SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio

Foam-Tec Wingthing2 ARF Flying Wing Review

Simplicity and low cost team with blistering speed and maneuverability. The result is a pure flying machine from an RCGroups.com supporter that's pure fun to fly.

Splash

Introduction

Foam-Tec Wingthing2 Flying Wing
Wingspan:30" (762mm)
Wing Area:260 sq in (16.8 sq dm)
Empty Weight:4 oz (113g)
Wing Loading:.4 oz/sq ft (105.35g/sq dm)
Top Speed:Approximately 100 MPH (160km/h)
Construction:Hotwire-cut laminated 10mm Depron sheet; carbon fiber and wood reinforced leading edge; carbon fiber reinforced elevon trailing edges; lite ply upper and lower decks; lite ply motor and servo mounts; strapping tape reinforcement strips
Center of Gravity:4" (101.6mm) from the point of the nose
Servos:Hobby People HP-D11M digital metal geared
Transmitter:Airtronics SD-6G six-channel spread spectrum
Receiver:Airtronics 92264 six-channel spread spectrum mini
Battery:Pro-PACKS 1050mAh 3S 35C lithium polymer
Motor:MicroDAN 2505-2900Kv outrunner
ESC:Suppo SP-40A
Propeller:APC 5.5x4.5 Speed 400 with Motrolfly 3mm collet
Operator Skill Level:Advanced
Manufacturer/Available From:Foam-Tec, 5217 71st Avenue East, Puyallup, Washington 98371 USA
Price (USD):$25 for the bare airframe; $30 with servos and elevon hardware; $35 with servos and hardware installed

Sometimes, you just have to fly.

Of course, any model aircraft will fill the bill, but there comes a time when one doesn't want to fuss with a scale or semi-scale model. The thought of just yanking and banking while ripping a high-speed hole in the sky as opposed to, say, pattern flying, grips all of us at one time or another.

When that fever hits, here's the cure.

It's the Foam-Tec Wingthing2 flying wing from Foam-Tec in Puyallup, Washington USA. It's an almost dirt cheap way of fulfilling one's desire for high-performance fun in a model that takes up almost no space in the trunk of one's car.

The Depron, carbon fiber and wood Wingthing2 is the creation of Dan Burdick, a model aviator since 1960 and a big supporter of this site. In fact, Dan sells them right here at RCGroups.com in various levels of completion.

The sample I received is the basic airframe at only US$25, but Dan sells the Wingthing2 with a pair of nine-gram servos for only $30 and those same servos installed and ready along with the elevon hookup hardware for $35. All one needs from that point on are the rest of the onboard electrics. Each version comes with nylon control horns, CA hinges and a preassembled, laser cut motor mount.

What's more, the Wingthing2 looks like something a major distributor would be proud to sell. There's nothing rough-hewn or homemade-looking anywhere on the model, making the price all the more remarkable.

Even though it sells for mere pocket change, the performance potential calls for some top-drawer equipment.

Mike Greenshields of Global Hobby Distributors in Fountain Valley, California not only came through with an Airtronics 92264 six-channel mini receiver, he asked in return if he could send me a couple of new servos. They're the new 11-gram Hobby People HP-D11M high power, metal geared digital micro servos which, at 42 oz-in (3.0Kg/cm) of torque, will have no trouble whatsoever moving the elevons at any speed.

A couple of Dan's sources came through with the rest. Kevin and Andria Henrie of RCPlaneBuilder.com in Lake Point, Utah sent over a Suppo SP-40A 40-amp ESC and a pair of their own Pro-PACKS 1050mAh 3S 35C li-pos complete with preinstalled Deans-compatible connectors and a charge rate of up to 5C.

The piece de resistance came in the form of the motor.

Dan highly recommended the MicroDAN 2505-2900Kv delta/flying wing outrunner from Daniel Sny of GoBrushless.com in Ellenboro, North Carolina. This is a no-nonsense, no-compromise motor, handbuilt and machined virtually from the ground up and backed by a lifetime warranty. The motor I received from Daniel was one he built just for this review and is such an incredible item in its own right that I'm writing a separate review. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Motrolfly 3mm propeller collet in the box from our good friend Ken Young at SubsonicPlanes.com in Omaha, Nebraska. I've had the distinct pleasure of working with Ken on other reviews and he's come through with crunched speed and current draw numbers (not to mention equipment) on many an occasion just for the asking.

Speaking of which, the claimed pitch speed with the recommended APC 5.5x4.5 standard rotation prop is a screaming 114 MPH (183.5km/h) with a claimed actual top speed of about 100 MPH (160km/h).

Best buckle your seat belts. Even though there is no instruction manual, none is needed. This is going to be a fast build and an even faster ride!

Kit Contents

The basic airframe is still well equipped. It comes with:

  • Painted and assembled wing with preinstalled lite ply upper and lower decks, carbon fiber reinforced leading edge and round wood doweling for protection of the underside of the leading edge and to create a semi-symmetrical airfoil
  • Elevons with preinstalled carbon fiber reinforcement along the trailing edges
  • Precut and prepainted outer winglets
  • CA hinges
  • Nylon control horns
  • Preassembled, laser-cut lite ply motor mount
  • Precut lite ply servo mounting plates

To complete the Wingthing2, the following components are needed:

  • Aircraft radio with elevon mixing function
  • Two 11g servos, the stronger the better
  • Two 6" servo extensions
  • 250 - 300 watt brushless outrunner and propeller collet
  • APC 5.5x4.5 Speed 400 standard rotation propeller
  • 40-ampere speed control
  • 1050mAh 3S li-po batteries, minimum 35C discharge rate
  • Motor and battery connectors depending on the choice of electronics
  • Two K&S 2-56 pushrods or equivalent
  • Great Planes Screw-Lock Pushrod Connectors (GPMQ3870) or equivalent
  • Thin foam-safe CA
  • Super thin regular CA
  • CA kicker
  • Tie wraps
  • Velcro strips
  • X-Acto #11 knife and blades or equivalent
  • 1.5mm and 2.0mm hex drivers
  • Small phillips screwdriver
  • Blue threadlocking compound
  • Clear plastic packing tape
  • Invisible Scotch tape or equivalent
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Dremel Moto-Tool or equivalent with a cutoff wheel

Versions sold with the servos either installed or ready for installation already come with the necessary elevon pushrods.

Assembly

Since there's no manual, I set about putting together the Wingthing2 in what I thought to be a relatively logical sequence beginning with the elevons.

Six CA hinges, three per side. Simple enough, made even simpler by the laminated construction when it came to cutting the hinge slots.

The Hobby People HP-D11M servos went in next after some very careful measuring. There's no critical placement area, so I used these photos from Dan's RCGroups page as references:

Here are my own results, with and without the pushrods installed. The servos look somewhat misaligned in these photos, but that's simply an illusion. They're squared off properly:

By careful measuring, I mean the odd angles and curves of the wing made simply squaring off at a reference point difficult to do. If I had it to do again, I'd ask Dan to at least mark the installation locations. Once I was satisfied with the placement, it was once more a case of Model Assembly 101 in cutting the openings for the servos slightly smaller than the servos themselves. The snug fit combined with the factory screws holding down the servos atop the glued-on lite ply mounting strips means the servos are in to stay.

Here are the specs of these little powerhouses:

Weight:.39 oz (11g)
Speed (60 degrees):.12 seconds @ 4.8V; .10 seconds @ 6.0V
Torque:42 oz-in (3.0Kg-cm) @ 4.8V; 49 oz-in (3.5Kg-cm) @ 6.0V
Dimensions:.92 x .48 x 1.17" (23.2 x 12 x 29.5mm)
Catalog Number:119011
Available From:Hobby People, 18480 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, California 92708 USA
Price (USD):$19.99

The careful measuring paid off since the lateral balance was exactly right.

There's a good choice of arms packed with each HP-D11M; I used the longest ones in the bag. The outermost holes needed a bit of hogging out with the X-Acto before the Great Planes pushrod connectors could be installed. The nylon control horns shipped with the Wingthing2 were a bit too tough to open up for the K&S pushrod ends, but a quick reaming with a 5/64 drill was all it took.

Getting the servos centered meant soldering a Deans plug to the Suppo ESC. Though almost impossibly inexpensive, the specs are actually quite impressive:

Weight:1 oz (31g) plus bullet connectors
Constant Amps:40
Maximum Amps:50 @ 10 seconds
Maximum Motor RPM:40,000 w/14-pole motor
BEC:3A
Dimensions:1.8 x 0.9 x 0.35" (45mm x 24mm x 9mm)
Batteries:4-10 NiCd/NiMH cells, 2-3 li-po cells
Available From:RCPlaneBuilder.com, 7283 Adobe Lane, Lake Point, Utah 84074 USA
Price (USD):$17.95

Once more, the weird angles of the wing made it difficult to properly line up the control horns. The right one turned out fine, but the left one was a bit too far outward, though not by much. Once everything was lined up, I cut down the pushrods with my Dremel before the final installation. Foam-safe CA holds the control horns in place and I elected not to cut off the excess from the mounting studs. With the kind of speed the Wingthing2 is capable of, the last thing I wanted was for a control horn to come loose in flight.

The MicroDAN motor was next and I used one of Dan's photos as a guideline. Since the motor is being covered in a separate review, I'll keep it short and say that Daniel Sny's numbers with an APC 5x5 prop are 22,300 RPM at 10.3 volts, 29 amps of current draw and 16 ounces (453.5g) of thrust. No numbers were listed for the 5.5x4.5 prop that Foam-Tec recommends, but those numbers should be fairly close.

Weight with Motor Mount:1.26 oz (36g)
Number of Turns per Pole:10
Wire:23 AWG
Number of Magnets:10
Average Operating Voltage:10V
Maximum Current Draw:38A
No-Load RPM:29,300 RPM
Kv Rating (RPM per volt):2900Kv
Shaft Diameter:3mm
Manufacturer/Available From:GoBrushless.com, 611 Evan Edwards Road, Ellenboro, North Carolina 28040 USA
Price (USD):$54.99

With the aid of an Astro Flight Super Whatt Meter and a Hobbico Digital Mini-Tach, these were the numbers I got on the bench after the model was completed:

Battery Voltage at Start of Test:12.60V
Current Draw at Full Throttle:31A @ .071Wh
Battery Voltage Under Load:10.35V
Propeller Speed:20,730 RPM

I drew an X on the mount with the help of a ruler and drilled out the center of the X in order to clear the rear of the motor shaft. Once the mount was in place with the aid of the supplied washer head wood screws and the 2.0mm hex driver, I slid the assembly onto the wing and secured it by drizzling some super thin regular CA around it. I used a dab of blue threadlocking compound to hold the motor's setscrews in place. Cheap insurance.

From here, it was a simple matter of installing and setting up the rest of the electronics and finishing the build with the installation of the outer winglets, the prop and the brand name Velcro for the battery. Simple, straightforward stuff needing only for some of the paint to be scraped from where the winglets glued to the wing along with some small tie wraps and packing tape to make the wiring nice and neat. Ordinary invisible Scotch tape holds the receiver antenna in place along the top of the wing. Helping to hold the battery along with the Velcro is a new double-sided hook-and-loop tape I'd received from Max Ettinger at Park RC Models in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was one of several spares he was kind enough to send during my reviews of the Skyartec Wasp X3V and Wasp X3 helicopters in 2012. The strip was attached underneath the Velcro on the Wingthing's deck and further fastened down with a spare washer head screw from the parts bin.

Dan's solution was to drill holes on either side of the Velcro and to use a tie wrap set just enough to hold the battery in place. If not for the fact I had that strap on hand, I'd have either followed suit or adapted a similar hook-and-loop helicopter strap.

A few facts on the batteries are in order:

Capacity:1050mAh
Voltage:11.1V
Weight with Connectors:3.2 oz (92g)
Charge Rate:Up to 5C; 1C recommended for longest life
Discharge Rate:35C; 60C burst
Connectors:Deans-compatible discharge connector with JST-XH balance connector
Dimensions:18.8 x 35.5 x 70.8mm
Available From:RCPlaneBuilder.com, 7283 Adobe Lane, Lake Point, Utah 84074 USA
Price (USD):$13.50

Setting up the Airtronics SD-6G transmitter in delta mode was simple. Once I got the elevons moving in the proper direction, I went with 80% total throw with 20% exponential as a starting point.

Dan marks the CG point by hand; a quick measurement with the ruler against the mark showed the CG to be exactly 4" (101.6mm) from the tip of the nose, but Dan told me in a later email the CG is actually 4.5" (114.3mm) back. I'd contacted him because I thought the model balanced tail heavy and some weight was required. With the Pro-PACKS battery as far forward as possible without going past the nose, the CG was right at the 4.5" mark. Lateral balance remained perfect as well.

The completed Wingthing2 has a purposeful look with its exposed electronics and wiring; there's no mistaking it for a scale masters entry. No, this is a model with a singular purpose, namely to go fast.

There's plenty of unadorned Depron and wood to allow for personalizing one's own Wingthing2, but I decided to leave this one out-of-the-box.

Now to find out just how fast this little wing can go.

Flying

I've had experience with pusher prop jets, so even though the Wingthing2 is my first flying wing, I had a good idea of what to expect once it was in the air.

Getting it in the air was a different matter.

Dan told me to grasp it by the leading edge of the right wing with my right hand, throttle up about two-thirds with the radio in my left hand and toss the wing in the air like a Frisbee.

I used to be pretty good with a Frisbee, but then again, I never had to fight the torque of a Speed 400 prop on a Frisbee.

My first attempt to launch the wing saw it take off in a nose-down attitude and bounce to a stop a few feet from me. The result was a broken prop and the loosening of the dowels on the leading edge. With no spare prop or CA on hand, my day was over.

Bad weather, a weird work schedule and the inability to get a videographer lined up conspired to keep me grounded for a couple of weeks. Everything finally came together on a perfect Saturday morning at the Southwest Community Church in nearby Palm Desert. Its huge, grassy overflow parking area shared by the Indian Wells Tennis Garden next door is the meeting ground for Saturday electric flyers thanks to the generosity of the church and the Tennis Garden.

I tried to launch the wing once more with nearly the same result, but no broken prop. Had to be the trim, thought I.

With some up elevator trim, a battery relocated slightly rearward, near-full throttle and a more upward throw, it was "third time's a charm."

The Wingthing2, courtesy of the MicroDAN motor, flew down range faster than any model I have ever flown, drawing gasps of amazement and approval from the other pilots. I have a couple of models capable of up to about 90 MPH (145km/h), but this wing looked as if it were capable of peeling the covering off of them. Ken Alan, my videographer, literally lost it in his viewfinder.

Once throttled back, it still wanted to point the nose down, but a few clicks of up elevator and left aileron had it flying straight and level.

Even at half throttle, the Wingthing2 was almost too fast for Ken to follow. Throttling back a bit more not only made it easy to follow, but showed what a great flyer it was.

Flying wings and deltas are marvelously stable and this was no exception. Simply doing some easy flying across the sky was as much fun as opening up the throttle and watching it blast off.

I didn't want to go all out on a new model with aerobatics, but then again, a flying wing is built for speed.

Ken asked me to bring it in for a landing and the only thing preventing me from landing the Wingthing2 at my feet was too little power and too soon a flare. It gently plopped down a short distance to my right.

Now that it was trimmed, the second flight was much more fun, with a nearly vertical takeoff. This was a flight full of high-speed flybys and vertical climbouts. Never once did I feel the dreaded stomach butterflies sometimes associated with such a fast model. It simply went where it was pointed. No drama, no twitchy handling. Just speed and accuracy.

Unfortunately, my second landing wasn't nearly as good as the first.

I was preparing it for a landing immediately after I noticed a drop in power. Before I could turn to base, the battery dumped and the motor shut off.

There wasn't enough speed to bring it around quickly enough...so the poor little thing wound up gliding right into a small tree!

It came down with little more than scrapes, scratches, an elevon whose CA hinges were pulled out and a slightly damaged winglet, all easily repaired with some CA later on. I could't even claim a bruised ego since the fault was mine, but I will be setting the countdown timer on the Airtronics SD-6G for future flights.

After all, I don't want to do another Charlie Brown performance with a flying wing instead of a kite.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

There's plenty of control surface throw for loops, rolls and inverted flight, not to mention plenty of speed for large, graceful loops typical of this type of flying wing. In short, anyone who's ever flown aerobatics with a wing like this will feel right at home with the Wingthing.

Is This For a Beginner?

Triple-digit top speeds and quick handling don't exactly make for a beginner's model. Low cost and ease of assembly might tempt a beginner into trying to build and fly one of these models, but there is simply no way such a model can be successfully handled by one. As I pointed out, it goes where it's told to go and it will not correct itself.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Conclusion

The Foam-Tec Wingthing2 is proof positive that an expensive airframe is unnecessary to have fun and go fast. It already bears battle scars only two flights in, but these are scars of pride. It laughed in the face of two botched takeoffs and a somewhat embarassing landing while it awaits its next flights. Hangar rash is not an issue and whether or not it's pristine isn't an issue either. No, this is a single-purpose model, one built for raw speed. Should the scars and repairs ever become too numerous, twenty-five dollars gets a replacement. Readers with their own hot wire cutters can cut out their own wings, but unless one who is considering the purchase of one is willing to make lots of wings to offset the cost of the tool, jigs and materials, the Wingthing2 is the perfect alternative.

Two thumbs way up. It's as much fun to fly as anything one can imagine.

Thanks galore to Dan Burdick whose nearly six decades of modeling shine through in this great little model. Daniel Sny of GoBrushless.com hand-builds what are among the finest model aircraft motors on the market for the same price as the mass-produced stuff and the performance shows it.

This was my first experience with Kevin and Andria Henrie over at RCPlaneBuilder.com and I hope it won't be my last. Their Pro-PACKS house brand li-pos and Suppo ESC worked perfectly; the price of those components coupled with their exemplary customer service should place them on any modeler's short list.

One of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of working with in this hobby is Mike Greenshields of Global Hobby Distributors. Mike knows his products well; his Airtronics park flyer receivers work as well as full-range units and the 92264 guided the Wingthing2 without a glitch as he'd promised it would. So too did the Hobby People HP-D11M metal-geared digital servos. My friend Ken Alan took time out of a beautiful Saturday morning to try and follow the wing in flight for the video and then to transfer the raw footage to DVD so that I could edit it.

As always, no review is possible here at RCGroups.com without administrator Angela Haglund crossing T's and dotting I's. All of the efforts of all of the authors and distributors are for our readers who have made this the number one hobby website. Enjoy your stay at RCGroups.com!

Pluses and minuses

Pluses include:

  • Inexpensive purchase price regardless of the level of completeness chosen
  • Easy to assemble, but care should be taken when measuring the servo and control horn locations on the basic airframe
  • Well made
  • Fast and fun to fly
  • Can be customized with lights, paint, decals, etc.
  • The recommended power system is both affordable and of high quality

No minuses were noted.

Last edited by DismayingObservation; Mar 19, 2013 at 02:53 AM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old Mar 26, 2013, 09:44 PM
OFF TOPIC POSTER
Des Moines IA
Joined Dec 2005
4,840 Posts
I would say that the lipos are way to small for that motor and amp draw.
I have the 2800kv version and I don't use anything smaller than 1600mah.
eckace1 is offline Find More Posts by eckace1
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26, 2013, 10:30 PM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,952 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by eckace1 View Post
I would say that the lipos are way to small for that motor and amp draw.
I have the 2800kv version and I don't use anything smaller than 1600mah.
Given the alarming voltage drop and the seemingly early cutoff which put the poor little thing in a tree, you might be right.

I have some larger batteries I can try the next time I take it up.
DismayingObservation is offline Find More Posts by DismayingObservation
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Call it a "review preview."
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2013, 12:02 PM
Registered User
jeffsch's Avatar
Seattle, USA
Joined Oct 2009
899 Posts
Ralph, thanks for another great review.

I picked up three of these last summer and got a bit carried away with the WWI / dog theme on one. Looking forward to building (and flying, of course) another one too.
jeffsch is online now Find More Posts by jeffsch
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2013, 10:17 PM
Registered User
lectroglide's Avatar
United States, WA, Puyallup
Joined Aug 2006
2,240 Posts
the wingthing2 Ive been flying the past year half is dialed in and flys just fine, thier should be no reason to change anything........o
interesting color scheme their jeff
lectroglide is online now Find More Posts by lectroglide
Last edited by lectroglide; Mar 30, 2013 at 11:38 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2013, 11:44 PM
Registered User
jeffsch's Avatar
Seattle, USA
Joined Oct 2009
899 Posts
Nothing if not visible!
jeffsch is online now Find More Posts by jeffsch
Reply With Quote
Old Apr 16, 2013, 10:16 PM
Ala Flying Dude
Ala Flying Dude's Avatar
United States, AL, Prattville
Joined Jun 2012
20 Posts
Recieved Wing thing 2 Today

HI all John in Montgomery AL,

Recieved my 1.st wt2 today well packaged. Paypal accepted , very fast Shippment. Hellva plane for $35.00 VERY well /sturdy, Ive got assorted edf's warbirds,12 planes.


I opted for the $35.00 version well worth it to have the Maker set it up.

Just attach the winglets ,elevons, put your favorite electronics in. . Turn an burn. Guaranteed. Ill pick up a few more over the next few months .while their being made. Keep in mind these are hand built one at a time
at Wing MAnthing2's cave . In America,,,, Cool. Soome of my friends built similiar ones,,,,,,,crap!.
They flew, but didnt look cool an look fast and never saw 100mph,,,

I guarantee your flying buds will ask you how you made it? LOL.

It is built very sturdy, you can tell the builder built it with lots of experience. and attention to detail.

Ill review after flying,,. I was 1 inch from buying the Multiplex Fun jet. I Like German made. I have 2 EDF Twisters 70 MM.

I decided 90 mph + would hurt a lot less for under $ 95.00 compared to a $250.00 or better for a Fun jet on a crash an burn.

Tks Wingthing dude Keep churning them out IF you need the speed fix this will do it, Guaranteed.

JOhn Thats NOT the WINGTHING 2 , ITs a MP "Twister" 70mm Turn an Burn.
Ala Flying Dude is online now Find More Posts by Ala Flying Dude
Last edited by Ala Flying Dude; Apr 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM. Reason: need another pic
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale Foam-tec wingthing2 pkg deal lectroglide Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 1 May 05, 2013 09:19 PM
For Sale FOAM-TEC Wingthing2 servos installed lectroglide Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 17 Dec 04, 2012 09:23 PM
For Sale Foam-tec wingthing2 now with servos! lectroglide Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 6 Jul 17, 2012 01:49 PM
For Sale Foam-tec wingthing2 taking orders lectroglide Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 14 Jun 07, 2012 09:44 PM
For Sale Foam-tec wingthing2 carbon special lectroglide Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 11 Apr 03, 2012 02:57 PM