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Old Dec 07, 2012, 05:46 PM
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Joined Dec 2012
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Help!
Sounding Plane Airframe Design

I'm new to RC planes and I want to build a plane for sounding equipment (pressure sensor, thermometer, humidity sensor, etc) and came up with a design. My design goals were to have the plane be stable, able to fly slow and level, be able to carry the equipment, and run off of electricity.



Am I on the right path? What am I missing? Should I be approach this from a different angle.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Why do you need to design a whole new plane? Just get an existing one that everyone knows will fly well.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 07:12 PM
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I haven't found a design that fit my needs yet. Is there one you suggest?
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 07:28 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
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Okay, what in hades is an .skp file and what do I do with it. Based in what I see there's nothing there.

You are tailor-made to fit all that in a Storm Chaser by crashtesthobby.com

Storm Chaser without a pilot (3 min 58 sec)


What else could you possibly need?
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 07:29 PM
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It's a CAD file for Sketchup.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 08:35 PM
buyer of the farm
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Joined Mar 2009
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Ya, looks like Google gobbled another company and........ Well, this is a twin boom, spanning elevator, flat center with raised tips design. It's quite an undertaking and once built would have to be rebuilt many times to optimize the design or just accept its shortfalls as found and claim they're features.....just like Microsoft!

My recommendation stands. Take advantage of real aeronautical engineers, start with the Storm Chaser from crashtesthobby.com and worry about the mission instead of jerking around with an untested and unknown airframe.

If you wanted to do the Storm Chaser and wing mount two motors you could do that if you insisted. I'd just install a folding prop and stop the motor if I needed unimpeded front vision. Keep it simple and succeed, that's what I recommend. Drives some people crazy when I do that. But I tend to succeed a lot.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:27 PM
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It sounds like you need the plane for some type of research project or similar venture, and using it as a model aircraft flown for sport isn't very high on the list of requirements. As such, you'd be much better off finding something ready-made like the Bixler 2 that you can put all your sensors and other equipment in rather than trying to start from scratch. I don't quite know what you're trying to accomplish, but "designing and building an airplane" isn't exactly a checkbox on a list of things to do in a weekend.

If designing and building the plane actually IS part of the project itself, then welcome aboard...
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:50 PM
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I don't think he would be able to fit any sensors in the Bixler 2. It has very little room inside. The storm chaser seems like a better idea because he could put all the sensors in one foam box mounted on top of the wing. (above the fuselage of course).
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 09:54 AM
buyer of the farm
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Originally Posted by kov16 View Post
I don't think he would be able to fit any sensors in the Bixler 2. It has very little room inside. The storm chaser seems like a better idea because he could put all the sensors in one foam box mounted on top of the wing. (above the fuselage of course).
Or he could mount all that equipment protected by the nearly indestructible EPP foam of the Storm Chaser fuselage itself. He could auger in from great altitude, pick up the plane and find all his equipment in fine shape. Here's the Storm Chaser's little brother, the Albatross, doing a little crash test dummy work. Hey, it's a living and SOME plane has to do it, maybe YOURS? If it does you want the Storm Chaser. Its resistance to damage and protection of electronic components makes the Bixler 2 look like a plane made of eggshells.
Crashtesting the CTH Albatross 11-11 (4 min 17 sec)


If the equipment can't survive the experiment then research tends to be difficult...
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 10:11 AM
buyer of the farm
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Originally Posted by C₄H₁₀ View Post
If designing and building the plane actually IS part of the project itself, then welcome aboard...
Absolutely! Keep in mind that will be a completely separate and time consuming project, involving repeated building and rebuilding of components or even complete airframes as you tweak the design. You can expect to take months just optimizing the design. That is an entirely separate and fascinating hobby in itself, the one that Frank Zaic meant when he said "aeromodeling." As a mainstream activity it died in about 1950 to his dismay.

Although to most the concept of personally understanding aerodynamic principles as they uniquely apply to model planes, designing and building your own planes is a strange anachronism, long dead, those "most" are sadly deprived of the greatest reward possible in the hobby. Frank Zaic is a hero of the hobby and his books are the Holy Grail, aeromodeling Scripture.

If you are interested in designing your own plane don't let anyone dissuade you. Just be prepared for the fact that it is more difficult and time consuming than the uninitiated can realize. Combining the tasks of learning to fly and designing your own plane with no previous experience makes for a multi-variable equation that you can't solve.

I recommend learning to fly first, then designing/building your own plane secondly. Only then can you evaluate that plane's performance so your can improve the design during the testing process.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
If you are interested in designing your own plane don't let anyone dissuade you. Just be prepared for the fact that it is more difficult and time consuming than the uninitiated can realize. Combining the tasks of learning to fly and designing your own plane with no previous experience makes for a multi-variable equation that you can't solve.
Yup... we get these threads periodically, and sometimes the responses are discouraging - that's simply because of the truth of designing and building and then flying a model aircraft. Most people don't know the basic building techniques, which are highly specialized for aircraft which are unlike ground vehicles because they have to be light weight. It's funny - most of the time when you hand someone an airplane and they've never seen one before, they almost universally say "wow, it's so light?!" because they've never seen a light built object of any kind. So, the build style and general techniques are unfamiliar to most people and it's hard to familiarize yourself with these methods unless someone shows you - and the best way to see it is to buy and fly ARF or RTF kits yourself.

That's bigger than people usually think - it's huge. You must learn the proper techniques for building aircraft, because those techniques must be incorporated into your design. I've seen aerospace engineers make horrible designs because they didn't understand this.

However, I think you are on the right track. We had a company last year doing atmospheric research at our club - they had CO sensors and such on a fuel-powered plane... I says to them "won't the sensors pick up the CO from the engine?" but that's why they went with the pusher design - the engine is behind all the sensors so they were thinking the exhaust wouldn't be picked up - they had no idea how pervasive glow fuel exhaust is, and now they are running electric. I believe that brushless motors don't produce ozone, so that should be fine.

The drawback of your design is that it's structurally complicated. There's better pusher-prop designs which are simpler, and they must be good designs because almost everybody has a plane like the EasyStar, Bixler, Sky Surfer, whatever... if you just scale that up a bit, that's the simplest design that should meet your goal.

BTW, when designing aircraft, that last thing is really important - find the SIMPLEST design that meets your needs. Be sure to think carefully about what your needs are. Then, before you fly a self-designed plane, you should be at least an intermediate pilot - or have someone fly it for you.

I have a copy of this: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL792 - it's a good idea to pick up some books like that, to learn the "secrets" that are the key to building aircraft.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 10:29 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Here's an EPP plane being tortured for the purpose of demonstrating the durability of the Crashtesthobby.com planes. No I'm not connected to them in any way and they have no clue who I am. But this is compelling. No Bixler or similar plane can do this, even once.

The Assassin is a smaller, much faster plane than the Storm Chaser, with relatively delicate and vulnerable large elevons on the wing. Watch this and just marvel! I doubt you are going to hurtle full throttle into a brick wall.....but if you ever do you might want to be prepared.
Assassin vs Brick Wall 3-12 (4 min 14 sec)
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 12:39 AM
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this thing floats nice and will carry anything you want to put on it it !
http://www.bananahobby.com/super-sky...0099-prd1.html
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 08:31 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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Holy crap! It's just another Easy Star wannabe with no room for any equipment at all! Those ARE NOT in the same galaxy as the Storm Chaser. They are harder to fly, much more fragile and won't carry the instrument package the OP needs.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 10:12 AM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Holy crap! It's just another Easy Star wannabe with no room for any equipment at all! Those ARE NOT in the same galaxy as the Storm Chaser. They are harder to fly, much more fragile and won't carry the instrument package the OP needs.
No it's 2.4 meters... WAY bigger than the Easy Star type. Might be able to get some equipment on it.
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