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Old Mar 27, 2014, 03:54 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
Build Log
DIY SkyHunter Clone

Hi,
Some how I got the wild idea to build a stick version of the the Skyhunter foamie. I like the looks of the SH and the good payload it can carry.
Some reasons for me to build it is; The kit is expensive, usually out of stock, no replacement parts are available and many upgrades are needed to be include to make a nice flying airplane. I am always crashing my SH and have rebuilt them many times. After a while they start to look bad, with no replacement parts. So I will build my own.

Some of the goals of this endeavour
1) The final airplane needs to be better than a stock Skyhunter.
2) Make it where I can cut the structure (sticks)of the plane on my CNC machine.
3)Use easy to obtain material, which should be stronger than foam. (and cheaper)
4)Design in an option/strengthening for landing gear.
5)Include rudders in the design.
6)Make this a repository for fixes/improvements/design options.
7)Share everything and have fun!

Start with the basics:
The first milestone airplane needs to look somewhat like a SH and fly.
The photos are of my currently flying foamie SHs.
farmertom
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 04:00 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
A start

After working on this for about two months here is my progress so far. Now that I have started this build log I will take more/better photos.
Wing is near completion and fuselage is in progress. So here are some photos of my current status.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 04:38 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
Some background

First I am no expert on anything! I like doing this kind of project because there are many areas in which I am learning, CNC, CAD, designing airplanes, flying airplanes,etc. Sometime my learning gets in my way.

For this project I am using Turbo CAD V17. I am thinking of upgrading to a CAD package called Rhino because my version of Turbo CAD is kind of lame for 3D kind of stuff.

For the CNC tool path work I am using a software package called Aspire. Very expensive and way too advance for most of the work I will be doing here. I will use the 3D portion of Aspire to create the leading edge of the wings.
Here is a link to some of my CNC work and a view of my machine. http://cncartwork.weebly.com/index.html
farmertom
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 04:46 PM
hey whats burning?
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Oct 2007
656 Posts
Im in. I'll be watching your progress. I love the idea and wish I had a CNC so that I could also do this. Looks like you have a really good start. Good luck.

Oh what cad program do you use? I have a 3d printer and have been using sketchup.
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Last edited by metalbender4by; Mar 27, 2014 at 04:54 PM.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 04:46 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
A few earlier photos

These are some photos of the wing in a little more detail. I'll do better from now on.
farmertom
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 04:49 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalbender4by View Post
Im in. I'll be watching your progress. I love the idea and wish I had a CNC so that I could also do this. Looks like you have a really good start. Good luck.
Welcome.
You can always build your own CNC like I did. I over did it when I built my machine. I could get away with a much smaller one. (and a lot less cost).
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 05:39 PM
At peace with his albatross
wannabe's Avatar
United States, CA, Vacaville
Joined Oct 2003
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Nice!
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 05:44 PM
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United States, CA, Vacaville
Joined Sep 2013
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Dang that's nice, but intricately fitted wood is too much work.

I have a composites business and a largish CNC foam cutter (8'x4'x2'), so if I had CAD files I'd cut patterns and make molds. Scaling up larger is a piece of cake, too.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 05:50 PM
At peace with his albatross
wannabe's Avatar
United States, CA, Vacaville
Joined Oct 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntless Stan View Post
Dang that's nice, but intricately fitted wood is too much work.

I have a composites business and a largish CNC foam cutter (8'x4'x2'), so if I had CAD files I'd cut patterns and make molds. Scaling up larger is a piece of cake, too.
I'm in! I create 3D models for a living so if you need any help, let me know.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 06:09 PM
Preserve our right to FPV !!!!
melsailsnorth's Avatar
United States, CA, Chico
Joined Dec 2010
831 Posts
What a fun project Tom! So, is your intent to monocoat the wings and the fuselage or are thinking of a composite skin for the body? That combo would be similar in construction to the 3meter UAV "kit" that I've been working on the last couple months. This was my very first time with anything but big foam planes and it's really been a blast to see all the differences. Ever since getting the composite, I've been wondering how someone would go-about building one from the ground-up, though, so thanks so much for sharing your build!! Can't wait to see it taking to the air!!

I'm currently trying to find a more "heavy duty" steering gear for the front of mine. You can see at the end of my second flight that the stock gear is just not up to the task with a lot of battery in the nose. What gear did you pick for yours? It looks pretty sturdy on your current two SkyHunters.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 06:12 PM
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Joined Jan 2014
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How are you attaching the booms? No flaps? How does the wing mate with the fuse? Will it use a tray like skyhunter?

My biggest problems with skyhunter is the poor tail feather design and field assembly. I'd also like a larger version.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 06:50 PM
hey whats burning?
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Oct 2007
656 Posts
I have a Cessna 337 Skymaster (Huff and Puff), which is a similar air frame, and the wing tips separate from the center section of the wing. The booms are trapped between the sections of wings. This allows the removal of the tips and the whole fuse and center section, booms and tail feathers can be transported in one piece. Heres a picture of the Huff and Puff. This isn't mine, mine isn't this nice. Its a great design and might be a great addition to the SkyHunter clone.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 06:51 PM
UAV Operator
ECODRONES's Avatar
Brazil, SP, Caraguatatuba
Joined Jun 2012
173 Posts
Farmertom,

Absolutely beautful and amazing job.

I always wondered, because no one (that has a CNC and knowledge / time to do it, of course) haven't think about, using these solid models (i.e. SH and SW) as "inspiration", projecting quite similar, but in plywood and balsa.

Perhaps even greater internal space, greater wingload with more wingspan. I really interested in SH like that.

I'm real candidate for first flight tests and review, if you had idea for comercial prodution or sharing you CAD files for laser cut.

Thanks and keeping contact!
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 07:04 PM
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United States, CA, Vacaville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
I'm in! I create 3D models for a living so if you need any help, let me know.
Holy moly...you're right here in Cow Town!

Sending a PM so we don't mess up Tom's thread.
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Old Mar 27, 2014, 07:08 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
United States, TN, Taft
Joined Oct 2012
613 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntless Stan View Post
Dang that's nice, but intricately fitted wood is too much work.
Yes it is but it sure makes for a strong frame! Thanks
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