43 PM


Wild video!

I gotta stop buying cameras! I love my Canon A650 but it's way too heavy. I have a Canon S95 that is very nice - CHDK helps.

We should fly Friday. I'll let you know how the Lumix works out.


#7 Sparky Paul Nov 29, 2012 11:46 AM

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Stop buying cameras!!!!
What's got into you?
Here's what I've been flying recently...
The 808s are very good for AP video.
Not so good for photos.
The Canon A2300 gives 16 mpx!
The GoPRo with the interval ability removes the need for an onboard shutter trigger.

#8 BMatthews Nov 29, 2012 04:47 PM

Sparky, I was laughing and cringing at the same time. Sorry....

,,,,well, it WAS funny sounding to hear all the crunching and see the wobbles... so I guess I'm not really sorry for laughing.... :D

A year or so ago I got myself a Fuji that is water, dust and sand proof that has the internal zoom. I really gotta get it into a model.

#9 Tom Harper Nov 29, 2012 04:52 PM

Ready for first flight
6 Attachment(s)
Ready for first flights tomorrow at the club field. If all goes well we'll try some flights in our study area on Saturday afternoon.

The installation worked out better than expected. There is plenty of room to slide the Lipos into the box spars. The leads plug into a connector block. They can be loaded and plugged in on the bench. The Dean's connector allows a single connection at the field.

The Autopilot wire runs are cleaner than usual. Looks pretty tight. We'll see tomorrow.


#10 Sparky Paul Nov 29, 2012 05:47 PM


Originally Posted by BMatthews (Post 23397769)
Sparky, I was laughing and cringing at the same time. Sorry....

,,,,well, it WAS funny sounding to hear all the crunching and see the wobbles... so I guess I'm not really sorry for laughing.... :D

A year or so ago I got myself a Fuji that is water, dust and sand proof that has the internal zoom. I really gotta get it into a model.

I've had crashes with on-board videos working, but with all of those, the camera stopped, usually due to being broken!
This is the first one where they kept on running, even after being "thrown clear" by the impact. The nose camera was buried in the impact crater, had to search the countryside for the other two.
The GoPro has a safe container, but it's way big. The camera itself is really small outside the box.

#11 BMatthews Nov 29, 2012 10:08 PM

With the plethora of small, light and tough keychain and lipstick style digital cameras we can likely expect more post crash moments that examine "The Silence" as we hear the ever loudening crunching of the pilot's steps towards the scene.... :D

#12 Sparky Paul Nov 29, 2012 11:38 PM

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To say nothing of Lipos and Outrunners... looking back almost 10 years here..
I did this delta using Tom's basic design. Speed 600 and heavy-as-lead Nicads!
I have a problem seeing which point is the front when a delta gets way out there.

#13 JRuggiero Nov 30, 2012 10:28 AM

My Trusty Sony Bloggie
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With all due respect to those of you who have been doing RC models for much longer than I have, and who have probably shot more stills and vid from aloft than I have, I humbly submit that what I've seen on this thread does not impress me. For purposes of shooting stills or video, you are trying to re-invent the wheel. ;)

I pondered doing a scratch-build for an aerial camera plane, but decided it was much easier to modify a humble GWS Slow Stick. And cheap, too. You can guess what I used for power and radio.

For the camera I chose a Sony Bloggie I got several years ago. It has a swivel lens head. Using Velcro and straps under the Slow Stick boom, I can mount it to point forward, backward, or to either side (no gimbal and servo arrangement).

I shoot 720p at 60 FPS. The aerial shot is a frame extracted from the last vid of the season. It ain't shabby, unlike the murky stuff shot with the keychain cams. I've had two, and both tapped out before I could even mount them on an airplane. :(

Not being a good pilot, most of my landings are more like sudden arrivals. In grass, fortunately. The Bloggie survives, and I await spring time for another shooting session.

BTW, my house is the one in the center of the pic, with the tan roof. :D

Jim R.

#14 Sparky Paul Nov 30, 2012 11:26 AM

4 Attachment(s)
I've used the Yard Stick, the built-up wing appealing more to me.
And then I bulked out the fuselage to hold the camera inside, on a tilting mount for looking sideways to straight down.

#15 JRuggiero Nov 30, 2012 11:44 AM

Sparky Paul,

That's a nice camera mount. I could do that. I also appreciate the whole fuselage, which better protects the camera from... However, it restricts the panorama if the cam is swiveled fully left or right. So the boom fuse is better suited, ISTM, IMHO.

My set-up uses 3S and weighs 24 ounces, ready-to-launch. What's yours?

Jim R.

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