Flying Foam's Mothership EP - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Sep 18, 2012, 10:11 AM
Foam Guy
As y'all can tell Bob is a great mentor. Thanks for jumping in Bob!

I am bringing in some full time help in Oct (a devoted glider guy to balance out my need for a motor), so hope to have more time to get my hands dirty and build more myself. No, it's not all play around here ;-)

I also just received some great feedback from a customer who built a slope Mother last month. It will help everyone going forward. I'll try to get it up at FlyingFoam this week and link to it here for reference.

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Sep 19, 2012, 09:38 PM
More Pile-it than Pilot
mdennis's Avatar
I built one about 5 years ago. Here is a build thread from back then.
Sep 19, 2012, 11:09 PM
Gasbags & Gussets
jswain's Avatar

thank you for the build link

Originally Posted by mdennis
I built one about 5 years ago. Here is a build thread from back then.
Thank you for the build and flying tips posting.
It answered a bunch of questions for the MS i ordered earlier this week.

that is quite a catchy covering job too -

tnx again, js
Sep 21, 2012, 12:08 PM
Foam Guy
@mdennis - That is a great build thread. Love the ability to convert between EP and Slope. Thanks!

Here's the link to the feedback I just received on another customer build of a slope version. Hope it helps.

Oct 01, 2012, 07:09 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar


I am a week late but here we go.

First here is what is in the kit. Two wings with beds, two balsa, elevons, two push rods and clevises, a piece of coroplast with two winglets drawn on, a pair of control horns, and two rolls of covering tape - your choice of colors.

Note that the top bed is much thicker than the bottom on my kit. The beds are important to keep the wings aligned as they are constructed.
Oct 01, 2012, 07:27 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
The first step is joining the beds. I used the top beds that expose the bottom of the wing. The bottom bed was a lot thicker so it made a better bed for assembly.

TAPE does NOT stick well to this foam. You can try taping the beds but it will work better if you glue them, then tape them. Spray 77 glue on the edge of each bed half. Be careful to not get glue on the inside of the bed where the wing goes. Joint the halves of the bed after about 4 minutes. Then you can also add some tape on the bottom.

Next the wing roots need to be glued together with epoxy. I first test fir the wings in the bed to ensure I had perfect alignment. If you don't have the beds correct, the wing won't be straight!

I put some wax paper in the bed over the center seam. Some epoxy is going to come out of the root joint on the bottom. I don't want to glue the wing to the beds hence the wax paper. Note that the wax paper sometimes gets stuck to the wing. I don't worry about that too much, If you don't want that to happen, you can try spraying some PAM or silicone on the wax paper to make it release better.

I mixed 30ml of 30 min epoxy. I was sure this was too much but I don't like to run out and need to mix more. I put an even coat of epoxy on each wing root. It took 20ml of the epoxy I mixed. BTW: I use the little cups with the graduations on them. It makes sure I have a 50/50 mix.

I have to large weights that were made for me by a machinist. They are very handy. Some weights are needed to make sure everything stays put while the glue cures. You can try to tape the wings together but most of my tapes will not hold on the epp foam.

I joined the wing halves in the base and made sure the seams were matching. I placed weights on the wings to make sure they stayed straight in the base. I also used two skewers at the front point to make sure the point stayed together. A rubber band around the skewers held the point together. You can see them in the photo.

The skewers will be epoxied to the wings. I just pressed in on the foam and clipped the skewers. The foam expands back, covering the skewers.

I also keep checking the seam and push it together as the epoxy starts to cure, ensuring the seam is closed.
Oct 01, 2012, 07:32 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
While glue cured, I started on some other parts.

I cut the winglets out, including the slots for the tape.

I also lightly sanded the elevons. I took the sharp edges off all corners and sanded the flat sides. I will likely but a 45 degree bevel on the bottom of the hinge sides.

The elevon side of the wings appear to have a bevel as well.
Oct 01, 2012, 07:43 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar


There are four spars and two joiners. The joiners look like 8 penny nails that were cut and bent to the proper angle. The spars run the full length of the wing on the top and bottom.

I use 77 glue to put these in. This is the same as the other wings I have built and have had no problems.

I first glued two spars and a joiner together using medium CA per the instructions. I then sprayed the 77 directly into the spar grooves. I just held the can about 1" from the groove and sprayed the full length. I always get a little over spray so I use a Popsicle stick to scrape the excess back into the groove. Then I sprayed one side of a spare pair. I had everything ready when I started this so I could insert the spars while the 77 was still wet. If it cures too long, it is not possible to get the spars completely seated.

I then weighted the spars and let them cure.

Note: Fiber tape is normally used to help reinforce the wing. Since this one is so big, some of the tape is 2". In any case, I use the tap that has fibers in both directions instead of just the length of the tape. It is a lot stronger. I have it in 1" and 2" and mine is Scotch brand but I am sure there are other brands.
Oct 01, 2012, 07:48 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
I assembled the bottom beds before putting the spars on the top. The wings are not symmetrical so I need the bottom to keep it all straight.

By now, the wing is already pretty rigid.
Oct 01, 2012, 08:00 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar

Size Comparison

Here is a size comparison. The black is the Mother Ship, obviously.

The orange is a Trick RC Ziggi with a 48" wingspan. One note here is the motor is mounted at the CG on this wing. I am considering this configuration. The Ziggi I have uses and inrunner but I will be using an outrunner. Trick RC has both options.

The small one, orange and blue, is a homemade wing with a 32" wing span. The motor is at the trailing edge on this one. We hot-wire cut this one from Formular 150 sheet insulation. It has CF rod spars and a ply spar on the CG.

The downside, if it is one, of building like the Ziggi is a prop clearance slot has to be cut. This will use a 12" to 14" prop. I will probably draw this out before making a final decision. I also want to lay out all the components on top of the wing and get an idea on the placement to maintain the 14.25" CG.
Oct 01, 2012, 08:13 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
I first laid out the CG line. I am marking the lines with a white china marker and a silver Sharpie.

I then wanted some clearance on the ends of the elevons for the winglets. I marked this then marked the inboard ends of the elevons.

I wanted the control horns at about 25% of the elevon. I laid these our and drew lines up to where the servos should be. This is laid out square to the trailing edge of the wing. I am not sure if I will use the provided push rods. The may not be long enough. I may also reinforce the push rods with CF.

I plan to color and seal the elevons with paint. I will paint them and then wipe the paint off. This will color and seal the elevons without adding a lot of weight.

I want to hinge the elevons with Blenderm tape. I have always had good luck with this technique. Since the elevons are large, I will probably tape both sides.
Oct 01, 2012, 09:25 PM
Do Da Dippidy
plowboy1966's Avatar
I'm enjoying your build Wayne. I think you should stick to your plan to do the pusher. Of course I'm being selfish here as I know I will get to see lots of cool vids that way!! However, you would lose some strength mounting the motor on the CG and she would gain weight from the necessary reinforcements in that area.

And as a 3M distributor I appreciate the use of the Scotch and Blenderm tapes as well as the 77 Super spray!! Lol

Coby, Bob mentioned that the last spar wouldn't fit inside the box. You might consider just taping it to the outside of the box with 3" reinforced water activated paper tape. Or let me sell you a bigger box!
Oct 01, 2012, 10:09 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar

Video log parts 1 & 2

Should be available shortly.

Flying Foam's Mothership EP, Build Log Part 1 (8 min 57 sec)

Flying Foam's Mothership EP, Build Log Part 2 (8 min 57 sec)
Last edited by waynemia; Oct 02, 2012 at 01:17 PM.
Oct 02, 2012, 09:55 AM
Foam Guy
Great build log Wayne! I started my Mother Ship as well. Hope to have some more pics soon. I made some big assumptions about CG and just started hacking. Well, started hot wire cutting anyway. I am planning around an OS 30 out-runner I had in the shop with a 4350 4 cell lipo up front. We have been building and testing several different flying wings the last year so this is all just really a gut feel right now. Hope to have things in place to check the CG this week. Right now the motor CG will be about 3" fwd of trailing edge at center line. Not sure if the 4 cell will be enough to counter that or not. Your caution about laying it all out BEFORE cutting is the way to go. I just don't have much time to build right now so have to take bold steps when I do find the time:-)

@plowboy - Thanks for the offer;-) We have bigger boxes, but then shipping starts going up. And we have to stay competitive with imports. I am hoping the Mother Ship Mk2 will have a design that includes everything in the same box we use today. Thanks to folks like Wayne, who are willing to share their time and expertise, we can build a better kit for all.

Last edited by cglusky; Oct 02, 2012 at 09:56 AM. Reason: Speellling
Oct 02, 2012, 01:43 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
The additional spar, plywood, I added would fit in the same box since it is shorter than the CF wing spars. Mine is placed that the stated 14.25" CG and goes from wing spar to wing spar minus 2". I used a thin ply because I am using the strength of the ply on edge. This means it does not need to be very thick. The next steps will show the spar modifications since I installed it this morning.

The other spar mentioned is for the non-powered unit I think. It is a spar that goes between the existing spars as far aft as possible. A spar there would interfere with my motor mount so it is not a problem.

Alan - Trick RC has powered wings in two configurations. One has the motor at the rear and the other has the motor at the CG. One advantage of moving the motor forward is it is easier to balance. My motor is big == heavy. If I place it at the trailing edge, I will probably have a hard time with balance. Getting the motor close to the CG will make it a lot easier.

I am thinking I will start with provision for a 13" prop. I can trim for a larger prop later if needed.
Last edited by waynemia; Oct 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM.

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