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Old May 09, 2004, 09:32 PM
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Naperville, IL
Joined Jan 2001
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Push-E-Cat to Push-E-Cam

Thought I'd share a few pictures of my new A/P plane that I finally had a chance to successfully fly this morning. The plane is a rework of a Push-E-Cat. The planform is virtually the same. The tailboom is a carbon fiber arrow shaft, and the main fuselage is a 2" cardboard shipping tube (thanks, Sparky Paul).
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:35 PM
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Naperville, IL
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The tail feathers are 1/8" balsa. Covering on the wing is 3M77 and colored packing tape. The fuselage, nosecones, and horizontal tail are covered in transparent yellow Ultracover, while the vertical fin is Monokote.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:38 PM
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Naperville, IL
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Nosecones are built up from 1/16" balsa. The length of the tube fuselage was determined by my desire to be able to use 500AR, 600AE, and ~ 1800 mAH AA NiMH 8 cell packs without adding ballast. I can also remove the motor and slope fly the plane with a 720 mAH (AA) NiCad receiver pack.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:48 PM
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Naperville, IL
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All flights so far have been at Greene Valley Forest Preserve. I had a brief flight (~10 seconds) last Sunday. I had used Radio Shack rare earth magnets to secure the battery hatch to the tube fuselage. The magnets were separated with 1/16" balsa and couldn't develop sufficient force to hold the hatch in place. The hatch came loose and flew into the prop. The motor mount broke (I had a safety to tie the motor to the airplane) and the prop cut a gash in the wing and also broke a wing hold down dowel. The battery hatch continued aft and knocked off the vertical fin. In spite of the damage, the plane landed well. I repaired the damage and the battery hatch is now held on with tape and velcro. Flights today were in winds of 14 MPH gusting to 23 MPH. The wind was too strong to slope fly with the 500AR pack. The 1800 mAH AA NiMH pack provided more ballast and between powered flight, thermals, and slope lift I managed a flight of ~20 minutes. The landing was all I could handle in the gusty winds and I decided to call it a day while the plane was still in one piece.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:51 PM
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Naperville, IL
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The motor mount is made of basswood formed around a length of aluminum square tubing from a Slow Stick. The basswood is epoxy glued to a .060" aluminum mounting plate for the motor. In this picture you can see the snap swivel that is cable tied to the aluminum tube (safety strap). When the battery hatch came loose, the epoxy bond between the basswood and aluminum plate failed.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Naperville, IL
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I'm using an AXI 2212/26 brushless outrunner. The speed controller is a Castle Creations Phoenix 10. I had to extend the stock PEC motor mount to accomodate a larger prop. Today's flights were with an APC Slowfly 9 x 4.7. Most of the time, the plane was able to overcome the wind, and the climb rate is very adequate. This is a heavy plane - 21.7 ounces without battery pack or camera. The 1800 NiMH packs weigh in at 7.7 ounces and along with the Aiptek SD at 2 ounces results in an A/P flying weight of 31.4 ounces. I had hoped that with the modified fuselage I would be able to match the original PEC weight of 30.5 ounces with a camera on board - maybe on version 2.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:55 PM
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Cool!
post some AP pictures soon!
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:57 PM
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The camera is held in position with velcro at the 1/8" balsa bulkhead and also a velcro strap at the mounts open end to keep the camera from shooting forward on my less than elegant landings.
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Old May 09, 2004, 09:59 PM
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Naperville, IL
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The camera mount is a light friction fit in the fuselage tube and can be rotated to take pictures from the right or left side of the plane (pictures taken out the right side will be inverted). The wing pylon is a box made from 1/8" balsa with a 1/16" curved balsa front fairing and 1/32" rear fairings.
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Old May 09, 2004, 10:01 PM
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Naperville, IL
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The fuselage tube is attached to the wing pylon with a couple of cable ties. Small pieces of clear packing tape keep the fuselage from sliding fore and aft. I've got heat shrinkable window covering film on the fuselage holes for the camera lens as protection from water, etc. It'll be interesting to see the effect the film has on the pics.

Other equipment:

Hitech 555 receiver in wing pylon
HS81 servoes in wing pylon
WildMoose Camera Switch
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Old May 09, 2004, 10:14 PM
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Very cool. Can you get to your batteries as easy as your camera ?
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Old May 09, 2004, 11:27 PM
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danielsjang,

Thanks. I also hope to take some pics soon. The weather forecast for this week looks good and I plan on squeezing in some flights in the morning before work.


William A.,

Thank You. I wish the battery were as easy to get to as the camera. Currently I access the battery through a hatch. The battery is held in place with a velcro strap. The strap is very clingy to the battery during swapping. Doable but somewhat of a struggle.

I'm considering fabricating a battery tray and making the front nosecone slide out like the rear nosecone/camera mount. I had the CG adjusted to the forward limit with the thought in mind that this would increase stability (good for A/P?). The plane was too stable (somewhat sluggish in turns), and I had to adjust the back stick trim on the transmitter to near its limit. Moving the CG aft may allow me to shorten the nose of the fuselage, and may make the battery tray concept viable.
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Old May 09, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Naperville, IL
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I'm also not completely happy with the camera mount. I've got another plane in the works with much more adjustment:
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Last edited by L Jenkins; May 09, 2004 at 11:38 PM.
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