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Jun 04, 2011, 05:53 PM
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My planes

Interested in building your own electric r.c. model planes?

I started from scratch in 2002, knowing nothing and already aged over 50. Like most others, I began with a Ready-to-fly trainer. Something like this is easy to fly, not too easy to break. At 55" wingspan it's big enough and slow enough to give you a little time and it won't break the bank.

Don't try your first flight on a windy day! After fetching it from people's gardens, climbing up trees and trudging over fields, I finally managed to stay airborn till the battery ran down. Wahoo!

Pretty soon more excitement was needed. Sticking with the not-too-easy-to-break theme, I went for a Zagi flying wing.

That also took a little time and a lot of exercise before it was tamed. Then came the need for some of my own creative input. This time, laser cut balsa kits were purchased, eg from Stevens Aero or Mountain Models.

A great deal of building, retrieving and repairing has ensued. As the flying skills improve, exercise for me reduces while exercise for Paddy increases.

I hope you enjoy my model flying story.

Last edited by nickchud; Dec 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM.
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Jun 28, 2011, 06:03 AM
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Ivan Pettigrew's plans

Great man!

He has been known as low-tech Ivan, though I see he does nowadays accept that brushless motors and lipo batteries are an improvement. From my point of view, I see him as the maestro for plans of interesting planes, easy to fly, very low wing-loadings. Reliable. Find him here and here on RCGroups. He has a great many fans around the world.

Against Ivan's advice, my first venture was his MiniCat. Not mini as I see it at 84" ws, it hardly fits in the car. Some of his models are easier to build and the floats being right at the end of the wings are prone to catching in the water occasionally. Even so, I'm delighted with my plane. she had her maiden flight in April '07. She's been crashed and repaired a few times and she's still going strong.
Minicat (3 min 15 sec)
Jun 28, 2011, 06:47 AM
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Beechcraft Starship

My most ambitious Own design project, from Dec '08 to May '09. Here's the build thread This one depended on a bungee launch, which was too fierce at the first attempt. Finally got airborn on 1 April and, after 4 weeks of delight and learning I smashed it up. Here's what I wrote: "The point of impact was 20 yards from the place where the flight battery ended up. The space in between was mostly matchwood. I've got to go back and have another look for the rx battery."

But I was bitten by the bug, built another one and flew it in September that year. There is also a successful Depron version. Both still flying.

Starship Flying (2 min 13 sec)

and still flying, 6 years later, a real joy:
(2 min 50 sec)
Last edited by nickchud; Sep 14, 2015 at 05:02 PM.
Jun 28, 2011, 07:45 AM
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The Starship started me on a long and interesting path of discovery - Canards, all sorts of them. With a great deal of help and encouragement from these guys on the Canard thread.

Here's a link to my Long EZ build thread.

Canards Taking off.wmv (3 min 54 sec)

Canards Landing (3 min 55 sec)
Last edited by nickchud; Sep 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM.
Jun 28, 2011, 12:29 PM
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My friend Charles on the Canard thread designed and built a delta called Delta Duck, which I copied and tweaked..
Last edited by nickchud; Aug 11, 2011 at 01:17 PM.
Aug 06, 2011, 05:17 PM
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An IFO copy

Ever had one of these? They're great fun to fly and they're so slow and controllable that you make friends every time you fly it ... dog walkers, grandfathers, 10year-olds.

A very good holiday project. Vist the IFO owners' thread.

IFO copy at Laguna Beach (5 min 11 sec)

Buy the kit from They come in 2 sizes. My version is bigger ... 35" ws, 17.5" chord. motor is 1200Kv, 93 watts, prop is 9 x 4.7". Goes well with both 2S1P and 3S1p batteries, 1000mAh. With 3 cell batteries you only need half throttle, max. I've got elevons and a rudder. The latter is optional.
Last edited by nickchud; Aug 11, 2011 at 01:00 PM.
Jan 08, 2012, 07:10 AM
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Short EZ

Nov 2011

My dog and I love this plane ... fits in the car, flies from any surface, almost any weather..

Short EZ All Terrain canard (6 min 12 sec)

Last edited by nickchud; Aug 27, 2014 at 07:51 AM.
Jan 08, 2012, 07:23 AM
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DH88 Comet from Ivan's plans

Sept - Dec 2011
My favorite so far and much more ambitious:

DH88 model Comet Maiden (5 min 4 sec)

DH88Comet.wmv (2 min 56 sec)

Several of us built this model, more or less simultaneously.. Here is our build thread.

And here are 3 of the Comets flying together, 1 Sept 2012
(4 min 21 sec)
Last edited by nickchud; Sep 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM.
Jan 22, 2012, 01:49 PM
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hi nick,

do you have any video on your "wide bodied twin"?

my next model will be a cross between your wide body and your polar stuntcat.

i need the twin pontoon layout but the planform of the stuntcat.

best regards

Jan 23, 2012, 04:52 AM
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Hi David

Yes I've posted a couple of them on YouTube. Here's one of them.. not very good photography I'm afraid.

I knew nothing about Ground Effect when I was building this one. My interest was more in Burnelli and lifiting bodies.

I think it needs bigger pontoons at the front. In any case I had to add ballast because that wide body adds a lot of lift up front while the motors add a lot of weight at the back. A bigger model would carry a good camera and a large battery, which might be interesting.

I'll be really interested to see how you get on with the pontoon-Stuntcat.

Polaris WBT flying from water (4 min 53 sec)
Last edited by nickchud; Sep 09, 2012 at 10:49 AM.
Jan 23, 2012, 06:51 AM
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hi nick,

just looked at it, in fact i remember i did see it before.

it looked very stable on take off. it seemed to me it lifted off by itself, hung in GE for a moment before you pulled it up in a climb. is that what u remember?

on your 'WBT flying' video on landing it looks like it does a bit of 'high alpha pitch up' a few feet off the ground, slow down a bit too much and then drop in. it could have been a bit f PIO but i dont think so.
notched wings, wing fence or drooped LEs may cure the wing rock at low speeds.

its pretty much the exact planform that i have. i think my build quality is lacking thats why my last couple models have not worked. i also need to order proper foam but freight is very expensive to dominica for such a bulky item.

thanks for sharing, will keep u posted. im feeling a bit like giving up now. i'll take a few days off from thinking about my next move.



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