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Old May 28, 2002, 05:20 PM
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Timmy's Avatar
Ogden Ut
Joined May 2002
331 Posts
DJ aerotech Roadkill

I was thinking of getting one of the roadkill series planes but I was going to ask if any one has had any problems with them? Are they good fliers? Also I fly in my street and was wondering if they are pretty durable or do they break pretty easy?

Thanks
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Old May 28, 2002, 06:03 PM
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Joined Dec 2000
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They are extremely fragile! A hard touch or a litle push breaks the plane. Especially the wings are fragile. Most damage happened to mine during transport and on the workbench.
But, it's a very nice design and a good flyer, although not especially slow. Depending on the size on the gymnasium it's a rather exciting experience. My Zero weighs RTF 70g. YMMV

Achim
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Old May 29, 2002, 07:07 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,430 Posts
I'd agree with Achim. I built the Spitfire and it is fragile. Some people have used CF rod down the side of the fuselage to stiffen it. If I had it to do again, I would use the laser cut fuselage sheet as a template to cut out a 1/2 inch thick bead foam slab. Sand it to a taper at the tail, and then skin it with two 1/32 contest grade balsa skins and and plank the top and bottom perimeter with the same. I used this technique for my Fokker Dr1 fuselage (still under construction, see my site below). After sanding to smooth everything out and reduce weight a bit more this results in a very light semi-profile fuselage that is not all flexible like a Road Kill fuselage. Paul Bradley, noted builder of profile planes, wrote in this month's AMA magazine that a friend of his has been using this foam core technique as well. One other advantage is the servo that is placed in the middle of the fuselage can now be recessed in with only the servo arms protruding, which looks nicer (best to do this before skinning).

In general from what I've read, and my own experience with the Spitfire, the WWII road kill planes tend to fly somewhat fast with wing loadings that are not exactly low. I think this is not as much of a problem with their new WWI planes (which I think would still lend themselves to the foam core fuselage technique). I'm thinking about bringing my Spitfire out of semi-retirement and fitting it with two of the 135mAh LiPoly cells. The voltage of two of these cells should be similar to a 7-cell pack of 120 NiMH, but should dramatically reduce the wing loading since two of them would weigh about 19g less. I haven't calculated what the wing loading will be yet, but it would have to be better.
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Last edited by Gordon Johnson; May 29, 2002 at 08:54 AM.
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Old May 29, 2002, 07:28 AM
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USA, FL, Fort Lauderdale
Joined Feb 2002
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Gordon,

I have also been thinking about thick profiles, just enough to hide the gear. Hadn't thought about foam though, could you give a better description of the type of foam you used?

Dave W.
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Old May 29, 2002, 08:52 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
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Dave,
It's just some slabs of that expanded bead white foam that came with something I bought and I saved it. I don't know if it is heavier or lighter than, say, blue foam because it's the only foam I have. A hot wire would cut it cleaner than my knife. Sanding it tapers it at the tail pretty good. It's not perfectly smooth when shaped, but I've found it doesn't matter because when skinned that's all covered up. I wrote down weights for my Dr1 as I made it. I'll look them up and post them. Also, to glue the balsa on I use 3M Photo Mount spray which is either lighter or comes out in a finer mist than 3M77. I mist it on from about 3 feet above the foam in just the lightest dusting. It's heavy and doesn't take much at all (the hardest part is to make yourself use very little glue). One other thing, start to finish on the fuselage took less than 30 minutes. A couple of pictures of the fuselage are on my Dr1 page.

Technically, there is some foam in this plane, just not Depron, and not where it can be seen.
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Last edited by Gordon Johnson; May 29, 2002 at 08:56 AM.
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Old May 29, 2002, 09:26 AM
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USA, FL, Fort Lauderdale
Joined Feb 2002
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Gordon,

Thanks for the info. Until I get a better idea of what size & weight limits are, I would rather not spend alot of time on a built up fuse.. 30 minutes sounds good to me. I guess as long as the foam can't be seen it really isn't harmful.

Dave W.
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Old May 30, 2002, 07:46 AM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Boston, Mass
Joined May 2001
6,430 Posts
Dave,

See my Dr1 thread. I've put weights there (not complete yet)
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