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Old Jul 01, 2014, 10:55 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
DaVinciBrainchld's Avatar
Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
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Custom Avitron V2.0 swallow tails.

Hello Everyone-
I've been designing and creating things my whole life but i'm new to posting my rc things online, and honestly i'm still trying to figure this site out. Lol. I just wanted to share a few a avitron mods and i thought this would be a good place. :-). As a wildlife artist my approach to ornithopter design is probably different than most. I'd love to hear what everyone thinks but please be kind with any comments you may share.
These are some new tails I designed for my avitrons. The first was simply a forked cut I made into an original avitron tail. While it made the bird slightly faster it also made it less stable. I could still fly it but it was not that easy and actually summersaulted to the ground once.
The second tail was a custom-build designed to mimic that of the swallow-tailed kite which is a raptor native to the southern U.S.A. and parts south. It looks awesome on the avitron, but it tends to porpoise a bit, the tail vibrates, and is hard to fly at high speeds.
The third design is more of a barn swallow shape, adding more surface area than the second. While it seems to slow the bird down slightly and make it a little more sensitive to wind, it also has the benefit of making the bird come out of turns better, glide longer, and climb faster. Not to mention it just plane looks cool. Lol.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 10:58 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Over three-hundred views and not a single comment guys? Wow this is a tough crowd. Lol.
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Old Jul 14, 2014, 03:50 PM
Lets get the HUEY up
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bolton england
Joined Jan 2009
235 Posts
Looks good can you post some setup and flying tips , i have a new Avitron V.2 only flown it once don't seem to have any control of it , balanced the wings and it still goes where it wants ,

been flying helicopters and planes over 25 years no stranger to RC but i can't get my head round this little bird , would love to fly it so any help / advice would be great

phil
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Old Jul 14, 2014, 04:42 PM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
DaVinciBrainchld's Avatar
Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Well Phil, you're asking the right guy. Lol. I have a lot of experience with the avitrons. So what exactly is it doing (or not doing)??
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 12:17 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
DaVinciBrainchld's Avatar
Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
New Avitron swallow tail

My latest Avitron swallow tail is a narrower design to reduce drag and increase speed. I've only flown with it once very briefly due to windy weather lately. It did seem to make the avitron quicker, but I can't say much more than that due to the wind. I'll post a critique after i've flown it in calm conditions.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 09:07 PM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
OK, so I finally got to try the narrower tail out with no wind... and it was disappointing. :-( Yes it made the avitron faster (which was expected) but it porposed constantly and was very hard to fly. I made it less forked by spreading tape across the notch, which added surface area and helped a lot on slower settings but still left it hard to fly in the fast setting. And since extra speed was kinda the goal with this tail... I was still bummed. Maybe I'll adjust the CG, tweak a thing or two and try it again.
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Old Jul 19, 2014, 12:50 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Here's an interesting note - when I use to fly my avitron with its original tail the barn swallows in the area were only slightly curious. But now that it has a tail like a male barn swallow they recognize it as such and attack it if I come near their territory. Lol. I've had to practice evasive maneuvers.
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Old Jul 21, 2014, 11:04 PM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Larger swallow tailed kite/hawk tail

I first started designing forked tails for my avitron because I always loved the way barn swallows fly - low to the ground, fast, and highly maneuverable. Because they tend to eat larger insects than swifts they have evololved to be even more maneuverable than their look-alikes. I always found them fun to watch and I wanted to emulate that style of flight with my avitron. The problem was that the faster you fly with an avitron the quicker it climbs. On a breezy day it becomes a bigger problem because giving it more throttle to fight the wind makes it climb higher and catch even more wind.... and before you know it it's flying away from you like a kite with a broken string. My avitron did not want to stay low and fast like a swallow.... Not until now. :-)
I'm very happy to say that I found the right tail. I took the previous swallow tailed kite (aka swallow tailed hawk) tail and increased its surface area by 15% . To my delight the bird no longer porpoises and the tail itself no longer vibrates. In addition it also makes the bird very fast, very maneuverable, and slower to elevate. In fact any small inclination to climb and the swallow-like turns keep it low to the ground! This is my new favorite tail!
Turns out I had the right design all along, I just misjudged the right scale. Lol
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 09:00 PM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Now that my avitron looks and flys like a swallow I have noticed that l can bring the local swallows in to me by mimicking their flight style and acting like I'm hunting insects. Yesterday a half dozen or more swallows were flying with me for quite a while. I took the opportunity to study their flight and fine tune my mimicry. At one point an unusually large bright blue male came out of nowhere and decided to chase me. I hit the throttle banking hard left and he followed. I then banked hard right and he did that too. Back and forth I went and he matched me move for move with style, making me look outmatched. Eventually he blew past me, seemingly having had his fun. The whole scene played out not more than 10 to 20 feet away from me (flying towards me) and it's burned into my memory. I still wish I had video of it though. :-(
I know there are advantages to flying bigger stronger ornithopters, but right now my avitrons are still my favorites. You just can't get these kinds of closeup animal encounters with say an SK slow hawk that needs space. And as a wildlife artist and amateur zoologist the interactions with wildlife are a huge part of the appeal and enjoyment of the experience.
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Old Jul 28, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Ft Lauderdale, FL.
Joined Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaVinciBrainchld View Post
Now that my avitron looks and flys like a swallow I have noticed that l can bring the local swallows in to me by mimicking their flight style and acting like I'm hunting insects. Yesterday a half dozen or more swallows were flying with me for quite a while. I took the opportunity to study their flight and fine tune my mimicry. At one point an unusually large bright blue male came out of nowhere and decided to chase me. I hit the throttle banking hard left and he followed. I then banked hard right and he did that too. Back and forth I went and he matched me move for move with style, making me look outmatched. Eventually he blew past me, seemingly having had his fun. The whole scene played out not more than 10 to 20 feet away from me and it's burned into my memory. I still wish I had video of it. :-(
I know there are advantages to flying bigger stronger ornithopters, but right now my avitrons are still my favorites. You just can't get these kinds of closeup animal encounters with say an SK slow hawk that needs space. And as a wildlife artist and amateur zoologist the interactions with wildlife are a huge part of the appeal and enjoyment of the experience.
Dude you're gonna make want to buy one..lol
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Old Jul 28, 2014, 10:39 PM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Well they can be a lot of fun! I've had encounters with a blue jay, grackle, black bird, humming bird, barn swallows, etc... and even a fox that thought it looked tasty!! Truthfully, I keep tweeking it's speed and maneuverability in part because it's only a matter of time before a sharp shinned hawk comes after it, and I want to be ready, and have a fighting chance. So if you buy one I recommend two things- #1 - always keep an eye out for predators in the sky and on the ground. And #2 - buy a small video camera to capture what your bird attracts. Lol.

- DaVinci's Brainchild
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 01:35 AM
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I have the vid cameras lol..
Actually i was going to buy one from Thinkgeek a while ago but when I saw their video for it it flew so badly, I was like forget that man..lol
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 04:54 AM
Kjell Dahlberg
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Mallorca Spain
Joined Nov 2005
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Natural feather tests.
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 07:02 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machy2k View Post
I have the vid cameras lol..
Actually i was going to buy one from Thinkgeek a while ago but when I saw their video for it it flew so badly, I was like forget that man..lol
Speaking from experience, the poor performance you saw could have been a result of many factors, some of which have nothing to do with the bird itself.
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 07:11 AM
Wildlife Artist / RC Designer
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Joined Jun 2014
86 Posts
KJELL I can't decide if your swift/ornithopter is really cool or a little morbid. Maybe it's both. ;-) Sad to say I kinda feel sorry for the poor swift. Lol.
I'm sure it didn't fly but it's fascinating to look at none the less. Thank you very much for sharing!

- DaVinci's Brainchild

Interestingly though, the avitron fly's much the same as a swift - with stiff wings, alternating power from wing to wing to change direction.
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