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Old Jun 26, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Build Thread For TwinBipe FPV from SlowBipe

I am going to document the first build of this giant Twin Engine Biplane designed for FPV. I will not be providing plans, but do plan to offer basic kits on my website at SlowBipe.com. All of my designs have a very light wing loading, a very rigid structure and will land by themselves.

Twin Bipe (4 min 42 sec)


Attached is a picture of my SlowBipe. This plane will be much bigger and will be designed to carry camera, video and fpv gear.

I will be doing most of the work on the prototype by hand, but the second build will be cut out by machine.

Here are the expected specifications:

Wingspan: 56 inches
Wing Cord: 16.5 inches
Wing Area (square inches): 1848
Wing Area (square feet): 12.83
Motors: 2 Hobby City 750 kv outrunners (approximately 2.7 oz each)
Esc: 2 Turnigy Plush 25 amp
Battery: 2300 mah to 4000 mah 3 Cell
Expected Ready To Fly weight (minus fpv): 49 oz

As a comparison of size, the Hobby-Lobby Senior Telemaster has about 1300 sq in of area and weight closer to 160 oz. I am targeting a wing loading of about 4 oz per foot. With this I can expect forward flight at about 3-4 mph.

Let the build begin

SlowBipe
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Last edited by SlowBipe; Jul 08, 2010 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Added first flight video to first post
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Old Jun 26, 2010, 12:50 PM
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I drew up this plane over a year ago, and had the two tail fuselages cut by machine about 8 months ago. Since then it has sat in my garage collecting dust.

Here are some pics of the side fuse's and the center fuselage. The center fuselage could be changeable between standard flight, FPV flight, Video flight or still photography flight.

Fuselage construction is 1" DOW construction foam. Material is relieved where possible to minimize weight without sacrificing strength.

6" wheels are cut from foam, but I haven't determined yet how I am going to attach them.

Center fuselage was cut out on my scroll saw in my garage a few days ago.

The TwinBipe has 2x the span and 4x the area of the standard SlowBipe.

SlowBipe
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Old Jun 26, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Here are some more pictures of the construction today. All of the foam parts laid out together. There is a lot of foam here.

Hardwood spars attached to some leading and trailing edges. I still hope to get it pieced together to look like a plane tonight.

SlowBipe
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 12:06 PM
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I would love to get some feedback on this design. If you have any thoughts on the idea of a really large twin biplane that has an open area in the front center for carrying all types of gear, please post.

I thought about posting this build thread in the FPV section, but decided that first you have to have a great flying plane, before you can think about flying FPV. The FPV is pretty new to me anyway. I have some inexpensive FPV gear coming in the mail to try out on this plane.

Feel free to post any comments or thoughts you might have. I'll try to put up some pictures of the plane going together today.

SlowBipe
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 04:19 PM
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I finally pieced all of the parts together.

Here are some pictures of the parts all pieced together. I use rubber bands with lugs installed in the wings to put the rubber bands on. There are 4 rubber bands holding it together right now.

You can see how big this really is in the three later pictures that compare it to the size of my daughters grand piano.

Right now it looks like the all up weight may be close to 55 oz with a 4000 mah 3 cell.

SlowBipe
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Any ball park figures on how much your kits will cost?

Reaper
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 06:55 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
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The kit looks nice, I like your regular size slobipr too, but this one looks much more stylish. I would like to see this one in the smaller size. I would buy that in a second.
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleb View Post
The kit looks nice, I like your regular size slobipr too, but this one looks much more stylish. I would like to see this one in the smaller size. I would buy that in a second.
sleb,

Was this the size you were thinking. I built it tonight after your post.

Just kidding! I built the first TwinBipe prototype a couple of weeks ago in this size: It has a 32" span and uses 2 - 1300 kv blue wonder motors. We took some aerial video with the 32" version of my house. It turned out great, but I wanted something that was bigger and would take smoother video. The giant TwinBipe will fly slower than the 32" version as well.

It flew great. If it weren't completely glued together permanently, I would sell it to you and ship. Also if you lived in southwestern Idaho, you could come pick it up.

Thanks for the interest and comments on the plane.

SlowBipe
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Last edited by SlowBipe; Jun 27, 2010 at 11:52 PM.
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulreaper View Post
Any ball park figures on how much your kits will cost?

Reaper
Reaper,

I am probably way off on my cost estimates, but right now I come up with about $120 for a basic kit version.

This would include all of the foam and hardware, precut and ready to assemble.

It is difficult to estimate actual costs, so I am guessing high right now. When I get the first kits cut out from the vendor, I'll find out how much he is charging me.

First things first, I think we should make sure that I have a great design and a great flying plane. I already know of several changes to this design that I will make in the next version.

1. The wing struts will be cut from 1/2 inch foam rather then 1/4.
2. The horizontal will probably go to a fully articulated elevator rather than a stabilizer with elevator. I have several reasons for this change.
3. The motors will be moved further forward on the side fuselages.
4. There will be extra 1/2 inch foam doublers on the side fuselages, so that lower center wing can slide the whole 1" into the fuselage and but up against the doubler. The lower outside wings can then plug into the 1/2" foam doublers and but up against the 1" fuselage. Sturdier and easier to assemble.
5. I will probably have a newly designed center fuselage to better accomodate radio and camera gear.

There will be more changes once I have a chance to fly it.

I think this will be the slowest plane I have built yet. It will probably even be slower than the 80" version that I made of the SlowBipe. You can see the video of that here:

SlowBipe.com Videos

SlowBipe
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 04:49 AM
If it flies, I can crash it.
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Slowbipe, that is it. I think you should kit that one too, sell it alongside the regular single fuse slope and the big bipe. I first heard about your products on one of the rc podcasts you were on. Let us know if you decide to sell both sizes. Again all nice looking planes.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 01:04 AM
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Landing gear ply plate idea

Hay we where talking the other day about ways to attach your landing gear here is an idea for light ply plates. A barring plate on each side with the wheel on a axel in between.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin42 View Post
Hay we where talking the other day about ways to attach your landing gear here is an idea for light ply plates. A bearing plate on each side with the wheel on a axel in between.
Thanks Austin! Thats pretty close to what I was thinking, but the visual really helps. I have gotten pretty busy doing my day job this week and haven't gotten back to the plane yet. I hope I can get this thing to flight by the 4th holiday.

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Old Jul 05, 2010, 09:59 AM
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I'm finally getting back to working on the TwinBipe. Here is a new picture that includes the rudders and landing gear added. the gear worked out great and only added about 4 oz total weight to the plane. Not too bad for 6 in wheels. I hope to maiden this morning. We will take some video of the first (hopefully uneventful) flight.

Latest weigh in brings this craft to about 59 oz with the 4000 mah 3 cell. If I can balance out with the 2300 mah pack that I have, weight will be at 55 oz. Either way, it should have almost a 1.8 to 1 power to weight ratio.

From page one of the post we identified the total wing area to be about 1848 sq in. Thats about 4.6 oz per square foot.

Look how small these two motors look on this massive plane. I think one of them has a bent shaft from an earlier life. I may replace it before putting it to flight. The second motor is new.

I'll take some in flight power measurements once I get it flying.

SlowBipe
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Last edited by SlowBipe; Jul 06, 2010 at 01:36 PM.
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Old Jul 06, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Well, I got distracted and didn't get this new plane in the air yesterday. Instead I spent much of the day installing LED light strips on one of my standard 28" SlowBipe's. I wanted to take it to a big independence day party last night.

Wow, I need to post some pictures. The LED lights are magnificent at night. I used blue, white and green. I was still in the air when they started firing off the first of about $4000 worth of fireworks. I just about did not make it down in one piece. It was easy to get the fireworks mixed up with the plane. Also I was afraid that one of the fireworks missiles they were launching would take out my plane.

The LED's work great, but I could also have used some Christmas lights on all of the trees in the area. They are kind of hard to see in the dark.

I hope to get the TwinBipe flying tonight.

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