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Old Aug 01, 2010, 12:15 AM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
Lafayette's Avatar
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Build Log
Introducing the "SeeBee" amphibious AP platform

New ap design, the "SEEBEE". Will it fly???

Up until now, I modded and pushed my slowstick to the limit and was very happy with the results. The point was to see what could be done with a 28 dollar plane for anyone who wanted to get into AP cheap. With some easy mods to the wing and rudder, a heavy duty aluminum gear/camera mount and a gopro HD it will do a great job.
Most homebrews I saw for AP are good, some great, but it always seems to be limited to light winds, mostly R/E/T only, and either limited to terra firma landings, or only water landings.

NOW! I want more...

I need something that will land on asphalt, grass, snow, rivers, lakes and carry the gopro hd safely.
I want elevator, rudder, and flaperons.
I want to fly slow, and fast, I want to fly in winds above 5 mph, and any surface as a runway...
I know, I want a LOT!!!
Why not!!!

I have been looking and reading, then I figured I'd look some more and so on and so on....

SO I decided it was time to do what I wanted to do at the beginning and make my own design, to satisfy my uncontrollable urges!!!
I designed my own wing profile which I think will be adequate and I will try to induce a wing twist if I can with my homebuilt wire cutter...

I have no idea what the result will be, but it is worth a try.

Making it up as I go along...
Could be it will transform in a twin? then 2 cameras???
So here is part# 1 of the build.
SeeBee#1.wmv (1 min 42 sec)
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Old Aug 01, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Looks like it should be a good platform for the GoPro. Subscribed.
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Old Aug 01, 2010, 10:05 PM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
Lafayette's Avatar
Joined Nov 2009
551 Posts
Well,
Day 2. Had to build a hot wire router real quick!!!
I had made a bow and a 3 different setups before and I was thinking of taking my coping saw and putting a wire on it...Forget that!

Prepared the template for the fuse, wax on, wax off!

Decided to use blucore as it is stiffer than the white foam I have.

This one is going to be my prototype, so I will not spend much time making it pretty.

When it flies great, then I will build a nicely finished SeeBee.
I am thinking of trying a piece of pool noodle for a float, before I cut and shape one out of foam.
For the gear I am thinking of making it foldable so it does not have to be removed for water t/o and landings. I will be secured in the down position with rubber bands acting as a shock absorber.

Picked up some formica samples at Lowes, and I will use that to make reinforcements for the nose section, and for the wing attach points.
Carbon fiber tubes will be use to stiffen the fuse and also for the wings.

Already planning on making 2 engine nacelles for a twin setup may be even a tri for windy days, and to lift heavier cameras.

First we will see what happens with one engine!

Here is day2:
SeeBee part 2.wmv (2 min 30 sec)


Lafayette.
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 08:29 AM
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subscribe... i also plan to use GOPRO on float...

my prototype was not appropriate for this summer...
using wrong type of foam (bubble foam lets water to penetrate...
and my white glue melt... )
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 10:31 AM
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The "swiss army knife" of airplanes is the holy grail of AP. Very hard to do it all with just one aircraft. I've often thought about trying to use a catalina for something like this. Maybe once I get the settlement from the oral surgeon that screwed up my surgery last week I will have the funds.........
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 04:09 PM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
Lafayette's Avatar
Joined Nov 2009
551 Posts
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Originally Posted by randall1959 View Post
The "swiss army knife" of airplanes is the holy grail of AP. Very hard to do it all with just one aircraft. I've often thought about trying to use a catalina for something like this. Maybe once I get the settlement from the oral surgeon that screwed up my surgery last week I will have the funds.........
Yep!
I hope for good results.
I will have a cnc foam cutter, router in the near future if all goes well. I have most of the parts need, and it will be a swiss army knife of foam cutting machine if my designs are sound. When that is ready to go, I will cut quite a few different wings to try out. Right now, I want to try a straight wing with removable 12 inch dihedral tips. That will allow for a better performance in stronger winds. Also, I might make some other straight 6 or 8 inch tips which will have wing floats permanently attached. Then I will cut the 2 engine nacelles to convert to a twin in minutes.

Made the templates for the wing profile today. I am playing around with the wing design, twist or no twist, we'll see.

Do I want a 6 or 8 inch center wing section permanently attached? I think it would make for a strong wing mount. we'll see there too!

I paln on making a float nicely shaped out of blue core that will fit on the bottom of the fuse, and that will be removable. For the gear a tilt mechanism to retract the gear when on water.

So much to do!

When my cnc machine is built, i will definitly cut some kits if it performs as expected.
I also have on paper a simple take apart plane that will fit in a bag and that can be taken anywhere and ready in a couple minutes, built for the gopro.

ONE THING AT A TIME!!!

I will post pics of todays progress a little bit later. Dinner time for the kids!

Lafayette.

I am going to keep this first build simple to see how it performs.
The next one might possibly be more dimensional, who knows!!
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 08:41 PM
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I kinda believe instead of adding the weight to tilt the landing gear a simple bolt on solution would work better. Use some of the same holes to mount the gear as you would the center float. You could also make the outrigger floats so that they rubber band onto the wings.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 02:13 AM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
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Originally Posted by randall1959 View Post
I kinda believe instead of adding the weight to tilt the landing gear a simple bolt on solution would work better. Use some of the same holes to mount the gear as you would the center float. You could also make the outrigger floats so that they rubber band onto the wings.
Already have a few practical designs, and not much weight.

#1 A u shape carbon gear that simply rotates 90 degrees, no complicated or heavy retract system for a plane built with a permanently mounted center float. Bolts would probably weigh more than the carbon tubing.

#2 a straight through gear with removable wheels. The gear carbon tube would indeed go through the float, and on each end fitted with small floats themselves mounted on 10 to 12" carbon tube extensions. This would be an easy way to avoid messing with the wing setup, trying to attach floats. I decided to make the float removable to keep the drag down when not operating on water. Also the plane can be build quicker and simpler if only for land use.

#3 A permanent center float with the wheel also permanent inside the float, just extending a little bit out of the float. Now for that setup, forget the wheel, and I would just reinforce the center keel of the float and land on it!

I just like wheels and the feel of taking off and landing on wheels.

#4 a wide float, kind of like a short wing, which would eliminate the need for tip floats. But there we go again, drag. Most floats have a profile like an upside down wing, and a large one would pruduce negative lift and induce massive drag. If it can stay thin it could probably work but then, it will not take any impact as well as a main beefy float.

Everyday I have new ideas, and I certainly will try different things, until I am satisfied.

An ounce or two or three is actually pretty negligeable. For an indoor shockflyer that is another story.

I can fly the slowstick with 2x 3s 1800 lipos and a go pro with the waterproof case. It actually flies much better in the wind when it is heavier. The only thing with the stock wing is that it is not designed for a heavy or fast airplane. Also, added weight increases the stall speed and increases the approach speed.
With the mods I made on mine, it is not a problem.
I even have a heavy duty landing gear and camera mount made out of1"x1/16 aluminum and 2 foam wheels. All that flies great with a 2409-18T and goes up in a hurry! Of course I had covered the bottom of the wing and added 4 fins to the wing and some small winglets and added surface to the rudder.

I am starting the SeeBee with a fat wing, as I want high lift, and slow flight capabilities. I am not intersted in speed.I will have different extentions for the wings as well. I want the option of a shorter wing for windy days.
No matter what, aerials videos are always better quality in low wind conditions. I just want something versatile, and built better than a slowstick!
One of my main concerns is to protect the camera.

Light weight is not always a plus. Excess power is what makes an airplane climb. A bit of weight will make the plane less prone to be kicked around in the wind. The large surface of the fuse should actually stabilize the plane both in the roll and yaw axis. I will also make removable winglets to cut down on wingtip vortices which we all know cause some well needed lift to be taken away.

This aircraft will have large flaperons and this will compensate for any extra weight causing a longer take off roll and a faster approch to landing speed.
I am more concerned about drag than weight. Drag is your enemy!

This is why I want a removable float and a quick change option to make a twin. I have another type of twin with interesting options in design process right now.
I will build that one after this one, and also the quick take down portable AP plane in a bag!!! Yep I'll be done in 2094!!!

Basically, this airplane will have different wing options for different conditions.
Remember that drag is a square function of lift. Twice the lift, 4 times the drag. The faster you go, the more drag. I want slow and steady.
That is why I have the fat wing which will create no more drag than a thinner wing at a faster airspeed.

All this is what makes a scratchbuilt project fun! I enjoy building just as much as flying. With the use of foam, strong and light weight, ease of cutting, shaping, gluing, possibilities are endless.

Thanks for your input Randall.
Heck if I think any suggetions out there will help I will be happy to try them and post the results. That is part of the fun!

Here is day 3:
SeeBee part3.wmv (2 min 47 sec)
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 03:55 AM
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You sound a lot like me in the tinkering dept. I'm always trying this or trying that even on planes I've had for quite a while. Experimentation is more than half of the fun of this hobby.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 07:00 AM
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I'm diggin' the music man!
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 09:10 AM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
Lafayette's Avatar
Joined Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by randall1959 View Post
You sound a lot like me in the tinkering dept. I'm always trying this or trying that even on planes I've had for quite a while. Experimentation is more than half of the fun of this hobby.
RIGHT ON!!!
Lafayette.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 09:27 AM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
Lafayette's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Tango Juliet View Post
I'm diggin' the music man!
The music is from this album:

Indigo Swing - Drinkin' It Up (2 min 3 sec)


I like al kinds of music. Love classical for some vids.
Enjoy,
Lafayette.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 09:33 AM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
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Well I think today is float day!
With the weather and the kids, I will work on my design inside the house!
I was going to make a simple quick float, try a pool noodele for boyancy but I knew I could not resit making something more attractive!!!
Still thinking about different ways to put the wing together, sections, etc.
May be I'll make more progress today!!!
Lafayette.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 05:14 PM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
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Chapter 4

Not much time to mess around today.

I just put down on paper some of my "mind sketches" to scale and get an idea of what this will look like.

I already see some changes!!! I will probably change the gear arrangement so it will be fixed, and the float can be removed easily. When the float will be mounted, the wheels will be out of the water, without pivoting or anything. K.I.S.S. makes the best designs. The wheel base will not as wide. A super simple way to attach the float will be the use velcro in the center channel to the bottom of the main fuse profile. Ah, velcro! Even works in water!!!

For the winglets, I will make 2 sets: on standard on top of the wing and one set going under the wing with the tip floats attached.
Will do more work tonight.
The way it works is at every stage: two steps backwards and three steps forward!

Lafayette.
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Old Aug 04, 2010, 09:34 PM
'scuse me while I kiss the sky
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Veru little time today. I laminated/glued together two 1 inch layer of blucore with a 1 1/4 inch layer of white foam in the middle. The white foam is lighter and will kind of act as a shock absorber. I am still finilizing my wing design.
I cannot wait to see how it will float and the performance on water.
I will add a water rudder connected to the rudder pushrod.

1st, let' see if it will float!

I am toying with an idea right now, but it is a lot more complex to build and operate than it is on paper. If that would work it would be fantastic.
I will only post that setup if incorporate it in the design, and if it will work.

Now cutting foam is going to be the big job.
Having a nice wing cut smooth, and a shaped main body float. I could build faster, but I want to get as close as possible to the final design. It will be easier to anylize flight characteristics, and performance and fine tune.

The fun of scratchbuilding!!!

Lafayette.
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