|May 20, 2009, 08:08 AM|
*** ASSASSIN vs WIDOWMAKER - Toughest plane on the planet!***
The Widowmaker and the Assassin are the same size and shape
but with different airfoils. Rather than starting a new thread with the introduction
of the Widowmaker we are adding technical and building information here and at
our website at www.crashtesthobby.com
EPP 34" Assassin with EPP elevons
Thick combat airfoil with a finless design
The Toughest Plane on the Planet!!!
The Assassin is a fun to fly, low cost and low maintenance flying wing.
It is a great combat wing for clubs because of its great flying, durability and economy.
It is a low stress airplane because it is so tough and flexible it bounces instead of breaking.
The Assassin is capable of vertical performance. It capable of aerobatics and high roll rates
The Assassin has a thick airfoil that creates high lift and also protects the battery and radio.
No small plane can survive a parking lot dive or a combat hit better than the Assassin.
EPP 34" Widowmaker with EPP elevons
Thin soaring airfoil that flies better with fins.
The Widowmaker has a thin competition slope and soaring style airfoil.
It is very aerobatic and capable of a surprising rate of vertical climb on a small budget motor.
We use the same super strong building techniques as the Assassin.
It is lighter and more durable than most other flying wings on the market.
It has a surprising glide range even with motor attached but not running.
Having a motor takes the stress out of launching, chasing or recovering a plane when slope soaring.
You can still go flying at the slope even when there is inconsistent wind or high wind.
The first question people ask is which plane is best. Each has their place. Both are durable economical small planes that fit in a compact car trunk but fly like the big planes. You won't go wrong with either choice. I like both for the variety. I use both in combat.
The building instructions are the same for both planes except batteries and the servos stand up in the Assassin and laid flat in the thinner Widowmaker. The Assassin is designed to fly finless with angles cut on the front corners of the wing and the Widowmaker has a traditional fin design.
The EPP Assassin and the Widowmaker are tough, light weight combat flying wings that can be flown by a beginner. If you are looking for your first plane we also sell the Albatross and Pelican trainers that use the same motors and radio set up as the Assassin and Widowmaker giving you a lower stress way to learn. They also can be set up to be aerobatic for the more advanced flyer. They are easy to build and extremely durable and may be the most durable planes of any type available today. One customer referred to them as the "NERF planes of radio control."
These planes were designed so club flyers of all skill levels can fly combat together without the fear of crashing. They were designed to fly with economical motors, ESCs and radio. They have 100% EPP wings that resist stalls and are thick enough to protect the battery, radio and motor but create amazing lift at slow speeds with small motors.
They are light weight making them gentle and able to fly slow for smaller flying fields. They use the same power supply designed to be quiet so it doesn't upset the neighbors. They are able to fly extraordinarily well and go vertical, with a $6 motor and 3S lipo 1300 battery and a 20A ESC. They both come with laminate covering in the kit which will save you $10-$20 on the building of the kit.
This thread also shows how to make a bomb drop, multiple modification ideas and basic airbrushing.
The most updated building instructions can be found at www.crashtesthobby.com
We have many videos on our web page that will give you an idea of the performance you can expect from the Assassin and Widowmaker. Here is one of my favorites that shows launching, landing, inside and outside loops, gliding and inverted flight.
Here is a video showing that an Assassin can survive several hits on a brick wall.
Assassin with fins built and flown by Ninja Tom
|May 20, 2009, 08:08 AM|
These are the Assassin building video and Preflight check videos.
The plane has evolved since the thread was started and the latest ideas and instructions and videos can be found on our website at:
As we were editing the video we found it to be as exciting as watching jello set. We got the idea to speed it up to make it a little more entertaining. To our surprise the video also makes more sense when it is at a higher speed. What you are seeing is a 40 minute video in 12 minutes. Remember you have a pause button if you feel like you are getting behind and can't read the sub titles and watch the movie at the same time. The X next to the word Vimeo at the bottom of the video screen will change it to a full screen video. ENJOY!!!!
We started to use the bidirectional tape without laminate because of the speed and strength. We loved it for a while then all of the tape started to discolor and come unstuck. We found the laminate protects the tape and the laminate is so strong I built the plane in the video with out the bidirectional tape. Now we recommend tape under the laminate as can be seen in the updated 1.5 videos..
We recommend the following: Spars first, Shock cord next, bidirectional tape then laminate.
The bidirectional tape should be along the leading edge and top and bottom between the elevons. We also put tape over each spar top and bottom before we laminate.
This is the Assassin building video cut into 3 parts and then a insertion for the taping technique.
|May 20, 2009, 08:09 AM|
I just had a new flyer come over for me to check out his plane before he goes out for a first flight. He he has not flown a wing before or elevons before or EPP before so here are some of the things we did to his plane to get it ready to fly that were new to him. What he had done is not unusual for a first time builder so I thought I would go over what we did with his plane in hopes it will help some of you too.
His plane looks great and appears to be well made. Total flying weight is 17.5 oz. He is using MG90 servos and a 25A ESC and a Spektrum receiver and transmitter and a 1300 3S lipo battery.
He had already figured out how to reverse the motor by trading two of the power wires to the motor but he still had his prop on backwards. The writing on the prop faces the nose of the plane or forward. We scooted his prop saver forward so the prop would seat more securely on the motor shaft and turned the prop around.
He had his servos sitting high in the wing. The servo side mounting brackets were even with the top of the wing had the pushrods were more than 1/2" above the wing so we cut out some more foam and pushed the servos deep enough that the push rods are almost touching the top surface of the wing. We then removed and replaced the wire guide staples to get them the right height. We punched a hole with the soldering gun and put the wire guides just tall enough to allow free movement of the push rods on the top of the wing.
His servos would wiggle in the foam as we moved the elevons. Sitting the servos deeper in the wing helped and we used more hot glue to secure them tightly in place.
He had the pushrods in the farthest hole in the servo arm. I am guessing that this is part of the reason the servos were moving too because it was moving the elevons way over the 3/8" recommended movement on the elevons. We enlarged the hole in the second hole from the center in the servo arm with a 1/16th drill and had the pushrod come up through the second hole rather than down through the farthest hole from center. He did have his EZ connectors in the top hole of the horn which is where we recommend.
If you will aim your servo horn slightly forward towards the front of the plane it will give you more down than up when you move the elevons. This will make your rolls more axle and decrease the corkscrew effects during rolls. This forward angle of the servo horn is to compensate for the reflex on the elevons during a roll and is the suggest way to set up and trim the elevons.
He was having some problem figuring out the programing to get the elevons to come up and roll the right directions. There are 8 different ways the reversing switches and servo plug locations on the receiver can be set up with the V-Tail or Elevon or Flying Wing mixing on in the transmitter. Only one will work. We traded the aileron and elevator plugs in the receiver and played with the reversing switches on the transmitter till we got everything working properly.
After we had all of the electronics and linkages set up we set the reflex on the elevons by trimming both of the elevons slightly up with the bottom of the elevons at the same angle as the bottom of the wing and tightened them in place and checked all of the linkages. We then double checked that the throws were not more than 3/8" in each direction. It was amazing to see the improvement in the elevon control with the adjustments we had just made. He had already turned the throws on the transmitter to 125% on both the aileron and elevator servo. He wanted me to remind you that you set the up and the down separately and the up and down throws separately. It took him a little time to realize he had to move the stick in the direction he wanted to adjust before it would come up on the transmitter screen.
The new pilot was surprised that the prop was on backwards. He states he was confused with the transmitter programing but after we were done with all of the adjustments he said, "That was easy."
Most important is that for a first flight I had one of Ninja flyers in our club meeting him at the flying field to help him with his maiden flight. I am confident the plane is close to where the final trim will be but there is nothing that can replace an experienced wing pilot trimming the plane on it's first flight. I know some of you don't have this luxury but make sure that you help the new flyers with their first flights when they come to your field.
Hope this helps.
Can you pick out the Assassins and the Pinatas we cut?
These videos are from a trip we took flying the Pinata version off a local mountain.
|May 20, 2009, 08:11 AM|
Making the Assassin Stable Without Fins
A flying wing needs to be swept back to fly well without fins. It is important to have a thicker airfoil at the wing tips. We cut an angle on the front of each wing tip back 2" and 2" along the front and left the front of that cut flat to create drag at the tip. Look at the CADD drawings for clarification. In the videos the angles have been cut.
We have tried a wide variety of ideas. These flat angled wing tips made a big improvement to the stability of the planes and the planes became as stable as if they had fins. It breaks tradition to have a flat area on the leading edge of the airfoil but it doesn't seem to make any difference in the lift or speed of the wing and it gives a unique sporty rounded look to the wing. This wing tip modification is also stable at low speed.
To make these modifications to your EPP wing get a new sharp razor blade. Make measure carefully and make sure both wing tips are cut the same. Make your cuts using a metal straight edge and several small strokes. Don't try to cut all the way through in one cut.
These planes are as stable as if the planes have fins. I don't miss the fins at all, in fact I am glad that they are gone. I do not feel that it is harder to fly the plane or see the plane with them gone. I knocked the fins off in combat and in the trunk of my car so often that the fins frequently needed to be repaired or replaced and were one more thing to worry about.
I have built planes from every kind of foam I could find that was ridged enough to hold the shape. When EPP foam was introduced and it's virtues proclaimed I didn't believe it. I found it to be slow to cut and quite expensive. So the question is "Is it worth it?" The answer is a big resounding "Yes!!!!" Watch the combat and limbo videos and think about what you are seeing. Planes are hitting each other, the ground and the poles and the flyers pick them up and toss them back into the air. When damage does occur it is torn not a crushed. Most repairs take longer to heat the glue gun than to repair the foam. EPP foam is used in the construction of car bumpers by some auto manufacturers.
EPP comes in many weights. The most common weights in radio control are 1.3 lb per square foot and 1.9 lb per square foot. The Assassin wing cores are cut from the 1.3 lb EPP and the EPP elevons are cut from the 1.9 lb EPP.
EPP has a waxy surface that most tapes don't like to stick too. We have found that when EPP is wire cut it gets even harder to get tape to stick to it. This is why we are so excited about the new laminates and bidirectional tapes. They stick to the EPP without having to prepare the surface with a spray adhesive like 3M77 or 3M90.
EPP glues easily with a hot glue gun on a low temperature. Shoe Goo, Gorilla Glue and 3M77 are also frequently used but not nearly so fast as the hot glue gun.
The Assassin and Widowmaker pass the Corolla test by fitting easily in the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. They almost can pass the suitcase test. They can be flown with smaller motors and batteries saving weight and cost. They are less likely to cause injury if it hits something and is less likely to be injured because of it's decreased mass and weight. They are big enough for the old guys to see and small enough to be able to be set up for great aerobatics.
They bounce instead of break giving you a forgiving plane to learn on that just keeps on flying. They are designed to be the best flying, toughest planes out there. We wreck them on purpose and they not only survive but protect your radio and batteries.
The Assassin Airfoil
I used to use a high performance high penetration airfoil on my flying wings, however, in the back of my mind I kept remembering a new flyer who had designed a glider with a fat airfoil that flew better than most of the high tech planes on the mountain. I kept saying to myself that one day I was going to build a flying wing with a thick enough airfoil to stand a battery on it's side in the EPP foam to protect it during combat. I built the prototype and it was a hit. We later released the Widowmaker for non combat park and slope flying but I think I see as many Widowmakers in combat as Assassins some days.
Look at the videos and see what our club put these planes through. We really do abuse these planes. The EPP foam is as good as you have heard and now we have some other building techniques that will make it even better.
Bidirectional Reinforced Tape
Look for Scotch Extreme Tape. Some of our hardware and office supply stores have had it here. Amazon also has it. Here are some links.
I like the bidirectional tape because it will stick without a spray adhesive.
The entire elevon needs to be taped, or have a double layer of laminate, to make it stiff enough to control the plane. If you use tape anywhere on the plane you need to cover it with the laminate so it won't yellow and peel in the sun
The Shock Absorber
We are using the heavy multi-strand nylon construction string. The idea is to cut a small 1/4" deep slit around the edge of the wing core with a razor blade. Use a small Phillips screwdriver to inset the nylon string in the slit. Use CA glue to secure it in place. The string is so strong it keeps the plane intact and also gives support to the spar in the forward and back forces of a collision. This adds additional reinforcement between the elevons which is the most likely place for a flying wing to break in a frontal impact. Since the string is placed the entire way around the wing any force of impact is transferred more uniformly around the wing making it even tougher.
The Assassin has 1.9 lb EPP elevons that have a double layer of laminate that makes them as stiff as balsa. They also have other advantages like they won't break!!!
I hinge my elevons on the wing with bidirectional tape with a laminate to act as a UV shield over the tape so it won't dry out and yellow. Use a 1" piece of Extreme Tape on the top of the wing and another on the bottom bot covered with a 1.5" wide strip of laminate. The bottom piece is applied with the elevon bent back so the tape actually makes contact with the hinge tape on the top at the hinge line. This is the only hinge I have seen that works even when the wing is slightly flexed.
We are now recommending a single flat carbon spar because it doesn't crack under stress like the tube will. It provides great strength for its weight in the vertical direction and remains flexible in the forward direction to absorb energy from impact. It is also easier to install without special tools. It is placed 6.25" back from the nose on the Assassin and Titan.
I like to bury the battery in the Assassin wing so deep that it can't be damaged in combat. Mounting it sideways protects the electrical connections, end and edges that can easily be damaged. Even though my battery is tightly wedged into the slot I have had several batteries knocked out in combat. I put a piece of tape or Velcro over the top to keep the battery in the plane. My servos and my receiver and my ESC are all hot glued (only on the top edge) or taped into the wing. To get them out I heat the plane with a heat gun carefully so I don't distort the shape of the surrounding foam.
The Widowmaker has the battery and the servos laid flat. This doesn't provide quite as much protection as the Assassin but the EPP foam still is around the battery and I rarely see battery damage even in combat.
I melt a slot with a soldering iron about 1.5" deep and 9" long back 4.5" from the nose of the plane. I put a servo in each end and the receiver and ESC in between. The servo and ESC wires all tuck in the slot and cut a razor blade slot to bury the antenna wires on my Spektrum receiver. You will have to do a little more cutting to fit the receiver and ESC in but keep it tight and buried in the wing to protect the electronics for combat. The wires to the battery and ESC I leave exposed to make it easier to work with them.
I like my push rods exposed. Rarely do the rods get damaged in combat.
Some builders like to bury the servos and use an internal rod or cable mostly for appearance but I'm too lazy to go to the extra work and like to be able to trade out a damaged servo or ESC at the field and buried cables and servos make it difficult to do this without ripping the plane apart.
Installing the electronics
I use the hot glue gun to secure my servos in place. Since the plane is laminated I use regular clear packing tape to secure the receiver and the ESC. Make sure there is some source of air to help keep the ESC cool.
I use my heat gun to soften the glue if I need to remove the servos from the EPP wing. I have to make sure I don't get the foam too hot and I have noticed that the heat softens the insulation on the receiver antenna and it might pull off if you aren't careful.
We now have a stronger horn we are including in the kit.
Take your Exacto blade and stab a slit where you want the horn just big enough to slide it clear through the elevon. I usually cut mine back about 3/8" from the hinge line and 1" in from the middle end of the elevon in a place the elevon is the full thickness. (not in the bevel). Make sure it is pointing at the servo.
Push the horn through the elevon until the base is against the bottom of the wing and CA glue or hot glue the horn in place. It is so much easier than using the screws like we used to.
I put all of my radio in a single 9" slot that is 4.5" back from the nose of the plane. In this slot I put my servos, ESC and receiver and hide the wires. I position the servos so the servo arms are at the end of the slot even though this means running the servo wires under the servo. The servos stand up in the Assassin and lay on their side in the Widowmaker. I then connect the push rods on the farthest side of the servo. Having the servo horns as wide as possible improves the angle for the push rods from the horns on the elevons.
As long as the servo leads are more than about 5" you don't need an extension if you position the receiver in the right position. I only recommend metal gear servos like the MG90 or the Hitec HS82MG servos but flyers are using almost everything out there. The servos take a beating in combat and ultra light servos will fly the plane but not take the abuse we pride ourselves on handing out.
I have 6 combat planes ready to fly at all times. You never know when you may have to defend the homeland!!![/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
|May 20, 2009, 08:11 AM|
Trimming, Balance, Decreasing Noise
There are many ideas here that are applicable to many different planes.
After the plane is built it is time to balance it and set the amount of movement in the elevons to get the best performance. I can't remember a plane I ever had that was perfect from the launch. They all will need a little trim or balance adjustment or increase or decrease in throws to get top performance. I will make my best guess, then trim it in on a few test flights. I have built enough of the flying wings I usually am very close on my first flights.
Center of Gravity
The CG will work at 20% of the wing area on almost every flying wing. On the new Assassin I have my CG back 6"-6.5" from the nose. These CG points have evolved as I have done the flight testing and can be seen in the videos below. A flying wing will snap roll or yaw if the CG is too far back or if there is too much movement in the control surfaces.
Keep it light
I frequently get questions that go like this: I have a Cheverolet 454 mag with a supercharger and pipes I want to put on the EPP Assassin. It has a 42 gallon fuel tank. What do you think? My reply is: "READ MY LIPS - keep it light". We put a lot of effort into designing the plane to fly at a certain weight. All the power in the world will not help a heavy plane fly slow.
The CF28-12 and the BP21 are so inexpensive along with the 20A ESC and the new 20C-30C 1000-1350 batteries that I hate to see people put heavier gear in the plane. Every ounce decreases performance. You will like any plane better if you keep the weight down.
More neighbors will complain about the noise your plane makes than your use of community areas for flying. If they don't know you are flying they won't complain. The Assassin is quiet enough that a leaf blower 2 blocks away and the traffic on the street is louder than the plane.
Many of the high performance flying wings are turning a small propeller at a high speed making a high pitch annoying noise. It can sound as irritating as a continuous scream. I have been able to hear some of the flying wings more than a half mile away and even farther if they fly high in the sky. Increasing the size of the prop and decreasing the speed of rotation will decrease some of the annoying sound that the wings produce.
A rear mounted motor is much louder than the same motor on the same plane front mounted. WHY??? We think the air moving over the airfoil leaves a disturbance in the airflow behind the wing that the prop chops though every time it turns around. Since there are two blades to the prop and two sides of the plane the slipstream is chopped 4 times every time the prop makes a single turn. This chopping though the wind disturbance makes the noise that can be quite irritating.
It was important to me to get the sound level down without affecting the performance of the Assassin. We went with a larger higher pitch prop with the 7x6 propeller and are turning it slower with a 1500 KV motor. The plane can still be heard but it has a lower pitch and lower volume and is much kinder to the ears and neighbors. We still have vertical performance as long as the plane is built under the 19 oz AUW goal which is quite easy to do.
Notice how much quieter the Assassin is than the other planes in the videos.
Old radio without mixing
We had a request for help from someone who has a radio that does not have mixing built in. If you are wondering what to do there is a small electronic part that will plug into the receiver and the servos will plug into it and it does the mixing. Flying wings do not fly well with a central elevator and ailerons.
Elevon Trim and Reflux
There are two things you should know about the elevons. They need to be trimmed up about 1/4". They need to move down more than up in order to get axle rolls. To get more down than up you can either program it into your exotic radio or simply have the servo center with the rod mounted more to the front of the servo arm so it gives more down than up on the surface.
If you trim the bottom of your elevons with the bottom angle of the wing you will be close on initial trim angles.
How much throw do you need?
Here the question is how much do you want vs how much do you need? If you are a beginner don't start with too much. 1/2" up and and down is sufficient.
Realize the when you have elevon mixing that you only get half the total throw on elevator and the other half on aileron. Try moving the transmitter stick diagonally corner to corner to see the full throw you have on the elevons.
Too much movement in the elevons can cause the plane to stall and snap roll. It's only cool if you meant it to happen. Set up dual rates if you are one of the wild flyers and start with the movement recommended.
Dual rates and exponential
Your radio transmitter has to have the dual rate and expoential functions built into it if you want to use these functions. These functions cannot be added later. Dual rates help you change the amount of movement you have in the elevons while the plane is in flight. Simply by flipping a switch I can drop the movement by a pre set amount I choose. For example I may have 100% movment then I flip the dual rate switch and I now have 60% of the movement with the same amount of movement of the transmitter stick. This could allow me to do aerobatics and then decrease the amount of throw for landing or in the wind. Some times I will switch a dual rate on in combat to help me not over-react as I try to make contact.
I discourage programing exponential movement. Exponential dampens the movement in the center and then greatly increases the movement the closer you go to the limits of the stick. I like the plane to do exactly what I tell it to and don't like the feel when the stick has progressive movement. Others disagree but to me the plane feels more under control with out it.
In the videos you will see me launching the plane by hanging on to a wingtip and swinging the Assassin into the wind. This takes some practice and is not the safest way for beginners to learn. Several of the new flyers have been trying to launch this way and have ended up spinning the plane like a Frisbee so hard it hits the ground before they get control. Many flyers try to fly without giving the plane enough forward motion to start creating lift. I even do this occasionally if I'm not paying enough attention to the wind. This is called a stall and is real nasty on take off. Make sure the plane is moving forward with your launch. You will not have control if the airspeed is to low.
For your first flights hang on to the plane in the center with fingers on both sides of the prop. Don't hit the throttle until the plane is out of your hand unless you have good medical insurance and are close to the hospital. Launch into the wind with the plane aimed at the horizon. If you launch upwards you may stall the plane and snap roll to the ground. I have enough power on my planes that they can go vertical. In this case I can launch in and upward angle because the plane can fly straight up.
Check out the videos and notice that the Assassin is stable without fins with a slow side arm launch in the videos.
|May 20, 2009, 08:13 AM|
Building Instructions for the Assassin
The building instructions have evolved and the most current instructions can be found at:
For example: In this building log we cut the holes in the foam for the radio before we covered the plane. Recently we have found it saves time if you cut the holes after you laminate. Either works and has the same final results.
You can choose whether you want fins or not on your Assassin. The cores are shipped with the angles at the tips of the wings to use fins if you would like. If you want to fly without fins you need to make a cut on the tip of each wing core. Look at the photo instructions.
Measure back 2" on the wing tip and measure along the leading edge 2" and draw a line. Use a new razor blade and a metal straight edge and cut the tip angle as shown using several smooth cuts. Leave the leading edge flat. It creates pressure at the wing tip that stabilize the plane.
In post 252 of the old thread, Jeff J who is one of our ling time testers made his own set of photo instructions for a 48" wing he is testing for us that show detail and may help you with your build. This is good information to look at too.
|May 20, 2009, 08:15 AM|
The Construction String Shock Absorber
Covering the plane.
WE ARE INCLUDING LAMINATE IN THE KITS!!!
Laminate is a clear iron on plastic that has an adhesive applied that will stick to EPP foam when heat is applied without a spray adhesive. This saves weight and time and money. It provides UV and moisture protection to the Extreme Bidirectional Tape. The 3 mil laminate is stronger and it is easier to apply than Ultracoat. It only comes clear so we add colored tape or holographic tape for color.
The bidirectional tape adds strength and stiffness to the wing and elevons. See our building instructions for more information.
Cut the laminate into 4 pieces to cover one wing halve at a time. Make sure you cut 2 rights and 2 lefts.
Leave enough to wrap the leading edge by at least 2".
A double layer on the leading edge adds strength and durability.
Do the bottom first.
Lay the laminate in position and put a single stroke with the iron down the middle of the wing.
Work to the edges in smooth strokes and avoid getting any wrinkles. Repeat X3 on the other panels.
|May 20, 2009, 08:17 AM|
Radio, Control Horns, Motor Angle, Trim, Reflux, Mixing, Servo Savers
My Favorite Components
This shopping list is frequently updated as new products are introduced and old products become hard to find. We have included links so you can see what they look like and know where to get them.
It is not uncommon to strip servos gears in combat so we recommend good quality metal gear servos if you want your combat plane to hold up to abuse. I have seen people lose planes because a servo gear was broken. My favorite servo is the Hitec HS82MGs. They are a little more expensive but can take more abuse than any other servo I know of the same size.
I like the new 2.4G radios. I have 2 of the the Spektrum DX6i and am pleased with their performance. I like not having to worry about frequencies and I like the small receivers that are easy to install. My favorite is the 6110e receiver because it will lay flat. I like the 3" antenna rather than the 41" antenna of the older FM radios. These receivers are not rated for long range but have been reliable in the 36" planes we are flying at the distance we fly even with 40 planes in the air.
Most of the import ESCs have worked well for this type of plane. Most of them don't run into problems until you get too many servos or have too big of servos that have too high of amp draw.
A customer gave us the idea of using the cut down 4 pin deans for the ESC to motor plugs. It is so simple and stronger than the plugs I used to use. I now use it on all of my planes. It also allows me to change a motor at the field in seconds. To reverse the direction the motor rotates flip the plug over. See the pictures below.
Motor Mount and Motor Angle
The Assassin motor mount is made of 16 gauge stainless steel punched to fit a CF2812 or the 30-35 Turnigy motor and many in between. Two bolts are enough to securely hold the motor as long as you use lock Tite or washers. It can be redrilled to fit any motor you want. The motor mount should be bent to 90 degrees and lined up with the bottom of the wing to get the right thrust angle.
The motor mount has holes drilled in the base to help you set up a bomb drop. instructions for the bomb drop can be found in post 17.
The motor mount can be attached to the Formica plate with bidirectional tape, Velcro, drilling screw holes and screwing it in place, two sided sticky tape and I am sure some types of glue may work if you set it up right.
Reflux and Trim
To get a flying wing or delta to hold it's nose up both elevons have to be slightly in the up position. All flying wings and deltas have some up elevator built into the plane to fly flat and level. This is called reflux. Some manufactures and designers may claim they don't have the elevons refluxed but if you look at the airfoil they build it in the airfoil not in the elevons. If you line the bottom of the elevons up with the bottom angle of the wing on the Titan and Assassin you should be close on your initial trim.
Combat takes a toll on the servo gears so here are some recommendations:
Use Hitec metal gear HS82MG servos or an equivalent servo.
Use a servo saver. This one is linear
This one is round:
Our Assassin, Titan and Roswell designs use an electronic mix of the elevator and aileron we call elevons. Elevons can be programmed into many transmitters. If your radio does not offer this as and option you need to buy a separate electronic mixer that you will install between the receiver and the servos.
To set up the elevons, plug the right and left elevon servos into the elevator and aileron positions on the receiver. Connect your control rods from the servo arm to the elevon control horn.
Make sure the elevons come up when you pull back on the right stick and go down when you push forward. The right elevon should come up when the right stick is moved to the right and the left elevon should come up when the right transmitter stick is moved to the left.
This all sounds simple but it can be confusing to program. There are eight different combination's of servo reversing and how the servo plugs are plugged into the receiver and only one is correct. Some times when some one is having trouble they need to change which servo is plugged into the aileron and which one is plugged into the elevator then play with servo reversing to get the elevons to move correctly.
Lay your plane on the table and measure how much the elevons move up. I recommend that you have 3/8" inch up movement in the elevons when moving the transmitter stick to the side and a 3/8" up movement in the elevator when moving the right transmitter stick back. I recommend you also have the same amount of down movement.
If you do not have enough movement put longer servo arms on the servo. If you have too much movement connect the control rod closer to the center of the servo arm or farther away from the elevon on the horn or turn the travel down on your transmitter.
***NOTE*** On some brands of transmitter you can turn the "Travel Adjustment" or servo movement up in the programing. This is true of my Spektrum DX6i. The radio comes set at what the manufacturer calls 100%. They do not clarify that it actually can be set to 125% in all directions.
You have to adjust the right and left separately. It is done by moving the stick in the direction you wish to adjust indicated by the small arrow on the screen and using the roller to turn the servo movement up. The same is true of up and down.
I'm getting more questions about programing the DX6i so here is another attempt at clarification:
In the Set up menu:
*Set the memory for the model and choose a name
*Go into Wing/Tail mix and activate Elevon.
In the Adjust list:
*Go into travel adjust and turn the right and left elevons and the up and down elevator to 125% travel. Each of the four has to be adjusted separately.
*At this point the servos should be plugged into the Aileron and Elevator plugs on your receiver and the ESC plugged into the Throttle.
*Install the control rods from the servo arms to the elevon horns.
*After binding both servos should move when you move the right stick either up and down or back and forth. This is the mixer working. If you turn the elevon mixer off only one servo will move at a time.
*The trick now is to get the servos turning the right direction. Try different combination of the servo reversing of the elevator and aileron on the transmitter until the servos are turning the right direction. If it won't work trade the plugs for the aileron and elevator servos in the receiver and try the servo reversing again until you get it right.
The up and down set up seems backwards to my wife. She wants to push up on the stick to make the plane go up. Here is the way the rest of us do it.
Pull back (or push the stick towards the bottom of the Tx) on R tx stick, both elevons go up.
Push R Tx stick forward (or towards the top of the transmitter) and both elevons go down.
Push R Tx stick to the right, right elevon goes up left goes down.
Push R Tx stick to L and L elevon comes up and R elevon goes down.
Another E-mail gave us this method of programing the DX6i using programmable mixing rather than just the elevon mixing. There seems to be a problem with the program on the Spektrum DX6i that makes it so differentials don't operate properly with the standard elevon set up. They operate fine if both are set at 80% or 100% but if you turn the elevator down to 80% and the ailerons up to 125% in the elevon mixing the right and left elevon no longer are calibrated and one moves more than the other and they shouldn't. This is a fix that has been greatly discussed on line.
"First, plug your right servo into the aileron plug and your left servo into Aux 1 (the Flap plug). This may be reversed in some setups.
Set your Wing Type to Dual Ailerons. Now check your aileron control -- it should work normally for an elevon plane (elevator is not yet working). If it doesn't, you'll probably end up having to reverse your plugs to make things work right.
Next, go to Mix 1 and set Elev -> Flap with both rates (D & U) at 100%. In my case that was -100%, but you may have to use +100 percent in your setup. Check function; at this point it should look like an Elevon plane with a boatload of travel. Don't fret about that -- the extra travel will "fix" your trim buttons! And don't forget to set "Trim" to ACT in the lower right corner of this screen.
Now, if you want differential it should work perfectly. If it goes in the wrong direction, you'll have to back up and reverse the plugs (move the servo in Ail to Aux and vice-versa) and redo the other settings to reverse them. Ultimately it means you'll have all the function back at the cost of a single mix.
But you get some payback for that mix: your Flap switch will now work! Probably the best use for it on an elevon plane is adjusting the elevons to max glide duration in case you want to do some thermals and don't want to try and see what the little bugger is doing at 400 feet...
Undoubtedly your elevon travel will now be too great. If you go to Dual Rates and reduce your top rate down at least to 80% of full, your trim buttons will now be completely safe to use -- the endpoint travel will not be greater than your allowed travel, so the weird "button effects" go away.
As far as I can tell, this is a complete fix. Would be delighted to hear if anyone hits a snag... also this leaves the option of another mix open (if you're using rudder and want a mix, or wish to do a throttle -> "flap" mix to get the torque roll out, for example)."
|May 20, 2009, 08:19 AM|
Securing the Battery, Hatch Covers, Pre-flight Check
This is an idea for securing a battery that is fast and simple and inexpensive. I have ejected batteries several times over the years and this is a simple solution to the problem.
Some flyers are putting a hatch over the radio compartment. More pictures to come.
Some flyers just can't stand to look at their radio and want to cover it up. Some flyers want a little extra protection for their radio in combat. If you are one of these flyers here is an idea for you.
Use a thin plastic report covers from the office supply store. They come in many colors. Cut a piece that covers your battery and ESC and receiver and tape it down in front of the battery and lay it back over the radio. You can use Velcro or tape to secure the back edge so you have easy battery access.
I have also seen one flyer that made two hatches that overlap in the middle one coming from the right leading edge and one from the left and meeting in the middle. He covered the hatch covers to match the rest of the plane. To cover the servos you have to lay them on their sides.
Since these are combat planes I haven't worried too much about it and have just left things exposed.
I had the opportunity to fly several Assassins that were built with the instructions that are on the web. I have learned a lot and am very appreciative to the flyers for letting me fly their planes.
There are several things I have learned to do that I have not put in the instructions not realizing that they are things that others may not know.
Here is a preflight check list:
Are the elevons moving the right direction?
Are the elevons set to move 1/2" up with the up and 1/2" down with the down elevons and 1/2" up with left or right ailerons for a total of 1" total up movement and 1" total down movement when the stick is moved diagonally? The plane will stall if the elevons move too far. Most flyers set their elevons up with too much movement.
Is the Center of Gravity 6" to 6.5" back from the nose of the plane? A flying wing will not fly tail heavy.
Is the front side of the prop facing the nose of the plane? The plane will fly if the prop is on backwards but will have no power.
Is the plane trimmed with the proper amount of reflux in the elevons? This means that the bottom of the elevons are on the same angle as the bottom of the wing.
Have you done a range check and know your radio is operating correctly?
For the next tests turn your radio on and trim to fly then turn the radio off:
Grab the elevon in the middle and gently move it up and down and see if the servo will turn back and forth with only the pressure you are applying to the elevon. It should move both ways as long as you don't move the servo arm too far up or down. The servo arm should move instantly and not have any play in it.
Are you using servo savers? One plane was built well but the servo savers created so much slop in the elevons that the elevons were not predictable in flight. I recommend the metal gear servos instead of the servo savers to keep the elevons solid with the servo arms.
Is your servo tight in the foam? The body of the servo should not move at all while you are moving the elevon.
Are the control horns solid? The control horns should not move in the elevon against the resistance of the servo as you move the elevon.
Does your elevon twist with the pressure from the servo? It shouldn't. Is it taped correctly? If the elevons twist and flex unevenly it make the plane hard to control.
Does the elevon go all the way down freely? We have had two planes that have had the elevons attached so tightly that the elevon will easily come up but binds going down and only has about 2/3 or less of the motion down as it has going up. This happens if you do not leave enough gap between the wing and the elevon when you tape the hinge. It will be impossible to get an axle roll if the elevon won't go down far enough.
The number one problem.. Does the pushrod flex when the elevons are moved? It shouldn't flex. The pushrod usually won't flex going down unless you have bends in it but several of the push rods flex quite easily when the elevon is lifted up. If it flexes on the ground it will do it in flight. If this is a problem get a soda straw and cut two 1" long pieces and split them down one side. Put them over the center of the push rod wire. Position them so the wire moves freely but cannot flex. Hot glue the straw with the split against the wing to the top of the wing so that the elevon still has free movement.
I hope this list helps and I would like other ideas from the rest of you and I will add this list to the building instructions.
|May 20, 2009, 08:20 AM|
Airbrushing and Laminating Film
Laminating Film is an iron plastic covering that will stick to EPP without a spray adhesive. It is strong, inexpensive and paints well with regular rattle can paint.
This link show the application of laminate on one of our Roswell Deltas. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=339
This video shows a plane covered with laminate and painted with regular Krylon from a can. The plane looks like it has a hard, slick surface like a car. Jon says he did not use an adhesive spray before the laminate or to stick the Krylon paint to the laminate. Great looking plane!!!!
Airbrushing adds a blending of color that cannot be duplicated with iron on coverings. The airbrush paint doesn't stick well to the EPP so we have been experimenting with airbrushing our colors over a coat of 3M77 or the 3M90 spray adhesive and then a light coat sprayed again of 3M77 or 3M90 before laminating.
Testing shows that the colors are brighter and more durable with the adhesive spray to prime the surface. The use of stencils and high quality masking tape also add to the appearance. Get the best tape they sell for masking of walls for painting. The cheap stuff lifts with the air pressure from the airbrush and allows the paint under the tape.
I am not an artist. What you see in my airbrushing is very primitive and a poor example of what can be done. Even with my lack of experience the planes look great and I get a lot of comments. We have used these planes in combat so the paint is truly getting tested. I have a few scrapes but the paint is lasting better than I expected. I painted a plane for a friend on a trade and it only took me a total of 1 hour to paint both top and bottom. I have learned to leave some white for visibility in the air.
Do not paint where your are going to tape the motor mount. The paint around the motor mount is easily be damaged by sticking the tape to and peeling the tape back off the painted surface. I recommend you plan your design to keep this small area on the bottom of the plane white to prevent tape damage to the paint.
We are seeing airbrushing combined with the laminating film producing some auto body type paint jobs. When Laminating film is used all of the EPP is covered just like the other iron on coverings that we are used to. We are still experimenting with different ways to use it. Will it stay stuck over the paint? Will the paint stay stuck to it? Either way it looks great so far!!!!
Getting started airbrushing
Walmart sells acrylic paint. I have been buying the gloss paint in the 8 oz bottle which is a lot of paint when you are spraying it through an airbrush. It costs less than $4 a bottle. It has to be thinned to the consistency of milk. Different thinners can be used. There is a specific acrylic thinner sold. Some people are using window cleaner claiming that the soap helps the paint flow. Some people just use water. When you thin it you have to make sure you get all of the goobers dissolved. They love to plug up the micro holes in the airbrush. Ask me how I know!!!
Many of the craft stores like Roberts sell spare paint bottles and lids. It is nice to have a row of bottles that you can snap onto the brush to trade colors. When I store these bottles I put a cap on the tube and tape over the vent hole so the paint won't dry in the bottle. The craft stores also sell pre-thinned paint, but it is 4x the cost.
I am glad I have two airbrushes. I had to look at the one to get the other back together after I got it plugged with paint. When I clean the airbrush I take off the paint bottle and put the airbrush under water and blow the paint out. I then use a q-tip to clean the intake and remove the tip to get the residual paint out of it. It now takes me about 5 minutes to clean up. I don't clean the brush much between colors. I have a bottle of water I spray water through the airbrush then just trade to the new color and spray until the color is correct.
The paint is aerosoled or nebulized or whatever you call it. It is important to protect your lungs and wear a quality mask. I did a little touch up without the mask and could taste the paint for hours.
I bought a new airbrush system and I have put links and information here for future reference.
I have a neighbor who has done extensive airbrushing to show me how to adjust and clean the airbrush. Instructions were not clear.
This is what I bought:
This is for fine work and comes with a compressor that is quiet powerful and portable and a mid level airbrush for about 1/3 what I have seen a similar set elsewhere. Start up set with variable volume sprayer and compressor:
This is the airbrush that comes in the above listed kit:
Constant volume sprayer with bottles for basic stencil work. Greatly reduces the amount of clean up time over the fine line airbrush above, because the paint does not go through the airbrush. It does not do fine detail and is more like a spray can than an airbrush.
Extension hose to hook to my home compressor if I want to have two brushes set up or want a higher constant pressure. This hose comes with the fittings to attach both airbrushes above. As time is going on I find I am using my big compressor more than the small one. It has far more air volume and I am not doing that much detail work. For the fine detail I find I am either using the small compressor or turning the pressure down on my large compressor.
Harbor freight respirators:
These are links to different airbrushing tutorials and videos.
1st post Firefly video: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=985105&page=7
RCG Paint thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=895926&page=3
Fire templates an jigs: http://chuckbauman.com/
Paint source: http://www.createxcolors.com/home_page.htm
Threads on how to paint a plane:
Stencils - http://www.shoptheartstore.com/produ...A5D7AFBDD7051#
|May 20, 2009, 08:21 AM|
Thanks for all who have posted pictures!!!!!
|May 20, 2009, 08:23 AM|
OUR VERSION OF COMBAT!!!!!
This post needs a title...How about?????
"Combat pulls your club together!!!"
"EPP Assassin - Knock your friends out and be proud of it."
"Combat Fliers Anonymous"
"Lunch Crunch Bunch"
"Old Guys trying to break their toys by crashing them into each other."
Our club has been flying combat longer than it has existed. Several years ago (2004) a couple of people started to try to hit EPP Unicorn flying wings in the air and now we get together twice a week to carry on the tradition. We have changed some of the planes we use and some of the people doing it but now the couple of flyers has turned into three clubs and meets that we call the UFO Uncivil War. We recently had more than 40 people participating in the festivities.
We have the biggest group come to fly on Saturdays but many of the group take long lunches on Wednesday and go back to work after flying. We jokingly tell them to tell their boss they have a therapy session for stress management.
The new 2.4 G radios have made frequency boards rare. Most of our main flyers now don't even have to worry about frequency and those who are still on the older 72 channels have gotten on open channels that are getting less and less use.
When we fly as a club, everyone shows up and leaves at the same time. We warm up and finish with the exotic pretty planes like scale and warbirds but when the call of "COMBAT" goes out everyone grabs their EPP wings.
There are no restrictions as to how many flyers are in the air. If you are present you are trying to get in the mayhem and be flying. It is one of the friendliest flying events I have ever seen. Some of the planes in the air are junk. Some look great. There are 36" wings like the Assassin. Some are 48" wing spans or bigger. We have had Assassins, Pinatas, Wild Wings, Unicorns, Strykers, Superflys, Roswell Deltas and a rare target plane like a Slowstick that someone wants to retire all participating at the same time. Most of the regulars have their tricks to reinforce the planes for combat. I have described as many of their ideas as I can find here and continue to update the thread. I set my planes up so that I can trade out batteries in seconds and radio in minutes.
If you dare to put up any other plane during the combat session you must understand it is at risk. The sky does get confused and your plane may get hit. Everyone is responsible for his own plane repairs and maintaining his own equipment although everyone jumps in to get as many other flyers up as possible.
There are several misconceptions about combat.
First, the fastest plane wins. This is absolutely false. You win by participating and having a good time but if a score it kept at all it is of how many hits you have in a day, not how fast you fly. Slow planes have more hits. How many hits. I had 30 hits in a single day. On that day there were only a few of us and we flew formation and would try to make contact in the group. That was an incredible day. Most of the time hit numbers are around 5-10.
Second, Combat is a flying free for all. This is not at all the way we try to fly combat. As a group we try to circle the field together. The lead plane slows down and those behind try to catch up. We usually try to get under another plane and pull up to make contact. There is definitely a knack to making the hit. We have several flyers that consistently have double or triple the hits of the rest of the group. They herd the group like a sheep dog then sneak in for a kill.
Third. Your plane is destroyed every time you compete. Absolutely False!!! This is where the EPP foam comes into a class of it's own. I have planes that have hundreds of hits that are a couple of years old that are still flyable. I have even sold planes that are well worn but dependable that are years old. I didn't say the planes didn't get damaged. I take a couple of planes with me and if one has trouble I switch to the other and do most repairs later. Most of the damage I take is broken props and damaged fins... back when I had fins. We do get an occasional tear in the EPP foam so I have a glue gun that runs off the car in my flight box that I can use for field repairs. In most cases it takes longer to heat the gun than make the repair. I also carry a soldering iron.
Rules of engagement
Plane restrictions. With rare exception the motor needs to be in the back. We have an occasional plane out of control and we do not want anyone hurt. The planes should have a soft leading edge and not be glassed or have a hard spar on the leading edge. The plane should not be heavy. The 48" wings are usually under 32 oz and the 36' wings under 16 oz including batteries. Fast planes cause too much of damage to other planes and themselves. Combat should be flown 20-50 mph.
Safety first. The more people you get the more important the flight line enforcement. In our large combat events we will have everyone still in the air go to high altitude or land so people can safely pick up their planes. Don't fly over the crowd. Don't do repairs past the flight line. Don't participate with heavy or unsafe planes.
Fox and Hound The group flies a figure 8 always turning away from the crowd. Those at the front of the pack slow down and those behind try to catch up for the hit. As soon as they are ahead they slow down. You score by making contact. Many times the planes can be flown out of the contact and spins without hitting the ground. You get a "Nudge" if you just bump and a "Hit" if a plane rolls over because of the impact. A variation of this is a low circle pattern. The circle gives the flyers the ability to cut a corner to catch up or to go wide to slow down.
Streamers on Planes. This is more traditional combat where the planes have streamers out the back. On flying wings we put a streamer in the center of the plane tied to one of the control horns or taped to each wingtip and try to cut the streamers in the air. A variation is that one plane has a streamer and so is marked at the target plane and everyone tries to knock them out. In our group that does not mean hit the streamer.
Limbo You can see our limbo poles in the videos but if you look back on some of our older videos you will see us use soccer goals for limbo poles. In limbo you can score however you want. Our most common limbo is won when you are the first to score 10 points. You score 1 point by going under the wire and two with some other factor such as inverted or an even harder lower wire to go under.
Skills Simultaneously everyone will launch, do 3 loops, then 3 rolls and land, and the first with plane in hand first wins. We have even done this with a required catch at the end to win. We have also required 2 catches to win. This is a favorite of some of the flyers. Did I mention that when you realize you are loosing you try to take out the other plane so he can't win either?
Pylon Racing An old favorite but it takes on new meaning when you aren't afraid to collide during the race. We use our Limbo poles as the pylon poles for the races.
Retirement party This is how we get rid of old planes. It is usually that old warbird or Slowstick or 3D plane that is near the end of it's life and so we euthanize it with the Assassins and other combat style wings. This is also a club favorite.
Bomb drop. I have a bomb release on my plane that will be shown in the posts. We set up a target and people drop washers with a streamer on it and score by getting the closest to the target.
Streamer drop - I can carry and drop a roll of crape paper or 1/3 roll of toilet paper and the group tries to chop it up in the air while it is floating down. The big challenge is to get the streamer to land close to the flight line.
Balloon Bust. Take a 1/4" 36" dowel and poke it in the lawn. Tape a balloon to the top. What makes this intense is everyone is trying at the same time to pop the balloon and traffic gets low and heavy. The dowel will knock down easily if hit and rarely hurt an EPP wing.
Parachute drop The parachute drop is great for Scout groups. Each Scout brings a light parachute and they get dropped from the bomb drop 3 at a time. The Assassin can easily carry the weight. The flyer tries to hit a target but the boys don't care if he misses. The Cub Scouts think this is great and love to chase. The boys have spent previous meetings making and coloring their parachutes. This gets fun when you have 3 flyers dropping the parachutes as fast as they can.
Gunfighters Two flyers stand 200+ feet apart and launch at the same time and try to make contact with the planes. Can also be done side by side with first one through the limbo wins.
Night Combat Combat is also fun in the dark. We have had a great time chasing each other around with lighted planes. The danger comes when you collide in the dark and the lights go out and you can't find your plane. Take your mosquito repellent and a headlamp. Look at post #16.
Wayne has the following game suggestions:
Chicken We have a couple of other challenges we like to play with during mild combat sessions when we only have 2 or 3 planes up. One is to see how far you can glide off our small hill before you either chicken out and pull some throttle, or hit the ground and have to hike. I like this game as mine is the best glider.
Rabbit Our other game is simply called "Rabbit". In this game one plane volunteers to be the Rabbit, and all other planes attack. The Rabbit typically flies a very simple and predictable circle pattern and all other planes come in for the attack. The Rabbit is actually the most fun to fly and we have had a steady flow of volunteers for the Rabbit position. Rabbits are often times old planes ready for the dumpster, but can be anything.
Can on a stick I like your balloon idea.. We have been using an old beer can on a short stick. The can makes a great sound when hit. It is fun to put the can in some rough air for added fun.
Check out the Combat and Limbo videos and see what combat has become.
|May 20, 2009, 08:24 AM|
"HOW TO START YOUR OWN COMBAT CLUB"
OR "YOU CAN'T FLY COMBAT ALONE"
Everyone in our club (called the UFOs or the Utah Flyers Organization) has non combat planes but combat is what brings our group together. Most clubs try to restrict how many planes are in the air and we try to add more and more. If we are flying at 10AM people show up and 10 and are gone by 1PM. We really do fly together and it has created a strong bond in the group. We don't have a president by design. We are a democracy. We all want the group to succeed and everyone owns some of the responsibility of making it happen. The joke is if you bring food you are club president until someone else brings food.
We have many flyers saying they wish they lived here so they could be a member of good combat club. There are houses for sale down the street if any of you are interested but if that is not possible here are some ideas of how to start to pull your own combat group together.
Here is how we started.
It usually takes a person who really wants the group to happen to start a combat group. There are several leaders in our group. Each of us have kind of fallen into what we do best and we participate in activities where we have interest. I tend to be the trainer of the new flyers but I am not the only one doing this. I also tend to be a source of good beginner airplanes but not everyone flies our planes there are no plane restrictions.
A few years ago a couple of friends in our valley bought flying wings for combat and got a couple more friends to get kits and they got a couple more friends to get kits. About this time I found the group. I was teaching my sons to fly and had chosen EPP wings as their first planes so by accident we were ready to participate.
We wanted the group to grow so we got a club site on RCGroups http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362264 and started a web page (www.utahflyers.org ) and printed business cards and started giving to anyone who stopped by to watch. We have even given a card to a woman who said her son would like fly planes to pass on to the son. We list on the card places to look on the internet for our flying schedule and sites to look at for plane ideas. This also helped others RCers flying in our area to find us. The hobby stores have people asking for flying groups so don't forget leave introduction cards with them to let them know how to refer people to your club. When I see people I don't know flying alone I stop and give them a card and invite them to come and fly with us. One day as I was headed out the door after work I posted that I was headed out flying and 8 people showed up just by seeing our club RCG thread.
We are now known for combat by many in the local flying community. People are now finding us.
Planes for combat are restricted to pusher props for safety sake. We prefer lighter and slower planes for the same reason. See the post on combat for more information. We have had Assassins, Pinatas, Wild Wings, Roswells, Superflys, Unicorns, Strykers, Zagi's, CombatWings, Swifts and others all in combat together. We have no classes or size restrictions. Keeping an open mind for what people want to fly helps promote the group and it really doesn't matter in combat. A nudge is still a nudge and a hit is still a hit no matter what plane you are flying.
We live in a 2 college town so as time has gone on many of our original flyers graduated from college and many moved north into Salt Lake and Weber Counties. They started to grow and collect flyers in these counties and both counties have several regular flyers and a variety of flying sites. They have remained in contact and come back a couple of times a year to participate in what we call the UN-Civil War fly-ins. I will post on this site when we are having our next fly ins. You flyers in the western states and anywhere else are welcome to come.
Many of the new flyers have been introduced to us by friends who already fly or already flew and just found the group. I carry cards with me and if I see someone flying in a park I will stop and introduce my self and invite them to come watch and fly with us. If they already have the equipment it isn't a big deal to get a combat plane too.
Our biggest challenge has been to find flying sites. The strength of the group is that individuals in the group have personal contacts that have been the source of our flying sites. We are lucky that we have some of the best slope soaring in the world within 20 miles of us and we have large neighborhood parks for the soccer craze that is sweeping the country. You have read that the Assassin is quiet. This is important to be able to fly in parks near houses without getting neighbors mad at us.
We have found that many of our flyers can sneak away for a long lunch when the soccer fields are not in use. We fly most Wednesdays at lunch. We tell people the people at work we are going to a group stress therapy session.
Members of our group organize trips to fly-ins, Red Bull races, mountain hikes to fly off cliffs, trips to the slopes, community activities like flying at the Spanish Fork Kite Festival and a local Scout-a-Rama. We have also flown for groups like Cub Scout groups and school classes.
If you make it fun-they will come.
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