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Old Sep 24, 2012, 12:02 AM
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United States, WI, Prairie du Chien
Joined May 2012
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FFF Wing Maiden Flight!!!

Hi All,

I just wanted to check in with my experience building and flying a wing from fan fold foam as ScottFlight described in this thread.

I build mine using Ownes Corning Foamular Underlayment board. This is 1/4 pink foam with a thin plastic membrane on one side. This seemed to work fine. I just made sure to build it with the plastic on the outside as it seems to bend best with the plastic on the outside of the bend.

For a power system I used 3S 1300mAh LiPo batteries, a 22Amp ESC, and a EMAX CF2812 brushless motor with a 7 x 6E prop.

Evidently this motor is a fair bit bigger than the one suggested in the plans because even after cutting in and mounting the motor way forward I still needed to add a good deal of weight to the front to get the CG at 7" from the tip.

I took it out for a maiden flight this morning and promptly smacked it into the ground. I taped it up in the field and tried a couple more times before getting a barely controlled flight and really digging in. I decided I was still tail heavy and it needed more reflex so after applying packing tape, hot glue, some reinforcing foam and more weight in the nose I went back out this evening.

It flew much better. Actually, it was awesome!!! :) I have never flown a wing before, actually have never flown anything other than my HZ Champ and GWS SlowStick so nothing with ailerons! It was hairy until I got the trim tabs adjusted so it would quit trying to roll constantly but once I managed to find the slider on my radio and move it about 3 clicks it was awesome. Fast! OMG! :) I managed a few nice big ovals at about 3/4 throttle then went to WOT and made a couple more ovals before I managed to lose it in the sun for just a fraction of a second. Evidently during this fraction of a second it rolled over and when I went to pull up I drilled it into the ground with a smack! :) I was a little bummed to crash it but I learned a ton doing this and am in the garage now getting ready to start cutting foam to make a new wing! All the spendy bits seem to have survived the crash so I am hoping to be flying again by mid week!

Have a great day!
DD

Couple of crash pics. Wish I would have taken some pics before I crashed it. It was pretty spiffy. :)
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 12:24 PM
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United States, FL, Palm Beach
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Originally Posted by ckreef View Post
Last week I ordered the motor, lipo's etc.... for V3. UPS has them scheduled to deliver on Tuesday

In the meantime I went ahead and wired up the LED harness. Not exactly the color scheme/configuration I wanted but I used the LED's I had laying around. I then temporarily installed it on V2 to see how it would look. When I install it in V3 I will cut a few of the wires shorter and a few wires will be installed inside the wing.

Below is the LED harness, and pictures of the top and bottom of the temp install.
hmm, US Border Patrol might shoot it down thinking it's a Mexican spy drone

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Old Sep 24, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Danville, GA
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Originally Posted by viper522 View Post
hmm, US Border Patrol might shoot it down thinking it's a Mexican spy drone
LOL never thought of that I did want to have some blue LED's in the mix but didn't have any laying around.

When I had a 32" wing decked out in lights I was flying at a local elementary school one night when the cops showed up. They had already gotten a few calls about strange lights flying around. I landed and showed them what it was all about. When they realized we weren't vandalizing the school they were kewl with it. They sat in the patrol car for a while watching it fly and then took off and left us alone.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 08:01 PM
IFO's are planes too
atone1's Avatar
Petersburg, Va.
Joined Dec 2008
432 Posts
Dialing that Cg in?

Hey Def- Damage,
From the looks of it you have Cg issues.
I use the old flying wing Calc from this site to figure Cg position. http://fwcg.3dzone.dk/
Here's how I use it, as some might not be adding the elevons in.
Wingspan - from outside to outside of wing.

Root - middle length from point (nose) to trailing edge (back) of elevons including the motor cutout parts. Run a strait edge down the back (TE) of each elevon so you can measure from the nose to the middle of the elevon intersection point.

Tip cord - Measure from LE to back of elevon on the outer part of wing.

Sweep - the degree of sweep that your wing's LE has.
Click the dialog box and change from distance to degree.

Cg Position - 20% works great.
Now click the update button and the Cg distance in the right pane is the Cg distance from the nose.
Just thought you might need to know exactly how to use that Calc.
I like to use this one and it's been dialing in the CG for me for years.
Use whatever method you like but the CG needs to be right and give the elevons a little up to help stabilize the wing.
Didn't see anything wrong with your wing build so Cg is my best guess of it not pulling out of a dive. Now high speed dives can over power the elevon's servos and make them useless. Some people like to reduce their elevator travel and use cheap weak servos which could also lead to the wing not pulling out of a dive.
Again tail heavy CG still leads to the ole death dive scenario some times.
I try to stay away from those powered dives as they look cool, but don't all ways turn out good.
Good luck with your next build as I found these wings get better each time I build one. Ya, take the picture before you fly it, so you can remember what it looked like new.
Al.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
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United States, FL, Palm Beach
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dang I got the wrong stuff at Lowes. I thought it was supposed to be cheap, so I bought the $12 1/2x8x4 sheet without thinking. Right next to it was the folded 1/4"x50' bundles - for $43 though!! fffffffffuuuuuu.......
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 02:02 AM
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United States, WI, Prairie du Chien
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Originally Posted by viper522 View Post
dang I got the wrong stuff at Lowes. I thought it was supposed to be cheap, so I bought the $12 1/2x8x4 sheet without thinking. Right next to it was the folded 1/4"x50' bundles - for $43 though!! fffffffffuuuuuu.......
Hi,

I was disappointed that I had to buy a whole bundle to build this wing, but I am feeling okay about it now since I am having fun with this, currently building my second wing and see building a couple more and using the material for other wings also.

If you do want to build a foam plan more on the cheap check out the videos from Ed on his youtube channel: ExperimentalAirlines

In his videos he explains techniques for building what in my opinion are awesome planes from DollarTree foam board which you can get for about a buck a sheet. You could build several of his plans minus power systems for what a bundle of fan fold foam costs. I picked up some foam board from DollarTree and have started experimenting with his techniques. His Axon or NoobTube design will be my next project once I get thing wing flying for sure.


Have a great day!
DD
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 02:10 AM
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United States, WI, Prairie du Chien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atone1 View Post
Hey Def- Damage,
From the looks of it you have Cg issues.
I use the old flying wing Calc from this site to figure Cg position. http://fwcg.3dzone.dk/
Here's how I use it, as some might not be adding the elevons in.
Wingspan - from outside to outside of wing.

Al.
Hey,

Thank you for the advise. I appreciate you taking the time to explain this. I am well into building a new wing now. It's all built actually as of last night. I just need to install the power system. I am thinking I will move the motor forward another inch and see if I can reduce the amount of nose weight I had to add to get it flying well before. I had about 4oz of metal under the battery. If flew well like that just seems like less weight would be a good thing esp. if I want to be able to fly it a little slower. I will definitely see what the cg calc suggests also.

Will post some pre-maiden flight pics after I get the power system in tomorrow night.

BTW Has anyone tried mounting the motor on the front of one of these wings?

Thanks again and have a great day!
DD
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 09:46 AM
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United States, FL, Palm Beach
Joined Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by DefiniteDamage View Post
Hi,

I was disappointed that I had to buy a whole bundle to build this wing, but I am feeling okay about it now since I am having fun with this, currently building my second wing and see building a couple more and using the material for other wings also.

If you do want to build a foam plan more on the cheap check out the videos from Ed on his youtube channel: ExperimentalAirlines

In his videos he explains techniques for building what in my opinion are awesome planes from DollarTree foam board which you can get for about a buck a sheet. You could build several of his plans minus power systems for what a bundle of fan fold foam costs. I picked up some foam board from DollarTree and have started experimenting with his techniques. His Axon or NoobTube design will be my next project once I get thing wing flying for sure.


Have a great day!
DD
Hey thanks Def, that's a great collection of DIY videos.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 12:22 PM
IFO's are planes too
atone1's Avatar
Petersburg, Va.
Joined Dec 2008
432 Posts
Hey DD,
I did the math for you on a bundle of FFF.
1/4" x 48" x 50' total amount of foam you get in a bundle.
The bundle is folded into 25 - 2' x 4' pcs.
$43 25 = $1.72 per 2' x4' pc.

2 pcs of foam to build a 48" wing $3.44

Build a bunch of wing shells and sell them to pay for your FFF.
You should be able to get around 12.5 wing shells, so get busy.
Wing shells ( a complete flying wing ready to install parts).

I like to use the 1/4" thick foam so no carbon rods are needed to stiffen the wing.
A simple pc of tapered foam standing on edge does the job. Gorilla glue and packing tape handles holding the two wing sections together.
This is how I look at my bundles of FFF I keep in stock.
DT foam is good too but I use FFF to get the 2' x 4' pcs.
I'll have to try some DT foam.
Al.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 07:42 PM
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ckreef's Avatar
Danville, GA
Joined Aug 2010
824 Posts
Over a year ago I bought 2 bundles of FFF on sale (price was right so I thought I would stock up). I have gone through one bundle already and now I carefully regulate my use to make sure the second bundle last. Once you move up to the 60" wings they take 4 sheets from your bundle. It goes quick.

If you fly your wing really hard then crashes are a reality and complete rebuilds are in your future. they are tough but they don't last forever.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 08:41 PM
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DD I took your suggestion and started my DT foam board build. Still needs motor mount and winglets, then RC components of course. Used the 1/2" blue sheet I bought in error to shape the airfoil, plus it's a lot stronger than the strips of white foam board stacked up, so it doesn't require a spar (for low loads, at least).
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Old Oct 01, 2012, 10:40 PM
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United States, WI, Prairie du Chien
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Originally Posted by viper522 View Post
DD I took your suggestion and started my DT foam board build. Still needs motor mount and winglets, then RC components of course. Used the 1/2" blue sheet I bought in error to shape the airfoil, plus it's a lot stronger than the strips of white foam board stacked up, so it doesn't require a spar (for low loads, at least).
Wow. That looks really good. Please keep us updated. With pictures.


Thanks
DD
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 12:08 AM
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United States, WI, Prairie du Chien
Joined May 2012
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FFF Wing Maiden Flight!!! Now with crashing & losing. :)

Hi All,

Reporting in with further fan fold foam wing adventures. As described in my recent maiden flight post my first attempt at building and flying a flying wing was quite thrilling but ended with my wing pretty well smashed.

I immediately set to work building a new wing which I finished and took out for a maiden flight this past Saturday afternoon. At first I had too much reflex but by keeping the throttle low it was controllable and I was able to land and make an adjustment. I sent it back up and was flying nice big circles around the field. From my first attempt at this I had learned, keep it out of the sun, keep it close, keep very focused on orientation, and rock back and forth if uncertain which wing tip is up.

I was pretty jazzed to be flying this thing and pretty much at the edge of my ability flying this plane. A couple times I got a little out of control but my fingers did the right thing and got it back. I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to land and regroup for a minute and decided one more time around the field. For some reason I decided at the last second to make it a figure 8 and broke my keep-it-close rule. I was just about around the far part of the 8 when evidently I lost orientation got upside down then attempted to pull up and drilled in.

Now this is where it gets interesting. I saw the plane go into the trees on the edge of the field and I heard it hitting branches. I saw that it came down in line with a power line pole but I wasn't sure how far into the woods it was or if it came down in front of or beyond the power pole. I thought I knew right about where it was and that it would be easy to find. Well. It wasn't where I thought and it was not easy to find. I looked until dark then went home and had supper and put the kids to bed then went back out with the dog and a good light and absolutely beat the bushes looking! The hobby budget is tight so I am not about to lose good parts. After a couple of hours in the woods I decided to call it a night and try my luck in the morning. Before I left I went back to the spot I was flying from and decided it must be a little farther up the bluff than I thought.

When I got back out at the crack of 9 the next morning I was heading along the side of the field on my way to start looking and THERE'S MY PLANE! In the top of a tree right on the side of the field and about 150 yards from where I was heading off to look for it!!! It was so strange seeing it there where it "shouldn't" have been. It was in plain site, if I had had my wits about me at all when I crashed I would have found it in two minutes.

It was easy enough to see what I had done once I went back again to the spot I had been flying from. From there two power poles were visible. One prominent one at the far NE corner of the field and one barely visible in the trees north from the corner of the field. The plane went down in line with the barely visible pole to the north. While I was cussing and looking at the ground where I was walking, heading towards the NE corner of the field this pole dropped out of sight behind the trees. When I looked up the only pole to be seen was the prominent one in the corner of the field so apparently my sleep deprived and adrenalin addled brain decided this must be the pole.

Anyhow, it all ends well. The plane was hardly damaged, just a little dent on the LE on one side and a couple small cracks. Tape and hot glue and I am flying again. I'm getting the hang of flying this thing now. I've logged two perfectly successful flights since recovering the plane and I'm having a blast with it.

Actually. Building, flying, crashing, searching, finding. It's all been pretty darn fun.

Thanks
DD
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 12:47 AM
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United States, SC, Irmo
Joined Mar 2012
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Its like playing golf. They never land where you think they do. Glad you found it. I've still got one out there somewhere and never found the motor from another one. Came off in the crash.
Tom
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Danville, GA
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Originally Posted by DefiniteDamage View Post
Actually. Building, flying, crashing, searching, finding. It's all been pretty darn fun.

Thanks
DD
Wings are not easy to fly, they require complete attention, total throttle management and a decent amount of aileron skill. I would say you are doing good flying a wing at this stage of your flying experience. Two things I could mention:

1) Planes always seem to crash closer then you think. (at least mine anyway)

2) Next build I would not make such a deep cutout. In my experience that makes them very pitch sensitive. Add weight or better yet a larger battery to make CG.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The motor I bought for V3 of my 24" MicroWing was not appropriate for 3S even though a reviewer thought so.

Later this week I will purchase another more suitable motor. Just trying to find the lightest 3s motor out there in web land. I think I found something suitable at 29g.

Meanwhile I have been flying my V2 at both the club field and my front yard. She does need slightly bigger ailerons to get the riffle rolls I am use to. If you can deal with very active throttle management she would easily fly in a large indoor venue.
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