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Old Mar 26, 2013, 11:23 PM
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United States, OH, Cincinnati
Joined May 2009
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Build Log
Scratch Built Micro Pylon Racer

Hi Everyone,
I am a student building a micro foamie for my senior thesis in college. Some more details about all of that can be found in my previous posts here and here.
I wanted to design a plane, and needed a purpose behind it to make it a real project. I got some feedback from the community and noticed that pylon racing was a larger interest then I had imagined and was really intriguing. I decided to take this and run with it, and address pylon racing at the micro scale, to be available at both an entry level and simple position. I wanted to communicate a design aesthetic that blended some key interests from my initial survey, scale historic and military planes. What this evolved into was the idea to revitalize the "Muscle" of out aeronautical past in the way that the auto industry has done with the mustang, camaro and others.
All of this came down to a lot of concepting and sketching and I arrived on this final design. I just built my second iteration, and I'm going to get some local club members to take it up for me to really validate the design. I'll be updating this thread with more process as i continue to design and tweak. I'd love to have your feedback and impressions as well!
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Old Mar 26, 2013, 11:36 PM
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United States, OH, Cincinnati
Joined May 2009
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Started from my sketches and took it into solidworks to model.



Split, programmed and ran on 3D mill.



How it comes out of the mill. (this was my first attempt and cracked it a bunch trying to pull it off.)



Busted Carbon Cub I got on ebay that I trashed for parts while I was waiting on the stuff from hobbyking.



First iteration using the UMX Cub stuff. Had poor hinges since I hadn't done it before.
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Old Mar 26, 2013, 11:42 PM
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United States, OH, Cincinnati
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Second iteration complete, waiting for a nice day to maiden! Changed my rear surfaces to depron foam and reinforced with carbon fiber rod.



Front view.



Quick and dirty bottom paint job.



What my desks look like right now.
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Old Mar 26, 2013, 11:59 PM
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United States, OH, Cincinnati
Joined May 2009
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Features and parts as of now.
Motor: Hobbyking 3000kv Brushless Micro
Rx: Orange R415
Servos: HK Ultra-Micro 1.7g
ESC: Turnigy 6A
Battery: 2S 180Mah 25C
Material: 5lb 2in Blue Insulation Foam

A super short clip of some slower flight on the maiden of my first iteration. My camera man had never really shot anything like this before, so the footage is a bit rough.
Thesis Flight Test Clip 1 (0 min 15 sec)


Would be interested to hear any any all feedback you might have. Thanks!
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
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Looks great!

Nice that you took the CAD CAM approach both because it demonstrates useful skills on the computer and CNC equipment rather than craft skills and also because it is a successful design that can be duplicated and iterated not just by you, but in theory by anyone with access to the files and hardware.

In other words, the method of fabrication is as important as what has been fabricated.

And yes, shooting good video is hard. I am currently using a BushHawk shoulder stock and a BSA aiming device with two cameras mounted on a tray. One shooting 4X slow motion SD and the other 1080p HD. I'm hoping the aiming device will eliminate what I call ping ponging, where the aircraft is never really centered on the screen, but bounces around from edge to edge.

Looking forward to seeing more!

Pete
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Joined May 2009
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Thanks!
I am taking it to a local club field this weekend to get some vets to fly it and tell me what they think for better validation. Hopefully I will get some good video from all of that.
As of now I have contacted a local expanded polystyrene molder who is willing to work with me after graduation if I wanted to get molds built and sell it. If that doesn't play out I will definitely release the plans out if anyone has the means to reproduce it. But that is a bit down the road and I have a lot of adjusting still to do.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 09:46 PM
No worries... it can be fixed.
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Joined Jun 2012
134 Posts
Solidworks for designing airplanes- my bro! I've never tried making patterns for foam, though... just balsa frames, which are sketchy... I'd love to know how you sketched the airfoil cross-section. I usually find a list of coordinates for the desired planform and use curve through xyz points, but that can be kind of tedious.

More on topic, it looks like a great flier. If you were to sell and extruded version, hell, I'd buy it.
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Old Mar 27, 2013, 10:12 PM
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United States, LA, New Orleans
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Cool Jimbo!
The shape reminds me of one of the few purpose built Reno Racers.
I can't remember the name of it.

Before long we may have Nation wide Micro Racing.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 07:57 AM
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Kingston, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
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Some of the midget reno racers from the 60s would make good candidates. This is one called Rivets I'm working on trying to get some interest going for indoor flying. Most were the T tail version but this an earlier conventionl stab. These will be flying in close proximity so need to be built very tough for midairs. EPP foam would be good but just for kicks I'm making this one from Pool Noodle foam. Not good looking but very tough. I ran a small carbon tube up the middle for rigidity as this stuff is very flexable. Pretty much the same radio system as your using but with the smaller 4 channel micro rcvr. Just some food for thought.

Gord.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:41 AM
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United States, OH, Cincinnati
Joined May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billybobjoepants View Post
Solidworks for designing airplanes- my bro! I've never tried making patterns for foam, though... just balsa frames, which are sketchy... I'd love to know how you sketched the airfoil cross-section. I usually find a list of coordinates for the desired planform and use curve through xyz points, but that can be kind of tedious.

More on topic, it looks like a great flier. If you were to sell and extruded version, hell, I'd buy it.
Haha, I LOVE solidworks. It took me awhile to get the hang of more organic shapes like in this one but it was worth it. I can put up some process shots of how I made everything in a bit when I am back in studio. Basically just a series of complex loft operations and then stitching it together. I'm still hoping I can garner enough interest to possibly make the investment in molding worth it. Wouldnt mind running a nice little side business right out of college.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by series57r View Post
Cool Jimbo!
The shape reminds me of one of the few purpose built Reno Racers.
I can't remember the name of it.

Before long we may have Nation wide Micro Racing.
After I designed it I found the Critical Mass racer which it shares some attributes with, but I think is still a different beast entirely. I think micro racing is really a cool concept, it would give a younger marker more incentive to learn and join the hobby at a buy in price that is much more reasonable. I'm excited by hobbykings racing league that they are starting up, seems pretty similar to what I'm looking at here.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
Some of the midget reno racers from the 60s would make good candidates. This is one called Rivets I'm working on trying to get some interest going for indoor flying. Most were the T tail version but this an earlier conventionl stab. These will be flying in close proximity so need to be built very tough for midairs. EPP foam would be good but just for kicks I'm making this one from Pool Noodle foam. Not good looking but very tough. I ran a small carbon tube up the middle for rigidity as this stuff is very flexable. Pretty much the same radio system as your using but with the smaller 4 channel micro rcvr. Just some food for thought.

Gord.
Looks pretty sweet! did you hand carve the shape of it by hand from the noodle foam? I really love the look of the old air racers. They are so quirky because the field of aeronautics was so new. No one really knew what was going to work best, so they tried everything.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 02:09 PM
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United States, LA, New Orleans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo137 View Post
After I designed it I found the Critical Mass racer which it shares some attributes with, but I think is still a different beast entirely. I think micro racing is really a cool concept, it would give a younger marker more incentive to learn and join the hobby at a buy in price that is much more reasonable. I'm excited by hobbykings racing league that they are starting up, seems pretty similar to what I'm looking at here.
Wasn't Critical Mass. that was built from a Sea Furry I think.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Joined Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
Some of the midget reno racers from the 60s would make good candidates. This is one called Rivets I'm working on trying to get some interest going for indoor flying. Most were the T tail version but this an earlier conventionl stab. These will be flying in close proximity so need to be built very tough for midairs. EPP foam would be good but just for kicks I'm making this one from Pool Noodle foam. Not good looking but very tough. I ran a small carbon tube up the middle for rigidity as this stuff is very flexable. Pretty much the same radio system as your using but with the smaller 4 channel micro rcvr. Just some food for thought.

Gord.
Wonder if I can squeeze a Whitman Buster(goodyear) out of Foam Plates.
I have a new project!
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 03:56 PM
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Kingston, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
13,175 Posts
Yes it's hand carved, much like many of the midget racers back then that were hand built from scratch.A buddy and I built a Reno Racer called the Furias about 10 yrs ago. This one is powered with a Quadra 200, 24 hp racing motor. We built it for a race in this area but a month before the race, it was canceled
Nearest race then was at Reno Nevada. It's 109 in. wingspan and weighs 65 lbs. Here's the wing test. I think I'll stick with the smaller ones, not quite so much work.

Gord.
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