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Posted by Watty | Oct 09, 2016 @ 12:10 PM | 1,536 Views
While deciding what to bring to the Horizon Indoor 2015 event, I got the crazy idea to put floats on my UMX Radian so I would have something to fly off Spektrum Lake. Unfortunately, other things took priority, so I didnít complete the float installation until early January 2016 - which isnít a great time for flying off water in New England. So, initial flights were in a sports dome and off snow. I was finally able to try flying off water during some unseasonably warm days in early February, when we had a lot of rain and large puddles at our flying field.

The float setup works well. The plane has taken off from artificial and real grass, snow, and water, so I guess it truly is an amphibian. Being slow, it can be flown in confined areas Ė possibly a large swimming pool if you are lucky enough to have one handy. The primary shortcoming is there isnít a lot of excess power with the stock motor. The plane requires a strong battery Ė a 200 mAh battery works best. The UMX Radian is very light and the wind can flip it over easily when on floats, so should only be flown off water in calm or light wind conditions.

I call the plane a Radiam, for Radian Amphibian. Early flights can be viewed here:

UMX Radian on Floats (3 min 37 sec)

My float installation uses a single center float and two outrigger floats. The center float is from an E-flite UMX Carbon Cub Float Set (EFLUA1190). The built-up outrigger floats are made from 1 and 2 or 3mm Depron sheet. The...Continue Reading
Posted by Watty | Jan 03, 2013 @ 09:26 PM | 4,912 Views
My first blog entry describes a method to make thin Depron sheet similar to Durobatics from readily available 1 mm Depron sheet.


In late 2007, I designed a small aileron, elevator, and throttle airplane around the radio system from a Park Zone Minium Cessna 210, and a more powerful GWJ 7mm Gearbox w/SS Blue motor from Bob Selmanís BSD Micro RC. The fuselage was built up from 1 mm Depron and a few pieces of balsa and plywood in high stress areas. The symmetrical airfoil wing consisted of a balsa root rib, tip rib, and a balsa spar covered with a single piece of 1 mm Depron wrapped around the leading edge.

The model flew satisfactorily and would perform basic aerobatics, but it was clear the wing was much stronger and heavier than needed, thus performance suffered. So, I decided to see if I could lighten the design by thinning the 1 mm Depron sheet wherever possible. Most of the weight in the 1 mm Depron sheet is in the skins, so removing one of the skins reduces weight significantly. I developed a simple method to machine and sand the 1 mm Depron to a thickness of about 0.025 inches. I used this material to build the next version of the plane, called the TinE Dancer V2. Performance was much improved due to the lighter weight. This plane is shown in Photo 1, alongside the PZ Cessna.

I received many positive comments about the plane, its flying characteristics, construction, and materials I made it from. More information and a video can be found...Continue Reading