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Old Mar 12, 2005, 05:50 PM
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Albuquerque, NM
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Small Indoor Freeflight ideas?

I'm just getting into indoor free flight. I've enjoyed it quite a bit. The one problem is that I only have access to a gym once a month. I'd like to be able to fly indoors more often. What I think I need is a small indoor plane that is not too advanced (I'm still a novice) that I can fly in a room just to give me some practice with tuning a model for the best flight. Anyone heard of a model that would meet my requirements? Something like the ready to fly Ikara Butterfly might do the trick, but I really enjoy building, so I'd prefer to find plans or a kit. Thanks in advance!
(I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the indoor and micro models forum. Since the indoor and micro models forum seems to be entirely rc, I thought I'd post here.)
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Keremeos, BC Canada
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Yup, this the place... Check previous posts for recommendations for indoor models. Start with a Peck ROG, quick build, but many trimming lessons to learn from it.

After that, see if you can find Micro-X kits; all good fliers, some take quite a bit of time to build. Do not go for Guillows kits or Peanuts; they are not for beginners.

My opinion only; You don't say where you are from, or whether there are hobby shops/suppliers in your area...
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 08:20 PM
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troy NY
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Ikara sells a kit of a smaller version of the butterfly. You have to build it and it's about a 7" span. I can't recall the name, maybe "Junior". Do a google.
Let us hear about your results of your indoor flying.
Kevin
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 11:04 PM
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Albuquerque, NM
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I've recently participated in the high school Science Olympiad competition, with a model of my own design. Since the rules for Science Olympiad do not allow any planes lighter than 8 grams, after the competition I added a new wing and a new stabilizer, bringing the plane to 6.6 grams. It flys nicely. At this point, I'd like a model that will challenge me and allow me to try some new techniques (film instead of tissue, much lighter balsa, balsa prop, etc). The shops in my area are decent, but don't have most of what I need (thank goodness for the internet...). The Junior (by Ikara) looks terrific. Are any similar models available as plans-only? Below is a picture of my latest indoor plane (the slightly modified version of what I used in Science Olympiad). This picture shows it with the stabilizer from the Ikara Super Bulldog, but I've got a similar stabilizer setup covered with condenser. Wingspan is 17.8 inches, weight is 6.6g, my best flight time with this version of the model is 2 minutes 16 seconds in a 25 foot gym with 1/8" rubber (I was using unlubricated rubber, and was afraid of a break, so I was conservative with the number of turns on the rubber ). Anyway, here is a picture of the the Science Olympiad plane (with my hand badly photoshopped out):

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Old Mar 13, 2005, 01:56 PM
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United States, GA, Warner Robins
Joined Mar 2005
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I'd go with a ministick or Parlor Mite. Parlor Mites and EZB's are available from Micro-X. Indoor model supply sells Parlor Mites, Ministicks, EZB's, pennyplanes, and a whole lot of other stuff. Whatever of those you get, buy some plastic film such as OS film (the lightest and hardest to work with), PPPlastic, Polymicro/Super Ultrafilm, or Ultrafilm. Ultrafilm is the easiest to work with, but is still fairly light. I've used Y2K, so OS film probably isn't terribly hard to use. With a good model, you can get 2+ minute flights in your living room.

The larger model below is what I call the Supermite. It weighs 347 mg and has a span of 11". It just made a new best flight of 10:30 yesterday. The small model weighs 80 mg and has a best flight of 1:47. Span is a mere 3". Both are covered with Y2K (no longer available and now obsolete). www.indoorduration.com has a bunch of info on indoor planes. Anything smaller than about 15" is easy to fly in a living room so long as it's light. The heavier they are, the smaller they have to be to be able to fly in a small room.

Good flying,
Joshua Finn
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 03:18 PM
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Albuquerque, NM
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Jwfinn, thanks for the information. I found indoor model supply's website, and like the looks of the mini stick kit. It'll be a challenge going from a 6.5g Science Olympiad plane to a ministick (maybe too much of a challenge...), but I'll give it a shot. Do you have any plans available for either of the the two models above? Thanks again!
Hiltz
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 12:22 AM
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Keremeos, BC Canada
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Oh, okay Hiltz, I must have misread your post; I assumed that youi were a BEGINNER, rather than an accomplished indoor flyer.

Good work!
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Hiltz,

I haven't produced plans for either of these yet. The little one really isn't that practical at this point, anyway. You can get plans for several of my models over at Small Flying Arts (www.smallflyingarts.com) in the plans section. The ministick and Parlor Mite Mk.I are good ones to start with, especially the parlor mite. Both are capable of 5+ under a high ceiling if built light.

Good flying,
Joshua Finn
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 09:01 PM
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Jwfinn--- thanks for the link to smallflyingarts. The plans are terrific looking (excellent drawings). I'm considering the mini-stick first. By the way on the parlor-mite mk II, how did you get the balsa to curve in a half circle at the tips of the wings without breakage? I've read about different methods, and am curious as to which method you use... (by the way, nice looking built up prop in the latest photo!)
TLyttle--- No big deal at all! It's nice that someone considers me an accomplished indoor flyer! Happy flying (and, if you're an indoor flyer, may your planes avoid rafters and basketball hoops better than mine)
Hiltz
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 09:46 PM
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Hiltz,

Just check over the instructions I included on that ministick. I think they are wrong. Anyway, the wing chord should be 2.5" or less and the span 7" or less. I don't know if I got it right in the instructions or not.

As for the Parlor Mite MK II, the curves are easy to make. Just soak the wood in hot water, then wrap it around a curved surface. Foam is good, medicine bottles work, too. Andy Mitas did a nice job with this Czech design:
http://www.smallflyingarts.com/cgi-b...7826;start=0#0

Beware that although the MKII has a simple structure, it is NOT and easy plane to build. Those wood sizes are intended to yield a plane weighing no more than .25 gram. If you can reach that, you'll be rewarded by 10+ minute flights, but the thing is insanely fragile. You'll have to attach the covering with spray adhesive, but that's not real hard.

The model I showed with the built-up prop is the MKI with a modified tail. It's best flight was 3:50 under a 20' ceiling. But that was long ago when I didn't know what I was doing...As if I do now!

Good flying,
Joshua Finn
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 03:56 PM
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I help along the curving process by rolling over the wet balsa with round pen or kniffe handle, then bridge-pin the part in place over the plan to dry. I do laminations the same way, but with white glue between the lams.

Rafters? B-ball hoops? Goes with the territory, unless you find a hall with neither!
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Albuquerque, NM
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Thanks for the advice about balsa curving. I noticed some talk about the plan for the Scofflaw indoor plane by Stukadave on the smallflyingarts.com forum (link above) and built it. Here is a link to the plan. . Quick build. I used very light wood and a produce bag for covering. Haven't had a chance to weigh it, but I have been able to fly it around the living room. Like the plan says, it's not a competition plane, but it is fun (and provided good practive with stripping wood and working without a miniumum weight). I'll try and get a picture of it up tonight.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Here is a picture of it in flight. That's an Ikara Butterfly prop. I'm thinking of making a lighter balsa propeller, but this is pretty good for now. Flying 1/16th inch rubber (probably overkill, but I don't yet have a rubber stripper).

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Old Mar 15, 2005, 09:26 PM
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United States, GA, Warner Robins
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Looks good to me. Just wait till you build something really light. I guarantee that a ministick weighs less than a 3rd what the scofflaw weighs, but it is less rugged. The main thing is to just have fun, anyway!

TLyttle
On indoor stuff, I don't laminate. Glue=weight=bad times. None of the parts on the Supermite are laminated. I just wrap a piece of wood around a container. It actually works VERY well, so long as the wood is light and thin.

Good flying,
Joshua Finn
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Keremeos, BC Canada
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Absolutely right, Joshua; I never got into indoor competition models beyond Pennyplanes and a few sport models. However, laminating parts for indoor scale sometimes becomes an option. Point was that rolling a strip gives you a headstart on curving it, particularly when it's wet, and allows even thinner parts. Once the wood dries, it usually resumes its original thickness... and strength.
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