My little folding Ritewing Zephyr
I decided to make topic on my build, so that everyone can comment or maybe tell me when i'm doing something wrong :P
I've built balsa planes a long time ago and some tiny foam planes recently.
This one is my first wing.
So far, the build dvd has been helpful as well as the Ritewing build thread, however there's no real complete manual and how to build these things, and is probably aimed at people who already built a few wings.
Anyways! This wing looks cool and I hope my build will work out, look decently good and fly well
It's going to go slow because I have many other real life imperatives (even thus i spent a lot of time on forum *cough* from work *cough*)
3 spars instead of 2!
A spar with outter tube (for joining) before installation
All 3 spars installed, with a tube to join the wings (its very strong, i'm quite happy about how this turns out)
Note that the spars are in fiberglass, its flexing a lot better than carbon before breaking and also let radio signal go through. A good part of the outter tube (3-4cm) is actually going into the wing.
The area where the 2 inner tubes are joining, are not in the center of the wing, but slightly left. meaning the point with the most pressure has no rupture.
split the motor mount, cut the space for it and glue it there. (the 2Nd part of the motor mount will be screwed onto it when mounting the wing every time)
Last edited by jimbob00; Apr 25, 2010 at 05:05 PM.
be ready for a long read
the's wing's in 2 parts without a blunt nose.
there are the 2 internal fiber spars you get with the zephyr, plus one additional in front
the motor is a hacker A30 mounted on ritewing U mount. the U mount is cut in half in the middle, each part in one wing. the motor is held by the 4 screws of the mount, nothing else.
To have the spars and the mount lined up properly you need to assemble the wing on the wing bed and have stuff lined up as properly as possible. Make sure your motor mount is aligned: mount the motor on it with the screws! it's important to get this right
then dismount the wing while the glue dries or the spars will glue to each other (guess how i know that..)
i added a bit of plywood to the sides of the motor mount, which goes deeper inside the wing (sliced with t sharp blade). that's because when you crash hard the EPP could rip off.. I haven't found a better solution for this. if you don't crash too hard, no problem, this solution is enough (it can take a serious beating)
next, the balance and center of gravity:
i've put the servos as much as i could in front, then installed the receiver, osd, etc. there's one "box" on each wing in the center (leave enough space so that you dont fragilize the center of the wing)
once you've all this placed you can choose where to place your batteries exactly. mine are very very much forward, mounted in "V", one on each wing in serie. each is a 2250mah 25C 3S battery
i have barely a centimeter of foam. that's not very strong, so i've put 2 carbon tubes inside the foam in front - not large ones. glued with epoxy. so they'll never move.
next! I used riteweave on the complete center section the wing, glued with 3M90 using the ritewing method. it covers the inner part of the wing too (make sure it's very plane so that the wings assemble fine later), and as large as the battery bays (so the batteries are inside the fiber-reinforced slots)
the front tip of the wing is truly indestructible as this point. you could crash right into a tree at full speed and i doubt it would even bend. I had crashs nearly like that.. lol fiber+carbon tubes = crazy strength.
next, the winglets. I used hobbyking's nylon screws, approx 6mm wide. i cut them so they're not too long and bought metal nuts that would fit the screws aren't standard from HK, at least ones i got so i had to sand them a bit. Luckily you'll get better ones, but at HK it's often out of stock so i just took what i could. i made 2 holes on each wing side, properly aligned of course (test fit everything before you make the holes). Put the nuts inside the holes and glued with epoxy 5min again. make sure theres no epoxy going inside the nuts!! you've to put enough glue so that they hold strong, so there will glue a bit inside, use some kind of tissue or whatever you've got to clean it up before it dries. make sure they're properly aligned when it glues.
the winglets are very strongly fixed, unless you crash rite on the winglet you shouldn't have any trouble.
Next! laminated the wing using ritewing technic. You might want to read up on that and paint it first (3M90 layer, paint layer, let dry, 3M90 layer, laminate). Use the iron without a sock, at medium/high temperature (test on scrap first) or the laminate does not look good. everything is laminated. Make sure your servos are in place before you start (no, i didnt do that one wrong this time)
Batteries are held by strong HK velcro. There is nothing on top of them, and they're flush with the rest of the wing. In case of crash, they will pop out no matter how strong the velcro is. that's some kind of safety, they just pop out and the dean plugs get unplugged if the shock is strong enough, that way the rest of the electronics are safe.
The camera is taped on one side of the wing, it's not exactly straight in the center, but I don't feel any difference in flight.it flies off on crash . if you were to use a pan servo, you should probably mount it elsewhere or move one battery a bit on the side to leave enough place for a strong camera mount. (don't forget to balance right/left, even if its not as important as the center of gravity, it is annoying if it's not equal)
The wing assembles very well, and flies very well. Better than I thought, probably because it's a ritewing, rite?
The final weight ready to take off is around 1.4-1.5Kg which is pretty light.
Split in half, i put the wing in a sport bag which has some bubble plastic inside. Already traveled across countries with it, no damage, and it's very light to carry. Carried it through some real planes without troubles, although i always get asked what's inside and usually, pilot jokes about how his plane is .. bigger. lol.
Finally, there's one dark point in my wing, the motor mount doesn't resist big crashes when the wing separate. you may want to velcro both wings together to add strength (tape will just break if you crash hard), or maybe find a better idea. I thought about making a custom aluminum mount, but my friend who said he could do that for me kind of cancelled that offer (grr!)
I'm not sure a velcro mount would be enough for the motor since it's a very powerful one.
That said, if you don't crash hard like I happen to sometimes, it's still stronger than most mounts you find in regular wings...
The wing itself is indestructible. Seriously.
For the assembly time, it takes approx 5-10min. Most of the time is due to screwing the motor in the mount. Screwing winglets takes a minute, joining the wings 10s. there's a couple of wires going from one wing to the other for the electronics, too.
I type everything straight from my head, so i hope this is complete enough to help. I can probably post build pictures a bit later when I find them!
Here's 3 for now (i painted over the lam, but i don't recommend it too much):
(i painted those nylon screws black since !)
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