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Sep 25, 2013, 03:54 PM
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Build Log

RC Broom Flyer Wizard Witch

The Broom Flyer Witch

I wanted to build a full size Witch since I built my mini Witch for Halloween 2012. She continues to be a crowd favorite at Air Shows and local Halloween events. She has appeared on local, National and International TV. She had 18 million Facebook views for the Discovery Channel and appeared at Tony Hawk's Halloween Party.

This build log is of my second Broom Flyer build, a Witch. It differs from the first build incorporating improvements from lessons learned. I have included notations from my third Witch build 10-6-2015.

This is a difficult build and should not be attempted by a newcomer to the hobby. There is a lot of wood work involved. You may want to find a friend with superior build skills if you are a newcomer.

The Broom Flyer has a low wing loading (6 oz per sqft) and is a gentle flyer. Anybody that can fly a trainer can fly this craft. It has a basic rudder and elevator control setup and will turn on a dime. Stalls are gentle and you can almost hover in a deep stall. Landing speed is quite slow and with a little headwind you can land with zero ground speed.

The negative of this design is the landing undercarriage. I did not want to erode the illusion so I put the main landing gear/wheels inside the knees. They are not spread apart, so he/she always tips over after landing. This has not caused any damage to date, just some scrapes and nicks. What is an issue is the rotation caused by the knees when they touch down. The rotation causes the broom stick to rotate downward at a high angular rate and has cracked some Depron. To solve this issue, I added a removable nose skid on the original and a retractable skid on the second and third builds. I highly recommend the retractable skid.

PDF drawings for each part are provided in the second post along with a bill of materials. Cutouts of the Depron components are available from

I recommend you read through the whole build log before committing yourself to this project. Please ask questions to help improve the build log.

Happy haunting and flying, Otto

Witch over San Diego
RC Flying Witch over San Diego by Otto Dieffenbach (1 min 22 sec)

Witch flown with Full Moon
RC Flying Witch with Full Moon Rising by Otto Dieffenbach (0 min 54 sec)

Building the Witch in Pictures
Building the RC Witch in 60 Seconds by Otto Dieffenbach (1 min 28 sec)
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 06, 2015 at 09:55 AM.
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Sep 25, 2013, 03:57 PM
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Step 1

Getting everything you need and prepare the cutouts.

If you get your cutouts from Hooiser Cutout Service, separate them form their sheets, identify each part and lightly sand the edges with 150 grit sandpaper. Save the extra material.

Bill of materials:

Broom Flyer cutouts in 6 mm Depron
Two 0.196" OD x 0.125" ID x 40" Carbon Fiber square tubes (Midwest Products)
One 0.125" OD x 0.060" ID x 40" Carbon Fiber tube (round) (Midwest Products)
One .034" x .121" x 40" Carbon Fiber strip (Midwest Products)
One 0.25" OD x 40" carbon fiber round tube
1/8 inch plywood sheet 1 ft x 2 ft
inch plywood sheet 6 x 12 inches
8 Sheet metal screws 8 x
E-Flite Sea Fury retract landing gear EFL606509 (Optional)
Master Air Screw 3 blade 10 x 7 propeller
Two packages of Dubro micro pushrods #852
One bag of 15 Dubro Hinges #117
Two 1 7/8 inch wheels (Parkzone T-28 or F4u)
Clear Gorilla Glue
Foam safe CA and activator
5 minute epoxy
30 minute epoxy


At least a 3 channel full range receiver
Three Hitec HS 225MG servos or equivalent
E-Flite Power 10 motor or equivalent
40 Amp ESC
3S 2200mah 30C Lipo battery
Master Airscrew 10 x 7 three blade propeller
4 feet of servo hook-up wire
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 24, 2019 at 12:50 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 03:58 PM
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Step 2

Will you customize the head?

If so, you will need to take some photos of your subject. For the standard head you should get a front, side and back with the head angled looking forward. For the witch you only need the front and side shots.

When you print, the face length from chin to hairline should be around 6 inches. The distance from the chin to the top of the head is around 10 inches. I use Powerpoint or Photoshop to size my images. You can then print the images on your printer or go to a local print shop. Many custom T-shirt shops now print stickers and you can have your images printed as stickers. For high quality jobs, I now go to a custom car wrapper. He prints the images on sticky back vinyl, but this is expensive.

Now that you have your images, you can cut them out and trace the outline to cut you vertical and horizontal Depron head shapes.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 11:27 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:00 PM
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Step 3

Building the cape.

The cape has a left and right panel and two vertical fins. First glue the left and right panels together using CA or Gorilla Glue. Then glue the two 20 inch 1/8" carbon tubes in their front channels and the 40" carbon fiber round tube in the rear channel, as shown. If routing yourself, I use my Dremel with a 1/8 inch drill bit and a metal straight edge.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Jul 02, 2019 at 09:58 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Step 4

Adding the cape vertical members.

First assemble the front and rear sections of the cape fins with CA. Then split the fins into a top and bottom as shown on the parts layout (see Step 30, Post #31 for additional pictures of the split). Draw a line on the right and left sides of the cape on the top and bottom 7 inches from the centerline. Glue the top fins on the lines perpendicular to the cape. When dry, flip and glue the bottom fins.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 15, 2019 at 10:30 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Step 5

Laying out the ply stiffeners and motor/cape supports.

Study the pictures and look at the whole build before performing this step. This will help you to visualize and understand. This is the most difficult step of the build.

Assemble the top and bottom of each side with CA. Draw on the inside of one side, the outline of the 1/8" ply stiffener. The stiffener is 5/8 inch wide.

Draw a line 5 1/2 inches down from the top, parallel to the top line. This is your center body plate line. Draw a parallel line across the leg just below the leg bend notch. This will be the location of the leg plate. The top line is the location for the top/cape plate.

Note: I just built my third Witch from the cutouts. There are 1/8 inch diameter alignment holes in the side cutouts for the center body and leg plates. Ignore the center body set since they are not 5 1/2 inches down from the top line. I did use the leg plate alignment set of markings but had to remove 3/8 inch from each side of the leg plate. (10-6-2015)

Now from the top of the butt, measure forward 7.25 inches. This is where, on the top plate, the 1/4" ply motor center support will attach.

From where the center body plate line intersects the front (shirt collar), measure back 12.625 inches. This is the location of the motor side of the motor mount. Draw the motor mount on the body side as shown, 1 7/8 inches tall by 1/4 inch, centered on the center body line. Now draw the vertical 1/4 inch ply motor support.

At the knee, draw the outline of the 1 7/8 inch wheels and their center, the axle location.

Note: the last photo of the body side with the center body plate, front and rear pieces. The motor horizontal 1/4" ply support will be glued to the front center body plate. See step 7 to help visualize.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Jan 07, 2019 at 07:01 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:05 PM
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Step 6

Attaching the side ply stiffeners.

Using a scroll saw, cut out the 1/8" ply stiffeners 5/8" wide from sheet stock. Section the stiffener, if necessary, and cut in several pieces. If formed out of several pieces, use a 1/8 inch ply doubler at each joint, as shown. I used Gorilla Glue to attach the stiffeners to the Depron sides.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 27, 2013 at 10:31 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Step 7

Attaching the motor supports and creating your mount.

From a sheet of 1/4 inch ply cut the lateral/horizontal motor support,10.5 x 1.375 inches. Also, cut the vertical motor support bracket to the drawing you made on the body side. Cut two motor mount plates, 1.75 x 1.75 inches, and laminate together with epoxy.

Glue the lateral/horizontal motor support to the rear of the front center body plate, as shown. With epoxy, glue the vertical motor support bracket in the center of the lateral/horizontal motor support, as shown.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:08 PM
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Step 8

Assembling the body.

Study the pictures closely and fit all pieces before gluing. In this step you assemble the two sides, the top plate, the two center body plates and the leg plate to form the character body. Test fit everything and make notches for the side stiffeners in the various plates. You will also want to make a slot in the center of the top plate for the top of the vertical motor support bracket that's attached to the center body plate.

I first lay the top plate on the table and then glue and pin the two sides to the top plate. I pin a temporary spacer, at the knees, as I glue each plate in position. Next I glue in place the two center plates. I use Gorrilla Glue except for the ply to ply bonding, there I use slow cure epoxy. Do not glue the top of the vertical motor support bracket to the top plate. Just insert it in the slot you made earlier. Finally, glue in the leg plate. Check that everything is aligned and let dry.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:09 PM
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Step 9

Making the broom handle.

From Depron scrap, cut four 1 1/16 x 37 inch rectangles. Glue them together to form the main broom handle.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Step 10

Building the battery and skid retract compartments.

Fully understand step 11 before doing this step.

This 1/8 inch ply compartment will form the end of the broom handle and house the battery and an optional retractable nose skid. The box dimensions are 1.25 x1.25 x 7.75 inches with the battery forward. From 1/4" ply, cut a carbon square tube support bracket. assemble everything, as shown, with epoxy.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:12 PM
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Step 11

Broom handle completion.

It is important to understand this assembly step before creating the front compartment. The carbon square tube is Gorilla glued to the inside of the Depron broom handle. This requires that the tube be mounted in the front compartment, offset to the edge, by the thickness of the Depron. This allows the compartment and Depron handle to assemble into one uniform broom handle.

Glue 4 layers of Depron to the front of the battery compartment to allow rounding of the handles end.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Step 12

Business (wisp) end of broom construction.

The broom is formed from the two cutouts. On one cutout, draw a centerline down it's length and then mark a spot 8.75 inches from the tail end. Draw a line at 90 degrees. This is you rudder hinge line. Separate the rudder with a knife and bevel the front edge with a sanding block.

On the second cutout, do the same, but also cut down the centerline. You should note that I added some scrap to the tail of the front pieces to cover the gaps when the rudder is turned left or right.

Next, hinge the rudder using 3 Dubro pinned hinges and CA. Then glue the front horizontal pieces at 90 degrees. Then glue the back pieces to the rudder, offset, so they do not bind with the front pieces. Let dry.

The broom handle is integrated into the wisp end by 3.5 inches. Cut a slot in the front of this section, the width of the handle, and Gorilla Glue the handle to the wisp. Check the alignment of the handle to the fins.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:15 PM
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Step 13

Head attachment.

From step 3, you should have your horizontal and vertical head shapes. Glue these to the main body. If you are doing a witch, modify the horizontal head shape as noted in step 24.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 26, 2013 at 01:01 PM.
Sep 25, 2013, 04:17 PM
Thread OP

Step 14

Creating the cape attach points on the body.

From 1/4" ply cut the cape mounting blocks. The center front is a 1.25 inch circle. The two front side blocks are 5/8" wide and an inch long. The two rear blocks are 5/8" squares.

To determine the shape of the center rear block, lay the cape on the body with the body sides and cape fins aligned at the front. the leading edge of the cape should be about 3/4" in front of the front edge of the top plate. Take a small drill and hand drill a hole through the cape Depron and top plate Depron where the rear center mounting screw will be located between the front two 1/8" carbon tubes. Remove the cape.

Around the hole and the top of the vertical motor support bracket draw the shape of the attach point similar to the one shown in the picture. Cut this piece from 1/4" ply.

With a knife, cut the Depron to seat each mounting block. Lightly bevel the edge of each block that attaches to the side so that it remains level. Use a slower drying epoxy to get a good bite into the wood. Glue each block in place and add gussets to the underside of the rear side blocks.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Sep 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM.

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