Starship from Depron - RC Groups
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Jan 21, 2010, 05:11 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Build Log

Starship from Depron

Designed in the 1980s by Burt Rutan using groundbreaking composite materials. There was a long time-lag between the first test-flight and the final approval by the FAA. About 50 were built by Beechcraft and the price was very close to a Leer jet. Only a few were sold and, today 5 are still flying. Bob Scherer maintains one of these and he says it flies like a meld between a magic carpet and a Mercedes. He is completely committed to keeping this beautiful plane operational and I have been infected by his enthusiasm.

I have built 2 from balsa, crashed the first one by a classic pilot error, but not before I had caught the bug. Here is my my build thread. The second one is still active and it's a real joy to fly.

Now I want to see if I can build one from depron. All help and advice will be gratefully received. With building from foam I'm quite a newby.

And here issome inspiration
Last edited by nickchud; Jan 22, 2010 at 03:08 AM.
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Jan 21, 2010, 05:44 PM
What goes up, must come down
crazy1pilot's Avatar
wow looking great

Jan 21, 2010, 05:52 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
For this model, the design uses a lot of help and advice received from the Canard forum. I've used basically the same plans that I drew for the balsa version. But this time I'm going to miss out rudders, flaps and the sweeping canard. I might try landing gear though.

Jan 21, 2010, 06:28 PM
Warbirds Lover
Dreamcatcher's Avatar
Hello Nickshud,

I really like this Rutan's beauty !

I'm happy that some one works on an R/C model of the Starship and it seems you make a good work, congratulations.

Beautiful fly-by video of a Starship flying over California desert, thanks

suscrived !

Best regards

Jan 22, 2010, 04:07 AM
Registered User
michaelghammer's Avatar
Another cunning plan by Nick Chud!!!

Looks good so far. Should be a really nice flyer with the weight reduction the depron should provide.

- Michael Hammer
Jan 22, 2010, 07:38 AM
Clear for Take-Off!!!

Brilliant once again. Keep us posted on the build. Are you building the foam Starship off the original plans you have posted for your wood version?
Love the thread so far!!!!

Manish in Dexter
Jan 22, 2010, 09:15 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Many thanks to my old friends, good to hear from you again.

With apologies to all those who work in feet and inches, here are the plans I'm working from... Possibly, the 2lb auw restriction will rule out landing gear. Never mind, I've got my bungee, for which, thank you Michael.

I've got to go and buy some thin ply to reinforce that tail fin now.



PS. Near the end of the build, I will update the plans and add tracings for cutting the 2mm sections for the skin.
Last edited by nickchud; Jan 26, 2010 at 08:17 AM. Reason: PS
Jan 22, 2010, 10:07 AM
SG Talon... Super Genius.
I think you will find that with the right building techniques, it will be easy to stay under 2lbs. When it comes to foam lighter is better.

Using tape may add a lot of weight though.

One of the things that i do to help with weight when building is eliminate internal structure where ever i can. A carbon tube is stronger than any structure you can build with foam and much lighter once you figure in the glue/tape and all of that.

I am a BIG fan of Rutan and i even have a SS1 with WhiteKnight all designed and ready to build. Just no time for building.
Jan 22, 2010, 10:31 AM
Registered User
You really get a lot done Nick and there is always something new and different!! I will be watching here and learning as well. May I suggest a good grade of canopy glue used as contact cement. As used on my three surface depron glider, all joints were coated and left to soft dry, then the model was assembled in less than five minutes. Charles
Jan 22, 2010, 10:51 AM
IFO's are planes too
atone1's Avatar
Hey, great build you have going on there.
I thought rolling pins were only used for
biscuits and baking.
Be looking for the finished ship.
Jan 22, 2010, 11:30 AM
'Cobra Fan - P-39 & P-63
Rengine's Avatar
Awesome build subject - Rutan is the king of aircraft design....imho

Looking really great can't wait to see it flying....
Jan 22, 2010, 01:22 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Many thanks for all the advice and encouragement! Especially the Super Genius. I avoided CF tube as not quite purist enough! I do have some planned for use in the wings.

Charles, I've got some UHU Por, which is contact cement, but it bothers me to use contact glue as you only get one chance to align everything right. I'll just have to be more careful. Even on foam, the hot glue gets cold before I'm ready with anything more than a small area.

There's no end to what you can do with a rolling pin. We English use them, with a pair of scissors, to keep the lawn looking nice in Summer time. Unless there's something more interesting of course.


Jan 23, 2010, 07:28 PM
If it flies, I crash it!
dlazarus6660's Avatar
A quick story. In the '80's I was employed at Raytheon, which owned Beechcraft at the time. A Starship 2000 was brought to Manchester, N.H. airport and any Raytheon employee with a badge was invited to view the Starship up close and allowed to 'peek' inside. It was an awsome site to see an all glass cockpit. It was there for three days and each day around 5:00 pm(EST) a demonstration flight was made.
AND what a sound it made!

Jan 24, 2010, 07:18 AM
let it fly!
EWo_Ge's Avatar
First and formost: I'm a big admirer of Burt Rutan's designs. This man is one of the greatest geniuses in aviation history! A man not only with a vision, as well one to make his visions become reality!
Some years ago I've seen a tv show on Discovery about the Starship. It was actualy inspired by one of chase planes during the Space Ship Project. It's been used as such, because of it's wide envelope in respect to altitude and range of speed.
All I can say about the thing is: IMHO it's one of the most beautifull and advanced designs since there are airplanes!
It's great to see, that someone is taking on the challenge to build a RC version of it.
I hope, it will fly as great as it's shining example.

Good luck,

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