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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:50 AM
Lee
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***Hercules Gentle Giant AP/FPV***

Hercules Gentle Giant AP/FPV

The Hercules is now available as a pusher or a twin puller kit. See the pictures below.

Many of our Grim Reaper flyers have blackmailed me into designing a bigger AP/FPV plane. They have made many demands of what they want to see if I ever want my dog back. I hope they keep the dog. He howls all night, tears up the furniture and wets on the carpet but since they are my friends I thought I would see what I could do.

They requested a plane that is:

Easy and fun to fly but hard to break
Takes off the ground but is also easy to hand launch
Flies well with big batteries and a heavier payload
Can be transported in a smaller car
Economical to buy/ship, uses inexpensive batteries and motors
Stocked with immediate foreign or domestic shipping
Stable in both pitch and roll for camera stability
Stealthy and quiet

A Picture is worth a thousand words. Watch the videos to see why we decided to call this plane the Hercules Gentle Giant.

#3 Hercules Touch and Goes (music) 6-10-11 (4 min 33 sec)


Here is a videos of maiden flight of Herc Pusher configuration.

Herc Pusher 63" with 808 #16D (5 min 20 sec)


Hercules Pusher Maiden flight (4 min 27 sec)


Here is the 78" Hercules. It has a 12" blunt nose.

78" Hercules Wind Surfing (5 min 57 sec)


Some auto pilots need conventional elevons. Here is a demonstration.

Hercules with traditional elevons 9-11 (4 min 37 sec)


Here is some FPV by Rocky one of our 17 year old customers.

FPV Hercules Up To 3500 feet (4 min 14 sec)


The Lagoon Fpv Hercules (4 min 0 sec)


For more information go to www.crashtesthobby.com

I need to thank the club and camera guys for their help, especially Ken, Kevin, John L., Jeff P., Mike, Mike and Mike. I need to give the biggest thanks to my wife who realizes that RC is cheaper than therapy and supports me in my obsessive compulsive projects.

Here is the reaction of a fanatical flyer in our club to our new Hercules Gentle Giant designed for FPV.

"Lee does a great job of coming up with new ideas, but I think this one will be a big old honking feather in his cap, and I'll bet he sells a lot of them. This is a great design. At one point he flew by and he said "yeah, I put a 2" trailer hitch ball on it to simulate (34 oz more) battery weight" and I laughed... I thought he was totally kidding. But then he landed and pulled off a giant metal ball and I was like "oh man, I hang around (local flyers) too much, I forgot how to take somebody seriously when they say something outrageous with a straight face. I'm definitely going to be in the market for one of those bigger FPV planes for those times when I want long flights, or very stable flights. Being able to land, taxi, and take off with an EPP wing is such a cool idea too. Great design Lee. Sounds like you've already sold quite a few to local FPV guys. You have a winner!!!!" Todd

The building instructions are at our website. Here are the building videos

Building Videos. From Start to Flight

#1 Gluing and spars
#2 Motor mounts and spars
#3 Shock Cord
#4 Tape and Laminate
#5 Elevons and Hinges
#6 Servos, wires and fins
#7 Prepare to Fly
#8 Maiden Flight with plane we built


The reason we keep the instructions on our web site is so we can make instant changes as we get feedback so our other builders and flyers will instantly know there is an update. If we are seeing trends or reoccurring questions that need to be answered we can address them in a timely manner and all of the customers will know not just the few that follow the threads. All of the builders will get the newest information every time they reopen our building instructions at http://www.crashtesthobby.com/index....e-Giant-AP-FPV.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:52 AM
Lee
PERFECT LANDING !!!
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USA, UT, Orem
Joined Jul 2004
9,181 Posts
#4 Hercules flying with 34 oz trailer ball 6-2-11 (4 min 9 sec)


72" Hercules Pusher FPV (4 min 25 sec)


What makes the FPV Hercules Gentle Giant so unique???

Design
The new FPV Hercules is swept for a more modern look and improved balance.
Our Reaper has wing area of 4.5, the basic Hercules has 8.0 square feet of wing.
6" and 12" wing extensions available to increase wing area to 10 square feet.
It uses a unique four elevon system for decreased drag and increased stability.
It is fun to fly and stable enough for newer flyers that can fly with ailerons.
It takes off the ground!!! IT TAKES OFF THE GROUND!!!
Pilot has both hands on transmitter during take offs and touch and goes.
It has a low profile that makes it incredibly stable on the ground.
Front motor design creates a ground effect that shortens the take off distance.
It is an amazingly stable camera platform. Watch the videos.
It is easy to stay oriented to and looks great in the air.
It has a custom 8.6% custom high lift low drag airfoil.
The airfoil is thick enough for FPV cameras to be in the wing not on the wing.
It has a fantastic glide and the ability to carry a surprising weight.
It is a modified delta design that is not sensitive to stall at low speeds.
It has a deep cord with a lot of wing area for it's wingspan.
It is a big plane that can fly slow enough to be flown in a baseball diamond.
Excellent top end performance. It is faster than it looks because of it's size.
Designed to use lower cost batteries, motors, propellers, ESCs and servos.
Designed to have high performance with 3 cell lipoly batteries.
Can fly with 4 cell lipoly batteries for quick power and performance upgrade.

Size
It is huge!! It has 8 square feet of wing.
It has lots and lots of space to install batteries and radio and camera gear.
The big wing has low wing loading with a gentle glide on approach.
Bigger planes are less jerky in pitch and roll for better video
It will fly fast or glide surprisingly slow with a heavy load.
It will fit in an economy car even though it has 8 square feet of wing area.

Split elevon
It has four elevons, two on the right wing and two on the left wing.
The elevons can be programed as traditional elevons or in a custom elevator/elevon mixing.
The elevons can be programed so only the tip elevons are set up for elevon function.
At the same time the middle control surfaces are set up as elevator only to maintain reflex.
The enlarged split elevons focus energy where it needs to be to decrease drag and yaw.
There isn't a "Dead Zone" without reflex in the middle of the wing like a pusher design.
The split elevons create reflex tip to tip improving elevator control at slow speeds.
The split elevon rolls are much more stable than single elevons at slow speeds.
Can use smaller, less expensive servos because each servo controls a smaller surface.
The plane in the videos flew at 9 lb only used $7 MG90 servos and flies great!!!!

Wing Extensions
Wing extensions are available to increase the wing span.
Extensions are 6" to 12" to increase wing area from 8 to 10 square feet!!!
Wing span jumps from 66" to 78".
Wing extensions offer the flat nose design for more visibility from FPV and cameras.
The Hercules with a 12" extension will still fit in the passenger seat of a Toyota Corolla.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:53 AM
Lee
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USA, UT, Orem
Joined Jul 2004
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#1 Hercules ground take off at Squaw Peak (music) 6-10-11 (5 min 40 sec)


#5A Hercules carrying 5lb payload 5-21-11 (3 min 31 sec)


Payload
The Hercules is stable with a heavy payload.
The stock 66" plane without the extension, flown in video with a payload of 5+ pounds!!!
It can balance and fly with 10,000-20,000 mA of batteries for super long flights.
It can be hand launched at a higher weight because it has a lower stall speed.
It also flies well as a relaxed gentle lightweight floater with lighter batteries.
Our testing was done at 4500-7000+ foot elevation.
Your performance will be better at lower elevations.

Twin motor
Electric motors are much more predictable and dependable than gas engines.
When you hit the throttle this plane wants to take off.
Front motors create a ground effect and shorten take off distance.
It has plenty of power for a steep climb without making much noise.
Twin forward facing electric motors stay out of camera view.
We include strong stainless steel motor mounts that are easy to install.
It is quieter than a pusher prop design because the props are cutting clean air.
It adapts well to folding propellers which work better on forward facing motors.
When cruising at low throttle neighborhood noise is much louder than the plane.
It will fly with payload at 1/3 throttle with the recommended 3530-1700 motors.
The prop speed is around 80 mph and plane has been clocked at 65-75 mph.
Flies well with 3S batteries and ESCs to keep the cost and sound levels lower.
The motors are rated to fly with 4S lipos for an easy upgrade in power and speed.
The plane design can easily handle larger motors/batteries if more speed is desired.
Twin BECs in the two ESCs give back up servo power and redundancy.
I have not used a separate UBEC yet. The combined ESC/BECs have done the job.
It is less likely to stall or snap roll on because of forward facing motor design.
The props are in front of the hand making hand launching safer.
Forward facing motors create lift and stability at slower speeds than a pusher prop.
The motors are behind the nose of the plane protecting them in a nose in crash.
The front mounted propellers don't hit the ground when the plane rotates for take off.

Crashtesthobby tough!!!
The Hercules Gentle Giant is built like a combat plane.
Watch our combat videos. This plane is designed to take abuse like all of our planes.
It comes with 8 fiberglass spars that won't interfere with radio reception.
It is made out of 100% EPP foam and uses the Extreme Tape and laminate.
Out kit includes enough UV shielded laminate to cover entire plane and skid.
Our "wing extension upgrade kits" come with additional spars and laminate.
Fiberglass spars are stronger than similar sized carbon fiber rods and tubes.
It uses our tried and true shock cord to keep accidents from tearing the foam.
Design is easy to repair with near invisible glue joints and clear laminate.
It uses EPP tough combat tested elevons that don't break.
The hinge design is so durable we use it in combat planes.
EPP elevons have a closed hinge line that protects laminar flow across the wing.
The foam tears starting at the rear motor cut outs are eliminated with this design.

Protecting camera and radio gear
The Hercules is made from EPP foam to protect your electronics.
The foam absorbs and spreads the forces of an impact.
The wing is thick enough to bury cameras. batteries and radio in the foam.
The wing is big with plenty of room for batteries and radio
Fiberglass spars do not cause the radio interference of carbon fiber spars.
The design of the plane reduces accidents because of easier launching and landing.
The forward motor delta design resists stalls and snap rolls.

The pictures below show the HGG with an extension can fit in a compact car!!!!
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Last edited by Lee; Nov 17, 2011 at 06:36 PM.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:53 AM
Lee
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USA, UT, Orem
Joined Jul 2004
9,181 Posts
We are still adding pictures and refining the details but the instructions are fairly complete and can be seen here.

http://www.crashtesthobby.com/index....ntle-Giant-FPV


Building Videos. From Start to Flight

#1 Gluing and spars
#2 Motor mounts and spars
#3 Shock Cord
#4 Tape and Laminate
#5 Elevons and Hinges
#6 Servos, wires and fins
#7 Prepare to Fly
#8 Maiden Flight with plane we built



Launching and Take Off's
It has a unique skid that protects the motors and props.
The skid acts like a ski to take off pavement, dirt, packed snow or mowed grass.
The skid is in the right place for grip and balance so the plane can easily be hand launched.
The skid is on the CG so the plane balances in your hand.
The skid gives a solid finger hold for hand launching.
The skid is simple, solid and strong and more durable and trouble free than wheels.
The skid elevates the camera for better view on take offs.
The skid elevates the nose of the plane creating ground effect to shorten take off distances.
The EPP skid acts like a shock absorber on landings to protect expensive FPV gear.
The skid design performs like a tail-dragger style landing gear on the ground.
The weight forward design that lets it fly off rough ground without flipping the plane.
Movable rudder(s) steer the plane on the ground.

Aerobatics
How many threads for FPV discuss the aerobatic capability of the plane?
The Hercules does some of the prettiest grass touch and goes I have seen.
The plane is stable and easy to fly upside down with the camera attached.
It will easily do inside and outside loops.
It can do figure 8s, Cuban 8s and vertical 8s.
It is stable in tight turns without snap rolling.
It can do near vertical decent with the nose up (if CG is right).
It will not do knife edge
I have flown trainers that are harder to take off, fly and land.

Includes Laminate
Each kit comes with clear UV shielded laminate covering included as part of the kit.
The clear laminate is strong and durable and doesn't show repairs and seams.
The laminate is stronger and easier to apply than Ultracoat and other laminates.
The laminate will stick to the EPP foam without an adhesive spray.
The clear laminate works well with LED lighting for night visibility on FPV night flights.
Holographic tape gives a professional look without much work.
Search for "Holographic tape" available from "paperstreetplastics" on Ebay

Shipping advantage
This is a big plane. We have designed the plane to get reasonable shipping rates.
Each wing half is cut into a front and rear section so it can be shipped in a smaller box.
Our box is sized for lower foreign and domestic postage rates for this size of plane.
Planes are shipped Parcel Post in the USA saving big bucks


Why do we suggest you install the radio and batteries after covering the plane?

Many flyers build our planes using more traditional method of putting all of their radio in one compartment.
They install the radio before they cover the plane and cover over the top.
They lay the servos down and hide them in the wing.
I have to admit it is prettier and seems logical.

All parts of the wing structure should contribute to the strength and durability of the plane.
The wing is made from EPP foam that resists crushing
Top and bottom spars create an "I-beam" that is many times stronger than a single spar alone.
Spars add compression strength
Reinforced tape adds tension strength to prevent tearing
The shock cord helps prevent the most common tear in a wing that happens with a frontal impact.
Our strong laminate makes the plane into a uni-body structure so all parts work together.
Our EPP elevons don't break and can bend with the wing protecting the hinge line.

Our years of combat have taught us to make the parts easy to get to and change.
Having quick access to the radio makes it so repairs take minutes not hours.
The plane is stronger and more crash resistant if there is no empty space in the wing.
I build and laminate the wing then go back and cut holes for the servos radio and batteries.
This helps me to judge the CG and get the parts in the right place.
It lets me cut the bare minimum amount of foam out of the wing making the wing stronger.
The radio and batteries become part of the structure of the wing.
I route wires though razor blade slits that cut through the tape and laminate and press in the wires.
I'm careful not to cut through reinforced tape and spars that are needed for strength.
I cover the slits with a clear piece of clear tape over the top.
I tape the receiver in place so I can see the power light and have easy access to bind to the transmitter.
If I have to replace a part, I pull off the tape, replace the part then replace the tape.
I glue the servo in the wing with a hot glue gun rather than gluing mounting brackets in the wing.
I stand the servo up with the servo arm barely exposed on the top of the wing.
I only put glue on the top edges and ends on the servo so I can get it out without cutting the foam.
The servo becomes part of the wing and is very solid without much work.
If I need to replace a servo I use my heat gun to soften the glue and replace the servo.
The pushrods are on the outside of the wing so they don't bind and are easier to install, inspect and service.
I put the pushrod under the servo arm to keep it close to the wing.
I put a staple over the middle of the push rod to keep it from bending and glue it in the wing.
Batteries are protected if the flat side of the battery faces forward rather than an end or edge.
The battery can withstand an extreme hit in this position without wire damage or mushrooming.
This does tend to leave the battery wire to ESC wire plugs on the top of the wing.
Having the battery wires exposed makes changing the batteries simple without weakening the plane.
Our years of combat have taught us to try to make repairs and battery changes as painless as possible.

We are still adding pictures and refining the details but the instructions are fairly complete and can be seen here.

http://www.crashtesthobby.com/index....ntle-Giant-FPV

.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:56 AM
Lee
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Joined Jul 2004
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#10 Hercules loops and rolls (music) 5-14-11 (3 min 6 sec)


Why did we choose to use twin motors?
We encourage you to install the motor(s) the way you like best. We have tried about everything. There are advantages and disadvantages to each motor mounting configuration. We decided on the front twin motor design. Electric motors have become so dependable that many of the problems of twin motors in the past are no longer an issue.

Most of the combat planes we design and sell use a pusher prop but the Hercules FPV design benefits from having the motors in the front. Puller prop planes are more stable than pusher props because the plane is being pulled by the prop rather than pushed by the prop. Lay a broom on the floor and try pushing it from the back and them pulling it from the front and see which is the most controllable and stable. With a nose mounted motor there is more airflow across the wing and the rudder giving more control at low speed. There is higher air pressure under the wing creating a ground effect that makes the Hercules easier to take off. There is also less turbulence in the air where the prop is cutting into the air improving efficiency and decreasing the noise levels. Nose mount motors move the weight forward to help balance the plane. The Hercules could fly well as a pusher prop plane but it would limit the take off the ground features that are so valuable and would negatively affect the aerodynamics. Watch the videos. The plane is stable and gentle but can carry a big load.

The traditional rear mount motor
in a pusher configuration gets the motor out of the way of the camera and protects the motor if the plane has a hard landing ..... but ... it is nosier than a nose mount motor and adds a lot of weight at the tail of the plane. It is also hard to get enough propeller clearance so the prop won't chop into the back of the wing. If you use landing gear the rear mount motor will hit the ground as the plane rotates for take off. Large cut outs for prop clearance decrease wing area, affects air flow and leaves a large flat edge ahead of the prop that increase prop sound and decrease prop efficiency. The cut out is a weak spot that will be the first place to tear in an accident. The cut out also displaces some of the elevon reflex killing some of the lift and decreasing stability.

The front center mount motor is easy to do and is quieter and puts the motor forward of the CG which helps to balance the plane. The disadvantages are the camera has to be mounted to the side of the prop in order to have a clear forward view and the motor and prop may sustain some damage if the plane is nosed in on landing. The airflow would also be disrupted by a central skid. (examples are most traditional plane set ups) The Hercules can easily handle a camera off center because of it's size so this is an option that could be consisidered. A motor that would be appropriate for a plane as big as the Hercules would swing a bigger propeller so the skid would have to be taller. The front center mount motor does fly well and is quiet.

The midmotor configuration helps with the center of gravity but still gets the motor out of the way of the camera and off the nose of the plane so it is less likely to get damaged. The disadvantages are it is the noisiest and least efficient of all the set ups because of the turbulent air that is at the slot in the wing. It also requires a slot to be cut in the wing which causes a loss of lift and disruption of airflow under the wing. The big cut outs in the wing will be the place the planes will tear in an accident. Many of my deltas have been midmotor designs and have flown well if set up correctly. Watch the testing videos. (examples: Roswell, Secret Weapon, Force One, Enforcer, Superfly)

The pod mounted motor like the Northstar and the Polaris and the Snowball has the motor mounted above the wing. This could also be done with ducted fans. The motor could be faced forward or back but it requires a pod to be build that is strong enough to support the weight and thrust of the motor. The pod would put all of the airflow above the wing and not create the ground effect under the wing to help with the take off and slow flight performance like the front mount motors do. The motor angle is critical on a pod to get the plane to fly properly. It is most likely to add the most weight and drag because of the pod.

A fuselage mounted motor could be hung below the wing where landing gear and motor could be installed leaving the top of the wing open for installation of a camera. Disadvantages: weight, building time, increased weakness of the plane.

Twin forward facing motors leave space for the camera in the front center of the wing. This keeps the CG forward, allows the use of smaller motors, and keeps the sound down because the motors are in clean air not the turbulent air behind the wing. The props are behind the nose of the plane protecting the motors and props in an accident.

Initial testing shows that if the 3530-1700 recommended motors are used with the 7x6 props the angle on the leading edge of the wing is perfect for prop clearance and simple installation. If you want to use bigger batteries this motor can easily handle the power and the plane would have a better rate of climb. If you want even more power the motor mount blocks can be slid forward to get clearance to handle larger motors and propellers. You might have to put a taller skid on the plane for increased propeller clearance.

This plane has a lot of power when you hit the throttle even with the 7x6 propellers. We flew the 66" Hercules loaded to 9 lbs at 4500-7500 feet elevation and it had a great rate of climb and could easily have gone much higher. See the video.

We have designed a strong and easy way to install the motors. They are combat strong. We are sending two stainless steel motor mounts and two solid wood mounting posts in the kit that are simple and strong.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:58 AM
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Thank you! Lets hope we can now move away from the Skywalker and similar planes! I hope you sell lots of these, good luck!

Cheers,

Sander - ImmersionRC
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:01 AM
Lee
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USA, UT, Orem
Joined Jul 2004
9,181 Posts
#2 Hercules at Squaw Peak hand launch (music) 6-10-11 (3 min 51 sec)


Stability factors
The Hercules is the most stable plane I have flown but there are three things you need to do so your plane will be stable too!!!!

1. A delta wing will not fly tail heavy. The CG on the stock Hercules kit is back 9.5". If it is tail heavy it will be almost uncontrollable. Mark the CG before you start building and build light behind the CG. If you are having any stability issues move your CG forward.
2. The Hercules is tolerant of unequal thrust but you should try to have the same thrust from the twin motors. Listen to the motors as you throttle up and you will be able to hear different pitches if they are not running at the same speed. Use only the same brand and rating of motors and ESCs. Try new props if you are having any trouble. Connect both ESCs to a common battery connection so the motors have the same input voltage.
3. Servo and flight surface linkages need to be tight and secure and not flex under stress. What appears good on the ground may be flexing in the air, especially on a big plane line the Hercules. Stress test everything before taking off.
4. The Hercules delta design can fly so slow that it you may not have enough air flowing over the elevons to control the plane. Watch the videos and see how easy it lands. It doesn't stall like you are used to. You can have the elevons full up and the plane will still fly and can do a very steep decent with the nose up.

One fin or four?
The delta shape likes central vertical fins for stability. The tip fins help to control yaw and help keep the elevons off the ground but the plane flies better with a vertical stabilizer in the center. We also need a rudder since the plane needs to be able to be steered on the ground and there are no wheels. Ground control and slow flight performance is improved if there is a rudder behind each propeller. The Hercules in the videos only has one vertical fin so you can choose which way you want to build your plane. Two rudders are included in the kit. The Hercules takes off grass in 15 feet even without wheels so the rudders are only in use for a couple of seconds every flight.

As you decide where to put your servos for the elevator make sure you leave room for the vertical stabilizers and rudders. Use one servo on each of the rudders for simplicity and strength. Put the rudders behind the props if you use the wing extensions.

The skid makes the plane easy to get in the air.
I have used skids on planes for landing gear since I saw how well seaplanes could take off the grass and snow in the 80s. The skid needs to be well attached. The skid needs to be strong. The skid needs to be slick. The skid can be used to easily hand launch the plane.

The EPP foam makes a good skid if properly reinforced. It has the ability to be a shock absorber. It is very strong for it's weight. It is not slick so a surface has to be applied to the bottom of the EPP skid to make it slick. We like to glue a piece of common 2 liter pop bottle to the bottom of the skid with Goop adhesive. This not only makes the skid slick but adds strength as it wraps around the curve at the front.

The skid has to hold the nose of the Hercules up at an angle that allows the plane to take off without rotation.

The back of the skid makes the perfect grip for hand launching. When the Hercules is in your hand the plane balances on CG and you have a solid flat surface on the back to wrap your fingers around.

The skid has to be in front of the CG (center of gravity) or the plane will flip on landing. The sweep of the wing would put the twin skids too far back for stability unless they poke out the front of the plane.

I used 2" wide Velcro to attach the skid to my plane because I wanted to be able to easily change the skids during beta testing. It was also nice to be able to take it off for the water bottle weight demonstration. The Velcro adds weight and sticks so well it pulls the laminate off of the foam rather than releasing but I like it. I used small strips of Velcro on the front and back of the skid that I wrapped up to the top of the wing for strength. I have also attached a skid by melting dozens of small holes through the laminate and Extreme tape with my soldering iron and hot gluing the skid in place. The skid is under the battery compartment adding strength to the bottom of the plane in a potentially weak area.

Spars
We only used 6 spars in the plane that flew at 9 lbs / 4+ kg / 18 oz/foot in the videos to show the spar strength. We include 8 spars in the kit so you can modify the spar system how ever you need to to fit your camera equipment motors and batteries. Our Hercules with the extension kit has 10 spars to reinforce the plane.

The spars, Extreme Tape and laminate work together to stiffen the wing and make it one of the lightest and toughest planes available.

Fiberglass spars are flexible and have to be positioned directly over each other to get maximum tension and compression strength. Before you decide where you want the spars glue the wing together and lay out the rudders, your cameras, batteries, motors and radio to help you decide where you should install your spars. Make sure you are looking at both the top and bottom of the plane as you make your choices.

I copied this to this thread and I think it describes our building philosophy.

Why do we suggest you install the radio and batteries after covering the plane?

Many flyers build our planes using more traditional method of putting all of their radio in one compartment.
They install the radio before they cover the plane and cover over the top.
They lay the servos down and hide them in the wing.
I have to admit it is prettier and seems logical.

All parts of the wing structure should contribute to the strength and durability of the plane.
The wing is made from EPP foam that resists crushing
Top and bottom spars create an "I-beam" that is many times stronger than a single spar alone.
Spars add compression strength
Reinforced tape adds tension strength to prevent tearing
The shock cord helps prevent the most common tear in a wing that happens with a frontal impact.
Our strong laminate makes the plane into a uni-body structure so all parts work together.
Our EPP elevons don't break and can bend with the wing protecting the hinge line.

Our years of combat have taught us to make the parts easy to get to and change.
Having quick access to the radio makes it so repairs take minutes not hours.
The plane is stronger and more crash resistant if there is no empty space in the wing.
I build and laminate the wing then go back and cut holes for the servos radio and batteries.
This helps me to judge the CG and get the parts in the right place.
It lets me cut the bare minimum amount of foam out of the wing making the wing stronger.
The radio and batteries become part of the structure of the wing.
I route wires though razor blade slits that cut through the tape and laminate and press in the wires.
I'm careful not to cut through reinforced tape and spars that are needed for strength.
I cover the slits with a clear piece of clear tape over the top.
I tape the receiver in place so I can see the power light and have easy access to bind to the transmitter.
If I have to replace a part, I pull off the tape, replace the part then replace the tape.
I glue the servo in the wing with a hot glue gun rather than gluing mounting brackets in the wing.
I stand the servo up with the servo arm barely exposed on the top of the wing.
I only put glue on the top edges and ends on the servo so I can get it out without cutting the foam.
The servo becomes part of the wing and is very solid without much work.
If I need to replace a servo I use my heat gun to soften the glue and replace the servo.
The pushrods are on the outside of the wing so they don't bind and are easier to install, inspect and service.
I put the pushrod under the servo arm to keep it close to the wing.
I put a staple over the middle of the push rod to keep it from bending and glue it in the wing.
Batteries are protected if the flat side of the battery faces forward rather than an end or edge.
The battery can withstand an extreme hit in this position without wire damage or mushrooming.
This does tend to leave the battery wire to ESC wire plugs on the top of the wing.
Having the battery wires exposed makes changing the batteries simple without weakening the plane.
Our years of combat have taught us to try to make repairs and battery changes as painless as possible.

We are still adding pictures and refining the details but the instructions are fairly complete and can be seen here.

http://www.crashtesthobby.com/index....ntle-Giant-FPV

It takes a lot to break one of our planes but it doesn't take a lot to fix one of our planes. Here are some tricks!!!!

If you wreck a combat plane ...... calm down, eat a sandwich, go to a movie. Do not start ripping off the tape a laminate! Secondary damage of a frantic repair can be worse than the primary damage. The EPP foam will return to it's original cut shape. Rarely is there wide spread damage. A surgeon doesn't rip off all of a patient's skin to fix a broken bone, he makes the smallest hole possible.

If there is a tear or several tears ..... gently pull the tear(s) open farther and use a glue gun at low temperature or gorilla glue or Goop to fill the tear and push it back together and let it set. Make only the smallest cut possible to get access and glue into the tear. decide if the tear needs structural reinforcement so it doesn't happen again. Put 6" strips of reinforced tape across the tear and put laminate over the top. Try to blend it in with the original build.

If the shock cord gets cut ..... It rarely will break but it is possible to get a prop cut that cuts the cord too. Apply a 6" strip of reinforced tape top and bottom over the cut and laminate over the reinforced tape to keep it from breaking down in the sun. Try to blend it in with the surrounding tape and appearance. This usually isn't hard if you are using the same tape and laminate as the original build.

If a spar is broken ..... do not rip out the old spar or start pulling off the tape and laminate. Take a soldering iron and melt a 12" slot through the old laminate and tape along the old spar with 6" on each side of the break and insert a new 12" spar and glue it in place. Place a piece of clear tape or laminate over the repair and no one will notice you even had to fix it. Total repair time, 15 minutes and very little secondary damage from tearing into the plane.

If the Formica is broken ..... and needs to be replaced (sometime you can just add a little glue and forget about it if the crack does not affect the flying or appearance of the plane) or you need access to a broken spar under the Formica cut the laminate and tape on 3 sides barely enough to uncover the Formica hold a hot iron on the Formica and wait until the hot glue releases and lift off the Formica and then do as little secondary damage as possible as you make the repair. This only works if you used a glue gun in the first place to glue the Formica. When the repair is done replace the Formica, iron the flap back down, a little spray adhesive may help and then put a patch of reinforced tape and laminate that blends in with the old surface. If you do this right it is almost invisible and only takes a half hour to make a major repair without ripping into the whole plane.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Hercules from Skywalker (music) FPV (1 min 46 sec)


FPV is regulated and has risks. First person video (FPV) is where the plane has a live down link so the pilot can see as if he were on the plane by looking at a computer screen or through special goggles. FPV planes are being flown higher and farther than ever before. FPV is great but it remains the responsibility of the builder and the fliers to follow local laws and regulations regarding the use of any plane including those carrying FPV equipment.

New electronics are making amazing things possible but just because you can does not mean you should. Planes should not be flown over populated areas or in a way that could put other people or property at risk. Some of the FPV planes are being flown in at altitudes above that allowed for model planes putting them in commercial airport traffic routes. There are restrictions in place already in some areas because of the behavior of a few. Please be courteous and wise with how and where you fly and follow your local laws and regulations. You are responsible for how and where you fly your plane and any damage or risk it may cause. Please be responsible and courteous with your FPV flying.


Crash testing - How do I protect my FPV gear?
At Crashtesthobby.com we build combat planes and we love to wreck them! Our years of combat building and combat flying have greatly influenced this design.

You can't fly if the plane is broken. How many FPV planes have you seen that after a few flights have a crumpled nose and have more tape and glue than plane? The fist aerial photography planes I designed in the 1980s had a high wing with a fuselage. The high wing planes don't crash well. The mass of the fuselages and wings work against each other in an accident and the expensive FPV equipment is at risk. High wing planes get destroyed with an accident that an EPP flying wing can easily handle without any damage. EPP foam has been used in car bumpers. We try to use the foam of the wing to protect our radio and camera equipment.

During flight testing I did hard landings and nose-ins with the Hercules to see if the motor mounts and servos could take the abuse. I have to admit it was kind of fun to push the plane in ways I don't usually fly but I did it because I know you guys will try about everything. I have broken a few props and broke one servo when I cartwheeled the plane and bent a motor mount on a nose dive. I took the bent motor mount off of the plane and easily straightened it. The repair took less than 10 minutes. I never have done any structural damage to the plane that required a repair. The skid is a little scratched up from some of the surfaces I have taken off of. The plane is a little dirty from flying out in the wild and landing in brush, dirt and weeds but it is holding up amazingly well under conditions that would destroy most planes.

Twin motors are flown differently but easy to fly.
The Hercules Gentle Giant doesn't fly any different with the two motors than most planes fly with one. I have been flying with each motor on it's own set of batteries so when batteries start to get low I can hear the props turning at different RPMS and know it is time to land. The Hercules glides so well that landing is easy if you have a little altitude. I try to budget my power so that I land with both motors running but this is is how I fly any plane carrying expensive camera equipment. If one motor cuts out I turn my throttle off then feed in a little throttle so both motors are running at a low speed and fly back to base for a landing. The plane flies at 1/3 throttle so this works if you understand what you need to do.

How to get a heavy plane in the air.
I have had several requests a week from our customers for a bigger plane than our Reaper for FPV. We have also had many requests for a new design from flyers that are having problems with their expensive FPV payloads being damaged during launching. They asked me for some ideas on how to get their planes airborne easily and safely. Their planes fully loaded with batteries and cameras are heavy and awkward and required a fair amount of speed to hand launch. They report having frequent snap rolls on take off and unpredictable stalls with down wind turns. They were asking about bungee launching and were concerned that they were adding one more obstacle to overcome. Most FPV flyers are intermediate flyers, many are beginners and need a simple gentle plane that can be flown by a newer pilot.

We designed the Hercules to be easy to get into the air.
It can take off pavement, grass or snow. It can also be hand launched without diving out of the hand or snap rolling at low speed. The back of the skid is at the CG and has a perfect grip for launching. The Hercules is so stable that I can hit the throttle and it will take itself off. It doesn't have the tendency to snap roll on take off because of the front mounted motors on a delta design and it's fantastic ability to fly slow without stalling.

Wing Extensions for the really big jobs.
Before we had the first prototype built we already had flyers requesting an extension package to increase the wingspan of the plane. We have a kit with extensions that comes with two 6" extension that can be used together or alone to make your plane even bigger. These extensions are constant cord wing extensions that will leave the front of the plane flat for better FPV equipment and viewing and add about 1-2 square feet of plane to the wing. Extra spars and laminate are Included in the extension kit. I would recommend adding an elevator servo on the wing extension section to maintain the constant reflex across the back of the wing if you use the larger extensions to improve the glide and slow speed flying. Keep each wing tip elevon (with aileron elevator mixing) at 25% of the wing total span. The inside 50% of the control surface at the center of the plane would be elevator only.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:07 AM
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Ken shot a lot of the video you have seen. He edited this video from some of the other videos. Thanks Ken for your help.

#11 Ken's Hercules editing (music) 6-10-11 (3 min 33 sec)


Should I use conventional elevons or split elevon programing with autopilots?

I went flying yesterday and spent most of the time flying my two Hercules. The 66" is still set up with the elevons and the 72" is set up with the mixed elevator/elevons. Without having the pressure cameras or many spectators I flew a couple of hours trying to compare the two systems thinking about the autopilot applications on this design because autopilots do not have the programing options to program the elevator/elevon mixing.

If you think about it, the elevator with the two set ups is the same so as far as long glides and loops both have exactly the same function. There is no physical or flying difference. Both designs should have the long glides and slow flight that comes with tip to tip elevator functions controlling the reflex of the wing.

How much drag and yaw increase while rolling with the two different programs is the question. The tip of the wing has the most leverage when the ailerons are used. The middle half of the elevons would still roll the wing but would be inefficient and would create more turbulence and drag. If we only flew with the center 2 elevons there would be a lot of drag and instability. It would take a lot of movement to get a minimal response. This center drag and instability would still exist with the addition of the tip elevons during rolls but the extended tips would take over much of the work.

In the real world, the FPV plane will not be flown needing high aileron deflection. Most FPV flight is done with the plane flat and level with little more than trim of the ailerons to keep the plane at maximum glide and minimum drag. I doubt that in a slow turn there is a lot of extra drag created.

As I was doing approaches and seeing how little deflection I was needing to get the plane to fly flat I have to say that although the mixed elevator/elevons has the lowest drag, most flyers will not be able to tell the difference between the two programing methods.

I would still set up 4 elevons with 4 servos if I was using the conventional programing. I had a servo fail in the testing of the Hercules and was still able to land the plane with only 3 elevons. I would put a "Y" connectors paring the two right and also the two left servos and then run the pairs as conventional elevons.

Option one for flyers without internal transmitter mixing or pilots using an auto pilot.

An idea from one of the flyers on how to mix the 4 elevons for FPV if you are restricted by the auto pilot output.

Buy an after receiver mixer http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4170 or http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4072
Buy two "Y" connectors http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4072
Plug one "Y" connector into the elevator output on the receiver
Plug one end of the after receiver mixer into one side of the elevator "Y" connector
Plug the other side into the aileron output

The two outputs on the mixer will be the elevons on the wing tips of the Hercules

The second "Y" connector will plug into the first "Y" connector on the elevator and run the two elevators in the middle of the wing.

Should work!!!!!


Option 2 for those with transmitter mixing.

FOUR SERVO ELEVON MIXING FOR THE HERCULES ON A SPEKTRUM DX6i TRANSMITTER


We have come up with the following mixing combination. We will help you step by step.

If you have a different radio than a DX6i you will have a different programming sequence but this will hopefully give you the concepts you need to program your radio. The goal is all of the surfaces move up and down together with the elevator and only the tips will move for ailerons.

We have split the elevons half making four small elevons for the following reasons:

1. We want the aileron or roll movement only on the wingtips where it is the most effective and doesn't destabilize the wing and cause increased drag.

2. We want elevator movement across the entire wing so that the wing does not have any "dead areas" without reflex on the elevons.

3. Can the plane can be flown with a four channel radio with the R/L tip elevons used as ailerons and the inside surfaces would be the elevator?

This set up would work but would create a significant increase in drag and a decrease in lift. If this were done the tip ailerons would need to be trimmed slightly up to create some reflex at the wing tip. I would adjust the amount of reflex until the elevator and tip elevons are reflexed the same amount after the plane has been flown and trimmed.

4. Can the plane be flown with two elevons instead of four in a more common set up?

This would also work but the center of the elevons would create drag in aileron rolls. You would see an increase in yaw in turns and rolls.

1. Install the each of the four elevon servos in wing

1. Install each servo close to the center of each of the elevon they will control.
2. Make sure they are in a place where the push rods will reach.
3. Do not mount servos directly behind the motor where split rudders may be installed.
4. Servo arms should point towards the wingtips except for the R center elevator.
5. Connect the 2 inside servos with a "Y" connector.
6. Add servo extension wires as needed so the outside servos can reach the receiver.

2. Plug the servos into the receiver in the following order.

1. R tip elevon is plugged into the receiver #6 that may be called Aux #1 or Flap
2. L tip elevon is plugged into the receiver aileron plug.
3. R mid elevator and L mid elevator are Y connected together and move together.
4. Plug the elevator "Y" connector into the elevator plug on the receiver.
5. The elevator servo arms have to be on opposite sides of the servos to move properly.
6. I have my L mid servo arm aimed in and all the rest of the arms aimed out.

3. Go into Wing Tail Mix

Dual aileron - Activated
V-Tail - Inhibit
Elevon - Inhibit

4. Go into Mix 1

Scroll and set the the options as follows:
Elevator + Flap - Activated
Rate D +100% U +100%
SW - ON Trim - Activated

5. Go into Reverse (Servo Reversing)

Throttle - Normal Aileron - Reversed
Elevator - Normal Rudder - Normal
Gear - Normal Flap - Reversed

6. Go into Travel Adjustment

The servos will move different amounts because of the mixing. This is how I tuned mine in so they all moved the way I wanted. You may need to tune your radio differently. The aileron and elevator adjust normally but the flaps adjusts the up when you move the R transmitter stick to the side and down when you move it up/down.

Aileron Left - 75% Aileron Right - 70%
Elevator Up - 60% Elevator Down - 50%
Flap Up - 90% Flap Down - 70%
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:09 AM
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Build an aerodynamically clean plane.

I was surprised at how much difference the GoPro made when I flew with it and without it during testing the other day. I have been comparing it on other planes and realize the flat front to the GoPro is not only a brake but leaves a trail of turbulence behind it. As we got discussing this the thought came up that if the GoPro is causing this much change in the way the plane flies what about all the rest of the stuff we have poking up and out of the wing. I have left all the wires exposed and I am sure all of the FPV equipment takes it's toll. I try to picture those little air molecules hitting my cameras, radio, plugs and wires and imagine where they go after the collisions and wonder how much lift I am loosing because of the laminar flow disruption as the air passes over the wing. It isn't a pretty thought. This is true of all wings not just this one.

Michael Sieleg who is the designer of all the S/D airfoils reportedly added a "air trip" to one of his planes that significantly changed it's performance. His trip was only a single piece of cellophane tape along the arch of the airfoil. If his little strip of tape makes a difference to the lift what about all the irregularities in the surface and equipment we are flying with. If this is true, even the holographic tape I am using may make a difference in the airfoil as the air hits the edge of the tape. Maybe I should run all color patterns front to back for maximum lift. Maybe we should pay more attention to building battery and radio hatches and how we set up our gear. If we want maximum glide we need a clean airfoil.

We often forget the Bernoulli principle when we do our modifications and if it will stick we try to fly with it there. I think that we also need to pay special attention to cleaning up the airflow. Any disturbance is going to come at a cost of performance. In FPV there is going to have to be some things poking up to do the job but keep it to a minimum.

#7 Hercules Bloopers 5-14-11 (3 min 11 sec)
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:12 AM
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This video shows the vertical decent ability of the Hercules in turbulent wind.

#9 Hercules - Sunset in the wind - Bloopers 6-2-11 (2 min 56 sec)


This video shows the Hercules towing a glider.

Hercules kills glider (2 min 44 sec)
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:31 AM
Bugs!!!!!!!
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Price, availability?
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:43 AM
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Just for fun from Wikipedia

After designing and building and testing the Hercules Gentle Giant I happened to see a show on the military channel that rated the B2 Stealth Bomber as the #1 weapon design of all time. What I found interesting is that many of the features of the FPV Hercules Gentle Giant are also features of the B2 Stealth. I would have loved working on the design of that plane with that kind of a budget. The B2 Stealth bomber is a wide delta design, It has split elevons. It has four motors but in twin cowlings that are not on the back of the plane. It has a good forward view. It is rock solid stable and has a gentle take off and landing. It can carry an extreme amount of weight for a very long distance. It isn't the fastest plane in the arsenal but it can get places other planes cannot with a heavy payload without being seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcX9LbR4pqc

There are many things that are not the same like the B2 Stealth cost a little more and takes a crew of hundreds for each plane. Total cost of each B2 stealth, including development cost, is over 2.87 BILLION DOLLARS PER PLANE!!!! ($2,870,000,000.00 each) The US government bought 21 of them. With all of the money they used in research and development and production, this design is what they came up with. I promise our kit does not cost that much!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igdlz4kedsM

The scale speed of the Hercules to the B2 Stealth is impressive. I admit I like to play with numbers to manipulate the facts.

The B2 Stealth can fly at 630 MPH and cruise at 560 MPH. The Hercules Gentle Giant (with the basic motors) has a speed of 75 MPH with a cruise speed of 65 MPH. The scale speed of the Hercules would be 2190 MPH if it flew the same speed for it's size (scale comparative speed) and was the size of the B2 Stealth. It would be flying at MACH 2.85. the B2 weighs 158,000 pounds and can carry a payload 40,000 pounds. The Hercules Gentle Giant weighs 4 pounds and can carry a payload of 5 pounds. In scale the Hercules Gentle Giant would be able to carry 197,000 pounds if it had the wingspan of the B2. Scale cost of our kit, if it cost as much per inch of wingspan as the B2 Stealth bomber, would be $91,987,000.00 per plane, of course that would be built and sky tested. See what a good deal we are offering!!! (:-D) I love the B2 Stealth and saw one flying over Lake Powell years ago. What a great plane design. I don't like the cost but the rest of the plane makes it the worlds best!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VerT3YLbeBU

We can't forget the YB49 either.

The Flying Wing (1 min 0 sec)
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:51 AM
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THE OLD AND THE NEW (See pictures below)
As I thought of how I would design the new plane I got thinking about a plane I designed and built in 1986 that can be seen below. It met many of the design goals we have for the new flying wing. That skinny guy with hair doesn't look too bad!!! I have kids older than he is. Little does he realize he is going to lose most of that hair and gain a few pounds but luckily he maintained his good looks 25 years later!

I cut my 1986 Super Delta from solid blue foam. It had a 72" delta wing had tricycle landing gear with big wheels and with the 60 glow motor would take off in less than 10 feet on grass. I cut it down to 66" because it didn't fit in my economy car. I had to lay down the passenger seat and insert the plane through the back drivers side door and put one wing up over the passenger seat and the other wing sat in the back window. I also enlarged the elevons especially at the tips. This plane flew well enough to be part of an RC airshow. It is one of my 25+ delta designs. I flew it for over 15 years before it died of fuel soaking and hanger rash. It never did have a major repair.

This plane may have saved my life.
I was flying inverted in an airshow (inverted hovering in the wind) when the gas motor died and I had to do an emergency landing and didn't make it back to the runway. The plane ended up landing in the Jordan River than is next to the Saratoga flying field you can see in an old AP picture I took below. I jumped into the river to go get it but the spring run off was colder, deeper and faster than I expected so I was fully dressed and in water over my head. The plane and I were getting carried away by the current. I ended up climbing onto the plane and using it as a kick-board to get back to shore. In case you are wondering... after I dried out the radio the plane was great and flown the next week without other repair. There is a line of trees along the edge of the river so no one at the airshow had realized I had entered the river and nor had seen what had nearly happened.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 08:53 AM
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As I get questions that I think will be asked over and over I am going to answer them in the first posts of this thread so they will be easier to find for reference later.

Here are answers to some great questions we have received.

EPP foam is the best building product on the market, not a down grade. It really is the top of the line. Once you have tried it you will have a hard time ever flying balsa planes again. The EPP planes last and last and can take abuse and still look good. Repairs are almost invisible because EPP foam won't crush but returns to it's original shape. The skilled builder can make an EPP plane as attractive as a balsa plane and it looks good for longer. The warbird flyers in our club admit that our flying wing combat planes get more hours of flight time in their lives than any other plane they have with the least amount of repair and maintenance. It's true .... Our planes are used in combat and last longer than the scale and sport planes. I then asked them which plane cost the least (for it's size) to build......and guess what???? The plane that cost the least was the one that they flew the most, was the most abused, lasted the longest and had the least amount of repair.

The price in the cart includes the plane and the shipping. No additional shipping charge is added.

The Hercules is a big plane and a good deal for it's size. I can cut 9 Assassins or 4 Reapers with the foam it takes to cut one Hercules with 12" extension and skid. EPP foam is expensive. It costs many times more than blue or white foam and it is expensive to ship and more difficult to cut. When I have a cutting wire break or a bad piece of foam or a miscut it costs me a fortune. If you compare our prices (including the parts and laminate) with other similar planes on the market, we offer a great price. We also offer the buy 5 get one free for clubs and commercial customers and those crazy customers who think they need 6 planes. You also save time and money because you would go though a half dozen of the high wing EPO planes during the lifespan of the Hercules. This plane is a combat plane and can take abuse. There are other factors that you need to consider when you figure the cost of a plane. EPP wings offer maximum protection to your radio, batteries and FPV/camera equipment. The kit includes laminate covering that would cost $50+ if you used a comparable amount of Ultracoat. It is also designed to use lower priced 3S batteries, ESCs, servos and lower voltage inexpensive motors. Often the hidden costs are more than the cost of the plane.

Flying with two motors and ESCs is not any more difficult than flying with a single motor and but I will admit the set up takes more time. You do have to learn how to manage the motors and batteries but it isn't difficult. You can use any motor set up you want but we chose to use the twin motors because there are some definite advantages. I love simplicity too but I can't get the clear camera view, performance and ground handling with a single motor. The twin rudders add a great amount of stability to the plane with a rudder behind each motor. In a later video you will see that even with the motors running at different RPM the plane is stable and easy to fly.

Many flyers use a separate servo power supply (BEC) to provide power for their servos. I looked for higher amp speed controls (ESCs) that have the BECs built in. Because of the way the speed controls connect to the receiver the two BECs work together to provide power for the servos. The two BECs combined have plenty of power to run the servos. If you need more power you could set up a separate BEC for more power. Separate BECs are not very expensive and easy to install. I have never had a problem with a lack of power just using the BECs in the speed controls. Many flyers regularly use 4-5 servos on one speed control BEC on a single motor plane. Here you have 2 BECs both supplying power so you should be able to run 8-10 servos if needed. Our design uses smaller servos that use less power than similar sized planes. We can use mini Hitec HS82s because the flight surfaces are smaller so we don't need as much power for the servos.

The plane is fun to fly not just an FPV plane. I will frequently set up and do touch and goes for a whole flight with a few Cuban 8s and vertical 8s, rolls and invert flight mixed in. This plane will do multiple outside loops with a camera attached. Try that with your FPV plane. I have flown trainers that are harder to fly and land at a faster speed and are far less stable on the ground. We were surprised when we shot the video of the Hercules from the Skywalker that the Hercules could fly slower with a heavier load and was much more stable and easier to launch, land and taxi back to base. The Hercules can also fly faster. The Skywalker had a top speed of about 50 mph and the Hercules with 3S batteries was flying at 65-70 mph.

Flight times are excellent. The plane has lots of power with the recommended motors and the less expensive 3S batteries. Look at the steep angle of climb in the videos on take off after the plane was stopped on the ground. All of the videos were shot with 3S batteries. The sky flights in the videos are usually at a half throttle and that is at 4500 feet above sea level where I live. Flight times are always dependent on how you fly. I'm sure if I flew wide open throttle the whole flight I would have low flight times but I can keep the plane up for a long time because it is designed to glide so well. It doesn't take much power to keep it up. I designed gliders and flew them fanatically for 15+ years and what I learned has been used in the design of the Hercules. I know it doesn't look like a glider but she is easy to fly with a load.

The plane is efficient and doesn't use much power. I usually land because I think the batteries should be out or I am hearing the props pitching at a different pitch which may indicate lower power. The early videos were shot with each motor flying on only a single 1300 mA 3S battery. The touch and go video was a single flight and is not several flights spliced together and was on 2x 2600 3S batteries and the video does not show half of the flight time of that flight. Pretty impressive if you ask me especially where I use full throttle more often on take offs than I would in an extended flight. Notice also the glide time on landings on the videos. Watch the propellers in the videos and the long power off glides. This is because the plane is designed to glide and efficient with the power it uses.

I have just received four 4500 mA 3S batteries that I will be able to carry on a single flight. These batteries should last well over an hour maybe two hours or more depending on how I fly and the conditions. This plane flew half throttle in the video carrying 5 lbs of water and battery. If I flew with the same total weight of battery I would have over 25,000 mA of 3S battery power on board for a super long flight.

You saw the plane fly in the wind in the video.
The mountains are windy and the wind was not up the slope but along it which made conditions turbulent. The plane just cut right though. What we didn't show in the video were the hang glider and parasail flyers waiting for the wind direction to change so they could fly. We fly our other combat planes in winds that have been measured at 30+ and I don't see why this plane couldn't do the same. There was also some wind with the Touch and Go video and the plane didn't even care. You need to land into the wind and take off into the wind so there is moving air under the wing but once it is in the air the Hercules doesn't really care.

To fit the Hercules in my Corolla I lay the passenger seat flat and insert the plane through the passenger door and lay it over the passenger seat and put one wing tip in the back window and the other is on the floor in front of the seat. I can transport it this way ready to fly so there is no time wasted at the field putting on a wing or plugging in servos. I put pictures of how i put my plane in my small car in this thread.

The Hercules is easy to hand launch? Notice in the picture of me holding the Hercules that I have an elbow support brace on. Now go look at the video in post #4 of me launching the Hercules with the 4 pound water bottle on the plane. See the elbow brace? I don't have a good throw left because of the elbow but the plane took off without a problem even though it weighed in at 144 oz or 9 lbs or 4+ kg. Watch the other videos where I am hand launching and even when I have the 34 oz trailer ball on the plane in post #2 the plane does not drop but flies up out of my hand after launching. Being a modified delta that can fly so slow the plane resists snap rolls where other planes may be acting more like a lawn dart.

If one of the ESCs turn off a motor which does happen on twin motor planes, cut the throttle and feed back in low throttle and both motors will come back on with enough power to return to base. The plane glides so well that there isn't much difference in having one motor or two. I do the same thing when flying with one motor. We send two rudders in the kit and it greatly improved the stability of the plane when there is unequal thrust.

I got caught off guard one time when I had a motor cut out on a touch and go when I hit the throttle and was climbing out and it did spin in. This is where having a combat tested FPV plane is beneficial because all I did was break a prop.

4S batteries add a lot of power to the plane The C3530 KV1700 motors are rated to fly with 4S lipos and our airframe is strong enough to handle the added power. The plane would have enough power for vertical climbs. I would use 4S lipos if I was going for the altitude record which I think this plane could hold. The ESCs have to be capable of managing the 4S battery, I would make sure my servos were rated for the added power and make sure my BEC is working properly but it would be no different than with a single motor plane.

The plane has a lot of room for your FPV gear. As long as you don't make the plane tail heavy you can put it anywhere you want. We fiberglass spars instead of carbon fiber spars so you won't get radio interference from the plane itself.

I don't recommend a specific FPV set up. Go to the RCG threads and read what other people are doing and equipment they like. The technology is advancing so fast that I don't dare to put a recommendation because the technology is changing so fast and there is such a wide range of equipment available. One of the companies that has consulted with us on the Hercules have a set up option that costs over twenty thousand dollars and other flyers are up and running for a few hundred. How you set up your plane will need to be based on your need, skill, and wallet.

We use EPP elevons.
If you haven't built one of our planes before the way we build our elevons may confuse you. When you get them in the box you will think that there is no way they will be stiff enough. After you put two layers of laminate on them they will be almost as stiff as balsa with several major advantages. #1. they don't break in combat. #2 The hinges don't tear because the elevons and the wing flex with the same tension. #3. I can install them in a few minutes and don't have to do my least favorite job of cutting hinge slots. #4. They look good because they are the same color as the wing. #5. They are thick enough I stab a hole with my hobby knife clear through the elevon, poke in the horn from the bottom, and glue it in place without using a back plate or screws. We use more conventional coroplast rudders and fins.



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Last edited by Lee; Jul 25, 2011 at 04:02 PM.
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