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Old Jan 24, 2012, 04:03 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Topsham
Joined Jun 2006
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The Willow's Birthhday

It’s a year since the first molded Willow Prototype was made. It’s taken more than 2 years and now a year of prototype development to get here so please forgive me for being excited but I think I can say my homebrew that got out of hand is ‘there’. In the past few week’s it’s gone sub 40, won a comp out right and even in my un-talented hands this weekend it showed itself to be ‘up with the pack’ in the most challenging F3F race I can remember on Mickies.

I’ve rambled on about the development of the willow here http://willowracing.blogspot.com

But the short version is that’s it’s a homebrew that’s taken on a life of it’s own. It was designed with my own wants in mind- fast enough to race, fun enough to sports fly and easy to handle so it doesn’t come home in bits.

Keeping away from revolutionary in the design has helped keep the cost down to about £500 and given me the room to fit more ‘standard’ servos and radio gear so I don’t have to spend £60 a servo. After the carnage of the last Welsh Winter league race I was really reminded of how expensive crashes can be.

I think we’re on mold set 3 now and have improved the build every time. The size of the carbon spar and number of shear webs we’ve built into this thing makes the wing feel bullet proof- for those higher energy landings but the wings are lighter than the first versions.

Not a bad year!

Ian
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 08:37 AM
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
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Great looking plane, are you going to sell any. Ian
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 09:01 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Topsham
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Hi Bluffman
Thanks- I'm a bit biased but I like'em!

Yes they're available. Soaring USA has some in now I believe.

Ian
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 08:12 AM
Phil.T-tailer
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Devon, UK
Joined Jun 2003
4,147 Posts
Happy Birthday Willow!

come a long way since the first prototype

Phil.

Willow goes sub-40
BobbyR - Pink Willow (1 min 15 sec)


Willow prototype
Willow F3F (1 min 26 sec)
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Last edited by Phil.Taylor; Jan 25, 2012 at 08:29 AM.
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Old Feb 03, 2012, 05:42 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Topsham
Joined Jun 2006
66 Posts
I've just recieved this from AVB, maidening his Willow.

Willow and BPV maidens Bandicoot (10 min 21 sec)


I'm begining to think the Willows improvement could be down to thumbs and keeping mine off the sticks
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 08:54 AM
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St. Louis, MO
Joined Oct 2002
2,679 Posts
Is this the same plane?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1588418
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 09:03 AM
Detail Freak
target's Avatar
Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
20,841 Posts
Mark-

I think that is a "knock-off" but it will be interesting to see Ian's answer.....

R,
Target
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 10:06 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Topsham
Joined Jun 2006
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Without going into the details, in short do not touch those guys with a barge pole.

Bob at soaring USA has some of the WIllows made correctly. I've also put a contacts page on the Willow blog.

The Willow has taken a great deal of time to get where it is and made right, I wouldn't want anyone ended up with one from those guys.

Ian
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Joined Oct 2002
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As I suspected...I'd love to hear the back story being a manufacturer and importer myself.
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 11:25 AM
Mongo like wind. Wind Good.
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Joined Apr 2004
400 Posts
A couple years ago "Launch Model" in China offered these knock offs.

Guess they copied this from some other airframe design.

You would think if they can go to this much trouble copying and investing in tooling they would just design their own?
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 01:54 PM
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United States, FL, St Petersburg
Joined Jun 2006
61 Posts
Bashing

I understand people go to great time and effort with different hobbies, Helios,Planes and boats to include molded gliders. Not one of these items have a patent and are mass produced from China to the UK. As for copies you take your chance, here in the USA we buy from a couple main importers in other parts of the world they buy from other places that would cost us way too much in shipping.
Just because its copied don't make it junk, Most folks would say the wright bros. where also copied????? Some better than others! Launch Model makes a nice plane for the money and is sold in many parts of the world , with many different names, I own a NAN, Rcrcm, launch model and a few others , each has its good and bad points, some were 800 plus and others less than 300 bucks. I can say that the 500 has no better fit and finish than the 300 dollar plane sometimes better.
If someone has a problem with others reproducing a product they have produced then take them to court or spend some of that money and patent there wares.
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 02:08 PM
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cant find it at soaring usa, any help
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 02:45 PM
Also known as simon_t
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Kent, England
Joined Nov 2005
264 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by southern180 View Post
I understand people go to great time and effort with different hobbies, Helios,Planes and boats to include molded gliders. Not one of these items have a patent and are mass produced from China to the UK. As for copies you take your chance, here in the USA we buy from a couple main importers in other parts of the world they buy from other places that would cost us way too much in shipping.
Just because its copied don't make it junk, Most folks would say the wright bros. where also copied????? Some better than others! Launch Model makes a nice plane for the money and is sold in many parts of the world , with many different names, I own a NAN, Rcrcm, launch model and a few others , each has its good and bad points, some were 800 plus and others less than 300 bucks. I can say that the 500 has no better fit and finish than the 300 dollar plane sometimes better.
If someone has a problem with others reproducing a product they have produced then take them to court or spend some of that money and patent there wares.
Copying a model, in general, has nothing to do with patents. It would be an infringement of copyright laws. Patents would refer to unique/novel features of a model (e.g. a specific control linkage, or possibly a manufacturing technique), that was not 'prior art' or an established technique already in the public domain.

If you had spent a lot of time designing a model, flying and refining it in competitions, before spending money on expensive moulds to put it in production, I suspect you would be a bit pi$$ed if someone else just took your design and sold it against you.

Simon
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Old Feb 05, 2012, 04:13 PM
Arrarrar!
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Australia, NSW, Wagga Wagga
Joined Jan 2010
2,984 Posts
Southern- I cant believe you would take the side of the chineese rip off copiers! The reason they are so cheap is that it costs very little to simply take a mould of someone elses model. The original designer did all the hard and from what I hear, expensive desin work. For someone else to blatantly copy the design, give it the same name and try to undersell it in the same market is plane wrong! I bet if you disected the two models you would find big differences in quality both in workmanship and also materials used- even if both look fine from the outside.
So yes you can buy the real deal or the copy for half the price but I for one think you're not doing anyone any favours by dudding the original designer.
As for taking the copiers to court, I cant imagine there being a lot of money in making/selling gliders so there's not much that can really be done about it, other than not buying the copies.
Just my 2cents worth anyway.
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