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Old Jul 23, 2010, 10:26 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
M.Putnam's Avatar
United States, NC, Rutherfordton
Joined Jan 2002
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Build Log
50% Bob Starr Bumble Bee

I have had this crazy idea of building an electric powered 50% scale Bumble Bee for several years now. I have a set of Ken Willard's 25% plans that were in RCM back in the late 80's. I just might tackle this project some day...

50% scale would put me at a 39" wingspan. Yes, I said 50% scale and 39 inch wingspan in the same sentence. Heck, I could go up to 75% scale and only have a 58" wingspan!

The only thing that concerns me is molding of the cowl and the canopy. I have zero experience with either vacuum forming or fiberglassing.

If this project becomes a reality I will post my progress here. You can bet it will move at a glacial pace knowing my building style.
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Last edited by M.Putnam; May 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 02:35 PM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
lmopar69's Avatar
United States, AL, Newville
Joined Feb 2005
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Nothing crazy about that idea! That is an awesome little plane man! Build one! Pleaaaassseee!!!!

Laine.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 03:59 PM
sml
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Putnam,

I found this: http://members.cox.net/robinstarr/

It even offers a way to order plans to build an RC version of the plane.

Here are some videos:

Bumble Bee II, The Guinness Book Records Holder (3 min 19 sec)

Stits Sky Baby (1 min 49 sec)


As far as the cowling and canopy, you could build the cowling out of balsa and ply using formers and sheeting & the canopy could just be shaped, hollowed out foam covered with monokote or painted. Since you are powering it with an electric motor & heat will not be a great issue the cowling could also be shaped out of foam and then glasses with light fiberglass. Hope this helps.

Please keep us posted of your progress.

Saul
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 04:08 PM
sml
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Putnam,

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!:

http://www.rcmplans.com/index.php?ma...ord=Bumble+Bee

Saul
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 04:12 PM
sml
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Even found this:

http://www.rcmplans.com/index.php?ma...oducts_id=1781

Saul
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 05:53 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
M.Putnam's Avatar
United States, NC, Rutherfordton
Joined Jan 2002
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Thanks Guys.

I have the RCM plans and will be using them to base the larger 50% version on. I even bought the wing foam cores several years back. I think I will go with built up wings on the 50%er. I just have to start putting some drawings in CAD. I want to keep the plane as light as possible. Willard's design (while elegant) is way over built by today's standards.

Glad to see there might be some interest in this one. Keep me motivated and maybe I will shoot to have it flying by SEFF...

Matt
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 01:37 AM
Flying electric since 1986
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USA, IN, Brownsburg
Joined Oct 2000
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Here are a few pics I snapped at the Pima museum this past May.
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Old Jul 31, 2010, 10:52 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
M.Putnam's Avatar
United States, NC, Rutherfordton
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Mark,

Thanks for posting those pictures! Those will come in handy in the future.

Matt
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Old Aug 06, 2010, 10:40 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
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United States, NC, Rutherfordton
Joined Jan 2002
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Let the insanity begin!

Starting putting the outline in CAD. Basically using Ken Willard's airfoil and outline as a guide. I will duplicate the outlines and former center locations at a 1:1 ratio from his RCM plans, then double everything and work out the parts for laser cutting. I have decided to go 50% scale.

Matt
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Old Aug 09, 2010, 08:20 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
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United States, NC, Rutherfordton
Joined Jan 2002
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A little bit more CAD work. Starting to flesh out some details.

Even though this model will only have a 40" wingspan, It's going to be huge! Trying to keep weight to a minimum. This should be exciting!
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 03:13 PM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
lmopar69's Avatar
United States, AL, Newville
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Are you cutting the parts by yourself? By hand? Whats the plan on this one man?

Watching intently cuz this one is cool!

Laine.
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 08:47 PM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
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United States, NC, Rutherfordton
Joined Jan 2002
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I will have the parts laser cut by AK Models. They have done great work for me in the past. They have a table that can handle stuff as long as 48". This will be a must with this thing! The size of the formers is huge!

Matt
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 11:38 PM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
lmopar69's Avatar
United States, AL, Newville
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Well, once you have an idea of what the cost will be... maybe I could convince you to cut a second one? I'd love to do one with ya man.

Laine.
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 01:11 AM
Shade Tree Aviation #2
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United States, NC, Rutherfordton
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I will keep you posted...Still tons of CAD work to be done! So many details...

Matt
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 01:15 AM
We Do It With FRQZ
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Aug 2009
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WTH theres no way that flys lol is that a real plane cause i would travel to watch that!
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